Live Up to Your Potential

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Our society is in trouble. So many people lie and cheat to achieve what they want. So many people lose hope and give up on life. So many people make catastrophic choices that lead to their destruction. And so many people are dissatisfied with what they have. Why? Why is our society so unhappy? I believe it is because people are not living up to their full potential. They forget how fulfilling life can be and all the joy that comes with that. So how do we live up to this potential? By rediscovering certain qualities that our society has forgotten: wisdom, faith, and gratitude.

Although there are many problems, one way to avoid them is by possessing wisdom. Wisdom is a fundamental factor in achieving a meaningful life. It makes us think before we act and correct some of the mistakes we have made in the past. Wisdom teaches us to make decisions based on the benefits of more than just ourselves. My aunt has made one bad decision after the other. She has been arrested for drunk driving, been caught shoplifting, and made a complete mess of her life. Her foolish choices have not only affected her, but now, her daughters are developing the same habits. We need to realize the choices we make can have devastating consequences now and far into the future. If we have a firm foundation of wisdom, we can avoid the suffering that comes with making bad choices.

Our life is going to be filled with challenges and struggles. They range from losing a beloved family member to losing a job. Because of the amount of stress in our lives, people often turn to drugs or therapy to ease the pain. No one can guarantee a life free from worry or stress. What can be guaranteed is faith in overcoming those difficult situations. Patrick Overton once said, “When you are tumbling down through utter darkness, faith is knowing one of two things will happen: either there will be something there to catch you or you will learn to fly.” We need to have faith that tomorrow will be better than today; that we can make it through the tough times. If we don’t, the problems in our lives will become so overwhelming that it will destroy us.

Lastly, a satisfying life does not come from the amount of wealth we have, but by having a grateful heart. Our society has been given so much. We have access to commodities that millions of others will never see. Yet, with all these things flowing freely into our life, we are still not satisfied. It is only when we understand the sacrifices others have made in order for us to be happy, that we truly become grateful. Last year, my father was offered a promotion that would take our family to a new state. This being my senior year, I was not too keen on spending my last year in a completely unfamiliar place. Seeing how unhappy I was, my father told me he wouldn’t take the promotion if moving would be too difficult. He was willing to make a sacrifice to ensure my own happiness. Upon hearing this, I decided I would sacrifice the life I have here for my father’s job. He understands how difficult it will be, but he is grateful that I am putting his needs before my own. Even though it will be painful, it is not the end. I am grateful that I can not only keep the relationships with my friends here, but also make new ones. I am also grateful to have parents that love and care about my well-being when so many others do not have that chance.

American values are slowly deteriorating. Our nation has become selfish, and people only consider their own interests. I challenge you to use these principles and apply them to your own life. I urge you to use wisdom when making tough decisions, to have faith when things go awry, and to be grateful for what you already have. If we make these, changes, we will truly live up to our potential and be happy.





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