This week's student showcase features a persuasive essay by Maci W., a homeschooled high schooler who draws on her personal experiences to support her position on the key to success. Maci recently finished the Essay Rock Star Persuasive Essay Short Course, and the essay below is her end product.
Position Paper on the Key to Success
by Maci W.
“It is far better to be exhausted from success, than to be rested from failure.” Success is something that everyone strives for. No one wants failure and no one wants to lose. However, your success is all about your point of view in a tough situation.
Regina Brett once said, “It doesn't matter what happens to you, what matters is what you do about it.” This quote is true in every aspect of your life. When you are faced with difficult times, it is your choice of what you make of it. This is very important because you can’t let every bad thing that happens to you beat you down. You cannot give up when faced with difficulty. Gena Showalter said this perfectly: “Giving up is the only sure way to fail.” I believe this is true. Difficulty is the perfect learning experience. If you are faced with tough times, turn the obstacle into an opportunity. When I think of an obstacle that I’ve been faced with and have overcome, sports automatically comes to mind. Being involved in sports since first grade, I have learned so much. I’ve been faced with so many obstacles and tough times, but it is through these tough times that I’ve learned and developed the most. An example of a trying time was this previous club volleyball season. I was blessed to be given the opportunity of playing on a top level, national qualifying team on a scholarship. I was beyond excited and could not wait for the season to start. The season started great. I was playing well and enjoying the game more than ever at the time. Unfortunately, the season quickly took a wrong turn and ended up being one of the worst seasons of my volleyball career. My teammates began to not trust one another, and the coach had completely drained me of all the confidence I had coming into the season. Instead of looking forward to practices and tournaments, I was dreading them and could not wait for the season to be over. However, I changed my mindset from “poor me” to “what can I learn today.” I learned more in that one season than I had in any of the others combined. That team taught me what it truly means to be a teammate, especially the importance of friendship and trust. I learned so much about leadership from that one season, and have used this skill in all of the leadership positions that I hold. Although I was able to think positively and use this situation to grow from, I can understand how difficult it can be to always be positive and I know that some situations seem as if they'll never get better. But that doesn't mean you can’t try.
If you don’t try to see the positive in a situation you'll never be able to succeed. You will be so overwhelmed with all the things that are going wrong that you won’t be able to see the good when it’s right in front of you. You have the opportunity to grow from each and every obstacle you’re faced with,. You just have to take it. I have seen people that I’m very close with go through very tough situations. I’ve seen them better the situation, and I’ve also seen people let their tough times define them and tear them apart. In 2011, my family experienced a great loss. My grandpa and my great uncle died. They both left their loving wives. After my grandpa died, my grandma continued to live her life and got very involved in her church and didn't let the loss of her husband affect how she was going to live. She got involved in many different organizations and honored her husband through all of her actions and still does to this day. My aunt on the other hand did the very opposite. When my uncle died, she mourned and basically gave up the will to live. She let this obstacle overtake her and let this tough time define how she was going to live the rest of her life. Since 2011, she has had an immense amount of health problems because she didn't take care of herself and is now living in a nursing home at 73 years old. This is a perfect example of letting a tough time define you. Some things you cannot make better. You can’t fix a broken leg, and unfortunately you can’t fix cancer. Part of turning an obstacle into an opportunity is not focusing on the physical toll but the emotional toll instead.
When faced with difficulty, questions tend to run through my head. Why can’t you? Why can’t you overcome your losses and be a winner? What inside of you says, “I quit?” I believe that people are not remembered by the tough times they experience but the way they overcome them. As an athlete, I tend to relate everything to sports. My volleyball coach told me the other day that volleyball is a mental game. So, of course at the moment I knew exactly what he was talking about. You can’t let your confidence or mentality change the way you play. I realized that it's not only true in sports, but in all aspects of life. If you’re mentally defeated, you’ve already lost. The other thing he said that stuck with me was, “ How do you eat an elephant?” He answered, “ One bite at a time.” Of course we all laughed, and he said, “Same thing with sports and with your life. You play one point, one play at a time, and in life you live one day at a time.” I realized that this was so true. If you take life one day at a time, and focus on the challenges that come with that one day. If you look at every challenge as an opportunity, you’re guaranteed to succeed.
Your point of view is an enormous part of your personality. Every day you make decisions that will alter your lifestyle. Everyone is their own person, who can distinguish themselves by their own choices. However, you’re not remembered by the obstacles you’re faced with, but the way you overcome them.