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Don't Quit: Inspirational Poems and Books to Motivate You In Life and Work

Updated on March 10, 2011

Inspiration and Motivation for Work and Life

As a writer and artist my work is mostly driven by inspiration. Fortunately for me I usually have no trouble finding inspiration for my writing and art. However, finding the motivation to keep plugging away in obscurity is another issue altogether. This past month was particularly difficult for me, it is not easy been an internet entrepreneur and artist. I found myself wondering if I should return to the more mundane world of economics and epidemiology (yes, strange as it may seem I am an artist who trained as an economist and epidemiologist). Well in the midst of my self-pity party Michael Jackson and Steve McNair died and I found myself writing some hubs and blog posts on grieving and death. Now death is a pretty morbid topic and not much fun writing about but for some reason I was fixated on writing about it. Then a strange thing happened as I wrote my blog post on grieving and death. I suddenly found myself remembering my late father's favorite poems. Coincidentally, (and I don't believe in coincidences) they are both inspirational poems. So I found inspiration and motivation in the midst of writing about death. The poem, "Don't Quit," kept me going throughout my college years and I used to carry around a bookmark with it. The poem, "If," by Rudyard Kipling kept my father going throughout his difficult but rewarding career in public life. The poem Desiderata has inspired many people over the years and one of my former work colleagues had a poster of it on his office door. It served as an inspiration to me during my time working there. It is my hope that these inspirational poems and motivational books will be a source of encouragement for the rest of you.

Inspirational and Business Motivational Books

Inspirational Poem: Don't Quit

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don't you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don't give up though the pace seems slow--
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than,
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor's cup,
And he learned too late when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out--
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit--
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.

Don't Quit Poem: Author Unknown

Inspirational Poem: 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!

Keep Your Eyes On The Ball: Inspirational Art, Metal Painting

Personalized Inspirational Art Gift by Injete Chesoni: Abstract Metal Art, Acrylic Painting
Personalized Inspirational Art Gift by Injete Chesoni: Abstract Metal Art, Acrylic Painting

Desiderata Poem By Max Ehrman

You may read the text of the Desiderata poem here. I have not included the text in this hub as there is some dispute as to whether or not it is in the public domain. However, it is one of the best inspirational work poems that I know of so I felt that I should include it. It is full of wisdom, and has a number of verses that are particularly relevant to work and business. You can buy Desiderata posters, framed prints and poetry books at a variety of online stores including Amazon.


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    • Moyra profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Hi Ganesh thanks I like that poem too I checked it out previously when I came across a hubber who uses that handle.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I actually came across an excerpt of the poem "If" in some movie which I was not able to recollect and was breaking my head over it for some time (at that time I din't know the poem)... It came as a pleasant surprise when I came across your post while I was searching for Don't Quit. Thanks a lot for sharing...

      Don't Quit is one poem which inspired me a lot... probably, also check out the poem "Invictus" by William Ernest Henley. That's another of my all time favorite poems. Hope you will like it...

    • Moyra profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Hi Troy yes I wish I was as talented as Rudyard Kipling. It's a shame we don't know the author of Don't Quit. These two poems remain my favorites glad you enjoyed them.

    • Troy C. profile image

      Troy Wilkerson 

      9 years ago from Norfolk, VA

      I wish I had written those poems. Very inspirational, thanks for sharing.

    • Moyra profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago

      Hi "gmorninsun" thanks for the comment and I hope you get some inspiration from the reading.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Thanks, Moyra. I'm going to read and learn.

    • Moyra profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago

      Hi 2uesday thanks for all the encouraging comments. I appreciate them and I am glad you find some value in my hubs. It makes the writing worthwhile.

    • 2uesday profile image


      10 years ago

      I really like the way you put together your hubpages Moyra.

    • Moyra profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago

      Yes, Kipling is a brilliant mix of philosopher and poet. He manages to put profound words of wisdom into lines of rhyme and verse which stick with you.

    • Not Telling profile image

      Not Telling 

      10 years ago from Eastern Nowhere

      "If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

      And treat those two impostors just the same"

      Kipling will surprise you, won't he? :)


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