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Thursday, June 04, 2015

Do or Do Not

"If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right." Henry Ford

This quote from Henry Ford has been making the rounds on the internet for a while, but I like it and I think it's true. I can already hear arguments: "But just because I think I can do something, it doesn't give me the skill to do it."

That's true, but I think attitude does make a huge difference. Let's take running a marathon as an example. If a man has been sitting on the couch for ten years and one day decides he wants to run a marathon. The man who thinks he can't do it will either give up right away and continue sitting on the couch or he'll go run the marathon the next day and fail.

On the other hand, the man who thinks he can run a marathon will start training. Even if only jogs around the block the first week, he believes he can be in shape to run in the race six months from now. Because of his attitude, he goes out every day to get ready, and when marathon day does come, he finishes the race.


I think we all know at least one drama queen who takes the smallest molehill and creates the biggest mountain out of it. I always wonder if they care how unnecessarily difficult they make their lives by big dealing everything. IMO, life goes much more smoothly when I step over the molehill instead of trying to scale a mountain.

I do understand there are limitations. The sixty-year-old man dreaming of being a major league baseball player is out of luck no matter how much time he puts into it or what kind of attitude he has. The only way he plays for the Nationals is if he makes a deal with the devil as the lead in Damn Yankees did. Some things in life just are unreachable and that's okay.

I highly recommend a lecture done at Carnegie Mellon a few years ago called Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams. I've watched it more than once and it's truly inspirational and worth taking the time for. One of the dreams was to be Captain Kirk and Dr. Pausch mentions how he realized that dream wasn't achievable, but he went with standing next to Captain Kirk and he showed a picture of himself with William Shatner. Dr. Pausch had an incredibly good attitude and was upbeat in the face of some pretty dire circumstances. Please take the time to watch and see for yourself.

Attitude doesn't fix everything. It can't. But it does impact how we deal with the hard, ugly things life throws at us. It also plays a role in how we effect the people around us when life is hard.