The world is run on ideas and beliefs. Our ideas point the way to go, and our beliefs guide us throughout the journey. This journey, called “life”, is a long and complicated one, and is full of not only obstacles, but twists and loops which can bring even the most prepared travelers to their submission. The key to a successful journey is to stick to the most basic virtues of your life, which are your ideas and your beliefs. Or at least, this is the popular opinion.
What people don’t realize is that sometimes, you cannot stick to your ideas while holding on to your beliefs. This conflict has a way of making the strongest people enter existential crisis. Think about it yourself – would you hold on to a set of beliefs you have gathered over your life that define who you are as an individual? Or can you sacrifice your beliefs for an idea that could potentially change you and your life, and something that does a greater good to the community?
It might seem easy to theorize that you can always stick to your beliefs and still work on your ideas. But believe me, everyone faces this conflict at least once in their lifetime. Most people spend their lifetime trying to figure out what to stick to. And the strongest people are the ones who want to work on their best ideas as much as they want to hold on to their beliefs, and are therefore hit the worst when they have to choose one.
I have been fortunate enough to face this conflict early on in my life, when making the choice could not have devastated me. I chose to run towards my ideas, work on my future, and serve the greater good, even if it meant sacrificing what I believe in. I am not suggesting in any way that choosing ideas over beliefs is the right thing to do. What I will suggest, however, is that there is a “better” choice for everyone out there. I have no idea as to how to know what it is. Mine just came to me.
So, what is it that I have planned for myself? A social worker? A scientist? A rockstar?
I choose 2 simple ideas to be my guide – the first is a desire to reach greatness. It is the part of me that wants to be a name that every person on the planet knows. Its goals are very ambitious, even selfish sometimes. This is my primary objective, and it helps me make long-term decisions.
But it is pretty easy to get lost and take wrong turns if you only have such a large ambition. Which is why I have the second idea – changing others’ lives for the better. This is a selfless mission of bringing about a change in the community, one that not only empowers the helpless, but also changes the way we perceive the world around us. Often when I get lost looking at the big picture and thinking about my ambition, this idea of greater good tells me what to do and brings me back on track.
How do I achieve greatness and service my community? I again have a simple idea to stick to here – Find a way to achieve your goals doing what you like the most. If you know that I am majoring in Information Technology, it should come as no surprise that I intend to use my knowledge of technology to achieve both my goals. Knowledge is another competency that drives my actions – an endless thirst for knowledge, regardless of its utility. My love of learning new things fuels my actions and accomplishments.
Reflection is also a competency that affects my decisions, and it’s one of the major topics of interest in the Honors program. Throughout the Gateway class, we have been encouraged to reflect upon our activities. This is something I am fond of, because your best teacher is your own past. Your accomplishments teach you about your strengths and how to use them to your advantage, and your mistakes tell you about your weaknesses and how to overcome them. Unfortunately, a lot of people do not realize the benefits of reflection and see it merely as a waste of time.
These are the new set of beliefs I have adopted that will help me realize my mission of greatness and service to the community.