We all face challenges in our lives. What separates men of iron character from spineless amoebas is the way they face those challenges. In the poem “Invictus,” British poet William Ernest Henley describes how a man should respond to life's setbacks. “Invictus” is Latin for “unconquerable," and unconquerable is the word that should describe every man's spirit. When the winds of life blow in and the waves get steep and rocky, a man stands steady at the helm and pilots his ship through the storm and out the other side again.
Henley himself had the kind of unconquerable spirit of which he wrote. When he was 12, the poet developed tuberculous in the bone. He had to have his leg amputated to the knee and doctors told him he would have to have the other one amputated if he were to survive. Henley told the docs that they were full of hogwash and only let them amputate one of his legs. He ended up keeping the other. He led an active life with that single leg and had a successful career as a poet and literary critic. Henley was truly the captain of his soul.
"Invictus" was later popular with Nelson Mandela during his imprisonment, and has been a guiding light and source of inspiration for many other prisoners and back-against-the-wall fighters over the last century. Its message resonates with all those who make the most of that freedom no man can take away: the freedom to master one's self, and to take action no matters the circumstances.
Remind yourself to be the captain of your soul by hanging our "Invictus" poster in your room.
Poster is 18"x24" and printed in the USA on glossy paper.