Create Your Ideal Life With The Right Mindset
If you’re familiar with the popular children’s book “The Little Engine That Could,” you probably remember the images of the Little Blue engine pulling a locomotive train along with its heavy load of freight cars up a steep mountain pass.
The Little Blue Engine takes on the daunting task after larger locomotives refuse to help a stranded train. Other big locomotives had come up with excuses as to why they couldn’t help the big train up the mountain.
Different authors have written several versions of the story over the last century. It is a beloved tale that both children and adults enjoy reading. It is the moral of the story that makes it so popular.
The Little Blue Engine has faith in its abilities and shows perseverance and determination while repeating to itself, “I think I can, I think I can…” as it slowly climbs the mountain. So naturally, most readers want to see themselves having that same type of mindset.
“Make your life a masterpiece; imagine no limitations on what you can be, have, or do.”
~ Brian Tracy ~
What can we learn from the Little Blue Engine and her hero’s journey?
Overcoming Limiting Beliefs
Although small, the Little Blue Engine is fearless in taking on the challenge of pulling a much heavier train up a steep incline. Having faith in yourself and your abilities is the first step in the right direction as you start your hero’s journey.
With the right mindset, the Little Blue Engine focused on what she could do and not what she couldn’t do. She didn’t look back and just set her sights on reaching the top of the summit.
The Little Blue Engine showed determination, confidence, and mental toughness by having a clear vision of a positive outcome. She did this by focusing her energy on controlling her thoughts about accomplishing this difficult task.
She used mind over matter to break through the mental barrier of limitations, which we do when we make excuses to remain in our comfort zone. It is easier to maintain the Status Quo than to change, risk failure, and expose ourselves to possible ridicule or critique.
Know Thyself – Changing Direction Mid-Journey
We grew up with beliefs and values that influence our decisions, how we view ourselves, situations, and people, and how we respond to adversity. So let’s return to the tale “The Little Engine That Could.”
We can assume that the Little Blue Engine knew her strengths and weaknesses and that if there was the slightest chance of her being able to get up that hill, she chose to beat the odds even if they weren’t in her favor. Based on the outcome, it is evident that she consciously decided not to let her weaknesses get the better of her.
Her tenacity and self-belief paid off when she was celebrated by the passengers she transported and the conductor she helped, despite being mocked and scoffed at by her peers. Likewise, in life, we can choose to look inward to discover what we’re capable of doing rather than allowing ourselves to be limited by what others believe.
Choosing The Right Time For You
Sometimes, you may have to decline when assessing whether to take on a challenge when someone asks for your help. Doing this may be perceived as unhelpful or lazy, but you are in charge of yourself and know your limitations better than others.
After assessing the situation or challenge, you might need more strength, skills, or time to do the task justice. That is okay since failing would leave you in a bad light and potentially make you unhappy. No one truly benefits from being in that position, which only proves to be a disservice.
“You need to understand your limitations so you can overcome them.”
~ Erin Morgenstern ~
You must identify what you cannot accomplish when you reach your limit. It is necessary to determine that because you might need to take time off to take care of your health issues, acknowledge that you need help with a project, brush up on your skills, or pace yourself without feeling guilty for not getting enough done.
It is unfortunate that so many people allow the feelings of guilt about declining others’ help, stifle their own progress. Through so many of today’s TV shows and dime novels, we are led to believe that we are obligated to help, no matter the personal cost. This is far from being true and needs to be assessed by each of us individually.
You alone are in charge of your life and need to make the decisions that are best for you and will ultimately lead to the ideal life you desire. Let the Little Blue Engine inspire you and know that “YOU CAN!”
Achieving Your Ideal Life
Much like The Little Blue Engine at the beginning of this article, you must set and visualize the outcome you want to achieve. Approaching any game plan without that specific goal to aim for will only slow you down or stop you in your tracks.
Starting with the mindset “I think I can…”, write down what ostentatious goals you want to achieve and then begin to reverse engineer the path you need to take to get there. This will help you identify which obstacles you might encounter, where you might need to speed up or slow down, or even come to a dead stop based on your limitations.
Having a specific roadmap to guide you won’t guarantee that all the lights along the way will be green, but it will present you with potential detours that you might need to take if obstacles get in your way. It is also important to remember that the detours we might be forced to take can often lead us to incredible new opportunities or serendipities.
Arm yourself with positive thinking, a strong belief in yourself, and the tenacity to see your quest through to the end, and it will ultimately lead you up that steep hill to your desired ideal life destination.