If there is one thing I have learned in my short twenty years is everyone, no matter who you are, will make countless mistakes. I have always strived for perfection and always fell short because perfection, by definition, is impossible to attain. There is no further proof of the impossibly of perfection than he world around us; flowers do not grow featuring [perfectly] identical petals, markings on animals are not [perfectly] symmetrical, and even a so called "flawless" diamond features slight impurities. I know true perfection is impossible, it still did not (sometimes does not) stop me from getting down on myself for even the slightest mistake.
Regardless of who you are or where you come from, growing up is difficult. I remember being fifteen. I was making mistakes left and right. I felt as if there was no recovery from any mistake I made - no matter how small. I would take each minuscule error and make a mountain out of a mole hill, creating an internal catastrophe. In reality the only person who even remembered what happened was me. No one else remembered the algebra question I I answered in correctly at 9:00 AM by 9:02 AM – certainly not by the time we sat down for lunch. No matter how insignificant my mistakes were, they all added up to making me feel like a failure. I was putting a ridiculous amount of pressure on myself and, thankfully, I came to this realization seconds before I broke.
If a starfish loses an arm, the arm will regenerate. In some species of starfish, the lost arm will even grow a second starfish. If a sea creature could recover to the degree of a lost limb creating a second animal, then surely I could overcome these temporary challenges. Starfish are a phenomenal representation of resilience and the capacity to recover from difficulties with toughness. Resilience will allow a person to excel in every aspect of life. From that day forward I have used the starfish as my own personal symbol. Every day I continue to remind myself - Resilience paves the pathway to success.