The If Project: Week Five

The If Project takes the text of Rudyard Kipling’s poem “If” and breaks it down into digestible chunks of wisdom. Each week, we’ll take a few lines of the poem and focus on the life lessons and behaviors Kipling puts forth as empowering.

This is a mindfulness practice, which will help you consciously build better behavioral habits pertaining to interpersonal interactions and other areas of your life.

For reference, the entire poem is included at the bottom of this post.

***

The lines for week five are:

“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…”

This stanza is all about resilience. It stresses the importance of developing confidence and dedication to your passions, goals, and dreams. When you put yourself, and your ideas, out into the world, there will be people who push back and even seek to undermine your efforts. Will you be able to keep up your momentum when this happens?

How can you maintain dedication to your aspirations even under opposition? You must establish a strong “why” for your passions. Why are you pursuing your goals? Why is it vital for you to persist and succeed?

If you don’t have a strong why, it might be time to reevaluate your motivations, or even your goals themselves. It might be time to revise or update your quest!

***

Please be sure to leave comments to share your experiences during this “applied humanities” project, and tell others about this series! Remember: this series is part of my effort to spread the word about applied humanities, which involves the active use of literature and other art forms to practically and positively influence everyday behavior. Ultimately, the humanities can be consumed passively or actively, but either way they can remind us what it means to be human, as well as everyday heroes.

If, by Rudyard Kipling

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!

***

If you liked this post, please share it and help spread the word about the everyday heroism movement! If you don’t already follow Live The Hero, please subscribe! When you do, you’ll get the free Live The Hero manifesto, program primer, and 30-day guide! You’ll also be notified of future exclusive content and the latest updates.

Speak Your Mind! Leave a Comment Below:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s