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The Little Poem That Always Pushes Me Through

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done,
     But, he with a chuckle replied
That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one
     Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
     On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
     That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;
     At least no one has done it”;
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat,
     And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
     Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
     That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
     There are thousands to prophesy failure;
There are thousands to point out to you one by one,
     The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle it in with a bit of a grin,
     Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start to sing as you tackle the thing
     That “couldn’t be done,” and you’ll do it.

~Edgar A. Guest
 

I memorized the first verse of this poem when I was in high school. It has been a mantra, of sorts, throughout my life. My parents were naysayers. I’ve had bosses and friends who always saw the glass as half empty.

 I’ve held onto this encouraging bit of prose for dear life and it always gets me through.

So, when there is no one around to be your cheerleader, pull out this poem. And remember that I shared it with you.

Because I think you can do it, too.

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