Enduring quotes, inspiring words, poetry and motivational stories have that special magic on me, since young. Each time I discover such gems, I archive them into my memory and retrieve them when the need arises. They have comforted me, guided me, inspired me and uplifted me … whenever I was facing emotional highs and lows in my life. They were my life lessons.
To Strive, to Seek, to Find, and not to Yield.
– from the poem Ulysses by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
I first came across this line when I was a 15 year-old reading a biography of Sir Robert Falcon Scott. Scott had led a team aiming to be the first man to reach the South Pole, only to be beaten by the Norwegian team led by Roald Amundsen. On the return journey to their ship, tragedy struck.
I remember feeling the cold and sharing the hunger pangs of Scott and his team, on their ill-fated return journey from the South Pole. Exhaustion, cold and starvation contributed to their deaths. I found it poignant, and inspiring, that his last diary entry was, scrawled in pencil : To Strive, to Seek, to Find, and not to Yield.
Since then, the quote has helped frame my mind and give it a never say die attitude, don’t give up, carry on … It helped me to build my resilience.
This quote has inspired me to work through the night if need be to complete a task, to keep an engagement even when I’m feeling too tired, to avoid saying I am tired to get away with not doing something, to remind myself not to give up! These days, young people excuse themselves from not doing certain tasks with a simple “I am tired” / “I have no time” / “I am busy” and other similar excuses. No, don’t make excuses – for they will not help you build up your resilient quotient.