When Thomas Edison started at school, his mother was told that he was not yet ready. His mother’s optimism about her child led her to telling the teacher that she knew her child, and was convinced that he would be successful. Usually I believe that it is wise to listen to teachers when they give such advice for the benefit of the child.
But in Edison’s case his mother’s optimism paid off. It eventually turned out that he was indeed a very intelligent child. He became the inventor of the electric light bulb, the phonograph, the microphone, talking movies, the storage battery as well as another thousand inventions.
Heart of a winner
In his book The Heart of a Winner, Pieter van Jaarsveld calls the above-mentioned
“a marvellous example of positive self-fulfilling prophecy.”
He says it shows how important it is for parents to exhibit an optimistic lifestyle.
Seemingly Thomas Edison himself had a contagious sense of optimism and refused to become discouraged when he suffered exceptionally hard times financially due to many unfruitful experiments.
In December 1914 when his entire plant burnt down and he realised that it was impossible to extinguish the fire, he sent his son to call his mother and some friends to come and watch because they’ll never see such an amazing fire again. The next morning he told his employees, “We are going to rebuild the plant and we will build bigger and better on the ruins.” What a statement from a man on the verge of becoming bankrupt.
The late Zig Ziglar used to say that a pessimist looks for difficulty in the opportunity, whereas an optimist looks for opportunity in the difficulty. Holocaust survivor Victor Frankl said that “Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation.”
# All in the state of mind
Henry Ford said
“If you think you can, you’re right; if you think you can’t you’re also right.”
We find the same train of thought in Walter D. Wintle’s poem “Its All in the State of the Mind”:
If you think you are beaten you are
If you think you dare not you don’t …
If you think you’ll lose, you’ve lost …
Success begins with a fellow’s will …
Think that you can, and you will
It’s all in the state of the mind.
Even the Apostle Paul understood the importance of filling your mind with the right thoughts when he said “… whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” (Phil 4:8)
According to Van Jaarsveld the good news is that optimism is not only bestowed upon a chosen few.
Everybody can be taught how to become more optimistic.
This is confirmed by Zig Ziglar’s incredible story (video below) and Rom 12:2 which says “… do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind …”.
Who you are will determine where you’ll be successful. A Career Direct Assessment will not only show who you are, but will also point you in the right direction.