13 Life Changing Poems For Difficult Times in Life

Life changing poems have the power to shift our perspective and inspire us to make positive changes in our lives. These poems offer us new ways of thinking and feeling, encouraging us to break free from our comfort zones and embrace the unknown. They speak to the deepest parts of our being, stirring up emotions and encouraging us to find our own truth. Whether they are filled with hope, despair, or simply the beauty of everyday life, these poems have the ability to transform the way we live and see the world. With their captivating words and evocative imagery, life changing poems offer us a new way to navigate the complexities of life and emerge stronger, more resilient, and more fully alive.

Life Changing Poems:

Also read: 45 best life lessons from a 90 years old

1. How Did You Die? (by Edmund Vance Cooke)

How Did You Die wrote by Edmund Vance Cooke

Did you tackle that trouble that came your way

With a resolute heart and cheerful?

Or hide your face from the light of day

With a craven soul and fearful?

Oh, a trouble’s a ton, or a trouble’s an ounce,

Or a trouble is what you make it,

And it isn’t the fact that you’re hurt that counts,

But only how did you take it?

You are beaten to earth? Well, well, what’s that?

Come up with a smiling face.

It’s nothing against you to fall down flat,

But to lie there — that’s disgrace.

The harder you’re thrown, why the higher you bounce;

Be proud of your blackened eye!

It isn’t the fact that you’re licked that counts,

It’s how did you fight —  and why?

And though you be done to the death, what then?

If you battled the best you could,

If you played your part in the world of men,

Why, the Critic will call it good.

Death comes with a crawl, or comes with a pounce,

And whether he’s slow or spry,

It isn’t the fact that you’re dead that counts,

But only how did you die?

– Edmund Vance Cooke

2. It’s All In the State of Mind (by Walter D. Wintle)

It’s All In the State of Mind wrote by Walter D. Wintle

If you think you are beaten, you are,

If you think that you dare not, you don’t,

If you’d like to win, but you think you can’t,

It’s almost certain you won’t.

If you think you’ll lose, you’ve lost,

For out in the world you’ll find

Success begins with a fellow’s will—

It’s all in the state of mind.

Full many a race is lost

ere even a step is run,

And many a coward falls

ere even his work’s begun,

Think big, and your deeds will grow;

Think small, and you’ll fall behind;

Think that you can, and you will—

It’s all in the state of mind.

If you think you are out-classed, you are;

You’ve got to think high to rise;

You’ve got to be sure of yourself before

You ever can win a prize,

Life’s battles don’t always go

To the stronger or faster man;

But soon or late the man who wins

Is the man who thinks he can.

– Walter D. Wintle

3. Defeat (by Khalil Gibran)

Defeat wrote by Khalil Gibran

Defeat, my Defeat, my solitude, and my aloofness;

You are dearer to me than a thousand triumphs,

And sweeter to my heart than all world glory.

Defeat, my Defeat, my self-knowledge, and my defiance,

Through you, I know that I am yet young and swift of foot

And not to be trapped by withering laurels.

And in you, I have found aloneness

And the joy of being shunned and scorned.

Defeat, my Defeat, my shining sword, and shield,

In your eyes, I have read

That to be enthroned is to be enslaved,

And to be understood is to be leveled down,

And to be grasped is but to reach one’s fullness

And like a ripe fruit to fall and be consumed.

Defeat, my Defeat, my bold companion,

You shall hear my songs and my cries and my silences,

And none but you shall speak to me of the beating of wings,

And urging of seas,

And of mountains that burn in the night,

And you alone shall climb my steep and rocky soul.

Defeat, my Defeat, my deathless courage,

You and I shall laugh together with the storm,

And together we shall dig graves for all that die in us,

And we shall stand in the sun with a will,

And we shall be dangerous.

– Khalil Gibran

4. A Psalm of Life (by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)

Life changing poem A Psalm of Life wrote by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Tell me not, in mournful numbers,

Life is but an empty dream!

For the soul is dead that slumbers,

And things are not what they seem.

Life is real! Life is earnest!

And the grave is not its goal;

Dust thou art, to dust returnest,

Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,

Is our destined end or way;

But to act, that each to-morrow,

Find us farther than to-day.

Art is long, and Time is fleeting,

And our hearts, though stout and brave,

Still, like muffled drums are beating,

Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world’s broad field of battle,

In the bivouac of Life,

Be not like dumb, driven cattle!

Be a hero in the strife!

Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!

Let the dead Past bury its dead!

Act,— act in the living Present!

Heart within, and God o’erhead!

Lives of great men all remind us

We can make our lives sublime,

And, departing, leave behind us

Footprints on the sands of time;

Footprints, that perhaps another,

Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,

A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,

Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us, then, be up and doing,

With a heart for any fate;

Still achieving, still pursuing,

Learn to labor and to wait.

– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

5. IF (by Rudyard Kipling)

Life changing poem  IF wrote 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!

– Rudyard Kipling

6. Invictus (by William Ernest Henley)

Life changing poem  Invictus wrote by William Ernest Henley

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.

– William Ernest Henley

7. Desiderata (by Max Ehrmann)

Life changing poem  Desiderata wrote by Max Ehrmann

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,

and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible without surrender

be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly;

and listen to others,

even the dull and the ignorant;

they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,

they are vexations to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,

you may become vain and bitter;

for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;

it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs;

for the world is full of trickery.

But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;

many persons strive for high ideals;

and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.

Especially, do not feign affection.

Neither be cynical about love;

for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment

it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,

gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.

But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.

Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,

be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,

no less than the trees and the stars;

you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you,

no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,

whatever you conceive Him to be,

and whatever your labors and aspirations,

in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,

it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

– Max Ehrmann

8. The Will To Win (by Berton Braley)

Life changing poem  The Will To Win wrote by Berton Braley

If you want a thing bad enough

To go out and fight for it,

Work day and night for it,

Give up your time and your peace and your sleep for it

If only desire of it

Makes you quite mad enough

Never to tire of it,

Makes you hold all other things tawdry and cheap for it

If life seems all empty and useless without it

And all that you scheme and you dream is about it,

If gladly you’ll sweat for it,

Fret for it,

Plan for it,

Lose all your terror of God or man for it,

If you’ll simply go after that thing that you want,

With all your capacity,

Strength and sagacity,

Faith, hope and confidence, stern pertinacity,

If neither cold poverty, famished and gaunt,

Nor sickness nor pain

Of body or brain

Can turn you away from the thing that you want,

If dogged and grim you besiege and beset it,

You’ll get it!

– Berton Braley

9. Lose yourself (by Rumi)

Life changing poem  Lose yourself wrote by Rumi

“Lose yourself,

Lose yourself in this love.

When you lose yourself in this love,

you will find everything.

Lose yourself,

Lose yourself.

Do not fear this loss,

For you will rise from the earth

and embrace the endless heavens.

Lose yourself,

Lose yourself.

Escape from this earthly form,

For this body is a chain

and you are its prisoner.

Smash through the prison wall

and walk outside with the kings and princes.

Lose yourself,

Lose yourself at the foot of the glorious King. When you lose yourself

before the King

you will become the King.

Lose yourself,

Lose yourself.

Escape from the black cloud

that surrounds you.

Then you will see your own light

as radiant as the full moon.

Now enter that silence.

This is the surest way

to lose yourself. . . .

What is your life about, anyway?—

Nothing but a struggle to be someone,

Nothing but a running from your own silence.”

– Rumi

10. When I Die (by Rumi)

When I Die wrote by Rumi

When I die

when my coffin

is being taken out

you must never think

i am missing this world

don’t shed any tears

don’t lament or

feel sorry

i’m not falling

into a monster’s abyss

when you see

my corpse is being carried

don’t cry for my leaving

i’m not leaving

i’m arriving at eternal love

when you leave me

in the grave

don’t say goodbye

remember a grave is

only a curtain

for the paradise behind

you’ll only see me

descending into a grave

now watch me rise

how can there be an end

when the sun sets or

the moon goes down

it looks like the end

it seems like a sunset

but in reality it is a dawn

when the grave locks you up

that is when your soul is freed

have you ever seen

a seed fallen to earth

not rise with a new life

why should you doubt the rise

of a seed named human

have you ever seen

a bucket lowered into a well

coming back empty

why lament for a soul

when it can come back

like Joseph from the well

when for the last time

you close your mouth

your words and soul

will belong to the world of

no place no time

Life by Edith Wharton

Life, like a marble block, is given to all,

A blank, inchoate mass of years and days,

Whence one with ardent chisel swift essays

Some shape of strength or symmetry to call;

One shatters it in bits to mend a wall;

One in a craftier hand the chisel lays,

And one, to wake the mirth in Lesbia’s gaze,

Carves it apace in toys fantastical.

But least is he who, with enchanted eyes

Filled with high visions of fair shapes to be,

Muses which god he shall immortalize

In the proud Parian’s perpetuity,

Till twilight warns him from the punctual skies

That the night cometh wherein none shall see.

– Rumi

11. The Road Not Taken (by Robert Frost)

The Road Not Taken wrote by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

– Robert Frost

12. Roll the Dice (by Charles Bukowski)

Roll the Dice wrote by Charles Bukowski

if you’re going to try, go all the

way.

otherwise, don’t even start.

if you’re going to try, go all the

way. this could mean losing girlfriends,

wives, relatives, jobs and

maybe your mind.

go all the way.

it could mean not eating for 3 or

4 days.

it could mean freezing on a

park bench.

it could mean jail,

it could mean derision,

mockery,

isolation.

isolation is the gift,

all the others are a test of your

endurance, of

how much you really want to

do it.

and you’ll do it

despite rejection and the

worst odds

and it will be better than

anything else

you can imagine.

if you’re going to try,

go all the way.

there is no other feeling like

that.

you will be alone with the

gods

and the nights will flame with

fire.

do it, do it, do it.

do it.

all the way

all the way.

you will ride life straight to

perfect laughter,

it’s the only good fight

there is.

– Charles Bukowski

13. Keep Going (by Edgar Guest)

Keep Going wrote by Edgar Guest

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,

When the road you’re trudging seems all up hill,

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 afar;

So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit—

It’s when things seem worst that you mustn’t quit.

– Edgar Guest

Thanks for reading the collection of the best life changing poems from various authors.

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Manoranjan Sahoo
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