Success comes from self-control

The central idea of this poem is that success comes from self-control and a true sense of the values of things. In extremes lies danger. A man must not lose heart because of doubts or opposition, yet he must do his best to see the grounds for both. He must not be deceived into thinking either triumph or disaster final; he must use each wisely--and push on. In all things he must hold to the golden mean. If he does, he will own the world, and even better, for his personal reward he will attain the full stature of manhood.

  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 imposters 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!"

  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!

_Rudyard Kipling._

From "Rudyard Kipling's Verse, 1885-1918."


Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails