Little Less Than 110%

What is the meaning of life? More importantly, what is the meaning of my life? We each have a way of finding the will to live another day in order to search for human potential. In high school, I practically lived as if every day were my last, I mean not in a way where I was saying my good-byes to everyone, but in putting my 100% effort in every situation I put myself in. I felt that if I were to die that day, I would be represented by my GPA in high school. It almost became part of my identity, as if I didn’t know what to do if I couldn’t get good grades in high school. I personally believe that the mask or façade you put up in front of others becomes a part of you. However, I wasn’t even trying to hide my “nerdiness.” I was a quiet, shy kid, and I tried really hard in high school.

In my senior year of high school, there was one time where I agreed to go to an event with my mom months in advance. My senior year English class, however, was very difficult, and I needed to finish reading a book by the end of that weekend. I pulled out of the event last minute as we were driving to the event. It took me over 30 minutes to walk back home to continue reading the book. I now regret that decision. Make your promises wisely, and try to keep the ones you make.

I was raised in a high school where a 4.0 GPA is just a small bump in the road to greatness. I struggled throughout all of high school grade-wise; it was difficult for me to just get one semester with a 4.0 GPA. My graduating class included 55 salutatorians, and a minor error in my National Honor Society application costed me my pride and my ego. It hurts me, and it drives me. I would go on to a no-name university, in which people thought it was located in Seattle, but it’s really located in one of the most dangerous cities in California. The valedictorian went to Harvard. Multiple salutatorians went to various Ivy League schools, and my smart friends went to top UC schools. I fell short, way short — not by my potential’s standards, but by my peer’s standards. Their standards became my own, and I couldn’t even come close to reaching them.

Here I am now, one year later after my freshman year of college. I took the max units per semester; I was the scrappy kid in the back of the classroom working harder than everyone else. I just want to be average. 4 hours of sleep daily would have to suffice. Something has to drive me every day to get out of bed in the morning. Hopefully you will find that something too.

“Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming.”

- John Wooden

I’ve come to realize that in this life, people don’t want attention; they want recognition. There is a difference between the two, and I’m willing to admit that my name will probably forget the minds of others once the last person who has ever known or heard of me passes away. Each day we are writing our own autobiography, but only some are published. I used to play varsity volleyball in high school. Volleyball is a true team sport, in which every single person on the court has a purpose. One weak link will be emphasized and picked-on. One team will go on a run. Game over. Volleyball is a game of runs, and it only takes one team on the opposing side to change that momentum. We were one of the worst teams in our league, but Coach didn’t say to give 110%. He said to give 100%. It’s impossible to give 110%, but it seems like we give more because we usually don’t our 100% all the time. Success isn’t defined by your GPA or the amount of money you’ve accumulated. You can’t even take it to your grave. Success is the battle between you and yourself only. It’s the hope and effort to improve oneself and become a better person each and every day. Do your best, and that’s the most anyone can ever ask of you.

Just something for you to think about.