"Self Reliance," by Ralph Waldo Emerson, has influenced the way I view the world and myself. This work has had a profound effect on me. It concentrates on the powers of positive thinking and careful decision making. I believe that decision making is one of the most important aspects of life. Since my thoughts and viewpoints will carry me throughout life, it is important that I be confident in the decisions I will make and the viewpoints I will possess. "Self Reliance" has made it evident to me that in order to obtain the best results from my decisions I have to TRUST IN MYSELF.
Through reading this work I learned that the only way I can accomplish my goals and prevail in this world is to be confident in myself. Emerson said, "to believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men - that is genius." I realize that in the future I will interact with many different people who will disagree with my views. Therefore, I have to be confident in myself in order to accept criticism and remain focused on my goals. With self assurance I will be able to view the world realistically and overcome any disappointments.
"Self Reliance" also influences the way I view myself. I have come to the realization that ultimately I can only depend on myself in many situations. "None but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried." I also realize that I will make mistakes but I will learn from them. However, I must not dwell on past mistakes. Instead, I should focus on confidence for future decisions. I learned that I am the key to my success. My success will depend on my resilience, intelligence and self-assurance.
Emerson has helped to elevate my confidence. I now have the ability to trust my own judgment. I do not worry about what others think of my views. I have learned to voice my opinions with confidence and clarity. Also, I should learn from and accept criticism without choosing the alternative, abandoning my views and relying on the views of others. "Your genuine action will explain your other genuine actions. Your conformity explains nothing." I am now able to confront my future.
"Self Reliance" has influenced the way I view the world and myself. After much thought, I have found strength and confidence in myself and I hope to utilize these qualities in making astute decisions throughout my future. -
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.