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Radical Business – The Power of Love

February 26, 2017

Linear thinking and its rationalising objectification provides an important tool for us, helping us abstract our thinking from the here-and-now for analysis, planning, forecasting, scientific empirical examination and material exploitation. This thinking has helped us construct our civilizations.  No problem, unless this way of attending begins to dominate and so crowds out our other ways of knowing (sensing, feeling, embodying, intuiting).

ways of knowing

The ‘thinking tool’ has a grasping tendency that, if left unchecked, usurps our attention to such an extent that we lose touch of the deeper wisdom within and all around us – we perceive only the abstractions of our analysing mind, missing the wood for the trees.

‘We have created a sufficiently strong propensity not only to make divisions in knowledge where there are none in Nature, and then to impose the divisions on Nature, making the reality thus comfortable to the idea, but to go further, and to convert the generalisations made from observation into positive entities, permitting for the future these artificial creations to tyrannise over the understanding.’  Henry Maudsley

With this come out-of-kilter perspectives that bring us out of conscious attunement with life’s rhythms and wisdom. We begin to find it harder to align with our deeper sense of self-other-Nature. And so our relations warp from the inherently empathic, biophilic, compassionate nature of Homo sapiens into portraying only the self-absorbing egotistic-traits of selfishness, greed, competition and narcissism.  So caught up in our own self-reflexive ego-chattering illusions we become, that we increasingly numb ourselves from embodying the deeper intrinsic inter-relational reality of life.

Alas, this is what is happening on a global scale with deleterious consequences for all life on Earth. Any meaningful transition towards a more sustainable and civilized future for humanity needed to involve our re-membering a more balanced way of attending to life: yin/yang, receptive/responsive, open/closed, flowing/specific, dynamic/objectified, presencing/abstract, intuitive/rational, feminine/masculine, and so forth.

‘The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, the rational mind its faithful servant. We have created a society that honours the servant and has forgotten the gift’. Albert Einstein


This re-balancing allows us to contribute to a rebalancing in our organisations, communities, socio-economics and ways of governing.

There are a great variety of ways to enhance a more balanced yin-yang, receptive-responsive awareness in our lives. For example: bringing more stillness into our busy minds by sitting quieting, feeling the space between our heart-beats, feeling the in and out breath in our nostrils, meditating, chanting, drawing, playing a musical instrument, dancing, reading or writing poetry, practicing somatic awareness, yoga, Qi Kong, T’ai Chi, etc.  And there are ways to bring this more embodied awareness into the workplace too – hence the work on Steps Towards a Deeper Ecology of Business we explored recently at Ashridge Business School.

7s ways of being

For me, I like immersing myself in the natural world, finding stillness within the movements of Nature, along with some gentle T’ai Chi and yoga movements. The more I develop this deeper sense of presence the more noticeable it is when my rationalising, abstracting and often distracting ego monkey-mind interferes and so the more conscious I can be in allowing my rational mind to serve as a useful tool rather than trying to dominate.

Feeling the creative energy within my bodymind helps me re-member that I (like all expression of Nature) am energy. This energetic presence within (and all around me) is receptive and responsive. I can enhance this receptivity and responsiveness by attuning my bodymind through developing what is often referred to as ‘heart-awareness’ due to our bodyminds finding their centre-of-awareness in the heart area.

The Heart – A Powerful Organ of Perception

Much research has been undertaken into the heart as an organ of perception (along with the gut and brain, also increasing scientific recognition that each and every cell in our bodies contains mind-matter aspects with capacity for sentience and memory).  The heart is the body’s most powerful electromagnetic sensor and transmitter, continually decoding the vast array of electromagnetic and quantum signals radiating in our lived-in environment. 65% of the cells in the heart are neural cells which are wired into the nervous system, gut and brain.

The heart governs our bodymind’s sensory, neural, nervous and instinctual systems. There is now scientific evidence pointing to the heart perceiving and decoding intuitive information from our surrounds first and foremost (‘direct perception’) and then updating the brain and gut, which then respond to this information – hence, intuitive feelings, premonitions and also ESP phenomena are detected through the direct perception of the heart (see one such scientific study here).

Read more…

Natural Business: Conscious business the way Nature intended

February 12, 2017

Our understanding of how life works is undergoing a transformation. And with it, so is our understanding of how organisations find resilience in times of volatility.

Recent findings indicate that life is intricately inter-related, deeply sentient and purposeful.


Whether it’s the cells within us, our human bodies, the wider socio-economic and ecological ecosystems we live within, or the organizations we attend for work each day – all these living systems display specific characteristics and traits.

feedback nature 3

Life abides by the way of Nature. The more we understand Nature’s principles, relating them to our own organizational living systems, the more we allow our living organizations to thrive in time of volatility and uncertainty.

Nature’s principles applied to business are: resilience, optimizing, adaptive, systems-based, values-led, life-supporting.  Integrating these principles into our organizations enables us to become future-fit.

front cover

Yet, underpinning these ‘ways of doing’ is an underlying strategic and operational intent, a leadership mind-set that creates the nutritious soil and safe space for our team dynamics and ways of working to come alive.

To cultivate this nutritious cultural soil, we need an approach to leadership that is quite different from the traditional leadership development and managerial approaches many of us have been trained and practiced in: A ‘new norm’ of leadership.

The most fundamental shift facing our leaders and managers today is a shift in our way of being, knowing and thinking. This shift is foundational to any meaningful transformation towards a resilient, life-affirming business.

Natural leadership

This shift is a worldview shift that at one level is a shift from seeing the organisation as a machine to recognizing the organisation is a living system; at another level this is a shift in our sense of place and purpose in the world – from seeing ourselves as separate individuals and organizations vying for control through mechanistic management techniques and meeting protocols, to recognizing ourselves, our teams, organisations and stakeholder ecosystems are all inter-related, co-participatory and emergent, unfolding and evolving beyond our control. Rather than control-based hierarchic logic and fear-based carrot-and-stick approaches, as leaders we have the humbling responsibility to create the conditions conducive for life to flourish through empowerment, local attunement, self-management, humility, love, respect, courage and authenticity. Read more…

Soul Business for a World in Transition

January 17, 2017

‘What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls the butterfly.’ Richard Bach, author

Since the industrial revolution, we have achieved great feats of economic, social and technological advancement. The structures and strictures of old have served us well in many material ways. But, as Bob Dylan would say, ‘times they are a changing!’

We now face increasing volatility on numerous fronts: enter the world of commodity spikes, resource scarcity, widespread environmental degradation, social inequality, economic turbulence, population and migrant pressure, changing demographics, the internet of things, disruptive technologies, climate change, and more.

nature - human 1


Over half the world’s population is now younger than 30 years old. Two generations have now grown up with the internet. It doesn’t take a degree in anthropology to notice that the world is very different today than it was 30 years ago.

In 2010, 1.2 billion people were online globally. By 2020, that number will reach 5 billion. Nearly 4 billion more people, along with their collective intelligence, will be available for value creation via smartphones, tablets and internet cafes. The capabilities being unleashed are unprecedented.

Uber, the world’s largest taxi company, owns no vehicles; Facebook, the world’s most popular media owner, creates no content; Alibaba, the most valuable retailer, has no inventory; Airbnb, the world’s largest accommodation-provider, owns no real estate. The institutional and ownership powers of old are being challenged by the empowering effect of the network.

The best people do not want to work in bureaucratic organizations. They want to be in an environment that is creative, exciting, empowering, purposeful and passionate. They want to feel a meaningful connection with the value they create, rather than feeling like lost corporate cogs enslaved in the monolith of machine mentality.

What many of us crave for are more meaningful moments and life-experiences. More time to spend following our curiosity; to feel alive and explore our authenticity. More time to build nourishing relationships; to really experience the world as well as what is around us here and now. More time to enjoy the simple things in life; to be present with our loved ones, with our friends, acquaintances and strangers we meet along the way. Yet much of the time our working life starves us of what is most precious to us, the time and space to become who we truly are: social, curious, playful, creative, loving and purposeful humans.

So let’s cut to the chase. The root cause of our carcinogenic corporate mind-set is a corrupting logic that sets us apart from, and in competition with, our own true nature, each other and the world around us. We have become inured in a flawed philosophic and socio-economic worldview which pervades our daily consciousness to such an extent that much of our collective activity assumes it to be just-the-way-life-is.

MDG : Green Economy and Forests REDD : hills of burnt out brown and deforested land in Thailand

What we consider normal business practice is often pathological. We struggle to see beyond this pathology, caught up in our own illusory hall of mirrors creating what Albert Einstein called an optical delusion of consciousness. We are engaged in a kind of deluding neurosis with devastating implications for human society and the wider fabric of life on Earth. And, our ingrained approaches to education, economics and organizational management are, in the main, infected by this neurosis, exacerbating the acculturation of our insanity.

human nature morphesus

Time is not on our side. If we wish to ensure anything resembling a successful outcome for our organizations, wider socio-economic systems and general civilization, we need to get radical and deal with root causes while also attending to downstream effects.

Such a shift challenges us at deep and partly unconscious levels. It challenges powerful and complex influences within our own psyche and cultural consciousness. It challenges the status quo structures of governance, engrained patterns of power relations, and dominant ways of leading, managing and operating within our organizations. It challenges the very way in which we relate as human beings in our more-than-human world.

butterfly true

Let us pause for a moment.

Recall a recent conversation at work, and reflect on how we were listening and sharing. If we are brutally honest here, we may well be able to recall when we were not actually being our authentic selves, perhaps skewing the conversation through our judgements, personal agendas, defensive positioning, desires to get our point across, manipulating our presentation in a way that ‘sells’ our view in the best light. In some respects this is normal human sociality, yet if ‘over done’ it hinders the emergence of deeper soul-to-soul improvisational sharing.

To be vulnerable, undefended, open-hearted and free from ego-encroachments requires our conscious attention, determination and courage. And when we do open up whole-heartedly and put our agendas and judgements to one side, the other person (consciously or unconsciously) will sense this and feel more able to open up themselves, inviting in an opening for soulful sharing. The life-blood of our firms of the future is this soulful sharing through the day-to-day conversations, the adhoc feedback, the listening intently, the corridor chat, the collaborative gatherings, the stillness within meetings, and empathic email responses.

‘To be here requires attention, listening, and gazing deeply without assaulting each thing seen with a conclusion. The silence here is not just in the ‘what has been’, it is most deliciously waiting, too, in the ‘what will be’.’ Cheryl Sanders-Sardello, phenomenologist

The continual challenge is to remain grounded and centered as situations unfold. A loving interest in each unfolding moment provides for an active creativity which is calm yet energised, patient yet passionate, devoted yet tolerant.

Amid these times of upheaval and challenge, we are midwifing the birth of our authentic selves, simultaneously midwifing a metamorphosis of our humanity within our organizations, global community and more-than-human world. And birthing always comes with surrender, pain and then the beginning of a deeper, wider vista of remembering why we are here: to live in love and wisdom.

‘Awakening to the original seed of one’s soul and hearing it speak may not be easy. How do we recognize its voice; what signals does it give? Before we can address these questions, we need to notice our own deafness, the obstructions that make us hard of hearing; the reductionism, the literalism, the scientism of our so-called common sense… For the soul is not a measureable entity, not a substance, not a force – even if we are called by the force [of its] curious thought, devotional feeling, suggestive intuition, and daring imagination.’ James Hillman, psychologist


Giles Hutchins  is a thought leader, speaker and adviser on the future of business.  Recently, Global Sustainability Director for Atos, and previously a management consultant with KPMG, he has helped transform a wide range of organizations (corporate, third sector, public sector and start-up) and is author of the books The Nature of Business and The Illusion of Separation.  His latest book is Future Fit, watch a short 3 minute video about it here.

To explore ‘the new paradigm’ further, join the Face Book community here

The Illusion of Separation – the cause of our current crises

January 10, 2017

‘I regard the grooves of destiny into which our civilization has entered as a special case of evolutionary cul-de-sac. Courses which offered short-term advantage have been adopted, have become rigidly programmed, and have begun to prove disastrous over longer time. This is the paradigm for extinction by way of loss of flexibility.’ Gregory Bateson.


What has become widely referred to as ‘Western civilisation’ has brought great technological advancement and social change over the millennia. Its underpinning scientific-philosophy is now the dominant paradigm in most parts of our world, regarded by many as the only viable way ahead and a panacea for all our ills.

The cultural belief has grown that, with enough time and money, all problems can be solved through this science and technology. One has only to be reminded of the great strides we have made in, for instance, computing, manufacturing, medicine and food production to recognise the attraction of this creed.

Yet something is amiss. We seem to be facing increasingly insurmountable social, psychological, economic and environmental problems of epic proportions. Many are now recognising that these problems run deep and wide. These are pivotal times for humanity. And yet the regular reaction to our plethora of problems is to find scientific, monetary or technological fixes way downstream from the inherent problems themselves. All too often these downstream fixes actually exacerbate the underlying problems. As the scholar Joseph Milne notes, There is a tendency in our age to rush to change the manifest effects of wrong actions without seriously considering the root causes’.

Have we become addicted to a pathway that undermines our very evolution? Are our sustainability initiatives optimising inherently unsustainable strategies? Would it not be wiser to take sufficient pause to explore and reveal the root causes of our many crises and remedy them there rather than trying in vain to deal with their ever deepening, spreading and complicating down-stream ramifications? By stepping back to ponder, we can start to identify the ensemble of intrinsic, culturally embedded problems within our social, economic, scientific and philosophical Western paradigms – for convenience referred to collectively herein as the ‘Western paradigm’.

Far from our Western paradigm being the grand solution-provider to all our ills, many prominent thinkers in business, politics, education, society, the arts and sciences point to its role in actually fuelling the multiple crises. For instance, the much admired award-winning former Chairman and CEO of Interface, Ray Anderson explained,

‘We have been, and still are, in the grips of a flawed view of reality – a flawed paradigm, a flawed world view – and it pervades our culture putting us on biological collision course with collapse.’

Christine Lagarde, Head of the International Monetary Fund points out that

‘we are currently subsidising the destruction of our planet on an enormous scale.’

And contemporary writer C.J. Moore notes that:

Many of our accepted practices and beliefs have brought us, and our planet, to a place of extreme vulnerability and dire ugliness  …  Governments and institutions that should have been protectors of society and landscape, have played into the hands of commerce and short term profiteering.

While this Western paradigm has brought much material betterment (details of which are well versed) it has an insidious, cancerous quality causing it to undermine our very existence. Its historic tendency has been to colonise new lands and ’markets’ in a way that is fundamentally destructive of its host, like cancer does. Put bluntly, our prevalent way of attending is systemically anti-life. There are ample books, research papers and scientific studies exploring in detail the damage inflicted by modern humanity upon our biosphere and it is assumed the reader is either aware of, or can find out with ease, the current demise of life on Earth which goes far deeper than the hot topic of climate change.

For instance, bio-diversity loss on Earth is now assumed to be happening at a rate of somewhere between 100‒1000 times faster than background rates. Another obvious warning sign is the gigantic ‘plastic islands’ now coalescing in our oceans. The one in the Pacific Ocean known as the ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’ is thought to be larger than the size of France and growing by the day.

This systemically anti-life behaviour begs the questions, ‘Are we able to change our way of living to one that is supportive of, rather than destructive to, life? If so, how and how fast?’ These are pivotal questions for our time. This book takes us on a journey upstream to find root causes and then sets about exploring ways of attending to life that could overcome these corruptions.

Clearly a small book cannot hope to provide definitive answers if there were such things – and indeed, as we shall explore, the quest for certainty through definitive logic is at the root of our present difficulties – yet in The Illusion of Separation we provide an accessible exploration of:

  • How the Western paradigm developed in the way it has done and what the root causes of this carcinogenic way of attending may be (by ‘attending’ is meant our overall experiencing of life – analysing, perceiving, relating, engaging, and embodying);
  • Ways to rectify these root causes at source;
  • A way ahead which does not constrain itself with the same thinking that caused the problems in the first place.

In Part One we start from the present day situation of consumerism which we seem so hopelessly dependent upon in the West. We explore how the Freudian desire to control the irrational aspects of our psyche influenced a perceived need to manipulate society through consumerism.

Then we take a step upstream, back in time, to Darwinism and the way in which we came to view the world through the lens of competition. We explore how this perception originates with the abstraction of separating content from context and how this goes hand-in-hand with capitalism and the desire for control through socio-economic systems.

From here we go further upstream to the Scientific Revolution of the sixteenth and seventeenth century. We explore how our Western mind became predominantly materialistic, whereupon Nature was perceived as a collection of objects to be controlled and manipulated.

From here we venture yet further upstream in search of the formation of Western philosophy in ancient Greece. We also explore the rise of Christendom in Europe during medieval times and its effect on our way of perceiving life.

Then finally, we forge further upstream to the springs of civilisation and the invasions of Neolithic Europe in search of how domination and control came to pervade Western culture.

Having identified potential root causes and their restrictive effects, in Part Two we start to re-view life beyond these restrictions, unshackled as it were from ingrained cultural habituations. We start off by exploring Nature’s myriad ways of relating.

Then we take a brief look at the exciting discoveries of quantum physics and how our perception of space, energy and matter can deepen beyond mechanistic materialism. This leads us on into exploring some interesting Western theories about the relation of consciousness and matter.

We then explore some profound developments in Western thought which point to life beyond the tidy confines of objectified science: phenomenology, process philosophy, participatory consciousness and ecological psychology.

Then our own psyche and conscious awareness is explored within a journey of self-realisation. This leads us on to a deeper perspective of our imagination, heart and soul. And then, the ancient yet timeless wisdom of indigenous cultures is related to all that has been understood so far in our explorations.

Finally, the concept of a ‘paradigm shift’ is discussed along with what leadership capabilities this may call upon. Having explored Western conceptual thinking, we can then dive into a new way of embracing life in Part Three.

You can find independent reviews about The Illusion of Separation on Good Reads here


Here is a short 2 minute video about it:

The Illusion of Separation can be found on Amazon across the globe – here is it on


Meditations on Patience, Tensions, Relationships and Seeing Everyday as a Learning Lesson

January 6, 2017


‘We tend to think of meditation in only one way. But life itself is a meditation.’ Raul Julia

‘What is within us is within everything. Once we understand this truth, we step outside of the parameters of our individual self and come to realise the power that is within us. This shift in awareness is a very simple step that has profound consequences.’ Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

‘We are all living in cages with the door wide open.’ George Lucas (paraphrasing Rumi)

‘When you judge another, you do not define them you define yourself.’ Anon

Depth psychologists refer to the ‘small self’ and the ‘true Self’ within us, which relates to what other practitioners such as Maslow and Barrett refer to as the ‘ego’ and the ‘soul’.  In this Meditation we shall be exploring (amongst other things) the relationship between our ego and soul within us, and how this ego-soul dynamic influences the quality of our relations with others.

The ‘small self’ is our ‘ego persona’ which has been developed through our experiences, learnings, education, social conditions and acculturations. It pervades our daily waking consciousness and is there to help us deal with the challenges and opportunities of everyday life.

That said, it can actually hinder us, and regularly does, as it has a tendency to dominate our daily awareness to such an extent that it can suffocate our ‘true Self’, in-turn undermining the potential for our deeper essential nature (consisting of our unique creativity, wisdom and love) to shine through us. This is because the ‘small self’ seeks to protect us and keep us safe, but in so doing, it keeps us ‘small’ as its natural tendency is to react to change and tension in a defensive way, seeking protection and security. Yet change and tension bring the opportunity for transformation and learning if we so choose to embrace them responsively rather than reactively.

{NB – As an aside, there is interesting research by leading neuroscientists suggesting that the nature of our left and right brain hemispheric awareness can contribute to an already overly dominant ego-awareness i.e. if we are more predominantly influenced by left-brained awareness we focus in, mechanise, reduce and polarise situations, and this polarising tendency comes with a heightened sense of separation of self from other, heightened oppositional mind-set, and heightened ego-awareness, which then crowds out the more relational, embodied, kinaesthetic, somatic, intuitive, soulful awareness of the right-brain hemisphere (which is more open to the wisdom of our heart, gut, deeper bodymind and Nature).  Put simple, we are more centred, open, authentic, creative, wise and compassionate when we have a more balanced left and right brain hemispheric awareness then when we are more predominantly in left-brained awareness.  Modern culture, digitisation, reductionism and materialism exacerbate left-brained awareness according to Iain McGilchrist and other leading neuroscientists, heightening an already overly dominant ego-awareness within an increasingly individualistic culture. This tendency is actually undermining our personal and collective potential as Homo sapiens – Greek for ‘wise beings’.}

During our life-experiences we have picked up habituations, patterns of behaviour and judgemental projections that form a part of our ego-persona. Also, during our life we have attempted to deny or suppress mannerisms and feelings because we find them unsuitable for the ego-personification we seek to portray in order to fit-in and be accepted by our ‘tribe’. These suppressed aspects form what psychologists sometimes refer to as our ‘shadow’ – aspects pushed out of the light of our daily consciousness into the shadowy depths of our ‘unconscious’ yet still influencing us through our emotions, reactions, and interactions in often uncontrolled or partially mediated ways.

We react to situations with well-trodden habits. The more our behaviours are ingrained in us the more difficult they are for us to acknowledge and transform. While these well-trodden behaviours may give us a certain security and consistency in our persona, they can undermine our personal development. They can also undermine our relations, as our defensiveness, judgemental perspective, impatience and reactivity actually undermine the potential for synergy that could result from relational tensions as we go about our day-to-day.

Hence, our personal development is intimately entwined with our communal and societal development.  No man is an island.

Read more…

It’s Time to Get Radical and Confront our Problems

December 23, 2016

Arguably, we have lost our way, cutting ourselves adrift from our sense of place and purpose in the world. Cue the contagion of consumerism, the polarisation of politics and the ecocide of our environment.

Often we focus our attention on downstream effects (such as climate change, rampant social inequality and rising stress in the workplace) instead of paying adequate attention to the root causes. In the words of the Persian Poet Rumi, ‘We are searching amongst branches for what is found only in the roots.’

Woven into our scientific-philosophy and socio-economic thinking at deeply subconscious levels is a fundamental corruption, a flawed logic setting us apart from each other and Nature. Einstein spoke of this as an optical illusion of consciousness, which is now manifesting a devastating delusion. Large swathes of modern humanity are inured and institutionalised by the illusion of separation. It creates the belief that life is innately competitive, whilst evolution is a process of selfish ascendance. Breeding fear, polarisation and egotism, it creates carcinogenic behaviour hallmarked by a desperate desire for competition, consumption and ownership.

Peter Drucker once said, ‘In times of turmoil, the danger lies not in the turmoil, but in facing it with yesterday’s logic.’ Frequently attempts to achieve well-intended solutions apply the very logic that created the problems. The new spirit of business, politics and socio-economics must be rooted in a new logic that transcends this illusion.

By stimulating this new rationale, we liberate ourselves from the restrictions of the self-limiting mind-set that originally created the problems, enabling a shift to occur: from egotism to empathy; from separation to synchronicity; from power over to power with; from fear to courage. This shift enables new ways of leading, focusing on facilitating a learning environment where we can develop our capacity to become authentic co-creators within a life-affirming future.

It simply requires our undivided attention and a deep love for life. Making space in our busy schedules to get out into Nature or retreat to a quiet place is a good start. Like the great minds of Einstein, Da Vinci, Pythagoras and Confucius, we too can allow ourselves to tune in to the inherent wisdom flowing throughout Nature. It’s time to activate this timeless wisdom today.


In humanity’s hour of reckoning these times of breakdown can create the conditions for individual breakthrough. If we have courage.

We are in the midst of a seismic paradigm shift, where the challenge of our time is to create space within our manic schedules for a real embodiment of the innate wisdom life affords us, thus increasing our awareness to the shift already afoot. Whether we’re activists or accountants, engineers or entrepreneurs, midwives or musicians, these transformational times demand we trigger this consciousness now.

Watch a 3min video about The Illusion of Separation see here. For a longer 10min talk see here.

Giles Hutchins, is Chair of The Future Fit Leadership Academy and blogs at

IF you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs…

December 10, 2016

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!

IF – by Rudyard Kipling, source: