The cliché of ‘Believe and you can achieve’

Clichés are expressions that become so overused that they lose their original meaning so much so that they can become a mockery of the original, meaningful idea. However, these clichés often carry truth to them, but we ignore that truth because of how many times you hear it. I felt like this about “believe and you can achieve,” until I Read Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich,” and he shared this poem by Walter D. Wintle:

If you think you are beaten, you are,
If you think you dare not, you don’t.
If you like to win, but you think you can’t,
It is almost certain you won’t.

If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost.
For out of the world we find,
Success begins with a fellow’s will –
It’s all in the state of mind.

If you think you are outclassed, you are.
You’ve got to think high to rise,
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.

Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man,
But soon or late the man who wins
Is the man who thinks he can.

For me, this poem written in the early 20th century spoke a lot of truth as I struggle to accomplish my goals. I took three things away from this.

First, as Dave Ramsey personality Chris Hogan says, “You have to dream in HD.” You have to visualize what you want so much that you can feel it, smell it, and taste it. That vision is what you are working to make reality. It gives you a target to strive towards and plan steps to achieve. Without an end goal in mind, you are wandering lost.

Second, you must take risks to achieve your goal. Your journey will not be easy, unless you are Peter La Fleur from the movie “Dodgeball” who said, “I found that if you have a goal, that you might not reach it. But if you don’t have one, then you are never disappointed.” If you have no goals or dreams, your journey is easy because you are already at the end of it. You will not achieve more than what you already have. You must take risk and push to achieve what you desire.

Third, you must “believe and you can achieve.” At the end of the day, if you “think you’ll lose, you’re lost.” You may find yourself fortunate enough to have someone else who believes in you, but the world is not always so nice. The world often tells you that you can’t. People will put you down, often to make themselves feel better about not achieving or pursuing their dreams. To achieve your goal and make others believe in you, you must first believe in yourself.

While it is most certainly a cliché, “believe and you can achieve” still carries a lot of truth. Remember, “the man who wins, is the man who thinks he can.”

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