Failure Leads to Success

Discuss a significant quote you live by.

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” –Michael JordanIt didn’t register in my mind that we were going to be living in Egypt until we were halfway across the Atlantic. I knew that the experience in Cairo would be a memorable one. What I didn’t know was that I was going to come back home three years later, after enduring many tests and enjoying some successes.My first test came when I realized my Arabic communication skills were more text-book than conversational. I knew this would be a major hindrance in school and that I had to overcome this shortcoming if I was to be well-integrated. I decided to speak with common Egyptian folk whenever the chance arose, even if that meant I might commit numerous verbal faux pas. By making mistake after mistake, I grew to learn that the slightest change in the way one pronounces a letter can sway the meaning of a word. This ushered the way for me to learn more about Egyptian culture and to learn about what is considered taboo. After reading tens of modern Egyptian books in colloquial Arabic, studying the specifics of Arabic grammar, and conversing with hundreds of Egyptians, I am comfortable saying that I improved my communication skills tremendously.Studying at an international school also meant traveling internationally to compete in athletics. The long awaited roster for the Junior Varsity team had just been posted and my name sat alone at the bottom of the list at the position of team manager. It was not what I signed up for; I was greatly disappointed. I put my emotions aside and went to our first practice that afternoon. I believed that the coach made a mistake but I did not complain or do a mediocre job. I knew the only way to prove my self on the court was to practice perfectly. I lived by the quote my brother used to always tell me, “Practice doesn’t make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect.” After each and every practice I would spend additional hours on the court working on my weaknesses and sharpening my skills while simultaneously managing my heavy course load. I developed my ball handling skills and foot work and perfected the form on my jump shot. I maintained my intense training regimen and started playing Varsity in 9th grade at my school in Virginia. I am now the Captain, leading scorer, and record-holder for the most 3-pointers ever made in a single season during my junior year. Being appointed as team manager with a minimal role was my motivation for success.My experiences have driven me to believe that failure is a part of the process of succeeding. The way one accepts or deals with a loss or a failure will ultimately decide your fate. In the path to success there will be obstacles and roadblocks. If you come across them you must not turn back and submit; instead, you should work around the obstacles and overcome the roadblocks. By doing so, you get one step closer to success. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. That is why I will succeed at Harvard College.

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