Growing up many of us read the kids’ book The Little Engine That Could. This story is one of encouragement and confidence. The moral of the story is that this little engine believed he could accomplish the massive task in front of him. It was a mountain of a task, pun intended! You see he had to pull a loaded train over a tall mountain and no one was willing to help him. Instead of throwing in the towel and giving up, he dug deep and saw the mountain one revolution of his little wheels at a time. The book is filled with his never ending chorus – I think I can.
In our lives it’s super easy to see the mountains and forget the small steps that we can take to get over the enormous task in front of us. We neglect the small steps along the way. We try to jump the mountain from a dead stop. That’s just not how it works. Now I’m not one of those selfhelp kind of people who says if you believe it you can do it. But there is something to be said for the power behind a positive mindset!
Whether you think you can or you can’t you’re right. Henry Ford
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Often we enter into a difficult situation with a negative mindset. We have a self-defeating thought process even before we get started! This just isn’t healthy. As a matter of fact it’s detrimental! Enter the Little Engine That Could! When we move into a difficult stage in life or a massive challenge ahead, how can we set our minds on our capabilities instead of our liabilities?
The Henry Ford quote above is pretty accurate. We often believe so firmly in our short comings that we pretty much give up before we get started. The exact opposite is generally true when our confidence level is high. The Little Engine That Could was able to keep moving because he knew where he’d been. He knew the things he was able to do before. As leaders, we have to take a moment to pause and reflect. This is the most valuable time for every leader – reflection. When we stop to reflect on where we’ve been and where we’re headed, we see the accomplishments of our past and are poised for future success.
Now if you’re a Jesus follower kind of person we can take this one step further, because we know that the successes of our past aren’t really all us. These things have come to pass because of the gifts and talents we have received from our Creator. The more time we spend seeing God rotating the wheels in our lives the more we’re able to find the ability to get over those mountains.
So the short version of this post is keep rolling. Never give up. Keep your eyes on the prize and celebrate every successful stop along the way. You don’t have to get to the top of the mountain in one step, but you’ll never get there if you stop before you get started!
I think you can! No, I know you can!