Believe You Can Succeed and You Will
Success means many wonderful, positive things. Success means personal
prosperity: a fine home, vacations, travel, new things, financial
security, giving your children maximum advantages. Success means winning
admiration, leadership, being looked up to by people in your business
and social life. Success means freedom: freedom from worries, fears,
frustrations, and failure. Success means self-respect, continually
finding more real happiness and satisfaction from life, being able to do
more for those who depend on you.
Success means winning.
Success - achievement - is the goal of life!
Every human being wants success. Everybody wants the best this life can
deliver. Nobody enjoys crawling, living in mediocrity. No one likes
feeling second-class and feeling forced to go that way.
Some of the most practical success-building wisdom is found in that
Biblical quotation stating that faith can move mountains.
Believe, really believe, you can move a mountain and you can. Not many
people believe that they can move mountains. So, as a result, not many
On some occasion you've probably heard someone say something like, "It's
nonsense to think you can make a mountain move away just by saying
'Mountain, move away.' It's simply impossible."
People who think this way have belief confused with wishful thinking.
And true enough, you can't wish away a mountain. You can't
wish yourself into an executive suite. Nor can you wish yourself
into a five-bedroom, three-bath house or the high-income brackets. You
can't wish yourself into a position of leadership.
But you can move a mountain with belief. You can win
success by believing you can succeed.
There is nothing magical nor mystical about the power of belief.
Belief works this way. Belief, the "I'm-positive-I-can" attitude,
generates the power, skill, and energy needed to do. When you believe
I-can-do-it, the how-to-do-it develops.
Every day all over the nation young people start working in new jobs.
Each of them "wishes" that someday he could enjoy the success that goes
with reaching the top. But the majority of these young people simply
don't have the belief that it takes to reach the top rungs. And they
don't reach the top. Believing it's impossible to climb high, they do
not discover the steps that lead to great heights. Their behavior
remains that of the "average" person.
But a small number of these young people really believe they will
succeed. They approach their work with the "I'm-going-to-the-top"
attitude. And with substantial belief they reach the top. Believing they
will succeed - and that it's not impossible - these folks study and
observe the behavior of senior executives. They learn how successful
people approach problems and make decisions. They observe the attitudes
of successful people.
The how-to-do-it always comes to the person who believes he can do it.
A young woman I'm acquainted with decided two years ago that she was
going to establish a sales agency to sell mobile homes. She was advised
by many that she shouldn't - and couldn't do it.
She had less than $3,000 in savings, and was advised the minimum capital
investment required was many times that.
"Look how competitive it is," she was advised. "And besides, what
practical experience have you had in selling mobile homes, let alone
managing a business?" her advisors asked.
But this young lady had belief in herself and her ability to succeed.
She quickly admitted she lacked capital, that the business was very
competitive, and that she lacked experience.
"But," she said, "all the evidence I can gather shows that the mobile
home industry is going to expand. On top of that, I've studied my
competition. I know I can do a better job of merchandising trailers than
anybody else in this town. I expect to make some mistakes, but I'm going
to be on top in a hurry."
And she was. She had little trouble getting capital. Her absolutely
unquestioned belief that she could succeed with this business won her
the confidence of two investors. And armed with complete belief, she did
the "impossible" - she got a trailer manufacturer to advance her a
limited inventory with no money down.
Last year she sold over $1,000,000 worth of trailers.
"Next year," she says, "I expect to gross over $2,000,000."
Belief, strong belief, triggers the mind to figuring ways and
means and how-to. And believing you can succeed makes others place
confidence in you.
Most people do not put much stock in belief. But some, the residents of
Successfulville, USA, do! Just a few weeks ago a friend who is an
official with a state highway department in a Midwestern state related a
"mountain-moving" experience to me.
"Last month," my friend began, "our department sent notices to a number
of engineering companies that we were authorized to retain some firm to
design eight bridges as part of our highway building program. The
bridges were to be built at a cost of $5,000,000. The engineering firm
selected would get a 4 per cent commission, or $200,000, for its design
"I talked with 21 engineering firms about this. The four largest decided
right away to submit proposals. The other 17 companies were small,
having only 3 to 7 engineers each. The size of the project scared off 16
of these 17. They went over the project, shook their heads, and said in
effect, 'It's too big for us. I wish I thought we could handle it, but
it's no use even trying.'
"But one of these small firms, a company with only three engineers,
studied the plans and said, 'We can do it. We'll submit a proposal.'
They did, and they got the job."
Those who believe they can move mountains, do. Those who believe they
can't, cannot. Belief triggers the power to do.
Actually, in these modem times belief is doing much bigger things than
moving mountains. The most essential element - in fact, the
essential element - in our space explorations today is belief that space
can be mastered. Without firm, unwavering belief that man can
travel in space, our scientists would not have the courage, interest,
and enthusiasm to proceed. Belief that cancer can be cured will
ultimately produce cures for cancer. Currently; there is some talk of
building a tunnel under the English Channel to connect England with the
Continent. Whether this tunnel is ever built depends on whether
responsible people believe it can be built.
Belief in great results is the driving force, the power behind all great
books, plays, scientific discoveries. Belief in success is behind every
successful business, church, and political organization. Belief in
success is the one basic, absolutely essential ingredient in successful
Believe, really believe, you can succeed and you will.
Over the years I've talked with many people who have failed in business
ventures and in various careers. I've heard a lot of reasons and excuses
for failure. Something especially significant unfolds as conversations
with failures develop. In a casual sort of way the failure drops a
remark like "To tell the truth, I didn't think it would work" or "I had
my misgivings before I even started out" or "Actually, I wasn't too
surprised that it didn't work out."
The "Okay-I'll-give-it-a-try-but-I-don't-think-it-will-work" attitude
Disbelief is negative power. When the mind disbelieves or doubts, the
mind attracts "reasons" to support the disbelief. Doubt, disbelief, the
subconscious will to fail, the not really wanting to
succeed, is responsible for most failures.
Think doubt and fail.
Think victory and succeed.
A young fiction writer talked with me recently about her writing
ambitions. The name of one of the top writers in her field came up.
"Oh," she said, "Mr. X is a wonderful writer, but of course, I can't be
nearly as successful as he is."
Her attitude disappointed me very much because I know the writer
mentioned. He is not super-intelligent nor super-perceptive, nor
super-anything else except super-confident. He believes he is among the
best and so he acts and performs the best.
It is well to respect the leader. Learn from him. Observe him. Study
him. But don't worship him. Believe you can surpass. Believe you can go
beyond. Those who harbor the second-best attitude are invariably
Look at it this way. Belief is the thermostat that regulates what we
accomplish in life. Study the fellow who is shuffling down there in
mediocrity. He believes he is worth little, so he receives little. He
believes he can't do big things, and he doesn't. He believes he is
unimportant, so everything he does has an unimportant mark. As times
goes by, lack of belief in himself shows through in the way the fellow
talks, walks, acts. Unless he readjusts his thermostat forward, he
shrinks, grows smaller and smaller in his own estimation. And, since
others see in us what we see in ourselves, he grows smaller in the
estimation of the people around him.
Now look across the way at the person who is advancing forward. He
believes he is worth much, and he receives much. He believes he can
handle big, difficult assignments - and he does. Everything he does, the
way he handles himself with people, his character, his thoughts, his
viewpoints, all say, "Here is a professional. He is an important
A person is a product of his own thoughts. Believe Big. Adjust your
thermostat forward. Launch your success offensive with honest, sincere
belief that you can succeed. Believe big and grow big.
Several years ago after addressing a group of business men in Detroit, I
talked with one of the gentlemen who approached me, introduced himself,
and said, "I really enjoyed your talk. Can you spare a few minutes? I'd
like very much to discuss a personal experience with you."
In a few minutes we were comfortably seated in a coffee shop, waiting
for some refreshments.
"I have a personal experience," he began, "that ties in perfectly with
what you said this evening about making your mind work for you instead
of letting it work against you. I've never explained to anyone how I
lifted myself out of the world of mediocrity; but I'd like to tell you
"And I'd like to hear it," I said.
"Well, just five years ago I was plodding along, just another guy
working in the tool-and-die trade. I made a decent living by average
standards. But it was far from ideal. Our home was much too small and
there was no money for those many things we wanted. My wife, bless her,
didn't complain much, but it was written all over her that she was more
resigned to her fate than she was happy. Inside I grew more and more
dissatisfied. When I let myself see how I was failing my good wife and
two children, I really hurt inside.
"But today things are really different," my friend continued. "Today we
have a beautiful new home on a two-acre lot and a year-round cabin a
couple hundred miles north of here. There's no more worry about whether
we can send the kids to a good college and my wife no longer has to feel
guilty every time she spends money for some new clothes. Next summer the
whole family is flying to Europe to spend a month's holiday. We're
"How did this all happen?" I asked.
"It all happened," he continued, "when to use the phrase you used
tonight, 'I harnessed the power of belief.' Five years ago I learned
about a job with a tool-and-die company here in Detroit. We were living
in Cleveland at the time. I decided to look into it, hoping I could make
a little more money. I got here early on Sunday evening, but the
interview was not until Monday.
"After dinner I sat down in my hotel room and for some reason, I got
really disgusted with myself. 'Why,' I asked myself, 'am I just a middle
class failure? Why am I trying to get a job that represents such a small
"I don't know to this day what prompted me to do it, but I took a sheet
of hotel stationery and wrote down the names of five people I've known
well for several years who had far surpassed me in earning power and job
responsibility. Two were former neighbors who had moved away to fine
subdivisions. Two others were fellows I had worked for, and the third
was a brother-in-law.
"Next - again I don't know what made me do this - I asked myself what do
my five friends have that I don't have, besides better jobs. I compared
myself with them on intelligence, but I honestly couldn't see that they
excelled in the brains department. Nor could I truthfully say they had
me beat on education, integrity; or personal habits.
"Finally I got down to another success quality one hears a lot about.
Initiative. Here I hated to admit it, but I had to. On this point my
record showed I was far below that of my successful friends.
"It was now about 3:00 A.M., but my mind was astonishingly clear. I was
seeing my weak point for the first time. I discovered that I had held
back. I had always carried a little stick. I dug into myself deeper and
deeper and found the reason I lacked initiative was because I didn't
believe inside that I was worth very much.
"I sat there the rest of the night just reviewing how lack of faith in
myself had dominated me ever since I could remember, how I had used my
mind to work against myself. I found I had been preaching to myself why
I couldn't get ahead instead of why I could. I had been selling myself
short. I found this streak of self-depreciation showed through in
everything I did. Then it dawned on me that no one else was going to
believe in me until I believed in myself.
"Right then I decided, 'I'm through feeling second-class. From here on
in I'm not going to sell myself short.'
"Next morning I still had that confidence. During the job interview I
gave my new found confidence its first test. Before coming for the
interview I'd hoped I would have courage to ask for $750 or maybe even
$1000 more than my present job was paying. But now, after realizing I
was a valuable man, I upped it to $3,500. And I got it. I sold
myself because after that one long night of self-analysis I found things
in myself that made me a lot more saleable.
"Within two years after I took that job I had established a reputation
as the fellow who can get business. Then we went into a recession. This
made me still more valuable because I was one of the best
business-getters in the industry. The company was reorganized and I was
given a substantial amount of stock plus a lot more pay."
Believe in yourself and good things do start happening.
Your mind is a "thought factory." It's a busy factory; producing
countless thoughts in one day.
Production in your thought factory is under the charge of two foremen,
one of whom we will call Mr. Triumph and the other Mr. Defeat. Mr.
Triumph is in charge of manufacturing positive thoughts. He specializes
in producing reasons why you can, why you're qualified, why you will.
The other foreman, Mr. Defeat, produces negative, depreciating thoughts.
Excerpted from "The Magic of Thinking Big" by David J. Schwartz. Copyright © 1987 by David J. Schwartz. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.