After posting that poem by William Ernest Henley yesterday, I thought maybe I should post the other poem I often use for inspiration. I am not quite sure who wrote this one to be honest, I first heard it from my Grandfather (who has it memorised), who believes it was written by Rudyard Kipling, but I have also seen it attributed to Napoleon Hill and Walter B Wintle, so I really have no idea who to credit. This particular poem has more to do with self belief and overcoming adversity within one’s own head rather than an external source (somewhat apt I guess), but it works in almost any situation. Early this year when I was climbing Sigiriya (the ruins of a palace perched on the top of “magma plug” in the middle of Sri Lanka) only a few days after tearing several tendons in my ankle, I repeated the last two lines to myself the entire way up. I fully credit that technique with giving me the strength to make it.
So anyway, here it is in all its majesty:
If you think you are beaten, you are,
If you think you dare not, you don’t.
If you like to win, but you think you can’t,
It is almost certain you won’t.
If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost,
For out in the world we find,
Success begins with a fellow’s will.
It’s all in the state of mind.
If you think you are outclassed, you are,
You’ve got to think high to rise,
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.
Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man.
But soon or late the man who wins,
Is the man who thinks he can.
– I am not sure.