“I CAN AND I WILL.”
The effectiveness of “I can and I will” as a statement to live by depends upon the manner in which you say it.
To say ‘I can and I will” through gritted teeth and with clenched fists is to defeat the very object you aim for. To assume a prize-fighter attitude toward life is to invite a licking.
And yet it will not do to say “I can and I will” in a limp, half-hearted fashion.
The right manner, which means the effective manner, of uttering this potent phrase depends upon a correct knowledge of the meaning of “I.” “I can and I will” may be the truth or a lie, just according as you define “I.”
For instance, a foolish man who happened to be mayor of Minneapolis said to himself, “I can and I will make a lot of money for myself out of the criminals of this city.” There were others who said the same thing. That mayor reckoned the “I” simply as so much personal cuteness pitted against the city. He gritted his teeth and pulled in all the money in sight. He pitted himself against the city, which rose up and placed him behind prison bars. He may still be gritting his teeth and saying, “I can and I will get out of here.” He may be able to get out of those particular prison walls, but all the world will be to him a prison. He will have to skulk and hide—he is not free. The money he took was never his and he knew it. And he could not keep it, though he said mightily “I can and I WILL.”
You see, “I” to that mayor meant a small something bounded by a skin, a suit of clothes, a hat and a pair of shoes. The rest of the city, and the world, and the universe at large, seen and unseen, had no part in the “I” he placed before “can and will.”
The undefeatable “I” has no such puny boundaries. It fills all space and expresses through all personalities. It is ONE and never goes back on itself. Sooner or later—generally sooner—it punishes fully every puny rebel who rises against it.