My partners and I at Top Practices work with professionals on a daily basis and know the struggles of achieving professional and personal goals. Being optimistic as we develop and set out to achieve our goals increases our chance of achieving them. When the going gets tough a little positive self-talk can keep you moving toward your goal.
I often refer to the story of “The Little Engine that Could” remembering how this little engine took on such a big job that other engines who were mightier that he would not and how he kept going to succeed at completing his task by telling himself over and over “I think I can.”
“The Little Engine that Could is an illustrated children’s book that was first published in the United States in 1930 by Platt and Munk. The story is used to teach children the value of optimism and hard work. Based on a 2007 online poll, the National Education Association named the book on its “Teachers’ Top 100 Books for Children.”
An early short synopsis of the story is below:
A little railroad engine was employed about a station yard for such work as it was built for, pulling a few cars on and off the switches. One morning it was waiting for the next call when a long train of freight-cars asked a large engine in the roundhouse to take it over the hill. “I can’t; that is too much a pull for me,” said the great engine built for hard work. Then the train asked another engine, and another, only to hear excuses and be refused. In desperation, the train asked the little switch engine to draw it up the grade and down on the other side. “I think I can,” puffed the little locomotive, and put itself in front of the great heavy train. As it went on the little engine kept bravely puffing faster and faster, “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.”
As it neared the top of the grade, which had so discouraged the larger engines, it went more slowly. However, it still kept saying, “I—think—I—can, I—think—I—can.” It reached the top by drawing on bravery and then went on down the grade, congratulating itself by saying, “I thought I could, I thought I could.”
If you do not think you can you will not, if you do and pursue until the end you will be enriched with the knowledge that there are no limits to what you can achieve.