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USC Prompt 3 (reflect on a challenge you overcame through persistence)

doug 4 / 23  
Nov 28, 2009   #1
Thomas Edison failed many times before successfully inventing the modern electric light bulb. He said, "If I find 10,000 ways something won't work, I haven't failed. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward." Reflect on a challenge you overcame through persistence. (500-700 words)

Any help would be greatly appreciated. I'd really like to know if I answered the prompt.
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I ascended the grassy knoll, placed my tee on the ground, and fired the ball with all my might. It landed well right of my target. As I walked back to the cart, I mumbled to myself, "What a great way to start a round of golf." I then walked back to the golf cart and watched my father take his turn to tee off.

I started playing golf in the middle of my eighth grade year. Since then, I continually challenged my father to a round of golf every week, but had never been able to defeat him.

Besides my wobbly tee shot on the first hole, I played better than normal, and at the end of the fourth hole, I had a one shot lead over my father. By the fourth hole, we caught up to the groups in front of us, so we were forced to wait. While waiting for my turn to tee off, I took a look at the scorecard and planned out how I would play the remaining holes in order to maintain my lead. I thought that as long as I followed my plan, everything would work out. For the next three holes, everything went according to plan, and I managed to increase my lead.

However, soon everything realigned to Murphy's Law. Just as soon as I thought nothing could go wrong that day, on the very next hole I ended up hitting my golf ball into a forest. After a quick cost-benefit analysis, I decided to hit the ball over the trees; it was a shot that I can confidently say I can pull off once out of every one thousand tries. In hindsight, it was not a very smart move and just added to my struggles.

Needless to say, I failed in my attempt and the ball ended up hitting a tree and returned to where it originally sat. I decided to play it safe and tried hitting the top of the ball so that it would roll on the ground toward the fairway. However, the ball must have hit a rock since it bounced back towards me. Once I finally hit the ball out of the trees and into the hole, I lost my lead.

The game continued this way, and by the end of nine holes, I was down by six strokes.
Although I was very frustrated by this time, I knew there was only one way I could come out on top. I decided to forget about all the successes and failures I had on the previous nine holes. In essence, I hit a restart button. I focused only on what was ahead of me and ignored everything that had happened in the last two hours. By the end of the round of golf, I was surprised that I had actually beaten my father. I was so focused on my own game that I did not even realize when I had taken back the lead.

I was proud of myself for finally beating my father at golf; however, in retrospect, the countless hours spent practicing on the driving range were much more fun and rewarding than the single moment when I realized that I had won. In a way, this event has taught me that the real fun lies in working toward a goal and the end result is just a side benefit.
meisj0n 8 / 272 2  
Nov 28, 2009   #2
so similar. why not just ask there, but I guess it's better.

beating sounds violent.
In a way, this event [This experience]
talk more about how this relates to you, but yea it does mention how you face a challenge..
refer to that previous comment i made:
what is murphy's law? mental reset in order to overcome a challenge...:<
OP doug 4 / 23  
Nov 28, 2009   #3
Murphy's law is an adage that basically states that anything that can go wrong will go wrong.

The mental reset was just an expression, it doesn't have to be taken literally... or does it?

And I was really wondering if I have the reflecting down, or should I add more reflection throughout this essay?
meisj0n 8 / 272 2  
Nov 28, 2009   #4
more reflection I think. it's quite too much about the golf game and not what you learned from it. but then again, doesn't have to aLL be reflection..just maybe some more.

thanks for the note about Murphy. about the reset button, try making it more like a metaphor/simile? would be more than "In essence,..."
karyenu 2 / 12  
Nov 28, 2009   #5
Sorry if I'm too critical, but I think you should expand more from what you learned or what its impact was on you. Maybe it's just me, but you put too much emphasis on the game, and I was extremely bored while reading it. I felt nothing, and your process of playing lost me. I had to go back and read it twice.

Just suggestions.

Best of luck!
OP doug 4 / 23  
Nov 28, 2009   #6
Thanks for the comments, I'm revising it right now.
Paranoia6583 1 / 3  
Nov 29, 2009   #7
I don't think you really answered the prompt. It says "a challenge you overcame through persistence." If your challenge was beating your father and that's what you overcame, then you need to shift the focus of your essay. I'm not sure what to shift it on exactly, but that's not what I came out thinking when i finished reading the essay.

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