One of the worst rumors ever created is that an 8-ball has to be shaken in order to reveal an answer. Too many times I have had friends walk into my room, shake the 8-ball, and flip it for an answer. Then when they see that the water is all bubbly and the answer cannot be seen, what do they do... they shake it some more! I have found myself shouting at my friends over and over again, No! Dont shake the 8-ball! For the love of God, just put it down! Well, over the past few years, with all of the shaking, my 8-ball threw in the towel. The cube inside could no longer provide an answer. I went through an 8-ball withdrawal.

I spent that whole summer answering yes or no questions with the witty comments that were once provided by the 8-ball. However, I did not remember many of the answers that it gave, so everyone either got an answer of all signs point to yes or ask again later. I realized I could not complete my dream of being a human 8-ball unless I had all of the answers. The only option left was to get to the center of the 8-ball and retrieve the cube with the answers.

I was going to have to murder the 8-ball. Have you ever tried to strike through the clear, plastic center of the 8-ball Its like a brick wall! My first attempt to reveal the 8-balls answers was to take a hammer and pound through the center. I thought the hammer would provide plenty of power to shatter through the 8-balls shield. Oh boy, did I have another thing coming. After minutes of slamming away with the hammer, I caught my breath and decided to try the other end of the hammer.

I thought maybe piercing through would be the key to get to the center. Once again, I started beating away on the 8-ball. I was hovering over my kitchen sink, holding the hammer in my left hand, and the 8-ball in my right. My eyes glowed with determinatio as I started slowly cracking my way through the plastic. A smile was brought on to my face as I saw the blue ink starting to leak out. The 8-ball was starting to give in, and its blood was oozing out of its cracks.

My sink started to fill with blue. I stopped for a moment to wash out the sink, and thats when I realized the ink was staining the sink. The 8-ball had defeated me again! In a fury, I stormed out of my house, with 8-ball in hand, and threw it into my backyard. I spent 20 minutes scrubbing the sink just to get out the spots of the blue that were left by my 8-ball. After the scrubbing was complete, my smile turned evil, and I returned to my backyard for another confrontation with the 8-ball.

The 8-ball and I decided to take this fight outside. My mind had trailed off, and I had become an animal. No longer was I just trying to crack open the little plastic center, I was attacking the whole ball. I used two hands now, while the 8-ball rolled around on the ground. With sweat pouring down my face and my mind in stage of fury, a new weapon appeared in my head. I dropped the hammer, raced into my garage, and found it sitting on an old kitchen cabinet...

the sledgehammer. I let out an evil chuckle and scampered back to the 8-ball. With two hands, I lifted the sledgehammer over my head, and struck the 8-ball, splitting it into two pieces. I had broken through the 8-balls first line of defense. The only thing left of it was a clear plastic tube, and inside I could see the cube of answers sitting in the blue ink. My treasure was just one blow away.

I give it a good shot, and the 8-ball fought back. The ink inside of the tube immediately turned into an attacking unit, as it splashed into my eyes. I yelled out cries of pain, and wiped my eyes off before too much damage could be delivered. I looked down to see my pair of pants and my favorite pair of sneakers covered in blue. The 8-ball always found a way to counterstrike.

My eyes were once again planted on the cube, and I was still unable to reach inside and grab it. I struck it one more time without thinking and the power of the strike crushed the whole tube and the cube. I felt like a fool, but worst of all, my destiny of becoming a human 8-ball would fall short. On a more serious note, how did this incident strengthen my values Well, I looked deeper into this story, and I realized one thing: I try just as hard to fulfil my small dreams as I do my large ones. I put in the same effort day in and day out, and whether it be to break open an 8-ball, or to become a successful stockbroker, my heart goes into everything I do. I am able to build my self-confidence knowing that I have the mind and the heart to accomplish anything I desire.

I rarely fail at anything, and it is because I always give what it takes to get the job done. My goal may be challenging, or almost impossible to achieve. It could be standing in front of me, like a wall, waiting for me to finally push it off balance. As long as the goal is standing, I will pound away for as long as it takes, and I will continue to strive until I knock it down.