by William Earnest Henley
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
I’ve been concentrating a lot on honoring my life coach. Good grief – with cash on the line I better, right?!
What’s been really nice is how he helps me with my goals. First of he teaches how to write a goal that is concise, doable, and that doesn’t overextend my ability to accomplish. However, I still decide 100% what they are. The writing goal I selected was to rewrite my outline. For two weeks I struggled with taking the time to write. I wrote several scenes. That was fun!! But for whatever reason I was NOT rewriting the outline. So. Not. Fun.
This Monday he asked me if I wanted to keep that goal. I said, “Yeaaaah. I know I need to – it’ll make writing the story go faster and smoother.” He said, “Well, let’s try this. How about writing just a portion of it?”
Wow – it was like a shot of electricity went through my brain and I was filled with excitement. You could hear the giddiness in my voice. I knew a had a mental block, but really? How crazy simple could is this?? FACEPALM. But there it was – BREAK IT DOWN. So that’s my goal. Fifty percent of the outline to be written in a week. I sat down Monday night and wrote a quarter of it.
This week being captain of my soul means I’ve had plenty of wind, but haven’t opened my sails yet. Looking in the mirror and taking responsibility for my own blunders is some of the darkest moments I’ll ever have. I know Henley wrote this poem after his foot was amputated and he felt close to death, but I think there are other kinds of death besides the body. Death of spirit, death of will, death of hope, death of motivation… that’s what brings me to this poem this morning. The greatest hurdle I have to overcome is myself. The greatest responsibility is to remain unconquerable.