“The winners in life think constantly in terms of I can, I will and I am. Losers, on the other hand, concentrate their waking thoughts on what they should have or would have done or what they can’t do.” — Denis Waitley
What I love about this quote is the reminder that the language we use reflects what we think, believe and do. The words “I can” demonstrate positive inner beliefs, confidence and ability. The words “I will” express intent for behavior as yet undone. The words “I am (actually doing) …” speak to action, which is where the power lies.
Listen to yourself when you speak. Do your words (“I can’t … I should have… would have… could have” reflect unsatisfying outcomes of the past? Are you dragging along beliefs that lack of success in the past means lack of success in the future? If you want to achieve more than you have to date, make an effort to live in action moments. Make each of those moments count by fostering positive thoughts, then reinforcing your positive thoughts with small (or large) action steps that will lead you to your goal.
When I was a child, I loved visiting my father at his law office and seeing him behind his big old wooden desk. He seemed so powerful and accomplished. On his desk, he kept a pile of post cards with the poem, “Never Quit.” The cards were promotions for his friend’s Congressional campaign. To this day, I hear my dad’s voice in my head reciting that poem from memory for my sister and I. I am grateful that his voice encouraged us and stays with us still. My dad’s attitude helped us learn how to be bold in life and work. He helped us learn to do instead of promise. He helped us believe that we could do anything if we put in the right effort.
When you feel like it is easier to give up than keep going, try reciting the words of Never Quit. Here they are:
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don’t you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow–
You may succeed with another blow.
Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor’s cup,
And he learned too late when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out–
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit–
It’s when things seem worst that you mustn’t quit.
– Author unknown
This poem may not be enough to change your life or trigger your success. If you need extra help, pay attention to the triggers that lead to discouragement and feelings of inadequacy. Challenge the words and beliefs underlying those feelings. Give yourself permission to believe in you and to learn what you need to know to reach your goals. Then pat yourself on your heart for not giving up! It’s reason to celebrate. You have everything you need tucked away inside you. Open yourself to the possibilities of success and you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish.