You will often read or hear someone say
that in order to succeed you must visualize your goal and believe
it will happen. You must have a positive mental attitude in order
I've often come across examples in my own
life and in the lives of others that contradict this premise.
Although positivity may help, and certainly a totally helpless
defeatism will not help, and giving up will guarantee failure,
great things can be accomplished without a positive attitude.
The reason I think this is important is
because many of us, including me, find it difficult and unnatural
to be positive all the time. If you feel that way too, take heart.
You can still accomplish your goals without being perpetually
cheery. I just watched a true story of survival that demonstrates
this principle very well. The movie is Touching the Void, a story about mountain
climbers who experience tragedies and danger during a climb.
Although it's a movie, it is interspersed
with clips of interviews with the real people depicted in the
movie, letting you know what they felt inside and what was going
through their minds at the time. One of the men did something
that should have been humanly impossible, and he tells you what
he was thinking.
The most important thing he said was, "You
have to keep making decisions." He was in situations more
than once during the ordeal where he had to make difficult decisions
in order to move forward. He didn't have all the information
he needed and there was no way for him to get that information
before making the decisions. But if he made no decisions, he
would have died. If he put off making a decision too long, he
would have died.
That's true for us too. We may not die,
but if we don't make any decisions, we will fail. And if we put
off decisions too long, we will fail. And sometimes we don't
have all the information we need. We have to keep making decisions
That's the necessary ingredient to succeeding:
Keep making decisions and keep moving toward your goal. If you
have a positive attitude, it's a nice bonus. It might make your
trip more enjoyable. But luckily, it isn't essential for success.