As one progresses through life, the easiest thing that person can let themselves do is give up. This is due to the simple fact that not putting forth effort at all means there is no possibility of failure. Let’s face it: people naturally dislike failing. It makes us feel low and worthless. Nothing is worth trying at all if you can fail, right?
Let’s think about that for a second. If you don’t try at all, you cannot fail. Yet at the same time, you can never succeed. So if the ultimate fear is failure because you want to accomplish something and you never take a risk, when will the success come? The answer is never.
Society has a tendency of looking at a “failed” situation as exactly that: a failed situation. Let me ask this: If Einstein gave up each time a lab experience wasn’t immediately successful, would he be Einstein, the smartest man to ever have lived? If Martin Luther King gave up each time someone threw a curve ball his way, would he have made such a huge impact on today’s society? Mohammed Ali sure wouldn’t be the greatest boxer ever if he threw in the towel after his first loss. What do these individuals have in common? Instead of looking at a not-so-successful situation as a failed one, they each pushed on and kept striving for their visions: a true sign of perseverance.
I believe perseverance is the reason I am even able to write this blog. Throughout my life I have been given many blessings. The most outstanding and important one to me is when my dad pushed me to join an after school breakdance program at Denny Middle School hosted by Jeromeskee (Massive Monkees Crew member). Under Arts Corps, he has inspired many students throughout the years including those from Mercer Middle School, Denny Middle School and Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. When my father first threw the idea of joining the class out to me I was very reluctant. I was (and probably still am) the most clumsy person ever! I had a fear that I wasn’t going to be good enough no matter how hard I worked; I had a fear of failure.
Originally, I agreed to attend the class because I didn’t want to let my father down. I despised the class for quite a while because everyone else was better than me and had about two years of experience more than me. After hitting rock bottom a few times, I kept pushing. It wasn’t until about six months later that I finally had a breakthrough. There was one move I had been working on that appeared so amazing to me called “the handglide”. No one in the class knew how to do it when I started working on it. About two months after beginning to practice it, I finally got it down. The feeling was more than inspirational to say the least; it was a reality check that if you dedicate enough time to one thing, you will break that fear of failure by dominating that task.
It is actually no wonder to me why my favorite and best move is the jackhammer. I am almost known specifically for that move through the Seattle breakdance scene. The Jackhammer is just an advance version of the handglide that consists of you spinning in a basic freeze position and hopping: all with one hand! The morale of this section: take something that means most to you and develop on it. Let everyone know how much it means to you by perfecting it!
These are all lessons I learned from becoming part of Arts Corps and taking Jerome’s classes, beginner and advanced. It is 6 years later and I am now considered Jerome’s personal assistant and little brother. Sure it took 6 years and it is still getting better, but I honestly cannot imagine what my life would be like had I given in to fear and letting myself develop into a couch potato like some of the unfortunate classmates I had gone to school with. I am beginning my dream of traveling across the world currently by visiting different cities and states nearby. On top of dancing in many showcases each year and competing in several battles, I am going to school to study medicine as an Anesthesiologist. Because of the gift I was given through Arts Corps, I am also beginning to record and produce music as a solo guitarist. My most recent strive is to take the skills I have gained through this amazing company and open up my own hotel. With the help of Arts Corps, Jerome and my father, I have developed into the person I am today!
Perseverance is key. One of my favorite quotes of all time is this: “Nobody ever said it would be easy; they just promised that it would be worth it.” It is my personal guarantee that no one of memorable success has lived the easiest life with absolutely no problems. Had I given up when I crashed and burned on the handglide, I wouldn’t be side by side with Jeromeskee assisting him in all of his classes. I wouldn’t have (with the help of 6 very talented others) developed a crew widely known as The Vicious Puppies. Instead of joining society and accepting a bad situation as a “failure”, take it and utilize that moment. Let it be fuel, and let it build your fire of dedication and patience as you watch yourself develop into an amazing individual.