Don’t let negative self-talk keep you from where you want to be

Chance Wellnitz

A week ago, Sam Cooke’s “(What A) Wonderful World” came on while I was in a coffee shop, and Cooke’s courting strategy in the song took me off guard.

In two short minutes, he tells the object of his affection he doesn’t know much about history, biology, “a science book,” French, geometry, trigonometry or algebra.

He also doesn’t know what a slide rule is for, but here’s the thing: He knows that “one and one is two” and he loves you.

If you’re taking notes on ways to woo a potential mate, there’s one important thing Cooke leaves unspoken: “Oh, and I’m Sam f—ing Cooke.” And there’s only one Sam f—ing Cooke.

I know it’s a bitter pill to swallow, but the sooner we come to terms with this harsh reality, the better — that means you, too, Leon Bridges.

Keeping things in perspective protects us when life doesn’t match our outsized dreams. However, consistently knocking ourselves down to protect us from what seems like an inevitable disappointment keeps us from reaching our fullest potentials.

I’m not saying that Cooke should’ve preceded his declaration of love by stating he’s handsome, great with women and one of the greatest artists of all time. After all, if he reached that level of lyrical braggadocio over 50 years ago, what would today’s artists sing about?

But even if Sam Cooke didn’t know much about any of the subjects he listed in “(What A) Wonderful World,” he still had much to offer. And even though none of us are Sam f—ing Cooke, we each have more to offer than we give ourselves credit for.