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Positively Speaking: Conceive, believe, achieve


By Toby Moore

For Capital Region Independent Media

Headshot of man named Toby Moore
Toby Moore

The adage “no one is an island” reminds us that we are social creatures, usually with the need to collaborate and thrive in community. We often lean on others for emotional, physical or logistical support to achieve anything significant.

Sometimes, this help is minimal: a kind word, a small favor, or a pat on the back. At other times, achieving our goals demands a collective effort, like assembling a team of experts for a business venture or a passion project.

But here’s the thing: While walking your path in life, especially when chasing a dream, you may often feel like you’re on a solitary journey, and that’s because, in many ways, you are. 

Although there are shared dreams, usually your dream is your unique vision, and even with a team behind you, the weight of the endeavor can still feel entirely your own. Especially when taking on the financial risks, pouring all of your time into it, working without pay, and facing the ramifications of each decision head-on.

In these moments, you must cultivate the inner voice that tells you, “You’re more than enough; you have what it takes.”

Think of an aspiring author. Having a successful book will involve feedback from friends, family, an agent, an editor and a publisher, but putting words on a page is solitary, and the chances are that the book will likely never see the light of day.

My dad was an author and published three books. His choice to become a writer at 50 didn’t feel natural initially. He was an entrepreneur, and writing was new to him.

When he started to write his first book, “Playing with the Enemy.” He’d write about 30 pages at a time, then have me read through it and give him notes. I knew nothing about writing a book, but he needed someone to bounce ideas off, so I did what I could.

As I read each draft, I could hear him muttering at times, “How on earth will this get published?” or “I’ve never done this before — what’s next after I finish writing?” His doubts were audible yet charming.

As I heard my dad muttering doubts, I reminded him of a quote by Napoleon Hill that he had repeated to me hundreds of times since I was a child: “Whatever your mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”

Although he was no stranger to this belief, it was an “aha!” moment for him.

And sure enough, as he continued to work on his drafts, his tone started to change. The man who had instilled this mantra in me was now living it in real time, conceiving and believing his path to publication.

His enthusiasm was contagious; during a chat about an unrelated topic, he’d excitedly exclaim, “I’ve got it! I’ll send the manuscript to every publisher in America!” It was like a light bulb moment; the gears had finally clicked into place, illuminating the pathway ahead.

So, he implemented his plan and started sending the manuscript to publishers. Some publishers took months to reply, while others didn’t bother responding at all. He didn’t allow discouragement to set in.

Though he had yet to secure a publisher, he had already succeeded in his heart. He knew it was only a matter of time and used it wisely.

He consistently refined each draft, honed each word, and polished each paragraph. In his mind, he was not just waiting for a publisher; he was preparing for one.

After months of effort, a publisher finally bit. They struck a deal; the book saw multiple printings and enjoyed success.

My dad’s journey is a testament to the universal principle of “conceive, believe, achieve.”

His story points to the idea that no matter the dream or the challenges ahead, the most critical resources — faith, vision and perseverance — are already inside us, ready to be tapped into to achieve success.

Toby Moore is a columnist, the star of Emmy-nominated “A Separate Peace,” and the CEO of Cubestream Inc.

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