Greatings from South Africa!
So far, my buddy Cash and I have hiked up Table Mountain and down to the Cape of Good Hope, witnessed crazy baboons, got pecked by ostriches (they must have known we had just eaten ostrich burgers), and hung out with penguins.? Tomorrow we’ll be cage diving with sharks, and then on Wednesday we’ll be making our way (hopefully) over to Kruger National Park for an epic 4-day safari…”giddy” is probably the appropriate word.
However, today I wanted to do something a little different and share with you an epic poem: Invictus by William Ernest Henley.?
Why today? Why this poem?? Actually, for a number of reasons: I discovered it a few years back thanks to the movie Invictus (a great movie about the South African rugby team), where it was narrated by my favorite actor Morgan Freeman (who sounds good narrating ANYTHING), as he portrayed Nelson Mandella (whose prison cell on Robben Island?I’ll be visiting today).? Is that good enough for ya!?
Pay particular attention to the last two lines, as they give me goosebumps every time I read them.? Or, if you prefer to have Morgan read them to you (and who wouldn’t?), you can listen/watch here.
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.
Goosebumps.? I think about this every time I’m having a bad day or feel like things aren’t going my way (look, I can be a poet too!).? As I’ve learned from Shawshank Redemption (also starring Morgan Freeman), it comes down to a simple choice really: “get busy livin, or get busy dyin.”
Maybe you just had a crappy weekend and fell off the wagon.? Maybe you woke up today and looked in the mirror and hated what you saw.? Maybe you’re reading this at a desk job that is leaving you completely unfulfilled.
You are the master of your own fate.? Nobody is going to bail you out, nobody is going to feel bad for you and give you everything you want, nobody is going to drop your dream job/date/life on your lap.? It’s on YOU to earn it.
This is the best thing ever.
You are 100% in control of how you live your life, which means you don’t have to get somebody’s permission to make a dramatic, immediate, and impactful change in your life.? Today could be the first day of the rest of your life if you make it so.? On top of that, there’s absolutely no limit to how epic your life can become, because you get to decide how far you want to reach.
Remember my friend, if you don’t like something about your life, you and you alone have the power to change it.
Be thankful, for that is the most powerful super power you can have.