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     Alma | Profile | Reflections | Journal 7 8 9 10 11 12 13                               Fall 2002 | Home


“I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.”

—Bill Cosby

The first time I heard this quote was from my brother. I was a senior in high school and I was rambling on to him about my stress over my ranking, what my declared major would be in college, where I would work and all sorts of other things.

“Just think about it,” I said. “Everybody knows how hard I’ve tried for this position. What if I don’t get it?”

He didn’t even think to give me advice over the whole situation, looked at me sternly and recited Cosby’s quote. Then he said, “And that’s the way I live my life.”

Suddenly, I realized that instead of trying hard for fear that I might disappoint someone somewhere, why not work hard for myself. My brother’s college life took various sharp turns, and it seemed as though he would never hear the end of those supposed “mistakes” from my mother, but there was something that outweighed everyone else’s criticism. He was happy.

I understood that like Bill Cosby advises, as long as there is a smile on my face while I am undertaking anything, then I’m okay. Nobody can determine whether this will be the key to success, but it will certainly not be the one to failure.

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