Who Says You Can’t?

by | Jul 28, 2016 | Goals | 0 comments

Calton Hill, Edinburgh

Calton Hill, Edinburgh

I am puzzled by the different phrases that people use, that even I have used, without really giving any thought to whether they are true or not. I am thinking of two this morning: “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.” The second is like unto it. “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” They sound cute and are often accepted as gospel. Yet they are only one-dimensional, that doesn’t take in others aspects of life. A horse will drink if you give him lick salt, necessary to provide nutrients for bone and muscle growth, and water to quench the thirst. An old dog can learn new tricks, with the right conditioning and proper training.

We use these phrases, often in context of ourselves or others. “You can’t make someone do what they don’t want to do.” True, if you see it only one-dimensional. “You can’t change people who don’t want to change”. True, if we are Pavlov’s dog and respondent conditioning is what truly defines us.

Edinburgh Castle

I have lived there for years and have, and still am breaking free of those falsehoods. “You will never be good enough.” Says who? “You will never measure up.” By whose standards? “You will always be inferior.” Too what? If you have felt the same, call them for what they are, falsehoods because they are not based on who you are designed to be, or the latent potential that is within you.

Last night I published my first novel on Amazon Kindle. I wrote this two years ago but felt that I, or the novel, would never be good enough. I am a lover of history and intrigue. The novel, “Hitler’s Secret Papers,” reflects this. For me this has been totally liberating, a freeing of the soul. It matters not whether it is bought or how it is received. What matters is that this “old dog” continues to dream and pursue the possibilities that are mine, this day and those that lie ahead.

I am reminded of the poem, quoted by Napoleon Hill in his book, “Think and Grow Rich”.

“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 the 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!”

Carpe Diem  — Seize the day. As the Urban Dictionary puts, “Put aside all differences, all fears, all worries and just go for it.”





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Dave Griggs, MDiv

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