You Can Have it Both Ways

I think it is Henry Ford who is quoted as saying, “If you say you can, you can and if you say you can’t, you can’t”. How can both statements, so contradictory, be so true?

Over the past 40 years of so, I have had the habit of reading on chapter from the book of Proverbs (in the Bible, for any who are not familiar with it).  That book has 31 chapters, so it is ideal to read one chapter each day of the month.  I probably miss as many days as I read, but over the years it means I have tackled each chapter maybe hundreds of times.

In Proverbs 27:3 (chapter 27, verse 3 which is approximately in the middle of any Bible) it says, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.”  A very short book, with this same title, was written by James Allen in 1903 and has become one of the early classics of so called “Inspirational Literature.”  When I left England to immigrate to the United States in 1987, I can remember telling a friend about the home I was going to have in the States.  It would have plenty of land around it; after all, having been in London for 20 years, I was ready for a bit more space.  It would also have a swimming pool.  But I hadn’t yet even been over to the city where I hoped to be able to rent or buy a place to live.  

But when this friend came over to visit us a few years later, one of his first comments was about the 5 acres and the swimming pool.  “I knew you would get a place like this, you always seem to get what you believe for.”

Entrepreneurship is seeing something before it exists.  It is daring to believe even when your early attempts fail.  It is like Winston Churchill’s famous speech to never give up (or more accurately to “never give in”-see link for context).Entrepreneurship is hard work, and failure is almost always the pre-requisite to success.  But success is worth it.

So, it’s true.  You can have it both ways.  “If you say you can, you can and if you say you can’t, you can’t.” Which way are you choosing?