The song was released under the title "You've Got What It Takes" by ‘The Lana Sisters’ (featuring a young Dusty Springfield) as a B side in 1960. A 1967 cover of the song by ‘The Dave Clark Five’ reached Number 7 in the United States and Number 28 in the UK. A rock and roll cover by
‘Showaddywaddy’ reached Number 2 in the UK in 1977. On their 1967 album, ‘United, duet performers Marvin Gaye and Tammy Terrell recorded an up-tempo soul version and included a ‘false ending’.
I attend hospital early this morning to check that my heart and other health factors are up to me being fit enough to have a big skin cancer operation at Leeds Infirmary on the 15th March. Let's hope 'I have what it takes ’to come through okay?
I have always remained slightly suspicious of anyone I chance to come across that appears too sure of themselves. There is a marked distinction between ‘cockiness’ and ‘confidence’. There are many people who are afraid that if they embrace their ‘confidence’ that they will come off as appearing ‘cocky’. That's just not true! ‘Confidence’ is born in the bathing of one’s personality with the water of ‘self-belief’. Confidence, therefore, comes from believing in yourself and having the skills to back it, whereas ‘Cockiness’ on the other hand is bragging or showing off without having the skills or know how to back it up, or as my mother used to say, ‘They’re all show and no trousers’.
In the mill where I worked in Cleckheaton at the age of 15 years, there were twin brothers who worked together emptying and filling up the trolleys with empty bobbins all day long, to keep the spinning machines and looms constantly operational from clocking on to home time. Twins they were undoubtedly by their identical looks but not by one single trait of character could you have found a likeness. One was called Adam, and he always displayed his action with a confidence his brother Charlie sadly lacked. Adam displayed a kind of sureness that is not uncommon in the oldest child of every family. Charlie, on the other hand, was effective enough in his daily tasks but he was always bragging about the things he could do or had done that brother Adam couldn’t or hadn’t.
Months after first knowing the mill twins, I learned that Charlie had been born four minutes after his brother Adam had popped his head into the world. Seemingly, he always felt that he had to prove himself and his worth over that of his brother. His overall attitude, should ever anyone make an unsolicited comparison to his brother Adam (the most popular one of the twins on the mill floor), was, “Just because he came first doesn’t mean he is better than me or knows more than I do!”
Whenever the morning and afternoon tea break of five minutes came around daily, all the women spinners and the boys on the mill floor would engage in banter. Someone might say where they’d been the night before, what they did and who they saw, and without fail, Charlie would always pipe up and try to better impress the group. Whatever the destination initially mentioned, Charlie would always tell the group he’d also been there and done that with anyone that was worth being seen with! We all quickly marked Charlie down as being an untruthful boaster. Yet, whenever his brother Adam made a verbal contribution to the group discussion,Charlie would slip his motor mouth into top gear in order to appear the superior brother. One could easily surmise that Adam ‘had what it takes’ whereas Charlie still had a long way to go and much more to learn.
We prevent our ‘confidence’ from ever falling into the pit of ‘cockiness’ by first remembering the advice of Thomas Jefferson when he said, “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” Whereas Adam just was himself and did his best to get along with other workmates, his twin brother, Charlie, constantly tried to ‘outdo’ everyone else.
While trying not to sound too much as Charlie might, when I was studying on a one-year course in ‘Advanced Behavioural Methods’ at Manchester University during the 1980s, we were very lucky to be taught predominantly by one of the country’s finest Clinical Psychologists. Indeed, his title was Mr……'Top Clinical Psychologist.’ The most important thing that our lecturer taught me was that there was so much I had previously taken for granted as being factual/true (although he would never use the term ’true’) that could never be proven or substantiated. He also said that we should never assume anything to be something specific, just because our eyes, our ears or our hearts tell us it is so. As for the verbal claims of others, accept them and take them on board in good faith without any judgement of the person uttering them; but do not mentally bury these details into your storehouse of knowledge and call them 'fact' until they have been verified by cold hard evidence.”
Despite his ‘calculating’ approach to the assessment of life and the living of it, there always remained a large part of me that is prepared to place my faith in the person before me, rather than of making an assessment of his/her behaviour displayed, although the logical part of me will never let me forget they are both inexplicably intertwined. In short; imagine genuinely trying to make friends with a stranger or determined not to make friends with them, through the guidance alone of one’s instinct?
Do you think that 'you’ve got what it takes'? A few things that helped me in the past was knowing that between every stimulus and response there lies a space, and in that space lies our power whereby we choose our response. This concept I believe to be true with every breath of my body, and I know that within our response lies our growth and our freedom as individuals. As a committed ‘Behavourist’ for the past 45 years, I know that response patterns of behaviour are strengthened by repetition of action and therefore I believe that we are what we repeatedly do. Consequently, confidence is but a habit, if you so choose.
I’ve never been one for telling secrets out of school, but I’ll let you into the briefest of chats that Sheila and I had during our first weeks of romance. Sheila once asked,” Are you sure that I’m the right one for you, this time, Bill?”. She was no doubt thinking of the many others before her. I mischievously replied tongue-in-cheek,” I’m positive this time, Sheila! You’ve got what it takes to get me, but bear in mind, sweetheart, it will take all you’ve got to keep me!”
Love and peace. Bill xxx