“Which one is more important, the perfect idea or the indomitable perseverance?” I always have this line pinned to my desk, in China or in America. It was in a regional high school debating contest that I learned the life-changing answer.
It all started with a routine meeting of our school newspaper. People were enthusiastically discussing the upcoming carnival, however most were just trying to suggest minor improvements over past ones due to time and resource constraints. Having been lost in thoughts for a while, I was driven by a sudden impulsion, “We need something new, something groundbreaking! How about a debating contest? From my own model United Nations experience, students would love it!” The room froze for a split second, and slowly all began to clasp their hands hard. I knew I had hit the jackpot.
Things were easier said than done. Our available funds were far from sufficient for the new event, so I had to come up with something in just a few weeks. Without any prior experience, I was forced to resort to soliciting and cold calling. “High school debate, is this a joke?” The campus bookstore manager crushed my hope with a single sentence. Situation was no different for a number of other local businesses. For the first time, we were confronted by the cold reality of society. The morale went all the way to the bottom, and partners already started to propose alternatives.
Yet I would not be defeated so easily. Upon my request, a seasoned marketing specialist, who is Father’s close friend, became our mentor. After a few appointments with him, I realized that I had made so many mistakes. Following his advice, the team worked closely to first develop a ten-page proposal in a matter of days. It includes nearly all aspects of the event, an expanded explanation on the budget, and potential advertising opportunities for our sponsors. Then we took turns to practice our sales pitch, and even attempted to reply to the coldest responses in a positive, humorous manner (“Indeed, fresh from the oven!”). I had done everything I could, but on the day when I received five one-hundred-Yuan bills (and this is not really a large amount) for the first time, I could not believe my eyes.
In the same way, we secured another 4,500 Yuan, which was more than enough to cover the expense. Encouraged by the success, I went on to contact student clubs and administrations of neighboring high schools with my teammates. Eventually, two others, (删去学校名), decided to join us, and we were even permitted to use the state-of-the-art auditorium of the latter as our main venue. Though we had met countless challenges in various stages from scheduling to promotion, willpower and resourcefulness supported the team till the end. Hearing the thunderous applause when I handed the trophy to the top debaters, I felt all previous efforts were compensated in full plus interest.
My desktop motto was the last debate topic, yet I already saw the value of perseverance before the winner was decided. Later on, the very quality would help me attain many feats, like adapting to an entirely new education system, playing a constructive role in local Christian community, founding an International Club from scratch, and more. No longer trapped by the myth of searching for the perfect idea, I shall confidently walk toward my future one step at a time.