Inspiration: IF — By Rudyard Kipling
“If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you…” Rudyard Kipling
IF — By Rudyard Kipling Source: A Choice of Kipling’s Verse (1943) via Poetry Foundation.org
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
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!
“If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch… Rudyard Kipling”
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!
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.