Believe In Yourself – Wintle and Kipling said it best…December 8, 2008
Following our blog last Friday there are two poems which epitomize the search for self-belief. The first, ‘The Man Who Thinks He Can’ by Walter D. Wintle, is probably one of the most recognised poems in the English language. I always thought it was anonymous – and following a little research I found out that many other people did too! However, it has, over time, been attributed to several people (Napoleon Hill and C.W. Longenecker for example), but it seems that Wintle is the most likely source – until some poetic archaeologist digs up an earlier version of the poem.
The Man Who Thinks He Can
If you think you’re beaten, you are,
If you think you dare not, you don’t.
If you’d like to win, but think you can’t,
It’s almost for sure, you won’t.
If you think you’re losing, you’ve lost.
For out in the world we find –
Success begins with a person’s will,
It’s all in the state of mind.
If you think you’re outclassed, you are,
You’ve got to think high to rise.
You have to stay with it,
In order to win the prize.
Life’s battles don’t always go,
To the one with the better plan.
For more often than not, you will win,
If only you think you can.
No such controversy over Rudyard Kipling’s poem “IF”… equally inspirational and equally suitable to our earlier discussion on self-confidence.
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 all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath 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!
Well, there we go…our Monday morning fount of wisdom!