Be Unconquered, pt. 4

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.

The time has come. Finals are here – the challenge that you’ve been building to for the last several months. For some this will be just a simple “test” (forgive the pun). For others the challenges you face are much more daunting. You’re tired, anxious, maybe a little done with it all. For those just starting the academic journey, you have another 11 semester (plus) of this. Are you ready? Of course you are. The last stanza of this powerful and ancient poem leaves us with a declaration that should reaffirm us all: no matter the path before me, I am in control of my life; I control my destiny.

Earlier tonight, I reminded a group of students with whom I work that success is a process. There are a few steps one must achieve if they are to be “masters” of their fate, and “captains” of their souls:

1. Do everything you can to know yourself more than anything else in this world. Before any text, other person, or skill, you should have an intimate understanding of yourself, which includes your strengths, talents, fears, and passions. How can you ever master that which you do not know?

2. Build relationships that will build you. Surround yourself with people who care about you, and for whom you care about. The reciprocal love that you put out and receive will shape your life in extraordinary ways.

3. Visualize success. Now visualize failure. Which one do you want? Literally go through the process of asking yourself where you will be if you fail in your current goals. The conversation can be an illuminating one. You may find that you need to be doing something else, or you may find the motivation you need to tackle your next challenge with renewed purpose and confidence.

So go forward scholars and leaders; dig deep to close out this semester and this year with the tenacity and ferocity that only you can bring. Despite your circumstances and despite the darkness that may loom ahead of you; remember the words of William Ernest Henley, and be unconquered.


Published by Dr. Michael D. Anthony

I currently serve as the Vice President of Student Affairs and Institutional Effectiveness at Prairie State College in Chicago Heights, IL. I served as an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Louisville and Loyola University in Chicago, IL. In order to expand my life's work beyond my day-to-day job, I started my own consulting work in leadership and diversity in 2008. I completed my Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership and Organizational Development at the University of Louisville, where I also earned my Master of Arts degree in Higher Education Administration. I hold a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management with a concentration in Marketing from North Carolina State University. A native of Charlotte, NC I am passionate about leadership development, organizational change, and the ability of effective leaders to transform their communities. During my professional career I have made it my personal goal to be a strong and vocal advocate for students, faculty, and staff, and have a life-long vision to empower others to affect positive change in their community. I live in Rochester, MN.

4 thoughts on “Be Unconquered, pt. 4

  1. These are excellent jewels that will transcend college into anyone’s post graduate life! In my own experience the most difficult feat is making time to become in tune with self. In the fast paced, tech savvy world in which we live it can be very challenging to take time to listen to our minds and hearts to learn and know who we are and what we want. Once we have accomplished this feat and apply this new found knowledge, life has an interesting way of just falling into place…

    Peace and Love,


    1. THANK YOU SHELECIA! I very much appreciate the post and your words have never rang more true. Hope you are well my friend:)


Let Me Know What You Think

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: