At the beginning of the 1800’s, food storage was a major concern for America. Across the water in England, a man named Bryan Donkin invented Canning. Donkin’s creation preserved foods beautifully, though the early cans were made of wrought iron. They were heavy and almost impossible to get into. One brand bore instructions to open with a hammer and chisel! Soldiers usually attacked them with bayonets or fired bullets into them. The real breakthrough came when a lighter material was used, this in turn enabled mass production. The stage was set for Ezra J. Warner, the man that invented the Can Opener. On January 5, 1958 the first can opener was sold. It made Ezra wealthy and famous.
Who doesn’t like to hear from an employee or child, “Yes I CAN!” This simple declaration infers a certain attitude of possibility, in a word, HOPE.
“The mind is the limit. As long as the mind can envision the fact that you can do something, you can do it, as long as you really believe 100 percent.” -Arnold Schwarzenegger
“If you can dream it, you can do it.” -Walt Disney
“Be magnificent. Life’s short. Get out there. You can do it. Everyone can do it. Everyone.” -Andy Serkis, Actor
It’s a great feeling when someone we admire tells us, be it a boss, coach, teacher or parent, “You CAN do this…” The good news is we don’t have to wait for someone to give us permission. We have the power to give that gift to ourselves. Words trigger pictures and bring about emotion, that inspires action, which leads to results. There is a formula for success. It comes in CANS! “I CAN do this! You CAN too!”
How bad do you want it? All meaningful accomplishment begins with an emotionally charged idea. In 1977, I asked myself: “What if I learned a trade?” In 1982, I asked myself: “What if I got good at sales?” In 1994 I asked myself: “What if I started my own business?” In 1999, I asked myself: “What if I wrote a best selling book?” In 2001 I asked myself: “What if I became a successful speaker?” Every change I ever made in my career came by asking that “What If?” question. Desire is the fuel for your machine.
What do you love to do? What comes easily to you that is hard for others? What did you have a passion for at age 7? What activity, that when you are engaged, you time distort? Is anyone else getting paid to do that? If you love what you do, you will never work another day in your life. I have a passion for reading, writing, speaking and coaching others. I turned that passion into a business. It has taken me around the world and provided a nice living for me and my family. It put three boys through college.
The word Belief has the word LIE right in the middle of it! Be-LIE-f! In order to form a new belief, three things are needed: R.E.T. = Repetition, Emotion, Time. How many of you can recite “The Pledge of Allegiance” (which sadly is not said each day in schools anymore). Say it with me: “I pledge allegiance to the flag, of the United States of America. To the republic, for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” Why do we know that? As Baby Boomers, in school, we said it thousands of times! What if you said your #1 Goal thousands of times? I wonder what would happen? You already know the answer. A new Belief.
George Bernard Shaw once said,
“Most people just don’t think. I have become rich and famous by thinking a couple of times a week!”
Remember I.C.E. = Innovation, Creativity, Exploration. I am going to assume you have a goal you would like to achieve. What if you thought about it each morning with pen in hand? One of the most successful sales people I ever met told me, “I get up at 0600, make a cup of coffee, sit on my deck with a legal pad and THINK about my top three prospects. What can I do to close this business?” At the time he told me that, he was selling twice as much as I was. Make the time each day to CREATE.
It says in James 2:14,
“Faith without works is dead.”
We must take action if we are to achieve our goals. I recently made an entry in my journal, “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.” We must do more than simply wish. What are the six most important things you need to DO today? That simple discipline changed my life. One very successful client of mine has a simple creed: “Ready, FIRE, Aim!” The road to hell is paved with good intentions. During a book signing, a man said to me, “I always wanted to write a book. I have some good ideas.” I smiled, as I have heard this dozens of times. “What is stoping you?” I asked. He proceeded to argue his position and gave me all his excuses but not one good reason. When he was done, I said with a smile, “When I am writing a new book, I get up at 0500, make a pot of coffee, and carve out an hour or three pages, whichever comes first. I do that EVERY day until the project is done…” I never heard from him again.
Phil Jackson quotes in his book “11-Rings” an old Buddhist aphorism:
“Knocked down seven times, stand up eight.”
Do you know why a bulldog’s nose slants backwards? So she can breathe while she hangs on! One of the most famous quotes on persistence comes from Calvin Coolidge, he said: “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” Be a bulldog!
The only thing I have done well since 1982 is not give up. I have lost thousands of sales, but I learned something from each one. For every one I lost, I closed two or more. I teach Sales professionals around the globe, “After each sale, won or lost, sit down as soon as you can and ask yourself in your journal, “What did I do well?” and “What could I improve?” Doctors conduct autopsies when someone dies to find out why. What if you asked yourself on regular basis what you could to improve? Only the mediocre are always at their best.
I wonder how long it actually took Ezra J. Warner to invent the can opener? How many failed attempts until he got in right? Success really does come in CANS! You CAN achieve your goals, whatever they might be. BELIVE YOU CAN! It beats a bullet or a bayonet!
“Get More of the Right Things Done In Less Time!”
Best Selling Author, International Speaker, Peak Performance Consultant
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