I was introduced to this Poem by my father, who was a very wise man.

IF

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 of 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 imposters 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.
                                         --- Rudyard Kipling

Written in 1896 by the then 31 year old Rudyard Kipling.  First published in the "Brother Square Toes" chapter of Rewards and Fairies, Kipling's 1910 collection of short stories and poems.

Like William Ernest Henley's "Invictus" it is a memorable evocation of Victorian stoicism and the "stiff upper lip" that popular culture has made into a traditional British virtue.

The poem's line "If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster and treat those two imposters just the same" is written on the wall of the centre court players' entrance at the British Tennis Tournament, Wimbledon.  The entire poem was read in a promotional video for the Wimbledon 2008 gentleman's final by Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.   (via Wikipedia)

If you wish to see this video go to www.youtube.com and search Rudyard Kipling's Poem "If" read by Federer and Nadal.