There is something deep inside of each of us the screams “I WANT TO DO SOMETHING GREAT!” We see great leaders in our community, in the media, great authors and great speakers at events and conferences. But what about me? How can I possibly do something great?
Within the past year I went shopping at a near by Office Supply store and came across a mouse pad that I could not pass up. The mouse pad had the Henry Ford quote:
“Whether you think you can or think you can’t you’re right!”
The quote challenges me every time I read it because in the past, I had a hard time seeing myself as a person of influence. But if this quote is right, and I think I can! I will set out on the adventure to pursue it and succeed.
History is filled with people who have lived out their dreams, and history is filled with people who have looked back on their lives to see regret. These individual’s successes came down to the what they thought, and it has to start with what we think about ourselves.
It is easy to think lovely things about ourselves when life is going good. But what comes to your mind when you make a mistake? What do you say to yourself? Are you hard on yourself and vow to never try again? Or do you quickly shake the dust off, chalk it up as a learned experience, admit your mistake, get up and try again?
Life is all about a sequence of experiences, good and bad, to grow us and move us forward. The faster we shake off our mistakes, believe the best about ourselves and know we can continue on to do great things, we will.
A great book that goes into detail and research into this topic is Learned Optimism: How to change you mind and your life by Martin E. P. Seligman, PH.D. Dr. Seligman teaches that we can all learn to be optimistic in life even if we do not tend to be right now. He provides tools for us to start disputing the negative thoughts that come into our mind, because the large majority of them are simply not true. If a complete stranger came up to you and said you were horrible at XYZ, you would dismiss it. So why do we believe ourselves when we tell ourselves those negative things?
Remember, the way we think, particularly about ourselves, will determine our future. If you think you can, YOU ARE RIGHT!
What area of your life do you need to change your thinking on?