Whatever the Mind Can Conceive and Believe, It Can Achieve
“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” -Napoleon Hill
I was reminded of one of my favorite quotes this morning by Napoleon Hill. Someone new came to class today and at the end of class, I went up to her as I often do with someone who is new to see how it went. As she looked up at me, I saw she had tears streaming down her face. She told me that she had had back surgery last year and her doctor told her that she would NEVER be able to do anything like this ever again. NEVER is a very strong word. The tears were tears of joy.
I truly believe that whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve. Too often we are told we can’t do something or we tell ourselves that we can’t do something, but is that really true?
Don’t get me wrong, some people will mistake this for me saying to force something and that is not what I am saying.
In yoga (and in life, but let’s just talk about yoga for right now), there are things that seem like they are impossible or insurmountable. We look at an advanced pose and laugh and say we will never be able to do it. Can I do every pose—not even close! Do I believe that if I really wanted to and worked at it and set a goal that I would accomplish it that someday down the line I could do it? I do. That doesn’t mean I’m going to try it tomorrow and achieve it. And that’s ok. What about relaxing into savasana at the end of class? How many of us started out totally unrelaxed, just hoping for it to be over? For many people, that is the most difficult pose. But over time, we start to relax a little bit more.
As we keep persisting, our bodies get more flexible—not by force, but by consistently doing what we can. Little things that seemed like they would be a part of our lives forever like aches and pains or anxiety start to become less a part of our lives. Our minds become more relaxed. We learn and grow and find lots of other benefits along the way too.
How could we use this in our everyday lives? What seems totally impossible right now that you would like to accomplish? Or what challenge feels insurmountable right now? What step could you take towards overcoming or accomplishing today? Without forcing it…without expecting to achieve it tomorrow. Could you believe that you can do it? Well, look, you’ve found the first step :) Figure out what the next step is, and then do that too. Every day, just figure out the next step. Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve…someday.