Remember The Little Engine that Could?
“I think I can…I think I can…I think I can.
I thought I could, I thought I could, I thought I could!”
On a recent Leadership Insight Show, we talked about the “Whys and Hows of Successful Thinking”. It seems there is a great deal of untapped potential there – in just thinking.
Thinking in and of itself comes easily, but thinking successfully doesn’t happen by default. You have to train your mind to think on things are good and positive, to think in terms of solutions instead of problems, to think beyond the immediate, to think that you actually CAN do something significant. That is the kind of thinking that creates success.
The infamous Henry Ford said, “Whether or not you think you can, you’re right.” (paraphrased) His thinking resulted in the development of the assembly line in the manufacturing process – thus creating the ability to produce more automobiles in a day than anyone ever conceived was possible. In fact, without thinkers such as Henry Ford, we would not have automobiles.
I watched in awe as Nik Wallenda walked the wire across Niagara Falls. It was an absolutely amazing feat that no one in history had ever done. So how is it that Nik could do the impossible? I guarantee it started with one tiny seed of a thought. I can almost hear him whisper, “I think I can.” And then that thought was fully developed – considering every conceivable scenario, practicing day after day, year after year – for his moment in history.
As you watch, you see immense concentration. As much as that feat required the skills of a lifetime of practice, it required a trained mind. His father was coaching him across, letting him know what was ahead, encouraging his progress – keeping his mind focused on the task at hand. Nik’s thinking was absolutely key. Focused on the task, focused on his faith, focused on his family legacy.
I also think of Walt Disney. He saw in his mind what no one else could see – what no one else thought possible. But he could SEE it in his mind. And he went on to build a legacy unlike any other – the reality of what he saw in his mind others now come from all over the world to see.
And so I encourage you to think successfully – to see in your mind what others do not see, to find solutions where others see problems, to envision yourself doing things that no one thinks possible. And then to practice walking through that vision until you know its every twist and turn.