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.
This inspirational poem was used as an “incantation” by Nelson Mandella when he was imprisoned for 27 years. After his imprisonment Mandella went on to become the president of South Africa and a Nobel Peace Prize winner. During his lengthy imprisonment Mandella incanted this poem – to himself and to his fellow inmates, in order to embue strength and courage, and to mobilize the will for a meaningful survival. This poem became an emblem of self-empowerment and was a means of emotional survival and mastery over adversity.
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.
I was trained as a psychotherapist in California, and I have had over thirty years of experience in helping people through therapy and coaching. I hold a Ph.D. degree in psychology, and I have dedicated the focus of my work to the practice of Life Coaching.