I wanted to share with you a poem I learned in the second grade. I was a student at Blanche Sprentz Elementary School in Folsom, where the educators took incredible care in growing well-rounded students. The fact that I was expected to learn and recite the poem below at the young age of 7 years old was a testament to the level of performance that the school knew their students were capable of.
I remember initially that it was tough to retain the following poem, being so young. The writing style was a bit foreign, and the poem seemed so long back then. I practiced though, relentlessly, until I was ready to stand before the class and recite it word for word. The day quickly came where I stood before the class and proved that I knew each verse perfectly. I earned an A which was my goal at the time, although I wouldn't realize until later that the ultimate reward for committing this to memory would be much deeper and longer lasting.
By William Hickson,
‘Tis a lesson you should heed–
If at first you don’t succeed,
Then your courage should appear;
For if you will persevere,
You will conquer, never fear,
Once or twice though you should fail,
If you would at last prevail,
If we strive, ’tis no disgrace
Though we did not win the race–
What should you do in that case?
If you find your task is hard.
Time will bring you your reward,
All that other folk can do,
Why with patience should not you?
Only keep this rule in view,
As a kid growing up in Folsom, I enjoyed the charm of what was then a small town. My friends and I would spend our time climbing trees, catching and training snails for the Great Folsom Snail Race (some of you may be familiar...not sure they even do a snail race anymore), and riding our bicycles from one side of the town to the other. Back then, the population was about half what it is today. Although we didn't have much, we lived like we didn't have a care in the world. We pretty much did what we wanted as long as we were home before the streetlights came on.
Times were good, but as you know, all good things come to an end eventually. The older I got the more I missed the carefree days of yesterday. More and more the responsibilities piled on and it became even more apparent that my success or failure in life would depend solely on me and my levels of ambition and resilience. My focus changed from the experiences I lived for as a kid to living my life in a way that would best benefit my future. This wasn't always easy, and many times, I found myself out of my comfort zone in an effort to grow.
The true appreciation for that poem stems from how it would pop up in my head when things were hard. I would think of it when I failed at something or when I was worried about whether I might fail. Had it not been for those words, I may have never even tried some things for the utter fear of failure. Those words took the sting out of the possibility of failing and helped me to realize that I'd always have the space to succeed if only I'd keep trying.
I hope you enjoy that poem if you've never heard it before, and if you have, I hope that it can serve as a reminder to you in times of doubt. You see, fear has no power to someone who knows they can accomplish anything they set their minds to doing. People are incredible and capable of extraordinary things!
I'd love to know what you think about that poem. Feel free to respond or give me a call to chat. Thanks for letting me share my thoughts with you and have a fantastic day!