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The Importance of Perseverance in ‘The Little Engine That Could’

When it comes to children’s books, ‘The Little Engine That Could’ is a classic. It’s a story that teaches kids about the importance of perseverance, determination, and having a positive attitude. But the lessons from this book go far beyond childhood. Adults can also learn from the message of this timeless tale.

The Importance of Perseverance in ‘The Little Engine That Could’

In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of perseverance and how ‘The Little Engine That Could’ can inspire us in our daily lives. We’ll explore the benefits of adopting a growth mindset, the power of positive self-talk, and the role of hard work in achieving our goals. By the end of this article, you’ll understand why perseverance is crucial for success and how you can apply its principles to your own life.

The Power of a Growth Mindset

Before we dive into the importance of perseverance, it’s important to understand the concept of a growth mindset. In her book, ‘Mindset: The New Psychology of Success,’ Carol Dweck defines a growth mindset as the belief that abilities and intelligence can be developed through hard work, dedication, and perseverance.

Having a growth mindset means embracing challenges and seeing failures as opportunities for growth. It’s the opposite of a fixed mindset, which assumes that intelligence and talent are static qualities that cannot be changed.

In ‘The Little Engine That Could,’ the protagonist encounters several obstacles on its journey to deliver toys to the children on the other side of the mountain. Despite the challenges, the little engine keeps repeating the mantra, “I think I can, I think I can.” This positive self-talk reflects a growth mindset and allows the engine to overcome its doubts and fears.

The Importance of Positive Self-Talk

Positive self-talk is a crucial aspect of perseverance. When we believe in ourselves and our abilities, we’re more likely to push through obstacles and keep working towards our goals. However, negative self-talk can be a major barrier to success.

In ‘The Little Engine That Could,’ the little engine’s positive self-talk helps it overcome its doubts and fears. By repeating the phrase, “I think I can,” the engine reinforces its belief in its abilities and stays motivated to keep going.

We can apply this same principle to our own lives by adopting a positive inner dialogue. Instead of focusing on our weaknesses and limitations, we can choose to focus on our strengths and potential. By reminding ourselves of our capabilities and repeating positive affirmations, we can build the confidence and resilience necessary to persevere through even the toughest challenges.

The Role of Hard Work in Achieving Goals

Perseverance is not just about having a positive attitude and believing in yourself. It also requires hard work and dedication. In ‘The Little Engine That Could,’ the little engine doesn’t just rely on positive self-talk to get over the mountain. It also puts in the effort and hard work necessary to reach its destination.

Similarly, in our own lives, we must be willing to put in the time and effort necessary to achieve our goals. Perseverance is not a passive quality; it requires action and commitment. By setting realistic goals, breaking them down into smaller steps, and consistently working towards them, we can build the momentum necessary to achieve success.


In conclusion, ‘The Little Engine That Could’ teaches us the importance of perseverance, determination, and having a positive attitude. By adopting a growth mindset, practicing positive self-talk, and putting in the hard work necessary to achieve our goals, we can overcome obstacles and achieve success.

While this classic children’s book may seem simple on the surface, its message is timeless and relevant for people of all ages. By embracing the lessons of ‘The Little Engine That Could,’ we can cultivate the qualities necessary to persevere through even the toughest challenges and achieve our dreams.