We all have our dark, gloomy days when getting up from bed seems like a herculean task. Nothing seems interesting, except your negative emotions which surprise you. They bring a testimony of how wicked your thoughts can be and you are intrigued. Life seems meaningless. You curl up your feet in the blanket and bring it closer to your chest and start imagining all the wrongs. The days when you could have done better or today, when you can’t do better even if you want to.
The only respite for me in such a situation is food, nothing else. And I’m sure it would be motivating for you too when you feel low but today, I have one more thing, poems to pull you out of your bed and conquer the world.
The first is written by our childhood favorite, Rudyard Kipling, “If”. I’m sure many of us would have read the poem in school or sometime later and the poem still inspires. The second one is written by Argentine poet Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986) titled “If I could live again my life”.
Do you see the word “if” in both the poems? Yes! The word means something. The first if means all the situations which can be handled and conquered by you. This if reminds you to fight to your fullest when life knocks while the “if” used by Borges shows some opportunities that we miss in our lives and Borges realises it when he is 85 years old.
What are we waiting for? Let’s read the poems!
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 wornout 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!
Felt ecstatic, right?
This poem tells you the right things to do when life throws lemons at you. You could make a lemonade right? Kipling has all the recipies for you.
I have realised that the best thing you can do in your hard days is to trust yourself. No matter how many people doubt you, including you, you can still overcome that by trusting yourself.
I am particularly a big fan of workout videos on popsugar and the trainers over there keep chanting “Yes, you can”. It’s a physical task and their motivation jas pushed me a lot of times to add an extra 10 minutes to my workout. 10 mins extra everyday, just by chanting “Yes, you can!”.
This has a similar effect on you when you feel low. Read the poem aloud and you will feel inspired in no time. I bet.
The poem also inspires to nurture a “never give up” attitude no matter how hard the situation is. Just tell yourself, “hold on, buddy!”
If I could live again my life
If I could live my life again.
Next time, I would try to make more mistakes.
I would not try to be so perfect, I would relax more.
I would be sillier than I have been.
I would take fewer things seriously.
I would be less fastidious.
Accept more risks, I would take more trips,
Contemplate more evenings,
Climb more mountains, and swim more rivers…
I would go to more places where I have not been,
Eat more ice cream and fewer beans.
I would have more real problems and less imaginary ones.
I was one of those people who lived
sensibly and meticulously every minute of their life.
Of course I have had moments of happiness.
But if I could go back in time, I would try to
have good moments only,
and not waste precious time.
I was someone never went
anywhere without a thermometer, a hot water bag, an umbrella
and a parachute. If I could live again,
I would travel more frivolously.
If I could live again, I would begin
to walk barefoot at the beginning of the spring
and I would continue to do so until the end of autumn.
I would ride more merry-go-rounds,
I would contemplate more evenings and I would play
with more children.
If I could have another life ahead.
But I am 85 years old you see, and I know that I am dying.
I had read a quote a while ago which said “Worrying is like carrying an umbrella hoping it would rain” and I think the same goes for every worry that we have in life. The poem talks about the same thing. We have more imaginary problems than real ones. We often feel defeated by our worries and concerns which have no real meaning. It’s all frivolous. We spend a lot of our energy in fighting those emotions.
Is there a way to stop it?
Worry only when the problem is in front of you. Don’t invest your energy in problems that don’t exist. Face them when the problems will come. I know its easier said than done but if it was easy everyone would do it, isn’t it?
Take more risks, enjoy more. Travel often, be happy. Thats what life is all about.
I hope you liked the poems.
Have a great day!