Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

Be the Master of You Fate and Captain of your Soul

fistInvictus 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 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.

This is one of my favorite poems. I read it when I was in sixth grade and those last lines have stayed with me. Too many people sit around wallowing in negative circumstances that occur and give up or wait for someone to do the work and help them achieve their goals, or they pray for a miracle. But the best way to get what you want is to get it yourself. Yes, occasionally one gets lucky and finds someone who believes in them enough to help them. But it’s rare, and waiting wastes time.

When I counsel creative types, especially musicians, I hear about hopes of being discovered; wishes that someone out of the blue will notice them. Yet they do little to get noticed. This kind of wishing for something outside of you to just knock on your door with what you need makes you powerless. It could be:

•    “I need to find a better place to live and keep hoping someone will tell me about a great vacancy.” I ask why someone would do that if they haven’t made an effort to look or a place.

•    “I’m dying for a good new job and wish I’d hear about an opening.” Sorry, but the wish fairy doesn’t do the looking for you and then whisper in your ear where to apply. YOU needt o polish your resume, send it out to jobs you see advertised, and also tell people what you’re  looking for. Nor does she do the necessary networking for you. It’s up to you to get yourself out to places where you might meet someone who could help.

•    “I’ve been turned down so many times that I see no point in trying again. “ Unless you don’t want whatever it is, giving up won’t get you what will make you happy. Taking control and trying to get what you want is the only way to master your life.

•    “I want to get a book/record deal and need to find someone who will do it for me.” Until you’ve reached a level of success it’s unlikely someone will step up to do it for you.

Depending on people to make your goals happen keeps you from owning your power. Even with an agent, I do what I can to get deals for my own books. Even with a publicist, I never stop working the media myself. No one cares more about your career or needs than you do. Become the master of your own fate and the captain of your soul, since I feeds your spirit. Then you’re an empowered individual. For me, it’s the best way to follow your passions and be happy.
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