If you follow this website, you know that I am absolutely obsessed with self-improvement, learning, and all things related to mindset and attitude.
Last month I turned 25, and one of my best friends sent me a truly outstanding poem by Rudyard Kipling, “If”.
You probably heard of it before, but I hadn’t. And I loved every single line of it. I couldn’t believe this was the first time I read this.
I thought it was worth sharing so I started writing a story for the website based on the poem, but something interrupted me:
For context, when I turned 18 my parents put the time and effort to write me a beautiful letter to guide me in this pivotal moment. When they gave it to me, let’s just say that I was not in a state of mind to pay it the attention it deserved.
However, yesterday, while moving some things around, I stumbled upon this same letter, which had sat there ignored for 7 years. After giving it an attentive reading, I innocently flipped it around to see if there was anything else on the back.
“If” by Rudyard Kipling was printed right there, given to me by my family as a source of inspiration.
For 7 years, I had the most amazing piece of content just sitting next to me, along with a beautifully written letter from my parents.
All this time I was learning, researching and writing content around attitude and lifestyle, in the end to come back to this poem.
I can gladly say that on my path here I have grown enough to appreciate this nugget of wisdom and I want to share it with you all along with my life lesson: sometimes what we looked for was sitting right next to us, unnoticed.
You have the poem below, read it carefully and watch the video with Sir Michael Caine recitating it. It’s worthy of your time.)
I will publish part two next week, if you want to read it before it is published, you can join our private mailer here: valdour.com/join
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:
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!