Rudyard Kipling’s If – Inspiration to help reach your goals


I was driving home tonight in heavy pre-Christmas traffic. Folk rushing about doing last minute shopping, whilst others were heading out to office parties and drinks. While I sat traffic lights waiting for them to go green, the following came on the radio; the poem ‘If’ by Rudyard Kipling. It’s years since I heard this, and somehow it felt as if I was supposed to hear it. It was as if I was being directed. Since the poem is so profound I thought I’d Google it. I did, and it is here for all to enjoy.

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 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 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 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!



Author: James

Sharing stories of recovery and strategies to help you keep sober. Visit my blog today -

One thought on “Rudyard Kipling’s If – Inspiration to help reach your goals”

  1. Thanks for leading me to this beautiful piece of inspirational writing. We have just had the hardest six years of our married life (37 years) a suicide then cancer my husband,(he is doing well now) a very difficult marriage breakup for our son, which left us with two babies to care for. Then the living loss of the two people who were always there for us my parents, both have dementia. This left it to us to make decisions for them which have gutted us all, we had to find a home that would keep them safe twenty four seven and that couldnt be living with us. Due to the illness in our family we were unable to stay on top of things and had to sell our home, and as the world market knows that is for rock bottom prices.
    The family that brought it are so well off they paid cash and are going to use it as a holiday home.
    This reads like some cheap tv drama, if you were watching it you would probably say who writes this rubbish.
    But both of your inspirational writings have touched me especially the prayer. Lord give me strength to change the things I can, the courage understand the things I can’t.
    Through these past six years our drinking became all we lived for, we were drowning out our life’s. We found this only works as an answer for a short time then just adds to the other problems.
    So we are at day 24 with out drinking, our problems seem more normal than they did when the booze depresion took hold, and we are moving on with life.
    This site has encouraged me to write things down which makes them so much more clear, so thanks.
    Dont expect anyone to read the long self absorbed ramble it just helps me heaps.


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