'Invictus' is Latin for 'unconquered'.
Invictus was first published in 1875 by William Ernest Henley
He proclaims his courage in the face of adversity.
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.
Come out of your shell!
"I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul" does not mean that we can be successful at any endeavor, only that we can live our lives unafraid, knowing that we will take our knocks. We may not attain our goals. We may get the crap beat out of us. But as long as we keep trying, we are unconquered. Whether we live for ourselves or live for the Lord, we're still going to get hurt. Some people stop living before they die. Let not fear stop you from living.
( I don't know who Jodi Helmer is, I copied this testimony from a page on the web, and I can't find the page again.)
by Jodi Helmer
When I was 17, I tore an advertisement from the pages of a teen magazine. I think it was a shampoo ad. I can see it clearly in my mind; a black and white photograph of a young woman with beautiful hair and a caption that read, “I am the master of my fate and the captain of my soul.” For a long time I had the ad pinned to my bulletin board - a reminder of the power within. Over time it became dog-eared and lost beneath the multitudes of photos, report cards and awards typical of a teenager's room. Eventually, like much of the teenage memorabilia I had collected, the ad found its way into the trash.
Several years later I found myself sorting through memorabilia once again, this time in preparation to make a long-distance move. After countless hours of sorting and packing, I bid my first apartment farewell and headed off to a new adventure.
With this move, I had finally been given the opportunity to create the life I had imagined. Instead of venturing forth in search of new experiences, I was paralyzed by fear. I wasted the first few months of my new life eating chips and watching talk shows. I spent my time feeling sorry for myself; too busy wondering if I'd made the right decision to take advantage of my new surroundings.
In the midst of a particularly pathetic attack of “poor-me-syndrome,” I found myself re-reading old journal entries and remembering the “good old days.” In the back of one of my old journals, in my teen-aged scrawl, I had written, “I am the master of my fate and the captain of my soul.” For a long while I sat there staring at those words. I conjured up the vision of the magazine ad where I had first read that powerful declaration and tried to remember how I'd felt at 17.
I recalled staring at the words in that shampoo ad, and feeling a surge of self-assurance. It was then, for the first time I understood that I was responsible for creating my own reality through the choices I made. At 17, I vowed to become the master of my fate.
Somewhere between then and now, I had forgotten the meaning of those words and their impact on my life. It was only when I was finally ready to be the master of my fate, I truly began to experience life fully. By bravely embracing those words as an adult, I finally exercised their power to influence my life.
I have recently moved again, and I haven’t for a moment felt sorry for myself. I am adjusting beautifully to another beginning in a new city. Being the master of my fate and the captain of my soul is hard work, yet the power in those words urges me on in the deepest of worry or sorrow. And in the moments when I experience true bliss, I know it’s because I live those words.