Good Wednesday morning to you. I know as you are pushing through this week up till now you were saying, “This week is going to be tough; I’m not sure I can get through it.” Well, think of that childhood story of the little engine that could, as he was trying to get the cars he was pulling over the hill.
In our week of simple lessons, I wanted to tell this one on Wednesday because many think of this day of the week as the center point, like it’s all downhill from here. So I looked to the simple story in our simple lessons week. The story is about how this small engine had to climb a hill while he was pulling a heavy load. He started his pull up the hill saying the entire way up, “I think I can, I think I can,” repeating the same chant all the way up the hill. Then after he gets down the other side he reminds himself with a reinforcement, saying “I thought I could, I thought I could.” I want to take this familiar story and tell a few simple points to drive this one home in your life.
1. When facing a challenge in life, if you know it’s coming, get yourself some momentum before you hit the hard part. Life is a series of ups and downs; we go from one challenge to another. I know many think we have break points in between our challenges; really it’s the feel of the downhill when you are saying, “I thought I could.”
2. Know the burden you are pulling behind you. You know the weight of life that you are pulling, like the engine knew his load was heavy. If there are things that you can let go of in life, then it’s time to clean house. Lighten the load you carry since you now know that you are in a path of hills and valleys. Be prepared by taking off those weights you no longer need.
3. Use positive reinforcement. On the trip up the hill, that little engine kept saying “I think I can.” He repeated this to a chant that was his way of being his own cheerleader. I always say you need to motivate yourself. Do this in two ways: use the words of your mouth to talk to yourself by making affirmations, reading your goals to yourself. Also use what you listen to or read. Books, music, blogs like this one can all help you with positive affirmations. A constant diet of a motivational playlist on your MP3 player can make a huge difference in your life. A few minutes of reading a self help book before bed, reading a devotional or the Bible or your spiritual guide each morning will work. This is you telling yourself “I think I can.”
4. Enjoy the view but keep moving forward. Hey, we all love the mountain top. Enjoy each victory; take a moment and look around to see what it came from, where you are going and scout out the mountains ahead. Take in the air and enjoy this, but don’t waste too much time there; keep moving on. If the train stopped on top of the hill it would take momentum to get started again and he would not be rolling so fast going down the hill.
5. Remind yourself you are successful. When the engine was headed down the hill he kept telling himself, “I knew I could” using the same type chant he made going up the hill. We must always remind ourselves of our past success. This is the reminder and the momentum that is used to build up to the next hill. Because we know it’s coming. But don’t boost yourself so much that you build up with pride and become boastful. That is another thing: the train kept moving while telling himself, “I thought I could; I knew I could.” If he stopped to tell himself that he would have become boastful, and would have lost momentum for his next hill.
This is the part where I remind you how the points above work. This story is about a train and if you ever watched a train start off, they are very heavy and need lots of momentum to get going again. That is what makes this story a great learning point; the train takes momentum to get going. If this story had been told about a car, it never would have worked. So use this to get a momentum in your life going, just like the train did.
I’m Tim Gillette, the Rocker Life Coach. It’s time for you to live the life you always dreamed of, to love what you do and those you share life with. Get momentum to always be moving forward and you will soon be the RockStar in your world.