Without a compass, any ship would be left adrift at sea, “mindlessly” following the water currents beneath it, and being blown about by the whims of the winds above. A meandering, aimless course would be automatically set. This is the path of indecisiveness, fatalism, and gives little hope for a self-created future.
“I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.”
A reminder to take charge of your life, empower yourself, set goals, don’t let yourself be adrift without a compass. Be the master of your fate and the captain of your soul.
Here’s the whole poem:
by William Ernest 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 or cried aloud,
Under the bludgeoning of chance
My head is bloody but unbowed.
Beyoud 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.
Can’t you taste the inspiration? Don’t you want to use the poem as an incantation for your own life? To give you strength, endurance and direction. Let it wash over your soul and drum up in you the motivation to find your own strength, mastery, and direction.