Can Do vs. Can't Do Mentality

To be successful in life we've got to be able to set and attain goals.  To accomplish goals we've got to be able to "do" things.  Check out this exploration of the "can do" mentality.

"Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right." -

Henry Ford, circa 1947.

This "can do" mindset has been echoed through out history.  Back in the day, approximately 49-51 AD, the Apostle Paul wrote in a letter to the Philippian church in Greece found in Philippians 4:13 NKJV

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
— Paul the Apostle

We've been culturly pre-conditioned to think that failure itself is bad.  Socially, failing is often perceived in negative light.  While trial and error may have it's bumps and bruises, ultimately failing isn't entirely a bad thing.  Obviously prolonged failure, and especially techniques that redundantly fail, aren't going to help us reach our goals.  Those types of failures should hopefully shed some insight that there maybe a deeper fundamental issue that would need to be addressed and changed, before continuing to try.  But the idea that trying is bad because you might fail, or trying is bad because you "can't do" it, is a mentality that is guaranteed to go no where fast.

When Henry Ford was asked if he didn’t stand to lose a great deal of money if certain things went wrong, he said one should not think about things going wrong... (avoiding the "can't do" mentality.)

You must never, even for a second, let yourself think that you can fail,” said Mr. Ford. “Our first principal is that failure is impossible. You may not get what you’re trying to do right the first time or the second time or the tenth time or the 100th time, but if you shut out of your mind the possibility of being licked, then you are bound to win.
— Henry Ford
I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.
— Thomas Edison (inventor of the phonograph, motion picture camera, and the lightbulb.)
There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.
— Colin Powell
Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.
— Winston Churchill
Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough.
— Og Mandino
If you can dream it, you can do it.
— Walt Disney

Two keys to extract out of the "can do" mentality:

  1. Never be afraid of failing. We gain something from it, so failure isn't a loss.  View it as an attempt that we learn from.  It benefits us moving forward, because we know what not to do.
  2. Determination to continue forward in belief that you "can do" something and continue trying is a key to discovering the solution, and finding the "done it".  Determination, learning, and adaptation, are the biggest keys to finding success.