During the World Cup, the U.S. slogan was I believe that we will win. This, both before and after the U.S. was knocked out of the tournament, generated a lot of discussion both about the arrogance of Americans and the dubious power of positive thinking.
I’m not here to tell you that if you just believe good things that good stuff will happen. After all, I’m a pessimist and a lot of my successes have come from the aggression and advance planning that come with pessimism.
I also think the whole positive thinking thing can lead us quickly into dangerous territory. Let’s not go around accusing people of getting cancer because they weren’t fucking cheerful enough, all right?
But positive — or at least forward-oriented thinking — is what we often need to get started. Why compete if you don’t believe you can win? If you don’t believe you could be cast in a role? Or sell a story? Or get the job?
And going after a thing you want, while it can be casual, often isn’t. For me, it’s rarely, “let’s see what’ll happen” and more “all right, this is how it’s going to be.”
I believe that I will win, largely because I have to.
Not because that statement changes the laws of the universe (witchiness is a topic for another time), or because optimism and a good attitude will always get you riches (a good attitude helps, but really, fuck optimism). Rather, if I want a thing, I have to engage with it like a fact, or else it’s very hard for me to get started, and hard for me to keep going if I don’t get it the first time.
We believe that we will win isn’t about the power of positive thinking. It’s about the power of being crazy enough to go for our dreams, and stubborn enough to try again and again and again, until we get them or until we’re dreaming something else.
So it’s Monday. And Mondays suck. But we believe that you can win. Now tell us what you’re fighting for, with, or against, because specificity is a powerful tool too.