I know a man through an online pilot forum I participate in who lives in Wisconsin and in Florida, and who is less than a year older than I am.  I am 62.  He is a very nice fellow who invested over the years, made a good living and is now in classical, comfortable American retirement.

As I read what he writes, it is clear to me that he is also classically “retired” from a mental standpoint as well and is focused on his limitations.  What he cannot do is more in the forefront of his thinking than what he can.  He is very limited in his vision of the future.

I also know a man who is 69 and last year climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, which is 19,341 feet above sea level.  He plans to do it again next year.  I know many other men and women who are also in their late 60’s and early 70’s who are in the midst of starting new businesses.  All these people have visions of their futures that reach out decades and they are focused on capability and growth; not limitations and decline.

The fundamental difference between my Florida friend and the others is mindset.  The latter group doesn’t necessarily possess greater wealth, ability, health or genetic longevity.  They just have dramatically fewer self-imposed limits on their thinking.

They believe they can.  They believe they will.  My Florida friend believes he can’t, so he won’t. 

I encounter business owners every week who fit one or the other of these mental positions.  Those with can do and will do mindsets are much different in terms of their results than the others are.  They generally make a lot of progress financially and obstacles that stop the latter group, they just take in stride and overcome.  I believe it is their mindset that makes the difference.

When you talk to the people with the can do and will do mindset you find that some of them have always been this way, but that’s not always the case.  Many had a “eureka” moment.   According to the dictionary eureka means, “a cry of joy or satisfaction when one finds or discovers something.”   Somewhere on their journey they discovered that if they will, they can.

Where you go in life and business is up to you.  Yes, it’s true that some are more successful than others.  Not everyone ends up with a huge organization, fabulous wealth or the ability to do everything their mind can dream up. However, every single person who ends up more accomplished, satisfied, and usually surprised by their “success,” is someone who decided to try and who never “retired” from active belief in their thinking that they can or will.

Which mindset do you have?  If you believe you can’t or won’t, may I encourage you to try to think differently?  No one reaches the end of the journey or achieves the goal immediately, but everyone who does starts!

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