It’s all in your mind (maybe)

“Thinking” is a well-known poem by Walter D. Wintle, a writer who lived in the late 19th and early 20th century, about whom little or nothing is known. “Thinking” is sometimes called “The Man Who Thinks He Can”.

Different versions of this poem have been published and no one seems to know which is authentic. However, many believe that the one below, published as early as 1905 (in the magazine of the Unity Tract Society), embodies the original and unaltered poem. It is interesting that the Age of the Internet has not yet thrown up any detailed information about Wintle, whose digital presence – in contrast to most other subjects – is only registered as the author of “Thinking”.

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

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

If you think you are outclassed, 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 soon or late the man who wins
Is the man who thinks he can!”


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