It Really Is Up To You

Few people realize that every day they determine their own successes and their own failures. These successes and failures are a direct result of what they choose to think about.

You can choose to think weak, defeatist thoughts, or, you can choose to think thoughts of greatness and success! It really is up to you!

It is remarkable that so many people take so little responsibility for their lives. Here is something that Orison Swett Marden wrote nearly a hundred years ago. It’s still true today. He wrote,

“So long as we think that we are merely human, sons of Adam, inheriting only his weaknesses, his limitations; so long as we are convinced that we are helpless victims of heredity, of circumstances and environment, we can never express anything but mediocrity, weakness, inferiority.

A great artist who put his whole soul into his work would never look at inferior pictures, because he said, if he did, he would become familiar with false artistic ideals, and his own pencil would soon catch the taint of inferiority.

It is familiarity with a weak, inferior ideal of ourselves that dwarfs and stunts our development. As long as we think we are poor ineffectual nobodies, no power in the world can make us anything else. Our mental attitude fixes the limit of our development. Nothing can save us from our own conviction of inferiority, and inability to rise above the things that hold us down.”

In his writings, Mr. Marden very eloquently and succinctly communicated just how vitally important our thinking is. It is so true! And the exciting part is that we have control over our thoughts! We have free will to choose what we are going to think about.

I really like the example that he gave about the artist who would never look at inferior pictures. As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.

Great people don’t look at and focus on the inferior. Great people don’t dwell on weakness. Improvement, growth and success come from looking and focusing on something greater than where you are now.

Let me give you a silly illustration. It’s a true story.

When I was around eight years old, my older brother and I had a ping-pong table at our house. He was ten years old and neither of us had any proficiency in that game whatsoever.

Then, dad came down to play. He was really good, and he showed no mercy to either of us. For quite some time, the best I could do was to maybe score one point or two against him. But, over time I really improved.


Every time I played, I was looking at “greatness.” My goal, my vision, my drive was to beat him! I am so glad that he never let up and went easy on me, because I became a pretty darn good ping pong player.

I also learned a very valuable lesson. If you want to improve, focus on something much greater than yourself. When I first began my radio broadcasting career I would spend hours listening to tapes (yes, back then they were tapes!) of other broadcasters who were at the time the best in the business. As I listened to them, I was studying and learning, and, most importantly, telling my mind, “This is the level I want to be.”

It really is up to you. Decide to focus on great things. The Creator never designed you to be a failure. See yourself as someone who can excel to greatness.

The choice is yours. You can choose to think defeatist, inferior thoughts or you can choose to think thoughts of greatness and success! It really is up to you!