I have written numerous times about the power of the mind. I’ve talked about how we can change our lives with “positive mental attitudes” …and why we really do have the ability to change our own outcomes.
I have given you examples from sports, where world records are broken each year, and examples of teams both equal in ability, fighting to the end. I’ve also written about how you must view each day and attack it as if it was your own two-minute warning.
Did you know that the ancient Greeks and their commanders understood this? The practice of “burn the boats” was well used by the Greek armies. When Alexander the Great arrived on the shores of Persia his army was overwhelmingly outnumbered, yet he gave the orders to his men to burn the boats. As their only means of retreat went up in flames, legend has it that Alexander turned to his men and said, “We go home in Persian ships, or we die”. What followed was an astounding victory over an army that was in many ways superior. Win or die.
The point is that you can’t have one foot on the dock and one in the boat (no pun intended). It has to be ALL in.
On October 29, 1941, United Kingdom’s (Great Britain) Prime Minister Winston Churchill visited Harrow School to hear the traditional songs he had sung there as a youth, as well as to speak to the students. In Britain’s darkest hour, as the U.S. still hadn’t officially entered the war until December’s Pearl Harbor attack, people were desperate for inspiration. One of his most famous quotes came from this speech at the school. Churchill said, “The pessimist sees the problems in every opportunity, whereas the optimist sees the opportunity in every problem. Never give in, never give in, never; never; never; never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.”
This example has been given by every motivational speaker for the last 70 years.
When CNBC, the U.S. News network, decided to compile the top 25 business leaders in the last 25 years (The List: CNBC First 25), I doubt they were prepared for what they were going to learn. Was there a common trait among these titans? Is there a silver bullet?
Silver bullet or not, these “giants” all agree that they knew what they wanted and would never stop until they achieved their goals (remember that one… successful people are willing to do what unsuccessful people are not!).
If there’s one characteristic shared by the men and women on CNBC’s list of the 25 most transformative icons, rebels and leaders of the past 25 years, it’s that they never gave up. Failure was not an option!
Can you internalize this? Here is the answer! You can have control of your destiny. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Fed Chairmen Bernanke and Greenspan, Google founders Sergey and team, Amazon founder Bezos, Warren Buffet, and Oprah Winfrey (just to name a few) can’t all be wrong!
Do you still need convincing?