“IF IS THE MIDDLE WORD IN LIFE”

  • Dennis Hopper, Apocalypse Now

Probably one of the most impactful quotes of all time. These words remain a mainstay in my own life and push me forward.

What if I had never written my first manuscript? What if I had followed my childish heart and pursued life abroad? What if I had allowed my diagnosis to suck me under?

REGRET is a powerful motivator, and I have regretted my actions. Haven’t we all?

I think greed plays an equally potent role in our human condition. I spent many years wanting to fit in, even when my family was incapable of subsidizing my spoiled nature. Of course, in retrospect, I know we weren’t the only family with limited resources. My teenage brain didn’t see the reality right in front of me.

I had to be the best. I had to be number one.

What if, what if, what if…

Shoulda, woulda, coulda…

If only…

For most of my growing-up years, these words surrounded me, causing me to doubt even the most trivial decisions.

IF we allow ourselves to become victims to the temptations of procrastination, we will NEVER realize the joys of failure. WHAT?

To fail is to learn. (If that is not a famous quote, I get to claim it:)

Without failure, we will not succeed.

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!

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Lisaannettemccombs

Lisaannettemccombs

107 Followers

July 1, 2001, six months after the birth of my only child, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.