People are oftentimes frustrated whenever they encounter roadblocks in whatever they do. Sometimes these hindrances push us to our very limits—physical, mental and emotional—that our body and mind tend to succumb to the weight of the challenge. Eventually, we may experience painful situations; the feeling of frustration is amplified many times causing us to relinquish the challenge, retreat and fall back never to do the same thing again. Yet the one rewarding gem of thought behind all these is that painful experiences can sometimes teach a valuable lesson in life.
The idea is simple: more experiences mean more knowledge, and more knowledge means lessons learned, thereby making us more complete as human beings. The opposite of that idea holds compelling just as well, knowing how individuals with less exposure to the outside world and to the various challenges that lay ahead of them stand below the rest of those who have been seasoned and primed by the difficulties in life. More importantly, that simple idea holds true to the average individual, especially to the exceptional ones such as athletes and successful business entrepreneurs.
Athletes in the various sports are constantly exposed to the risks of physical and mental exhaustion which, more often than not, brings painful experiences. Throughout time, many athletes have suffered from painful physical experiences and yet they have not given up completely. On the contrary, they are more motivated than before to pursue their field of specialty precisely because those painful experiences were forks on the road, so to speak. Painful experiences, apparently, are nothing short of being normal in the daily life of the athletes.
On the other hand, even non-athletes such as the exceptional business entrepreneurs have also reached the high pedestals of the industry even with the seemingly insurmountable experiences that stood against their way. Conventional wisdom tells us that all businesses have their own risks, which goes without saying that businessmen are sure enough to face risky situations. Those risky situations, such as capitalizing huge financial resources on a business venture that is not yet proven and tested, bring painful experiences just as well.
The process of critically thinking over the odds and the steps to be taken are mentally ‘painful’. But even though these painful mental and even emotional experiences which try to pull down the businessmen are sources of golden lessons that only a few are able to triumph over in the end. That is because those who have experienced the pains of doing business already have the upper hand in terms of crucial business lessons. They are already aware of the presence of those painful experiences and of the ways to surmount them.
Even the average individual can gain the vital lessons from everyday experiences that are painful. Losing a loved one, failing in school, losing a job, suffering from a crippling disease—all of these things can be sources of priceless lessons if only one has the determination and will to surpass them and the foresight to visualize the treasure trove of lessons that await them at the end of these dark times. The point is that people should not see painful experiences as the end of all the things that they have worked very hard on, or the end of their lives.
Rather, people should understand these painful experiences as a fertile land of lessons waiting to be learned. One is yet to hear of a successful person who was able to reach the peak of success without sacrifices, painful experiences notwithstanding. It is rather uncommon for a successful person who has learned valuable lessons out of the lack of painful experiences precisely because the height of pain—‘pain’ not only in the literal and physical sense—is the point where a bounty of lessons can be learned.
Hi. I was wondering if someone could read this and just let me know if there is anything i should change or if im going the right way with this essay. Its for the common app but I will be sending it to NYU, Columbia, Cornell, Northwester, Miami University, University of Dayton, Carnegie Mellon University, Case Western Reserve, and University of Pennslyvania
also i gave it a title called a painful truth but idk if i should put a title on there becuase it is an essay and not a story?
Prompt: Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you.
A Painful Truth
All my life my parents have told me to appreciate how lucky I am to live in this country. They would always tell me that the things I do and the way we live can only be done in this country and people could only wish to live the way we live. I used to just laugh it off and say that everyone is this lucky and we are just like every other country. My parents would also tell me numerous stories of their life in India and the problems that the people there had, but I thought they were making it up and embellishing their story to make me appreciate my situation. I never really thought much of all this until I truly experienced how fortunate I am.
I was born in America, but my parents have taken me to India every 4 years. When I was younger, I loved going there; however, as the years passed, it became less of an enjoyable trip, in part because I found very few activities interest me. Then, at the age of sixteen, my eyes were opened to a painful truth by an unforgettable experience.
The trip began just like any other with visiting family, eating ethnic food, and sightseeing. I was actually enjoying myself because of all the wonderful food and tastes that were not available back home. After a couple weeks, my parents decided to visit a more rural village to show me another side of India that I had never seen before. The people I met, and the experiences I had will always remain with me from the day I traveled to the tiny village in India.
When we first drove into the village, I noticed little children anywhere from infancy to six years old running around with no clothes. Their bodies, covered in dirt, made it seem as though they had not showered in weeks. Clean water was something hard to come by and I saw children drinking water out of puddles. This was disturbing since I had been warned every visit to not drink tap water much less muddy puddles. The moment the children saw our car pulling up it was as if they had been trained to rush at any foreigner and begin to beg for money. I rolled my window down and handed the first kid a dollar and then ten more came running at our car. My parents yelled at me to put the window up and I quickly obliged.
When we stepped out of our car, they swarmed around us like bees around their nest begging us to give them money. I pictured all the clothes sitting in my closet that I never wore or just threw away. I thought of the water I wasted every day by taking a thirty-minute shower or just leaving the water running while brushing my teeth. These kids would do anything for even the most simple of necessities yet we waste things as if they mean nothing to anyone in the world.
My mom always took our old clothes to give to those who needed them and I would tell her that no one would want to wear those old clothes. When we returned home, the memory I had from the village never left my mind and I decided to pack all my clothes that I did not wear or did not fit me and send them to India. I started taking shorter showers, wasting less food, and thinking about everything that I could do to help those kids in India and soon I came up with a plan to help them out.
It began with small things like, saving clothes, using less water, and trying to see what I could do from here to help them out. With the help of my uncle, I started a fund that would send money to India each month to sponsor a child by giving them clean water, clothes, schooling, and food to eat. At first just my parents and close family supported me, but after a few months word spread and we were sending almost five hundred dollars a month to India. All I could think about was how far that money would go and how much more it would mean to them than it does to us.
Right now, we have ten families each of which sends fifty dollars a month to help the children in India. Once I began working, I also started sending twenty dollars from my own money to the numerous children in need. I will never forget that day that I went to the village and saw how needy those children were. The things I saw and the feelings I felt that day triggered a profound change in me, which will last a lifetime. I will always be more conservative with the things I use and truly appreciate what I have by living in this country. One thing I would like to do is go back to India one more time and see how the money that we have sent for almost one year has made a difference in the lives of all those children.