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Inspiration: IF — By Rudyard Kipling

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“If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you…” Rudyard Kipling

Inspiration: IF — By Rudyard Kipling

Inspiration: IF — By Rudyard Kipling – Collage of Books


Inspiration: IF — By Rudyard Kipling – Collage of Books

Inspiration: IF — By Rudyard Kipling – Collage of Books


IF — By Rudyard Kipling  Source: A Choice of Kipling’s Verse (1943) via Poetry
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:

Rudyard Kipling was born in Mumbai, India, of British parentage. His father was the head of a school and he grew up to become one of Britain’s beloved children’s book authors and poet. “IF —“ was a very popular poem that I read at school and always loved. For some reason, it popped up in my head today as I looked at the assignment for the Daily Post on staying Forever Young.  While staying young in spirit is feasible and recommended, staying young in the physical sense is not. If we could have one thing over the other, what would it matter? How would it change our lives? What would we do differently? Read the wisdom of this poem and let me know what you think.


“If you can dream—and not make dreams your master; If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim…” Rudyard Kipling

Inspiration: IF — By Rudyard Kipling

Inspiration: IF — By Rudyard Kipling – Collage of Books

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:

If you can make one 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;
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!’

How do you handle life’s trials and tribulations? We all experience sadness and joy and the secret to a fulfilling life is to treat, as Kipling suggests, “Triumph and Disaster… those two impostors just the same.” If we could look around us and find some semblance of good in all that we do and see, we will be less troubled by the vagaries of life and even by the aging process. The Fountain of Youth is a fantasy, and we can enjoy that fantasy while staying firmly grounded in the real world of aches, pains and joys. If we can pick up the pieces and keep moving forward, we have achieved something of deep value. Hold On!

More Below!

“If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch… Rudyard Kipling”

Inspiration: IF — By Rudyard Kipling

Inspiration: IF — By Rudyard Kipling – Collage of Books

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 Man, my son!

If we could find equanimity in our lives despite the troubles that meet all of us at some point in life, we would be truly on the road to contentment. Make peace with the things that make you feel bad and rise above the noise… You are on your way to personal victory. Have a great week ahead!

This post was inspired by a prompt from WP Daily Post: Daily Prompt: Forever Young. If there were a real Fountain of Youth, would you drink the water?

Positive Motivation Tip:  If we would just stop and appreciate what we are experiencing in the here and now, we won’t need it… Gratitude keeps us youthful.

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos, Book Covers CategoryIf by Rudyard Kipling, JungleBook, Kim, via Wikipedia,  or via my personal collection

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


76 Comments leave one →
  1. Valerie Gray (@valmg) permalink
    30/08/2015 1:16 pm

    My oldest son enjoys some poetry. I’m not sure if he’s familiar with Kipling, I will have to ask.

  2. Dawn McAlexander permalink
    30/08/2015 1:47 pm

    I like the pics chosen for this topic. They are very peaceful and indie-ish.

  3. 30/08/2015 2:16 pm

    I had to memorize this poem when I was in sixth grade, and it has always stuck with me. So much so, in fact, that when I retired from the US diplomatic service in 2012, it was the main theme of my retirement speech.

    • 06/09/2015 7:57 am

      Thank you Charles! Your comment reminded me that it was a popular one too in my school years and we learned it at every level. Congratulations on your retirement! <3 I do hope you still travel.

  4. 30/08/2015 3:57 pm

    I love this poem. I actually wrote it in my journal last week, Eliz. 🙂

  5. Michele permalink
    30/08/2015 3:58 pm

    You don’t hear much about Rudyard Kipling anymore and mores the pity. He really was a great writer and the poem “IF” should be plastered all over the world in very public places in my opinion!!

  6. toughlove100 permalink
    30/08/2015 5:02 pm

    I love the positive motivation tip….l so have to do that.

  7. Felissa Elfenbein (@Felissahadas) permalink
    30/08/2015 5:32 pm

    Thank you for sharing such an iconic author! I really don’t know all that much about his work maybe someday when I have time I will check out more of his work.

  8. palatablepastime permalink
    30/08/2015 6:15 pm

    I do like the work of Kipling! And I also think it wise to let the water flow beneath the bridge, lest it wash the bridge away.

  9. littlemisscant permalink
    30/08/2015 6:23 pm

    What a great message.. it’s so so important to be appreciative of where we are in that moment. Love the beautiful photos…the swirl picture in the last section is quite calming.

  10. Esme Sy permalink
    30/08/2015 7:54 pm

    Making peace with the things that make you feel bad is not always easy, but once you have you can’t believe how much lighter you would feel. I love this post!

  11. shoma abhyankar permalink
    30/08/2015 8:51 pm

    Life is so full of ‘IFs’…. Wonderful post

  12. Debbie Denny permalink
    30/08/2015 8:59 pm

    I handle both the best I can. Always have a positive outlook.

  13. Claudette Esterine permalink
    30/08/2015 9:00 pm

    Yes, it was a great weekend and hope you had one as well – despite and if’s, buts or maybes that might have tried to disturb your equilibrium?

  14. sharon phillips permalink
    30/08/2015 9:12 pm

    I love poetry. It just seems to soothe my soul. These sound very good.

  15. Eileen Mendoza Loya permalink
    30/08/2015 9:19 pm

    Life is not a bed of roses, so why dwell on counting the thorns when we can smell the flowers instead? This is a great wake up call for us to focus on the present, to do good now, and reap the benefits later.

  16. Michelle Hwee permalink
    30/08/2015 10:22 pm

    Absolutely beautiful, as always. I feel like we have inspirational all around us but only if we open our eyes to that and the horizons. Very inspirational with the point you mentioned about making peace.

  17. 30/08/2015 11:08 pm


  18. Rebecca Swenor permalink
    30/08/2015 11:08 pm

    This is a very interest post indeed but I think I know what he is talking about. It is a positive way of looking at the aging process by looking at it with acceptance and growing within ourselves knowing all that we have achieved. I don’t know if what I said makes any sense but to me it does. Thanks for sharing these interesting thoughts..

    • 06/09/2015 7:43 am

      Rebecca, we come to this poem from different angles and yours is just as sound as any other. Thank you for taking a moment to read and reflect on it.

  19. 31/08/2015 3:43 am

    I’ve always loved that poem, and to be a man as he defines it in this verse is the ultimate achievement in my book. Very hard to achieve but a goal well worth pursuing. 🙂

    • 06/09/2015 7:40 am

      Indeed it is worth remembering and achieving… All from a classic that we had to learn and even memorize in school. 🙂

  20. Rosey permalink
    31/08/2015 6:47 am

    How I handle trials is being defined. I’m great most days, but there are moments… 😉

  21. bismah2010 permalink
    31/08/2015 6:49 am

    So very true! Lies are just one of those things that irritate me so much. It is better to be honest and take the consequences than to have people around you not knowing whether or not you are telling a lie.

    • 06/09/2015 7:39 am

      Exactly… I’ve never understood why businesses and/or individuals feel the need to lie just to get something from you. The truth might not be pretty but it sets the stage for transparency.

  22. Scott permalink
    31/08/2015 7:36 am

    It’s like the old saying of “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush”. Sometimes you just need to be happy with what you already have.

  23. 31/08/2015 8:16 am

    Reblogged this on Memphis Service Ministries and commented:
    Here is some Monday motivation and inspiration from an excellent site.

  24. victoria permalink
    31/08/2015 8:27 am

    I really love this motivating article, it makes me feel inspired

  25. Stephanie Pass permalink
    31/08/2015 9:30 am

    I’ve never really read Kiplings’ poems before. But I love the idea of treating Triumph and Disaster as the same.

  26. 31/08/2015 9:45 am

    As much as I think I would want to drink from the Foutain of Youth, I don’t think I could. Seeing too many of my loved ones die around me would be horrible to go through.

  27. Chelley permalink
    31/08/2015 6:13 pm

    I am here now: If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim… dreaming and thinking, but hoping to not become enslaved to thoughts of what could be and focusing on the now.

  28. Mindi permalink
    31/08/2015 7:40 pm

    So many people think of Rudyard Kipling as just a children’s author, but these quotes prove he was so much more!

  29. Clara permalink
    01/09/2015 4:57 am

    I have to remind myself often to live in the moment and not borrow trouble–very inspiring poem!

  30. Chubskulit Rose permalink
    01/09/2015 6:14 am

    When I feel so down and troubled, I ask for strength from God, I pray, I fo for a walk and contemplate on things. It works great for me that way.

  31. Nova permalink
    01/09/2015 6:29 am

    I have never heard about him, and it’s nice of you to share things about this particular person. Thank you

  32. Manu Kalia permalink
    01/09/2015 6:47 am

    Amazing, the Rudyard Kipling artworks are very unique and beautiful. I love the quotes too.

  33. Kristen from The Road to Domestication permalink
    01/09/2015 6:51 am

    I remember this piece from a poetry class in college! It’s just as beautiful now as it was then!

  34. Briana permalink
    01/09/2015 7:53 am

    This is so true. I need to remember to keep my own head when everyone else is losing theirs!

  35. JessicaACassidy permalink
    01/09/2015 9:29 am

    These are beautiful quotes and unique photos.

  36. toughcookiemommy permalink
    01/09/2015 1:58 pm

    It’s always nice to get more information about famous people. Thank you for enlightening us with this knowledge.

  37. Masshole Mommy permalink
    01/09/2015 2:59 pm

    I draw inspiration from some of the weirdest places sometimes. I’ll take it, though.

  38. Travel Quest permalink
    01/09/2015 4:00 pm

    Life is tough enough to stress out ourselves. Everyday I always remind my step to stop and breath in and out when I feel like giving up.

  39. Mireille Roc permalink
    01/09/2015 4:42 pm

    Kim was one of my all time favorite books

  40. Shann Eva permalink
    01/09/2015 8:54 pm

    I like the quote that gratitude keeps us youthful. Very true.

  41. upliftingfam permalink
    01/09/2015 10:22 pm

    I wish that I could find that Fountain of Youth. I want my body to be young again. I didn’t have the health problems as serious when I was younger. Now I just would love a cure for fibromyalgia and get my back surgery.

  42. Maria Teresa Figuerres permalink
    02/09/2015 1:10 am

    I love this poem, too! It’s very hard to be everything that the poet mentioned in his “If” poem, but if we manage to be half as good as the person he’s describing here, then we’ll be happy and content.

  43. Acadiana'sThriftyMom permalink
    02/09/2015 2:30 am

    This is beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing 🙂

  44. Patricia Figurski permalink
    02/09/2015 5:25 am

    Love his poetry! Thank you for bringing him up… I don’t remember the last time I’ve read a poem 🙂

  45. tina permalink
    02/09/2015 5:50 am

    I use self- positive motivation and I also succeed at “Let It Go”!! Your blog is very timely for me, and I thank you for that.

  46. Jeanine permalink
    02/09/2015 6:09 am

    How do I handle trials and tribulations? Not very well most days, but I truck along. I tend to not harp on the bad, but focus on the good…. Helps.

  47. firststepstogreatstrides permalink
    02/09/2015 6:12 am

    Gratitude- yes! It does keep us youthful. Happiness always looks best on a face 🙂

  48. msposh2013 permalink
    02/09/2015 6:55 am

    I like that you have used Rudyard Kipling as your inspiration in this post.

  49. Liz Mays permalink
    02/09/2015 6:57 am

    Making peace with where you’re at in life isn’t always easy to do, but it can be very freeing when you get there.

  50. Urvi permalink
    02/09/2015 7:18 am

    I am really fan of your pictures… I love the poem if you can dream…… It’s one of my motivation source

  51. leybainpublic permalink
    02/09/2015 7:48 am

    A truly great read for me. This really made me think about a lot of IFs happened in my life.

  52. Shannon P permalink
    02/09/2015 5:19 pm

    When life gets rough or I experience trials and tribulations, I try to take lots of deep breaths and refocus until I don’t let my emotions take the best of me to make a decision!

  53. Italia Caruso permalink
    02/09/2015 10:05 pm

    Interesting article.

  54. MrsTee permalink
    03/09/2015 5:35 am

    Absolutely amazing pieces of art work. The time and passion that the artists of history put into their work is absolutely breathtaking.

  55. Lisa Rios permalink
    03/09/2015 6:45 am

    This is such an inspiring post from you as usual with some unique pictures. I agree we should just go ahead & make peace with things that makes us feel bad and rise all over it.

  56. Yona Williams permalink
    03/09/2015 7:11 am

    I like the colorfulness of the Rudyard Kipling book collage. I also really like the excerpt from ‘If’ – especially the first passage shown here.

  57. maggiesblog2 permalink
    03/09/2015 8:50 pm

    If’s are something I try not to dwell on. If I did this, if I did that. I don’t want any regrets or looking back rethinking my actions.

  58. Camesha | Mama Motivator permalink
    05/09/2015 10:27 pm

    Trying everyday not to think about the “if’s”. I’m also trying not to create any “if’s”. The goal is to give this life everything I have.

    Great poem!

  59. rocky permalink
    06/09/2015 10:55 pm

    Your post always brightens up my day, very inspiring and thank you for sharing!

  60. momglenz permalink
    06/09/2015 10:56 pm

    Your post always brightens up my day! thank you for sharing.

  61. Lyosha Varezhkina (@lyoshathegirl) permalink
    29/10/2018 8:25 am

    Beautiful illustrations! I do enjoy old poetry but images like that inspire me even more

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