“Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.” (~Henry Ford)
I can’t remember when I first came across this quote. I do remember thinking it was weird.
So, yeah, I was probably a teenager. Before I took that philosophy class in college, the one that made me question literally everything.
Sometimes it takes a while for a truth to soak into sinew and bone and heart-space.
Eventually I decided that, yes, I think Henry’s quote has truth to it. But maybe not quite the whole truth.
I agree that if I don’t think that I can do something, I probably won’t even try. Or, if I do try, I will have that earworm (mantra? belief? refrain?) tucked right there in my prefrontal cortex and that’s definitely going to affect my effort and motivation and performance.
Also, I agree that if I do think that I can do something, I will probably try.
But trying isn’t achieving and we all know that.
Achieving something takes more than just believing that you can do it. Achieving something – really anything – takes work. Hard work. Whether it’s oil painting or speed-skating or running a business.
Believing that I can do something just by thinking that I can makes it seem easy, but the truth is, it’s never easy.
Maybe it isn’t supposed to be.
“It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard…is what makes it great.” (~Jimmy Dugan)
To be clear: I’m not saying we should look to flawed-fictitious baseball coaches for life advice, no matter how much we liked the movie they were in. (For the record…I really liked it).
But in this case, the flawed-fictitious baseball coach is right.
It is supposed to be hard. Whatever your “it” is – getting in shape, starting a business, earning a degree. Chasing a dream isn’t ever easy.
But maybe that’s the way it’s supposed to be.
Maybe we need to work hard, need to work through the tough spots and the hard places. Maybe we need to push ourselves past our fears and learn what we don’t know in order to go where we want to go.
Maybe we need it to be hard, so we can become stronger and smarter and better.
If it were easy we wouldn’t have to grow. Wouldn’t have to learn. Wouldn’t find out that, actually, we really do have what it takes.
If it were easy, maybe we wouldn’t find out that we really aren’t finished learning and growing and becoming more.
And if it were easy? Maybe it wouldn’t feel so great when we finally achieve our goals.
It’s supposed to be hard.
And that’s okay. That’s more than okay.
Because you can do hard things.
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