i think i can, i think i can

Engine, Engine, Number Nine
On the New York transit line
If my train goes off the track
Pick it up! Pick it up! Pick it up!
— Black Sheep (Andres Titus & William R. Mclean), "The Choice is Yours"

The Little Engine That Could was one of my favorite stories when I was a child. The suspense of the Little Blue Engine attempting to pull another train over a mountain when it had never done such a thing before was captivating. The little engine thought it could... but would it?

My apologies if this spoils the story for anyone. But the Little Blue Engine does, in fact, make it over the mountain. It thought it could, so it did. That seems like a simple enough concept for children to grasp. However, it is one that can become ridiculously complicated for us adults.

The little voice in our heads saying "I think I can, I think I can" is often met with disappointment from missed or missing opportunities, closed doors, and naysayers. And in mid-stride that little voice in our heads will begin to say things like "well, I thought I could, but maybe I shouldn't."

When pursuing purpose, it's hard to stay focused in the midst of rejection or delayed gratification. But pushing through barriers of doubt is the only way that we reach true fulfillment. This week I've been deeply inspired by the words of Denzel Washington spoken during his acceptance speech at the NAACP's 2017 Image Awards:

"Without commitment, you’ll never start. But more importantly, without consistency, you’ll never finish."