We’ve all heard about the engine that could. Its story has been published in many forms for over a hundred years. The Little Engine that Could was first published in the United States in 1930 by Platt & Munk. There was no author specified.
The story presents a good lesson in behavior. It tells about an engine climbing a steep grade. As it does so, it keeps repeating, “I think I can.” It is successful in this endeavor, then declares, “I thought I could!”
Yes, but for you, thinking you can is not enough. In order for you to achieve a goal, you must know you can.
Knowing you can does not mean simply saying the words. Knowing you can is an attitude deeply rooted into your spirit, mind, and soul. This disposition is not built in one day. As a child, it’s the conviction you take as you contemplate whether you can accomplish a certain feat. Do you think you can achieve it, or do you know you can. This stance becomes stronger and stronger as you get older? As a youth, it is so firmly embedded, it becomes a part of your existence.
Does this mean that building this outlook must begin as a child? No, you can begin any time, but, outside of childhood, it’s harder. As an adult, the emotion of simply thinking you can may be well established. This feeling must be demolished and replaced with a stronger one. You must begin adhering to a sense of knowing you can.
But how can you change thinking to knowing? You can do this by using your intelligence and experience as substitutes for youthful exuberance. Select your objective, then detail the steps you must take in order to reach the point where you know you can achieve your goal. As you select each step, resolve that you know you can achieve it.
For example, if you feel your ability to do ordinary arithmetic is poor, define the steps you must take that will lead to a mastery of this subject. Get help to define the steps if you need to. Assign a time limit to the accomplishment of each step. Resolve that you can attain each step. Then perform the steps. Your success in this endeavor will encourage you to embrace additional objectives.
Use the same plan whether your goal is to gain a proficiency in English, dancing, writing, or whatever you aspire to. No objective can be deemed beyond your grasp.
Whichever endeavor you select, examine the steps and ask yourself whether you can realize them. Do not be satisfied with I think I can. Work with the steps until you know you can.