Once In A Blue Moon


The English language is rich with proverbs and sayings that offer wisdom and guidance in various aspects of life. One such proverb, “He can who believes he can,” encapsulates a powerful message about the significance of self-belief and determination. In this article, we will delve into the meaning of this age-old adage, explore its possible origins, and provide examples of how it is used in everyday conversations.

The Meaning of “He Can Who Believes He Can”

The proverb “He can who believes he can” is a concise expression of the idea that one’s self-belief and confidence play a crucial role in achieving success and overcoming challenges. It highlights the notion that a positive mindset and unwavering faith in oneself can pave the way for achieving one’s goals and dreams. In essence, it emphasizes the power of self-confidence as a driving force behind personal accomplishment.

At its core, this proverb promotes the idea that individuals who possess a strong belief in their abilities are more likely to persevere in the face of adversity and setbacks. Their self-assuredness fuels their determination, enabling them to surmount obstacles that might otherwise deter them.

Possible Origin of the Proverb

The exact origin of the proverb “He can who believes he can” is somewhat elusive, as many proverbs have been passed down through generations and across cultures. However, the sentiment expressed by this saying can be traced back to ancient philosophical and literary traditions.

One possible origin can be linked to the works of Marcus Aurelius, the Roman Emperor and Stoic philosopher, who emphasized the importance of self-control, rationality, and self-belief. In his “Meditations,” he writes, “Our life is what our thoughts make it,” which aligns closely with the concept embodied in the proverb.

Another potential source of inspiration for this proverb is found in classical literature, particularly in the works of authors like Virgil and Homer, who often explored themes of heroism and determination in the face of adversity.

Using the Proverb in Conversations

The proverb “He can who believes he can” can be incorporated into various conversations and situations to convey its timeless message. Here are some examples:

  1. Motivational Pep Talk: Person A: “I’m not sure if I can finish this project on time; it’s so challenging.” Person B: “Remember, he can who believes he can. Believe in yourself, stay focused, and you’ll succeed.”
  2. Encouraging a Friend: Friend A: “I’m nervous about the upcoming job interview.” Friend B: “You’ve got the skills and experience. Just remember, he can who believes he can. You’ve got this!”
  3. Setting Personal Goals: Individual A: “I want to run a marathon, but it seems impossible.” Individual B: “Believe in yourself and stay dedicated. He can who believes he can. You can achieve that goal.”


The proverb “He can who believes he can” is a timeless reminder of the power of self-belief and determination. It encourages individuals to have faith in their abilities, to persevere in the face of challenges, and to reach for their dreams with confidence. While its precise origin may be elusive, its wisdom continues to inspire and motivate people across generations. So, the next time you doubt yourself or face a daunting task, remember this age-old adage and let it propel you towards success.

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