Quality Blog

Jim’s Gems: I Think I Can

February 3, 2014

Most of us remember that wonderful children’s story about “The Little Engine That Could”.  The story has several versions but the one by Watty Piper was published in the U.S. around 1930.  It is a story of optimism and hard work that people of all ages can relate.


The difference between impossible and accomplished is in what you think.  When you think you can, you will.


In the story, after several larger engines had refused, for various reasons, to pull a train over a high mountain the little engine was asked to “do the impossible” but said “I Think I Can.”


Certainly, there may be big obstacles standing in your way, just as the little train faced the high mountain. Still, when you think you can, you'll find a way over them, under them, around them, or through those obstacles.


If you're having trouble believing that you can accomplish some particular goal, you need to break it into smaller, more believable steps. Once you see yourself in action, your confidence and belief in yourself grows.


If you decide the possibility that you can make a contribution, even if it’s only a tiny difference, wonderful things can happen. When you think you can, you'll find a way to achieve just about anything that you set out to accomplish.


Once you've made a tiny difference, you'll find yourself knowing that you can do a little bit more, then a little more, until that little bit grows into something very noticeable.  From that tiny difference you can work your way up to making a medium difference, then a large difference, and ultimately a significant positive difference in your world.


Just like the Little Blue Engine in the children’s story who struggled up the mountain repeating his motto “I-Think-I-Can”, it’s up to you to choose to think that you can do it!  You'll be amazed to see how great you are at figuring out a way to make things happen.

Think about it.

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 In honor of World Quality Month, we spoke to James Rooney, ASQ Past Chairman of the Board of Directors 2013, for his take on quality around the world.
For more information, read the ASQ Speaking of Quality column.
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