Thinking – A Poem by Walter D. Wintle

Thinking - A Poem by Walter D. Wintle
This entry is part [part not set] of 15 in the series Poetry and Management

Thinking is a very well known poem which appeared in 1905 in a collection by Unity Tract Society. Remarkably little is known about its author, Walter D. Wintle, except that he lived in the late 19th, early 20th century, which call some tho think this to be a pseudonym of sort.

This is the 12th contribution to my Poetry & Management collectionPoetry has always been one of my favourite forms of expressions, probably one of the eclectic sides of my multipotentialite trait. I feel it can be really useful as support in our management and leadership quests, as it is probably one of the greatest tools of sense-making and self-expression. Which is why I will be sharing more of these over time.


If you think you are beaten, you are
If you think you dare not, you don’t,
If you like to win, but you think you can’t
It is almost certain you won’t.

If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost
For out of the world we find,
Success begins with a fellow’s will
It’s all in the state of mind.

If you think you are outclassed, you are
You’ve got to think high to rise,
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.

Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man,
But soon or late the man who wins

Walter D. Wintle

Source: The Strive

A Short Comment

This poem is known for the last verse, and often found in motivational quotes and videos. It looks at the spirit of human being facing adversity. The main theme is that negativity and adversities are heavily influenced by our own state of mind. Elements like visualisation are present from the first verses, when the author writes If you like to win, but you think you can’t /I t is almost certain you won’t.

The poem is a great reminder on the power of mindset and positive attitude in life, in facing the struggles that each individual’s life will bring up. It’s not just for the strongest or faster to win these battles, but for the one person that thinks he can.

I find this poem powerful, despite the achievement rhetoric it is often aligned to, it shows to great avail the need for positive thinking and seeking meaningfulness in your own action.

What do you think of this poem? Write a Comment below.

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Cover Photo: Thinking by Aldrin Muya on Flickr

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