A picture of someone or something that has had the biggest impact on you
This would have to my parents.
Every ounce of who I am today comes from the molding, teaching, and praying they did with and for me. I truly was blessed with having an amazing family. Here are a few of the values they instilled in me:
1. Love Jesus, love people. My faith began by growing up in a Christian home. It has continued to grow and mature as my life has. But my roots began with them.
2. Do your best--and don't underestimate what your best is. So many people give the advice for your to "do your best." But my parents added an extra piece to that lesson. Know what your best is, and don't sell yourself short. It's easy to say, "I really did try." But did you truly give it your best?
3. The lessons of #2 caused me to learn to set high expectations for myself. There's a difference between high expectations and unattainable ones. Sometimes that line grows shady, but I refuse to accept mediocre results from myself.
4. Learning is amazing. My education was always something that my parents encouraged and pushed. But not only did they encourage it; by their example, I grew to learn the value of my education at an early age and encouraged it for myself. And it goes beyond the education of a classroom--I just love to learn new things.
5. Family time is essential. We were very blessed to be able to travel as a family. Those many vacations are some of my most treasured memories. We also always ate dinner together. Cable was cancelled when I was little (we didn't get it back until I was 16!), and we were forced to spend time together--which turned out to be a great thing. Board games are a must for us.
6. It won't always be easy, but if you do the right thing, it will be worth it.
7. Stand up for what you believe in and don't give in to the pressures of others or this world. This is a lesson that stuck. I don't allow myself to be put in situations that make me uncomfortable, and I try my best to stick to my values--no matter the crowd I'm around at the time.
8. Respect. This is the root of everything. If you respect others, yourself, and your surroundings, what problems would there be?
9. Have fun. There's of course a time when seriousness is called for--but there's also plenty of chances to be a complete goober. Take advantage of those!
10. Marriage--never stop dating. Don't lose sight of the person you fell in love with originally. Grow together, but don't get sucked into (or allow yours to become) a mundane marriage that sucks many people's relationships dry.
11. I am beautiful. I am unique. I am loved. I may not look like the prettiest people in school. I may not be the best athlete (or even a decent one for that matter!). I may not have the most "friends." But I am me, and I have talents and features that no one else has. It's my responsibility to use them!
12. Be careful with your reputation and who you're willing to "put your name on." Once those are ruined, it is extremely hard to restore them.
13. Be honest. Trust is probably the hardest thing to regain.
14. Use your manners and respect your elders. Always smile as you pass people (ok, my dad may not be the greatest example of this...if you know him, you know what I mean!); please, thank you, ma'am, and sir are musts; help people when you see they need it--and even if it may seem like they don't; be a friend to everyone.
15. Enjoy life--it goes so fast.
Allow yourself to be inspired, and thank the people responsible.