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Inspiration: If You Can…

06/05/2011
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“A brave heart and a courteous tongue. They shall carry thee far through the jungle, manling.” Rudyard Kipling

Inspiration: If You Can... Enjoy a Ferris Wheel ride on the London Eye

Recently, I was reminded of how powerfully beautiful poetry can inspire us to honor our dreams and live our best life. When the Ferris wheel we call life moves quickly, spinning us in many directions, through the ups and downs that are our collective lot, it is not a bad idea to seek the wisdom and beauty of poetry. Even if we cannot predict what tomorrow holds, let alone what next week will bring to our doorsteps, we can, at least, work at trusting ourselves to make choices that will uplift us. Are there goals we have that remain on the burner waiting to be pursued? Do we want our lives to be as colorful and bright as a perfect summer day?

If we had to choose, what will we take and what will we discard? Rudyard Kipling’s famous poem “IF…” speaks to those indecisive places in our hearts and reminds us that we are masters/mistresses of our destiny… if we can believe it. It is no wonder that portions of this poem appear over the players entrance at Wimbledon’s Center Court. If we can keep, trust, wait, think, bear…. and on and on, we can achieve harmony, self knowledge, and perhaps, peace of mind. I have split the four part poem in two; one half here and the second half below. Read it and digest the message and then pass it on to others to enjoy. It has helped me in troubling times and I hope it speaks to your heart as it did to mine. Thank you! If you can shift gears, what stands in the way of your goals?

If ~ by Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master,
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

“All the people like us are We, and everyone else is They.”  Rudyard Kipling

Inspiration: If You Can... Dream of positive, inspiring adventures

A group of female friends and mentees shared this poem yesterday. It was a way to bring closure to some difficult conversations about fear, work, and accomplishing dreams and goals in a changing world. As we all age and come to terms with the possibility that Midas or prince charming is not around the corner, that retirement alone is a probability and that a concerted effort must be made to work hard, save and still take care of self, it is imperative to feed body and mind with a positive, uplifting, motivational diet… Why? Because, in the long run, we become what we think; what we believe. So, if we can go the extra distance to do, to be, we are one step ahead of the stuff that can derail our dreams.  Don’t give up… If you can. What are your thoughts? What holds you back?

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a (Wo)Man, my (daughter) son!             Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

What we know for sure is that the sun will rise and set, day and night will persist, sadness and joy will stand nearby and we, in choosing where to look, can embrace things that uplift or undermine us. If we can choose things that will shift our mood and cheer us up, that will make a difference.
What are your thoughts? How are you managing your life? What else will you do if you can? Do share. Thank You! 🙂

Positive Motivation Tip: If we can make positive decisions that help us grow, we must act even if afraid…

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: Photo of London Eye  and Women reflecting at sea, via Wikipedia, Poem via PoetryFoundation

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

21 Comments leave one →
  1. 07/05/2011 1:43 am

    What are your thoughts? How are you managing your life? What else will you do if you can? Do share. Thank You!

    Positive Motivation Tip: If we can make positive decisions that help us grow, we must act even if afraid- This came at the exact moment I needed it to.
    I feel that real love watches out for the interests of others. Love wants what is best for others as it blesses us in return. The Poem keeps me balanced, makes me think and now I am clear about things that I need to change for the better in my life. TY Happy Mother’s Day!!

    • 07/05/2011 2:49 am

      You are welcome Jackie… It resonated with me too when it was shared yesterday. I felt it would be helpful to others and, if anything, a wonderful message of inspiration and hope for those who have all their answers in a neat box. I hadn’t read it in ages so it was good to reconnect…
      Have a wonderful and Happy Mother’s Day! 🙂
      Eliz

  2. 07/05/2011 3:31 am

    Hi Elizabeth
    The intimacy of the poem resonates which every fiber of my being. I especially like what your wrote….”As we all age and come to terms with the possibility that Midas or prince charming is not around the corner, that retirement alone is a probability and that a concerted effort must be made to work hard, save and still take care of self, it is imperative to feed body and mind with a positive, uplifting, motivational diet…”
    If we believe in ourselves, in our dreams, while standing centered in “our realities” all “ifs” can become true possibilities.

  3. 07/05/2011 3:38 am

    I love this poem. It was voted Britain’s favourite poem some years back, and no wonder.

  4. 07/05/2011 4:05 am

    Wow, I don’t usually care much for poetry but this one is great 🙂

  5. 07/05/2011 4:52 am

    What we know for sure is that the sun will rise and set, day and night will persist, sadness and joy will stand nearby and we, in choosing where to look, can embrace things that uplift or undermine us…
    +
    and what can help us? music, photography, articles, friends …

  6. 07/05/2011 9:21 am

    As a teenager I had this poem framed and hanging on my wall as an inspiration for how to start living life as a whole, grown person.

    Thank you for posting – it is a great reminder of some qualities that sometimes get lost in the chaos of life.

  7. Bree permalink
    07/05/2011 10:33 am

    I remember reading this poem a lot in school and even memorizing parts of it.
    It is a great choice to help remind us that we have options and can take the high road.
    If we can set aside our judgements, we can find common ground.
    B 😉

  8. 07/05/2011 10:49 am

    How nice to sit back and take a deep breath, reminded of this one! Thank you! And your paragraph pause is so poignant too, and so timely for many of us, I imagine 🙂

  9. 07/05/2011 10:52 am

    My eighth grade English teacher made us all memorize “If” – and to this day I am glad he did. There is a lot of wisdom condensed in those stanzas, and I still aspire to meet that challenge.

    Thank you for the reminder.

    Blessings,
    Orea
    http://orea-highervoice.blogspot.com/

  10. 07/05/2011 12:59 pm

    Too many focus on the “what ifs” and do nothing and lose the motivation of “if”. May be a small distinction in the semantics of the two but big difference in the outcome.

  11. 07/05/2011 5:59 pm

    My favorite poem when Im “stuck” is Desiderata ~ Go placidly amid the noise and haste . . . Strive to be Happy.

    Like Kipling’s IF, it’s an all encompassing reminder that life isn’t always neatly tied up with bows but we should still keep a sharp lookout for the beauty that surrounds us.

    Thanks, Eliz.

  12. 07/05/2011 6:21 pm

    ღ˚ •。* ♥ ˚ ˚✰˚ ˛★* 。 ღ˛° 。* °♥ ˚ • ★ *˚ .ღ 。*˛˚ღ •˚ ˚…just sprinkling a little Love on your Blog on Mother’s Day ENJOY IT ˚ ✰* ★
    ˚. ★ *˛ ˚♥* ✰。˚ ˚ღ。* ˛˚ ♥ 。✰˚* ˚ ★ღ ˚ 。✰ •* ˚ ♥”

  13. 07/05/2011 6:21 pm

    I’ve re-blogged Eliz. Just spoke to me in several ways, this did.

    • 07/05/2011 10:51 pm

      Oh thank you so much Robyn, I will be round soon to leave a comment and thank you. It spoke to me too and in a deeper way than every before… Enjoy your weekend and Happy Mother’s Day! 🙂

  14. 07/05/2011 7:58 pm

    If we can choose things that will shift our mood and cheer us up, that will make a difference. These words reflect upon my life at this moment. Our thoughts and our focus determines our outcome in life. Great post !!

  15. 07/05/2011 11:42 pm

    “If” is one of my all-time favorite poems. Thanks for your reflections. Also loved the photo of the ferris wheel! Lovely all around post!
    Cecelia

  16. 08/05/2011 5:56 am

    My favourite poem.

    My dad recited it almost daily, and it has got me through some tight spots.

  17. 18/05/2011 12:50 am

    If is my favorite poem of all time. I learned it in high school, memorized it, and I think I still remember every line, even without a cheat sheet. I love what it means! I think if we follow every instruction in every line of that poem, we’ll survive life and win at it with flying colors.

    My favorite lines are “If you can make a heap of all your winnings, and risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, and lose, and start again at your beginnings, and never breathe a word about your loss,” because that, I think, is one of the hardest things to do.

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  1. Inspiration: If You Can… (via Mirth and Motivation) | Love versus Goliath
  2. Reflections: On Dreams & Destiny… | Mirth and Motivation

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