In a guest lecture recently, Carl Icahn told Yale students that a poem by Rudyard Kipling is one of his favourites.
“You should read that poem,” Icahn said.
From a large monitor at the front of the classroom, he told the students what the poem, “If,” means to him.
Break it up a little and the famed raider’s prose might itself be considered a poem. Read on for his advice in free verse.
The Poem “If” by Carl Icahn
I read that once in a while and (in the code that we follow) it’s really important
To ‘meet with triumph and disaster’ and to ‘treat those two impostors just the same.’
So if you’re doing great, don’t think you’re a genius and
If you’re doing badly, don’t think the world comes to an end.
If you work hard and don’t let your ego get ahead of you,
(which so many people do when you’re doing well),
And if you don’t let yourself become
too despondent if you’re not doing well for a while.
And have faith in your ability,
And really work hard at whatever you do.
If you can do all that, I think, chances are good
You’re going to hit a lucky streak.
Luck comes and goes. realise that
When you’re doing really well, it’s not just you
And when you’re not, it’s not just you either.
Watch it on Academic Earth
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