Monthly Archives: December 2014

All In a State of Mind

It’s all in a State of Mind

Since we talked last time about how superstition can improve performance because it can increase self efficacy, I wanted to share my favorite poem on the subject. I memorized this poem as a teenager and quote it to myself often when needed right up until today.

It was written over 60 years ago—long before Albert Bandura  developed the concept of self efficacy, but that is exactly what it is talking about.


It’s all in a State of Mind

If you think you are beaten, you are:
If you think you dare not, you won’t
If you like to win, but don’t think you can
It’s almost certain you won’t.

If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost;
For out in the world you’ll find
Success begins with a fellow’s will;
It’s all in a state of mind.

For many a game is lost,
Ere even a play is run,
And many a coward fails
Ere even his work begun.

Think big and your deeds will grow,
Think small and you’ll fall behind;
Think that you CAN and you WILL;
It’s all in a state of mind.

If you think you are out-classed, you are;
You’ve got to think high to rise;
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.

Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man,
But sooner or later, the man who wins
Is the fellow who thinks he can.