The Millionaire Journey: Do You Think You Can?

Steam engine locomotive train. Detailed vector Illustration

I am in the process of launching my new book, The Millionaire Journey, in the next couple of months.  As the subtitle indicates, it is “A Guide For Anyone to Reach Financial Freedom.”  Interwoven between the real world instructions in each chapter, is an allegory of a train journey from Normal to the Land of Financial Freedom, just beyond Millionaire Mountain.  The inspiration for the allegory came from a story most will know:

The Little Engine that Could

You remember the Children’s book by Watty Piper.  But do you know THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY?

 Watty Piper was not the originator of this tale.  It was actually published first in the New York Tribune on April 8, 1906.  It is attributed to a sermon delivered by the Rev. Charles S. Wing.  Here is that version in its entirety:

In a certain railroad yard there stood an extremely heavy train that had to be drawn up an unusually heavy grade before it could reach its destination. The superintendent of the yard was not sure what it was best for him to do, so he went up to a large, strong engine and asked :

“Can you pull that train over the hill?”

“It is a very heavy train,” responded the engine.

He then went to another great engine and asked:

“Can you pull that train over the hill?”

“It is a very heavy grade,” it replied.

The superintendent was much puzzled, but he turned to still another engine that was spick and span new, and he asked it:

“Can you pull that train over the hill?”

“I think I can,” responded the engine.

So the order was circulated, and the engine was started back so that it might be coupled with the train, and as it went along the rails it kept repeating to itself: “I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.”

The coupling was made and the engine began its journey, and all along the level, as it rolled toward the ascent, it kept repeating to itself: “I —think —I can. I —think —I— can. I —think— I —can.”

Then it reached the grade, but its voice could still be heard: “I think I can. I—– think—–I—–can. I —–think—– I—– can.”

Higher and higher it climbed, and its voice grew fainter and its words came slower:

“I ——-think ——–I——-can.”

It was almost to the top.

“I ———think”

It was at the top.

“I ———can.”

It passed over the top of the hill and began crawling down the opposite slope.

‘I ——think——- I—— can——I—– thought——I——-could I—– thought—– could. I thought I could. I thought I could. I thought I could.”

And singing its triumph, it rushed on down toward the valley.


What is so intriguing about this version is not the variation of the story, but the context.  You see, this sermon was given by Rev. Wing to his congregation after they had climbed their own mountain.  This Sermon was given in celebration af the Nordstrand Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church’s triumph.  They had finally paid off the mortgage on the church’s property.  They were debt free!

They thought they could, and they did! They reached Financial Freedom!

If you think you can, you will too!