Actually, You Most Certainly Can

Henry Ford said “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.” Mr. Ford was right about that. 

 

I’ve written before about the damaging attitude of “can’t”. Telling yourself that you can’t do something is about the most limiting thing you can say to yourself. Believing something is beyond your capabilities almost certainly makes it true. Even thinking you can’t do something is enough to stop your progress or at least slow it down.

 

Thinking you “can” on the other hand is often enough to push you past obstacles, whether real or imagined. 

 

Telling yourself that you can’t is habit forming. Once you convince yourself that you have limitations you’ll actually behave as if you have those limitations. But you most likely don’t. In fact you’ve probably blown past those limitations at other times of your life. You’ve already proven than you can do it, you only have to remind yourself of your past success. Sometimes you have to remind yourself often. Again and again. 

 

You may not have overcome the exact obstacle in the past that you are currently facing but you’ve overcome so many obstacles in the past that one more new one hardly matters. You blew past the other ones and this one is more of the same. 

 

Remember how tough those past obstacles seemed…..before you ran over them? Think of how many things you do today that you once thought you would never be able to do. Think of all the times in the past when you thought you couldn’t only to discover that you actually could. 

 

Thinking that you can’t do something causes you to forget about all the things you CAN do. Thinking you can’t tricks you into not even trying. Imagine all the things you can do that you wouldn’t be doing if you had fallen for that trick in the past. 

 

People of unlimited success think in terms of CAN! People of more limited success think in terms of CAN’T. Which one are you?


It matters that you know the answer to that question because while you won’t ever just think your way to success you most certainly will think your way to failure if you’re thinking in terms of can’t. 

The Nattering Nabobs of Negativism

The iPhone just turned 10. Happy Birthday iPhone! 

Lots of people, actually lots and lots of people, who supposedly are experts, or were experts, on technology kind of stuff said the iPhone wouldn’t see one year much less ten. 

There were a wide variety of reasons including touch screens don’t work, multi-use gadgets will NEVER be popular, and of course it fills a need that doesn’t exist. 

Until the articles starting showing up recently in conjunction with Apple’s big anniversary I had forgotten just how negative many people were about the new technology. Some of the experts just clearly didn’t have the vision of a Steve Jobs and some I think didn’t like Apple. Some were just negative about anything new. 

Some people are just negative period. 

So be careful when sharing your plans and ideas with others. Apple had the courage of their convictions to press on with the unheard of idea. Many of us do not. We are too easily talked out of doing what we believe in by negative people who see our success as a threat to their negative views. 

If we succeed at doing something that they could have done but choose not to do then they think that makes them look bad. Negative people would prefer we fail because that supports their tormented view of life. 

The heck with them! 

Do not let negative people talk you out of trying to improve. Whether it’s improving the world, improving your workplace or even and perhaps most importantly, improving yourself. 

Most of what we take for granted today the nattering nabobs of negativism at one time said couldn’t be done. Negative people think in terms of “can’t” while positive people, who also happen to be the most successful people, think in terms of “can.” 

You can, you can, you can and don’t ever let anyone tell you anything different!

I Can and You Can Too

Few things in life give me as much pleasure as doing something someone says I can’t do. Now, I’m not talking about breaking rules although I have been known to improve a few rules by doing something outside the guidelines. What I’m talking about is doing something that someone says I don’t have the ability, knowledge, or tenacity to do.

When someone says I can’t my first thought is I can if I decide I can. You can too!

The very first step in the journey to success is deciding that you will succeed…no matter what. Babe Ruth, the great American Baseball player said “It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.” You may not be the fastest to the finish line but perseverance, the ability to finish what you start is an absolute necessity when seeking success.

Do you know who won the 1968 Olympic Marathon in Mexico City? I don’t know either…but I do know who came in last. John Stephen Akhwari a Tanzanian runner cramped up during the race due to the high altitude of the city. At the 19 kilometer point during the 42 km race, there was jockeying for position between some runners and he was hit. He fell, badly injuring his knee and shoulder. But he continued running, finishing dead last among the 57 competitors who completed the race. The winner of the race finished in 2:20:26. John Stephen Akhwari finished in 3:25:27, when there were only a few thousand people left in the stadium, and the sun had already set. A television crew was sent out from the medal ceremony when word was received that there was one more runner about to finish.

As he finally crossed the finish line a cheer came from the small crowd. When interviewed later and asked why he continued running, he said, “My country did not send me 5,000 miles to start the race; they sent me 5,000 miles to finish the race.” In my book John Stephen Akhwari was a huge success that day. Anyone can start something but it takes a successful person to finish it.

When you think to yourself that “I can’t” you make it much less likely that you will. When you say “I can’t” out loud you make it virtually certain that you won’t. 

Some clever person once said “Success comes in cans…failure comes in “can’ts.” That’s almost too clever to write but the fact is, it’s true. Thinking you “can’t” is like giving yourself permission to fail, worse yet, it could even give you permission to not even try. 

Never let anyone tell you that you can’t succeed and never, never, tell that lie to yourself. 

Remember, winning doesn’t always mean coming in first and winning doesn’t always mean performing the best. Sometimes winning just means finishing what you started even when most everyone else believes you can’t.