Copyright 2018 Paul Edgewater/All Rights Reserved
The first time I heard a familiar figure of speech with its syntax flipped was back in the mid-1980s when the late Dr. Wayne Dyer released his audio program, “You’ll See It When You Believe It.” * It had a profound effect on me. Not just because it was a clever title, but because by changing the order of the words, Dr. Dyer changed the saying from a trite proverb that pedals apathy, into an empowering maxim for a productive mindset. Same words. Totally different message. Most of us have heard of Napoleon Hill’s “Think And Grow Rich.” It is the book that almost every mega-successful person has read along their professional journey. Thinking-well is easier when we believe the right things.
My take on this was to switch up “you would if you could,” which is a put-down, to “You Could If You Would,” which is a challenge to the reader to take action. It’s the next step after getting our minds right. Taking action is what made Tony Robbins famous and is foundational in all his teachings.
Allow me to go off the rails a little bit. Most of us read “The Little Engine That Could” when we were children or had it read to us as very young children. The refrain was the locomotive saying to himself, “I think I can. I think I can.” This is what helped him convince himself that he could indeed do what he was called upon to do. The lesson here is clear; the locomotive both believed in himself and thought the right things to support actions taken. I’m not one to argue with the success of that book, but I believe the message would’ve been even more powerful had the locomotive said to himself, ” I know I can. I know I can.” I contend that certainty and confidence are omnipotent.
Image of “The Little Engine That Could” from Kinder Books
*Note: I believe that “You’ll See It When You Believe It” may be out of circulation. This is why I linked to a youtube of this work. Check out Dr. Wayne Dyer’s website for all his works currently available.