The Thought for the Day – Virgil

They can because they think they can. – Virgil


Virgil was a Roman poet who lived in the first century before Christ. Specific biographical information is rare. It is believed he was from what is now northern Italy and that he made his way to Rome where he studied rhetoric, medicine and astronomy before turning to philosophy and poetry. It’s generally believed he never enjoyed particularly good health and busts of Virgil show a rather snotty looking young man with an upturned lip.

His greatest work, the epic poem Aeneid, was composed over the last eleven years of his life and was still not completely edited when he died. Apparently, he wished the Aeneid to be burned, a request denied by his literary executors.  Virgil’s influence on Western letters is profound, and he makes an appearance in Dante’s novel The Divine Comedy, where he is Dante’s guide through hell.

Very little of substance is accomplished by accident. Most of what we accomplish, individually and collectively, we set out to do. No matter what it is, something modest or a long-sought dream, our desired end must be in the proverbial crosshairs from the time we set the first foot on the road.

…because they think they can.

Believing you can do something is the necessary start to any venture because we are not going to accomplish what we don’t set out to do. Those that set their sights on second place, or on anything less than getting the most out of the talents they were born with, sometimes end up with a second rate, unsatisfying experience.

We deserve better than that. We only have one go-round at this life and we have an obligation not squander it on less than we are capable of. Now, not everyone is going to live down the ages or even end up with the proverbial 15 minutes of fame, which is good because those imposters are awesome masters. But we can all live accomplished lives.

Thinking we can is, literally, half the battle. The other half is knowing what we are supposed to do with our time on this planet, going out and doing it and having the patience to see it through to the end. When have each of those elements we can, at the appropriate time, look back and say we did.

The Thought for the Day runs regularly. Quotes are from Gaylon’s private stock.

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