Tuesday 24 April 2007

What it Takes

Have you ever wondered why some people attain greatness and some do not? Ever pondered on what it takes to live life fully? Ever searched for the principles to live by to win in this adventure called life? Perhaps the poem ‘If’ by Rudyard Kipling below can give you an idea of what it takes:

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 your 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!

Kipling’s philosophy is hard to live by, isn’t it? Alas, that is why only few people leave their indelible footprints on the sand of time. The candid truth is that life is difficult. Perish the thought that things are going to be easy as you journey through life. So long as you are alive, you will always have challenges to deal with; it is the way you react and solve them that matters. Adopt the mindset of an average Chinese who believe that it is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. Do you have lemon today? Don’t complain, improvise; make lemonade with it. Harness the negative circumstances to your advantage.

If some men and women could triumph in the art of living despite the tribulations they had to face, you do not have an excuse. With a clear-cut goal, hard work, enthusiasm, confidence, flexibility, tact and persistence, there is little you cannot accomplish. Brace up your shoulders then, and recharge your energies. Beat the world to it! Take charge of your destiny!

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