I was able to see an early screening of Invictus on Monday night with my family.  Invictus is the story of Nelson Mandela’s becoming president of South Africa and his efforts to unite a country divided by many years of apartheid.  President Mandela is an amazing man, and I am impressed with his leadership, his ability to forgive, his work ethic, and the kindness that he appeared showed to everyone.  Check out the movie and let me know what you think.

Coincidentally, I have been reading a book called Willpower Is Not Enough:  Why We Don’t Succeed at Change by Dr. A. Dean Byrd and Dr. Mark Chamberlain.  The first chapter of this book quotes the poem Invictus that is written by William Ernest Henley.  In the movie, the poem is a source of inspiration for Nelson Mandela; however, in the book about willpower, the authors cite the poem to illustrate that often our efforts to change ourselves require more than just being the “captain of [our] soul” as the poem suggests.

There are many valuable insights in this little book (181 pages including the index).  This is one of my favorite quotes:  “When it comes to changing our lives, our energy is often better spent in setting the sail than in rowing the boat.”

I can relate well to this image of myself in a small boat, vigorously rowing through the challenges of life, trying by my own measely effort to change myself into the person that I want to be.  Navigating this course by sheer willpower is not enough.  Instead of trying to control every aspect of our lives, the authors suggest that we are often much better off if we ”set the sail to pick up the winds of God’s power.”  We access God’s power in our lives by first seeking to learn his will and then striving to be submissive to it.

I have not yet finished the book but have found many worthwhile insights.  I highly recommend this book for anyone that has struggled to achieve the lasting change in their life that they desire.

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