Bored? Keep your head up!

   Photo by  JimTell


Photo by JimTell

I don't know who said it first, but many commentators have described certain activities (war, flying, baseball, etc) as "extreme boredom punctuated by moments of sheer terror." Recently I found myself quoting this adage to a group of 12 year old softball players that I'm coaching this summer.

The talk was in response to a couple of attention deficit moments where players were more interested in watching jet contrails than focusing on the game. The calm markets of the last couple of months may lead to similar listlessness for some. Just as a screaming line drive is sure to find the daisy picker in the outfield, the next market selloff will be an unpleasant surprise to the inattentive.

So, on this lazy summer day, take a moment to read one of my favorite poems by Rudyard Kipling. Even though it was written over a century ago, its message is as poignant today as ever. Whether you believe we are in the calm before the storm or the base camp below the summit ascent, remember that a sound plan is the best preparation for the inevitable joy or terror around the next corner. Get in touch to review your plan if you haven't done so recently.


If -
By Rudyard Kipling 

If you can keep your head when all about you   
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,   
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, 
    But make allowance for their doubting too;   
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, 
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies, 
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating, 
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise: 
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;   
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;   
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster 
    And treat those two impostors just the same;   
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken 
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, 
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, 
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools: 
If you can make one heap of all your winnings 
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, 
And lose, and start again at your beginnings 
    And never breathe a word about your loss; 
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew 
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,   
And so hold on when there is nothing in you 
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’ 
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,   
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch, 
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, 
    If all men count with you, but none too much; 
If you can fill the unforgiving minute 
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,   
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,   
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!