President Elect Obama’s campaign of “yes we can” says more than just that.  It has a profound and powerful meaning for all, whether you think it does or not.

When I listened to his victory speech last night, specifically the part where he talks about Ann Nixon Cooper and all that she has seen and experienced in her lifetime, where he repeats his mantra of “yes we can”, it reminded me of a time in my life where a special person had a profound affect on me.  That person was my high school gymnastics coach, who also had instilled into the team the mantra, “yes I can”.  This mantra still lives with me today.

What exactly does “yes I/we can” mean?  And how does that affect you?  If you think about the words that are spoken, the vary words of “yes and can” are very powerful, not only mentally, but subconsciously and psychologically.  These words set a tone for you…a positive tone of absolute confidence and courage.  It does not allow for excuses like words such as “maybe”, “can’t”, “won’t” and “possibly”.  The words “yes and can” give you courage to move forward and concur as well as mentally prepare you to succeed.  That “yes, I will, yes, I can”  attitude to accomplish and do anything.  With that kind of attitude you can do anything and do it well.

My high school coach taught me just that.  At any time if any of us girls on the team said, “I can’t do that trick”, or “Maybe, I can”, she made us run extra laps, do extra sit ups, etc.  She wanted us to believe in ourselves and to succeed.  And in order for her to do that, she needed to instill that very mantra, “yes I can” into each and every one of us.  I used to say that mantra to myself every time I competed.  It must have helped because in my senior year I went to State.  I was in the top 3 in my event (uneven parallel bars).  Unfortunately,  I didn’t place in State, but I had the confidence that I would do well and do my best.  And I never gave up.

I will never forget my high school gymnastics coach.  She has instilled in me something that will live with me for the rest of my life.  Those words, “yes I can” still run through my mind during difficult times.  Repeating that mantra has helped me accomplish things that I probably would have given up on because it was “too hard or too difficult” to deal with.  She has made me what I am today by instilling those simple words, “yes and can”.

Powerful words, indeed.  President Elect Obama didn’t just choose those words because they sound good.  He had a purpose and intent by instilling that into our nation in hopes that we as Americans will move forward and concur.