The Inspiring Leader

Leadership – A poem by SpatulaRead by Mathew Coger

As you listen to this poem, reflect on your current attitude about leadership. Does this move you into thinking of doing what you are doing as a leader or to change your leadership approach? What baby steps would you take to reinforce your good leadership behaviours and/or transform.

Let the Daffodils Heal You

Daffodils – William Wordsworth

As you listen to this poem, reflect on the wonders of nature and let it heal your pensive mood or broken heart.

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

About the poet — William Wordsworth (1770 — 1850) was a major English Romantic poet who helped to launch the Romantic Age in English literature. He was born in Cockermouth, England. His poetry was mainly focused on the nature, children, the poor, common people. Wordsworth was Britain’s Poet Laureate from 1843 until his death in 1850.

Do We Keep Writing or Re-Read What We Wrote?

A Pen, A Paper, and A Purpose – Isbah Nasir.

A Poetic spoken word piece that explore the question: what is the purpose of life? and explores the decisions we make that shape our lives.

As you reflect on these words, a powerful line within it to reflect is; “Just keep writing, keep filling in the chapters on the pages of your life and don’t look back because if you keep regretting and rereading you won’t move past and you miss that final ending at last”.

What has passed has passed. Everything that happened has given us some insights to assist us in our quest for our purpose. The next step we take, using the learnings of the past or not, will help us get more insights in our quest. Turning the page and moving on seems more meaningful that turning back and regretting.

Reflect on your life so far to make sense of your higher purposes and use that information to take your next step in your quest for purpose.

How You Lived Will Epitomise Your Death

How Did You Die? – Edmund Vance Cooke

Reflect on the deeper meaning of this poem as you listen to it and read the lyrics below. How did you respond to trouble times? What did you do when you fell down? What is real success & failure? How would you face life’s challenges from now onwards?

Read by Shane Morris – Full Poem:

Did you tackle that trouble that came your way

With a resolute heart and cheerful?

Or hide your face from the light of day

With a craven soul and fearful? 

Oh, a trouble’s a ton, or a trouble’s an ounce,

Or a trouble is what you make it,

And it isn’t the fact that you’re hurt that counts,

But only how did you take it? 

You are beaten to earth?

Well, well, what’s that!Come up with a smiling face.

It’s nothing against you to fall down flat,

But to lie there-that’s disgrace. 

The harder you’re thrown, why the higher you bounce

Be proud of your blackened eye!

It isn’t the fact that you’re licked that counts;

It’s how did you fight-and why? 

And though you be done to the death, what then?

If you battled the best you could,

If you played your part in the world of men,

Why, the Critic will call it good. 

Death comes with a crawl, or comes with a pounce,

And whether he’s slow or spry,

It isn’t the fact that you’re dead that counts,

But only how did you die?

Living Life To The Fullest as the Captain of Your Life

O Captain Mu Captain – Walt Whitman

Reflect on the deeper meaning of this poem as you listen to it and read the lyrics below. Who is the captain of your life? How will you live to be able to be happy on your last day feeling that that you lived it all.

O Captain, my Captain our fearful trip is done
The ship has weathered every rack, the prize we sought is won
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people are exulting,  
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring  
But O heart! heart! heart!  
O the bleeding drops of red,  
Where on the deck my Captain lies,  
Fallen cold and dead.  

O Captain, my Captain (x3)

O Captain, my Captain rise up and hear the bells  
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills
For you bouquets and ribboned wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding  
For you they call (the swaying mass)
their eager faces turning (their eager faces turning)
Here Captain! dear father!  
This arm beneath your head  
It is some dream that on the deck, 
You’ve fallen cold and dead. Dead.

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still  
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will  
The ship is anchored safe and sound, its voyage closed and done  
From fearful trip, the victor ship, comes in with this object won
Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells!  
But I, with mournful tread,  
Walk the deck my Captain lies,  
Fallen cold and dead. Fallen cold and dead.

Wake Up and Convert Dreams in to Reality

Wake Up – A Poem by Jesse Oliver

As you listen to this powerful poem, let the words touch you deep inside so that you can wake up and turn your dreams in to reality. Reflect on the good thoughts you dream of, that goes to sleep when you wake up. Think of a baby step to take for you to live those dreams.

Everything is Waiting for You – Experience it All.

Everything is Waiting for You – Poem by David Whyte

As you listen to this poem, reflect on the wonders of the world that we experience every day. Reflect on how we take them for granted or just don’t notice the wonder in them. Imagine if you pay attention. Everything is waiting for you, go experience all of it.

EVERYTHING IS WAITING FOR YOU – Words

Your great mistake is to act the drama as if you were alone. As if life were a progressive and cunning crime with no witness to the tiny hidden transgressions. 

To feel abandoned is to deny the intimacy of your surroundings. 

Surely, even you, at times, have felt the grand array; the swelling presence, and the chorus, crowding out your solo voice. You must note the way the soap dish enables you, or the window latch grants you freedom. 

Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity.

The stairs are your mentor of things to come, the doors have always been there to frighten you and invite you, and the tiny speaker in the phone is your dream-ladder to divinity.

Put down the weight of your aloneness and ease into the conversation. 

The kettle is singing even as it pours you a drink, the cooking pots have left their arrogant aloofness and seen the good in you at last. All the birds and creatures of the world are unutterably themselves.

Everything is waiting for you.

How are Great People & Trees Made?

Good Timber by Douglas Malloch – Read by Mark O’Keeffe

As you listen to this poem (words below), reflect on what your challenges and struggles have done for you?

The tree that never had to fight
     For sun and sky and air and light,
But stood out in the open plain
     And always got its share of rain,
Never became a forest king
     But lived and died a scrubby thing.

The man who never had to toil
     To gain and farm his patch of soil,
Who never had to win his share
     Of sun and sky and light and air,
Never became a manly man
     But lived and died as he began.

Good timber does not grow with ease,
     The stronger wind, the stronger trees,
The further sky, the greater length,
     The more the storm, the more the strength.
By sun and cold, by rain and snow,
     In trees and men good timbers grow.

Where thickest lies the forest growth
     We find the patriarchs of both.
And they hold counsel with the stars
     Whose broken branches show the scars
Of many winds and much of strife.
     This is the common law of life.

The Master of My Fate, Captain of my Soul.

Invictus – The Poem

As you listen to the words of this poem, closed eyed or watching the visuals of the visit of the South African Rugby team to Nelson Mandela’s  prison (scene from the movie Invictus), reflect on your biggest struggle and how that helped you to realise that you are the master of your fate and the captain of your soul.