To this day, Ronald Reagan, the 40th President of the United States from 1981-1989, is widely revered by conservatives throughout the country as one of the greatest presidents ever to serve this country. In many circles, Reagan is the gold standard in political discussions and in optimistic thought for this country. There was no one who better embodied conservative ideals than Ronald Reagan, many would say.
During his presidency, there were many seemingly impossible problems to solve, from an ailing economy, to nuclear threats, to the Cold War with the Soviet Union. Over his 8 years in office, including surviving a gun shot wound in an assassination attempt, he found solutions to many of these “impossible” tasks before him. He ended the Cold War, he revitalized the conservative movement, he achieved “peace through strength,” he introduced a new optimism in America (“morning in America”), built a new defense system (Star Wars), reformed taxes, and took on unions, to name a few key accomplishments.
He found a way to get things done.
A number of years ago while visiting the Reagan Museum and Library in Simi Valley, California (highly recommended to visit, by the way), I noticed a small red sign he always kept on his desk. The sign had four words on it, “It CAN be done.”
President Reagan was determined to make things happen; to find a way; to do whatever it takes to accomplish his goals. For whatever reason, that really inspired me, and I actually bought one of those “It CAN be done” signs from the gift shop on the way out, and have kept it on my desk ever since.
Keeping this sign on my desk is a constant reminder before getting discouraged, giving up, or sending an email saying telling someone “that won’t work” to think about it again and find a way to make it happen. It CAN be done.
On my desk in the oval office, there sits a plaque that says, ‘It can be done.’ It’s a belief that I deeply hold true.
As Henry Ford famously said,
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.”
What seemingly impossible obstacles do you have in your job or life this week, this month, or later on this year? What are you nervous about?
Whatever it is, having the perpetual attitude that “It CAN be done” is what keeps you persevering and working hard to make it happen.
The next time you come to what seems like a dead end, take a moment and remember this short phrase and how Ronald Reagan embodied that sentiment when approaching critical issues during his presidency. Remember that IT CAN BE DONE!