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I Overcame Negativity

Joined: 5/31/2011
Posts: 2
For most people, the cup will more often be half empty than it will be half full. Being positive is a feat very hard to conquer. It is very easy for a less-than-perfect situation to be viewed as a disaster versus a success that had its insignificant flaws.

Ever since I entered high school, nothing was ever good enough for my standards. School was bad. My classmates were worse. I didn’t attend school programs because I preferred to stay home and wallow in my loneliness.

A whole freshman year went by with my excitement being aroused at rare moments. I focused on my studies and did well, but I wasn’t happy. At the end of my first year, while everyone was relieved to have completed a year of school, I mourned the three years ahead.

The summer was a blast, but it ended too quickly. As the first day of school rolled around, my smile began to disappear.

The beginning of the year echoed the previous months and nothing ever seemed to be good. One day someone asked me how school was and I replied that I couldn’t wait until the high school stage of my life was over and done with. All of a sudden, I realized how bad of an attitude that was. I vowed that the next day I would pick out the positive moments of my day and disregard the negative.

That day was a turning point in my year. Every day following that one, I focused more on the positive than I had on the preceding day. Gradually, school wasn’t as bad as it seemed to be. As I started loosening up, I began to smile more, laugh more, and joke around more. I was chairing the school programs I had once ditched and was constantly propelling excitement throughout the school. One teacher even said to me that my class had become so solidified, so united, so wonderful, and that my change in attitude had played a huge role.

Our school brought in a speaker one day, a psychologist that spoke to us about happiness. She emphasized that our happiness is completely under our control and that we have to use it to our benefit. She told us stories of cancer patients who were cured through laughter or who maximized the end of their life by focusing on their blessings instead of lamenting their predicament. After that speech, I realized how school was not as bad as I thought it was, and even if it was that bad, there were worse things in life.

I just returned from a weekend retreat with my school. Last year, I would have found an excuse to not go. This year, I not only went, but I also signed up to be on the committee. Throughout the weekend, I was responsible for playing games and keeping the mood upbeat. Yesterday, a teacher approached me and mentioned how amazed he was to see me so involved and so motivational. He emphasized that so many times during the trip little things went wrong. Food delayed, transportation broke down, yet through it all, I kept the positive energy high and soaring.

Living life like this is so much better. When little worries cease to be troublesome, there’s room to appreciate the grander miracles in life. I will never forget this sophomore year. This is the year when I changed my pessimistic nature and took my happiness into my own hands. This is the year I came to realize that the the water level doesn't have to change for the cup to switch from half empty to half full.

This is the year I overcame negativity.
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Comment by mcoly618

Joined: 5/2/2009
Posts: 472
Hi, I'm the PR Coordinator for Stage of Life. I'm leaving you this comment to let you know that your essay for our Teens and Overcoming Challenges writing contest was one of the finalists. Congratulations!

Here's the link to the contest summary page. We'll be formally announcing the winner soon.

Feel free to share this news with your friends and family. To be named an essay finalists in our national writing competition is a big deal. Our previous winners have been talked about on and other media outlets.

Congrats again. We look forward to seeing more of your essays/writing on Thanks for helping us in our mission of creating the world's largest pool of cross-generational stories.
Posted: Monday, June 6, 2011 7:02:42 PM
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Comment by kinzie52

Joined: 1/8/2011
Posts: 45
I enjoyed your essay very much! Negativity is always a challenge to overcome, but hearing about your big change was so uplifting and so encouraging. Many people should hear your story, good job!!!
Posted: Wednesday, June 8, 2011 7:16:44 PM
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