Portrait_of_William_Ernest_Henley

William Ernest Henley

It has been said that only self made men will admit to being self made, yet we are all the result of our own choices.

In 1875 one of the English poet William Ernest Henley‘s legs required amputation due to complications arising from tuberculosis. Immediately after the amputation he was told that his other leg would require a similar procedure. He chose instead to enlist the services of the distinguished surgeon Joseph Lister, who was able to save Henley’s remaining leg after multiple surgical interventions on the foot.

While recovering in the infirmary, he was moved to write the verses that became “Invictus.” This period of his life, coupled with recollections of an impoverished childhood, were primary inspirations for the poem, and play a major role in its meaning.

Nobody has a life free of trouble, worry, unfair attacks, loss, pain, grief, illness, death, or unexpected setbacks. Yet what makes us strong and builds character is how we choose to handle those difficulties. We can whine and blame and feel sorry for ourselves like children, or we can, like Mr. Henley, take personal responsibility for our responses like mature adults.

If you’re not making enough money, find a way to make your services more valuable, to help more people and have them pay for the benefits you create. Man up: use your God given talents and skills and mind to solve your problems and learn the skills that you need to have in order to achieve your goals. Excuses are the sign of a weak character and a slow intellect.

INVICTUS

Out of the night that covers me,

Black as the pit from pole to pole,

I thank whatever gods may be

For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance

I have not winced nor cried aloud.

Under the bludgeonings of chance

My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears

Looms but the Horror of the shade,

And yet the menace of the years

Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,

How charged with punishments the scroll,

I am the master of my fate:

I am the captain of my soul.

 

Robin Elliott   LeverageAdvantage.com

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