Unstoppable Trains

I was reading another “self-improvement” book and ran across this quote (cleaned up a tad for a *PG audience): “There’s nothing as unstoppable as a freight train full of hell-yeah*.”

While it may not be Shakespeare, those words really resonate with me. Mostly because they are filled with happy boundless optimistic energy.

Think about it, when’s the last time you said “hell-yeah!” about anything?

When your team scores a touchdown to win the game?

When you chip your golf ball into the hole?
When that girl you’ve been thinking about finally agrees to go out with you?

When’s the last time you said it at work?

In our business, we say it a lot. When we win a new account. When the client approves a great concept. When a campaign gets a good response. It’s easy to be optimistic when things are going great. But how do you bring “a freight train full of hell-yeah” when things are not going so well?

I think, first and foremost, you have to be passionate about what you do. You have to like it so much you’d want to do it even if they didn’t pay you. You also have to be good at it. (You might have a passion for ballroom dancing, but if you’re not good at it, you shouldn’t quit your day job.)

Second, you have to give it 100%. Every. Day. Even when you don’t feel like it. Just as exercise increases energy, action breeds grit and determination. Rise to the occasion.

Third, be grateful. No matter how badly you feel you’re doing, it could be worse. A constant sense of gratitude is the fuel that your freight train requires.

Fourth, surround yourself with people who believe in you. Don’t hang out with those who doubt your abilities or share meals with those who encourage you to settle. As Henry David Thoreau so aptly put it: “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” They will want to dumb you down. Don’t let them.

Finally, be fearless. Don’t fear failure. Don’t be afraid of what people will think. Just concentrate on your goal and march directly towards it with an unwavering determination. As Winston Churchill once said, “Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never. . .”

Things don’t always go the way we plan. Life is a roller coaster. Sometimes you’re up. Sometimes you’re down. But those ups are pretty amazing. So when you’re down, just fuel your freight train and remember: “Nothing is as unstoppable as a freight train full of hell-yeah.”