Phillip II of Spain put in charge of the invincible Armada the Duke of Medina Sidonia a man who had not faith in himself, no faith in his ability and no faith in his men. And if you think this description is harsh – here is the letter the Duke wrote to the King, upon being notified of his appointment to the command:
“My health is bad and from my small experience of the water, I know that I am always seasick…The expedition is on such a scale and the object is of such high importance that the person at the head of it ought to understand navigation and sea fighting, and I know nothing of either…The Adelantado of Castile would do better than I. The Lord would help him, he is a good Christian and has fought in naval battles. If you send me, depend upon it, I shall have a bad account to render of my trust.”
Many reading this would say that he was just telling the truth – that he knew himself. Yet he had everything available to him to succeed. The Spanish Armada comprised 140 ships – the greatest ever built. England had 30 small ships of war. The English had very little gun powder aboard while the Spanish were outfitted with everything ships-of-war could ask for.
The difference lay in the faith and expectation of each leader.
The Duke of Medina Sidonia expected failure and disastrous failure met him at every turn.
Sir Francis Drake and Lord Charles Howard of England went out expecting victory and victory met them at every turn.
We are similar. Instead of looking for reasons why we can – we sometimes search to find those why we can’t.
Remember the “truth” in this case is whatever we say and whatever we choose to believe. Faith in what is being said makes the difference.