The other day I was reading a very interesting article concerning a shark attack that occurred way back in 1916. It played off along the North East coast of the U.S. and concerned a great white shark, that had been had been terrorizing the New Jersey beaches.
Now everybody knows and accepts that a shark is a creature of the sea and needs salty water to survive. Therefore nobody thought that a shark may attack them in freshwater, but that is exactly what happened later that year.
This particular shark remained close to the shore and eventually swam up a river stream around Raritan Bay, attacking a couple of bathers upstream.
Shortly before the attacks occurred, a retired Sea captain, by the name of Thomas Cottrell saw this shark swimming upstream while crossing a bridge. He couldn’t believe his eyes, but nevertheless got into his boat and raised the alarm. Not surprisingly nobody believed him. “A shark in a river? C’mon, get real, It’s not possible.”
But you know what? As incredible as it seemed there was a shark in the river and all those who didn’t heed the warnings were in danger of being attacked.
Eventually this shark killed two people. The first victim was a teenager who may or may not have heard Cottrell’s warning. Shortly after this attack another man jumped in the water to look for the victim, even though he was told there is a shark in the water. He too was attacked and died from a severe loss of blood.
While reading this I couldn’t help thinking about September 11 and see the parallels between these two stories.
When asked by the U.S. Congress and the media, why “clues” which should have been picked up were disregarded, the heads of the FBI and CIA as well as members of the Bush administration replied, “We didn’t think they would use airplanes as missiles.”
Had the FBI and CIA believed that something like what happened on 9/11 was possible they might have put measures into place which would likely have prevented this from happening. But they didn’t, even though the hijackers left dozens of “clues.”
Similarly if the swimmers at the US East Coast had believed Captain Cottrell when he told them there was a shark in the river, chances are that nobody would have been killed by this shark on that day.
But because they believed it is “impossible” for a shark to be found in freshwater they disregarded the warning altogether, just as the US law enforcement agencies did, resulting in many paying with their lives.
On the other hand there are human beings who overcame extraordinary odds and accomplished great feats. Everyday we hear stories of people who were told by the so-called “experts” they didn’t have what it took, yet made it regardless.
The lesson here is that anything is possible, both the good and the bad. By believing or not believing in something doesn’t mean you will not be affected by whatever happens. But it means that based on what you believe, you may take some action which may save you from something terrible or may get you out of a terrible situation.
There are many of us who are in terrible situations, including poverty, unhappiness, debt, etc. Those of us who have changed their situation, did it because they believed they could make it.
Those who don’t obviously don’t believe that they can change their situation otherwise they would have done something about it, right?
How many opportunities have you missed just because you thought it wouldn’t work or wasn’t possible. Just think what you could do if you believed that you could do anything, even realise your dreams?
What great talent do you have which you have done nothing about, because you probably believed you can’t do it.
I hope to have shown you through this short article that anything is possible. And that by just believing, “I Can,” your battle is already half-won.