What a though provoking statement by Poet William Ernest Henley (1849–1903) who penned the words of his immortal Invictus (unconquered in Latin). The man went through a lot in his adulthood. He was suffering from Tuberculosis (TB), which eventually made its way to his bones, causing him to lose his leg to the disease. Disabled his whole adulthood, and eventually succumbing to pulmonary TB, he was not faced by his limitations and knew that he had his destiny in hand and only he can determine how his life would be written in the history books. He knew that although he is physically disabled, he cannot use that as an excuse for not reaching his destiny, because he had his mind, and from mind comes thoughts, from thoughts come ideas, from ideas come plans, from plans come action, from action comes results, from results comes progress, and eventually comes success.
This poem was penned by the poet as way to derive courage and never losing hope at the face of life’s indignities. Many in the past have derived great sense of being from the words above, while facing injustices, challenges, or failures in life. The term Invictus, is a Latin word meaning, ‘Undefeated’. The poet was essentially penning words of encouragement at the face of death. As much as all words in the poem can serve as great inspiration for anyone walking on the face of earth, in this article, we seek to emphasis the phrase, ‘I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul.’
What this phrase does is place one in the driver’s seat of their life and convey the message that it's up to us to determine what our future will bring by the way we see life and prepare ourselves to face reality. It is all about us, and that we must take full responsibility of our lives and stop putting the blame on anyone else.
We are here today because of the thoughts and views we conceived a while ago, and what is currently happening now reflects the fate we have set for ourselves. For reflection, are you now living the life you want to live? Have your achieved goals you have set for yourself at the beginning of the year or years ago? Did we fix that relationship we said we will fix? Did we fully honor our responsibilities in this life. How do we see our future from today? Do we see ourselves having achieved the goals we have set for ourselves?
The sooner we begin to understand that the way our life is today reflects our philosophies, paradigms, values, and principles we live by the better can things change. This is all internal and since it all springs from within, we can change it. Journey to effective self-improvements is fully understanding that there are things we can change and those we cannot change. Thus, must set to focus on things we can change, because there we are set of see results, good or bad and can continue to adjust our strategies to attain desired outcome. We are in control; we are the ones who set the tone of how we want things to play out but conditioning ourselves in line of how we want things to play out.
The book, Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill, puts this phase into perspective. What is the reason why so many people fail to understand this today is because of one simple truth, they believe they are not in control, because they are simply focusing on things they cannot control. This phrase by the poet holds true for all times because we have power to control our thoughts. Another simple truth stated on this book is that our thoughts reflect what we consume, what we feed the mind. This great power we have over our thoughts makes no distinction between good and bad thoughts. This great power makes no judgement on the nature of thoughts we have and goes to impact our fate based on the thoughts we keep. Everything we see today started as a thought, and from a thought sprout action and from action comes results, good or bad. Same goes to what we see in our lives, the nature of the life we live, mediocre or full of abondance, first we had thoughts, from those thoughts came actions, from those came results, good or bad. It is in grasping this that one will be able to turn their life around and fully become the person they want to be, simply because they understand that our thoughts are everything.
Our brain works in mysterious way, but we do have a slight understanding of how it works sometimes. Of all thoughts we have, there are thoughts that are more dominant than others. These are the thoughts that take preference when your brain processes things. These are the thoughts we constantly expose ourselves to, and consume daily, which is basically our philosophy in life. It is these thoughts that attract to us ‘the forces, the people, the circumstances of life which harmonize with the nature of the dominating thoughts’. This could not be truer. That is why it is very important that we watch what we feed our brain, is it negative things? Are we constantly scrolling through social media aimlessly, seeking to cure boredom, yet we are exposed to materials that stir negative thoughts in us to the point those thoughts became dominant in our minds? Do we constantly feed ourselves useless information that will breed no good results, or contribute nothing towards the goals we have set for ourselves? It is in being able to manage what we consume that we stay on track and consistently work our defining the destiny and fate we want for ourselves. If we do not keep this in check, life will decide how things will turn out for us. This means those thoughts we expose ourselves to by default, will rule our brain, thus produce actions and results relevant to what we feed our brain. By not taking the responsibility of our lives, we allow what is going on around us to dictate our fate, that is why many people believe that we do not have control over how life plays out, only to learn that is because we allow life to dictate our fate, meaning we will not know the results, and every result is a surprise. However, if we learn to manage what we expose ourselves to and staying true to our goals, dreams and wishes, by controlling our thoughts properly and having them in line with those goals, dreams and wishes will we see that we are masters of our own fate, the captain of our own souls.
By constantly feeding ourselves new information that aligns with our purpose, will that make our purpose stronger, with stronger purpose comes stronger willpower, with stronger willpower spouts self-discipline, the springs dedication, consistency, and thus progress towards the finish line. All this starts with the thought.
Therefore, in conclusion, we are the masters of our fate, captain of our souls, through the power of thought. Remember this now, tomorrow and you will see things change for better.