Monday, September 20, 2010

Stop your stinkin’ thinkin’ ~ yesterday's column

Henry Ford made one of the most profound statements that I’ve ever heard when he said, “Whether you think you can, or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.”

When I say this, people often look at me as if I were smoking crack cocaine, but it’s a motto I live by.

What Ford meant of course, was if someone believes they can’t do something, they’ll stop before they ever try, and if they believe they can do something, they won’t stop until they succeed, because they know “they can do it!”

So why is this important and why am I talking about this now? Well it seems there is an epidemic raging that self-help guru, Zig Ziglar calls stinkin’ thinkin’.

“How are you?” is a common greeting that people use today. Whenever I’m asked that question, I ALWAYS respond, “I’m living a dream”.

About nine times out of ten people will say, “I wish I were,” or, “I am too, but mine is a nightmare!” or some other remark that tells me they are not living the life they want to live.

Why is that? Sometimes people are saddled with illness, or other life situations that dim their outlook, but this is not the case with the majority of people. 

Stinkin’ thinkin’ has them believing they are trapped with no way out.

The truth is, almost everybody can begin to live their dream once they make up their mind to.

Everything begins with a thought. All the good things (and bad), from inventing Popeils Pocket Fisherman, to walking on the moon, began with a thought. 

Now mind you, getting someone on the moon took a lot of money, and some folks that were good with arithmetic, but it started out with a thought.

I believe the remarkable success the Alabama football program is having right now can be directly attributed to the mental workouts that Coach Nick Saben has installed in the program.

Some people prefer to believe that success is all about timing and luck. But the truth is, being successful has very little to do with luck. It’s more about dedication, preparation, and persistence. It’s about forming good habits and repeating them daily.

So what is the cure for stinkin’ thinkin’? Well, as you may have guessed, it starts with a thought.

You think about what you want. Once you have a picture in your mind, you have a place to start.

“Hey, I’m not stuck in this dead-end job forever, I could go back to school at night and learn a new trade.”

Or, “I could turn my hobby of quilt making into a part time business, and work hard to do it full-time.”

Or, “I’m over weight now, but if I started eating more fruit and vegetables every day instead of eating hamburgers, fries and drinking buckets of soft drinks, maybe I could drop a few pounds.” 

There is a little voice in everyone’s head whose sole job is to maintain the status quo.

“Whoa, there bubba, remember you’re stupid! You don’t need to waste your time studying, you’ll never get smart.”

Or, “Who in their right mind would EVER hire you? Be happy with your pitiful lot.”

I tell you, all good things begin with a thought. You CAN change your life for the better.

Whether you believe you can, or whether you believe you can’t, you’re right.


  1. The proper mindset is essential to accomplish most things in life.

  2. You are right.

    Though I have little admiration for Henry Ford after reading the book "Fordlandia". He was successful but he also used people as a tool of production, not as a worker deserving respect.

    I had a job for 10 years; good job and I was in management and compensated well above my education, but it was a dead end. So when I quit to start my own, I had no business plan, etc., but knew what I could do so when someone said, "Do you...?" I'd say, "I've never but I'll try." Things developed along those lines.

    I believe with all the unemployment and the realization that a lot of jobs are not ever going to return, this is a perfect time to start a small business.

    But then I'm an optimist.

  3. Everything begins with a thought. That's why Einstein said imagination was more important than knowledge.

    Words run a close second. Our words reflect what we are thinking ... what we believe. There is power in words ... our world was created with words. It's time we learned to pay attention to what comes out of our mouth. Things could be so much easier.

    I'm as guilty as the next guy about 'joking' with things like the nightmare answer. Thanks for reminding me that I know better.


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