Thursday, January 31, 2008


I read a really good book about a year ago titled the Impossible Just Takes a Little Longer. The Book was written by Art Berg and it served as the story of his triumphant life after a very tragic accident that rendered him a quadriplegic. Art uses the book to tell how the human spirit can conquer almost any obstacle. Art went on to live a very productive life after his accident. He states that his life was more rewarding after the accident than before. He accomplished incredible things in life. He became a world class wheelchair athlete, a very inspiring motivational speaker, A husband and father, and was even awarded his very own SuperBowl championship Ring by the Baltimore Ravens. Art drew alot of his motivation from a poem written by William Ernest Henley titled "Invictus". This became Art's battle cry "INVICTUS" I got the story of the poem from wikipedia to share with you. However, to get a real good understanding of the power of this poem you may want to get a copy of Art Bergs "The Impossible Just Takes a Little Longer"

Here is the wikipedia story on "Invictus"

Invictus is a short poem by the British poet William Ernest Henley. The title is Latin for "unconquered". It was first published in 1875.

At the age of 12 Henley became a victim of tuberculosis of the bone. In spite of this, in 1867 he successfully passed the Oxford local examination as a senior student. His diseased foot had to be amputated directly below the knee; physicians announced the only way to save his life was to amputate the other. Henley persevered and survived with one foot intact. He was discharged in 1875, and was able to lead an active life for nearly 30 years despite his disability. With an artificial foot, he lived until the age of 54. "Invictus" was written from a hospital bed.

The Poem

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.

Art Berg's life was a testament to the message he tried to get all to understand. It is not the circumstances of our life that determine our destiny, it is our response to our circumstances that determine our fate.


Phil Gerbyshak said...

First of all, welcome back Rocky! Your voice has been missed!

Secondly, I LOVE the quote from Art Berg that you shared: "It is not the circumstances of our life that determine our destiny, it is our response to our circumstances that determine our fate." It's all about RESPONSE. How are you RESPONDING to the adversity in your life? How do you RESPOND to the cards you're dealt. You can bluff and win sometimes, but you have to play to win.

Thanks for the reminder friend. You can bet I'll be back again soon!

Trevor Gay said...

Wise words Rocky - like you I've worked with many patients in healthcare described as having learning difficulties. I mainly found those people absolutely inspirational. Assumptions made about ability of others can be the worst type of discrimination. It is stories like the one you highlight that should keep us all grounded.

Thank you for sharing this Amigo :-)

Rocky said...

Thanks Phil and Trevor. The story of Art Berg's life is so inspirational. Since reading his book I have the invictus poem framed and hanging on my office wall. I use his message of overcoming life's obstacle by learning to respond to lifes circumstances rather than being a victim of them in my work. I have read his bok on three different occassions and have bought enough copies for each of the at risk youth I work with to have a copy to read. (I also use Victor Frankl's "Man's Search For Meaning) People often settle for being a victim of circumstance when the power to overcome their circumstance resides within them.

VNTuongLai said...

You’re invited to view my video “Bat Khuat (Tap 4)” which features the song Bat Khuat that was inspired by the poem Invictus.