Success Poems

Published: October 2019

Poems About Success And Hard Work

We all want to be successful. But what is success? Too many times, we measure it by a person's wealth or status. We often use those markers to determine whether or not we have been successful in life. Basing it on that criteria alone means that a lot of people will never meet the world's definition of "success."

Success is attaining a purpose or goal you have set out to accomplish. The poems in this collection take a deeper look at other definitions of success. It's not about living up to the world's standards. Being successful is much more than money or popularity. It's about being yourself, working hard to achieve your dreams, learning lessons from your mistakes, and living your best life.

The start of a new year is marked with many resolutions. Some look at keeping those resolutions as a marker for success. But for many, it's challenging to accomplish the goals we have at the beginning of the year. This year, instead of resolutions of losing weight or getting organized, why don't we focus on our character? Let's look for ways to be kinder, more encouraging, and present with those around us. Let's not get distracted by the expectations of the world. Instead, let's live out our own definition of success.

14 Poems About Success And Hard Work

  1. 1. If

    Rudyard Kipling was an English poet who lived from 1865-1936. He also wrote many children's stories. The poem's line, "If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster and treat those two impostors just the same," is written on the wall of the players' entrance at Wimbledon.

    in Famous Inspirational Poems

    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!

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  2. 2. Keep Going

    Edgar Guest (1881-1959) was a prolific American poet – publishing a poem every day in the Detroit Free Press for 30 years. Known as the People’s Poet, Edgar Guest wrote easy-to-read poems about many relatable topics. He wrote encouraging life messages about topics such as family and work. This particular poem encourages readers not to give up when they are faced with challenges. Even when things are not going well, keep pushing on. You never know how close you are to success and making it to the other side.

    in Famous Inspirational Poems

    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.

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  4. 3. Equipment

    Edgar A. Guest was born in 1881 in England, but his family moved to the United States when he was 10. It is believed that he wrote more than 11,000 poems. Guest wrote about family, work, children, and God. In this poem, he shows that each person has the ability to do amazing things, but we must each work hard to get to where we want to be. We must look within ourselves to find the strength and courage needed to do great things with what God has given us. This is a poem of encouragement and motivation. Within each stanza are sets of rhyming couplets.

    in Famous Inspirational Poems

    Figure it out for yourself, my lad,
    You've all that the greatest of men have had,
    Two arms, two hands, two legs, two eyes,
    And a brain to use if you would be wise.
    With this equipment they all began,
    So start for the top and say "I can."

    Look them over, the wise and great,
    They take their food from a common plate
    And similar knives and forks they use,
    With similar laces they tie their shoes,
    The world considers them brave and smart.
    But you've all they had when they made their start.

    You can triumph and come to skill,
    You can be great if only you will,
    You're well equipped for what fight you choose,
    You have legs and arms and a brain to use,
    And the man who has risen, great deeds to do
    Began his life with no more than you.

    You are the handicap you must face,
    You are the one who must choose your place,
    You must say where you want to go.
    How much you will study the truth to know,
    God has equipped you for life, But He
    Lets you decide what you want to be.

    Courage must come from the soul within,
    The man must furnish the will to win,
    So figure it out for yourself, my lad,
    You were born with all that the great have had,
    With your equipment they all began.
    Get hold of yourself, and say: "I can."

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  5. 4. If You Must Go

    • By Terry Gouveia
    • Published by Family Friend Poems April 2015 with permission of the Author.

    These are a few things I have learned from my experiences in life.

    in Life Lesson Poems

    If you must go, then go for a while
    Remember that first step is a hard traveled mile.

    To learn what lessons life has in store,
    You must be willing to open each door.

    Don't be afraid to experience something new
    For each experience will be a benefit to you.

    Never live your life in the past
    Enjoy every day as if it were your last

    Mistakes you will make along the way
    Learn from them, and you'll be okay

    Set your goals high and strive for them
    As long as you try, you'll never be condemned

    Be kind and respect the people you meet
    For they may be the ones to make life complete

    Be sincere in everything you do
    And treat others as you wish they would you

    Whatever you do, make sure you're content
    For the last thing you want is something to resent

    So if you must go, then go for a while
    And when you return, return with a smile.

    Poem With Words Of Advice, If You Must Go

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  7. 5. It Couldn't Be Done

    Edgar Albert Guest (1881-1959) published more than twenty volumes of poetry and over 11,000 poems. His first published poem and many more were published in the Detroit Free Press where he was a columnist. He later had both popular radio and television shows. Guest has been called "the poet of the people." Of his poems he said, "I take simple everyday things that happen to me and I figure it happens to a lot of other people and I make simple rhymes out of them."

    in Famous Inspirational Poems

    Somebody said that it couldn’t be done
          But he with a chuckle replied
    That "maybe it couldn't," but he would be one
          Who wouldn't say so till he'd tried.
    So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
          On his face. If he worried he hid it.
    He started to sing as he tackled the thing
          That couldn’t be done, and he did it!

    Somebody scoffed: "Oh, you’ll never do that;
          At least no one ever has done it;"
    But he took off his coat and he took off his hat
          And the first thing we knew he'd begun it.
    With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
          Without any doubting or quiddit,
    He started to sing as he tackled the thing
          That couldn't be done, and he did it.

    There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
          There are thousands to prophesy failure,
    There are thousands to point out to you one by one,
          The dangers that wait to assail you.
    But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
          Just take off your coat and go to it;
    Just start in to sing as you tackle the thing
          That "cannot be done," and you'll do it.

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  8. 6. If You Stand For Nothing You Will Fall For Anything

    • By Lydia Preston
    • Published by Family Friend Poems December 2018 with permission of the Author.

    As a person, I believe in standing up for what I believe in no matter what the cost may be. Experience has taught me that it is a rare quality, one not easily found in people today. Many believe in something but soon relent as they start to buckle under its weight. This poem is the result of a lesson I've leaned over time. That lesson being, if you believe in something with all your heart, you must be prepared to stand alone.

    in Courage Poems

    A time has come
    and it is now.
    Will you take a stand
    or bend your knee and bow?

    Will you state your case?
    Will you run this race
    or turn in disgrace,
    try to hide your face?

    You've spoken the word,
    and by many were heard.
    Now what will you do
    when it's left up to you?

    Will you act out your faith
    in the midst of a trial?
    Will you do what is right?
    Will you put up a fight?

    When you're put at a cross-road,
    what choice will you make?
    Will you stand for the truth
    for the Lord's name sake?

    Do what is right;
    try not to lose sight.
    make the right decision
    amidst all the derision.

    For when you've done all to stand,
    take a hold of God's hand.
    he will lead you and guide you,
    staying right there beside you.

    Don't try to please man
    doing all that you can.
    make time for the Lord;
    you will reap a reward.

    Be a blessing to others;
    help your sisters and brothers.
    Care for those in need.
    Help multiply their seed.

    Be gracious and faithful.
    Be fair and be true,
    looking not unto others.
    Let the change come through you.

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  9. 7. Don't Quit

    • By M. Tarun Prasad
    • Published by Family Friend Poems October 2016 with permission of the Author.

    Are you depressed or down in the dumps? Do you want to give up on your goals and just quit? If this applies to you, this is exactly what you have been looking for to motivate you to come back even harder and achieve your dreams.

    in Inspirational Poems

    When times are hard, you might stop for a bit,
    But it's not over until the moment you quit.
    On a river's bridge, failures are the planks;
    Take one step at a time until you reach its banks.

    Don't give up on your dreams; chase them instead;
    You will find, one morning, as you wake up from bed,
    That you are the person about whom you dreamed,
    And you can reach great heights, impossible though it seemed.

    When things go wrong and your back is to the wall,
    Try to stand up; no more can you fall.
    Life is full of ups and downs; take them in your stride.
    You will discover your little star hidden inside.

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  10. 8. If You Believe

    This was inspired by an experience I had in school years ago. A long story, but I emerged with an uplifting lesson I often share with students: Faith in God with diligence - against all odds - works wonders.

    in Inspirational Poems

    When your mind is set
    On a splendid thing you want to do,
    There are some who will shrug,
    Like you don't have a clue.

    When you proceed,
    Some will say it can't be done
    And that there is really no need
    For you to take it on.

    And halfway through,
    Some may deem your progress small,
    Or others will ask if what you're doing
    Is even worthwhile at all.

    But when you succeed,
    Then with flattering tongue,
    The same folks will say they knew
    That you'd do it all along.

    Now, folks may mean well
    When they say it can't be done,
    But then who is to lose
    If they are actually wrong?

    But if you take note of why
    Some doubt your point of view
    And stick close to those
    Who see the strength in you,

    If you put your faith in God,
    No matter how tough it may seem,
    If you work hard, if you believe,
    You will achieve your dream.

    For what others think,
    Whether or not you're strong or smart,
    Sometimes, doesn't really count
    As what you believe in your heart.

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  11. 9. How Do You Measure Success In This Life?

    This is a poem about how to measure if your life has been a success according to the way you lived. That is an impossible question to answer.

    in Meaningful Poems

    How do you measure success in this life?
    And who should decide if you fail?
    Do life's sweet temptations guide you along?
    Or in the end does your conscience prevail?

    Is life just a game that you play every day?
    Bending the rules for yourself?
    Desperately chasing material goals
    To the ruin of everything else.

    Do you cherish the people around you?
    Or do you squander the love that they share.
    Do you take time to notice the efforts they make?
    Or do you treat them as if they aren't there?

    Do you wake up each morning just grateful to be?
    Thanking God when you open your eyes?
    And how many dawns do you gaze at the sky,
    And stop to behold the sun rise?

    How many moments in the course of your day
    Do you treasure each second of time?
    Embracing the sad and sweet that is there,
    With the whole of your heart, soul and mind.

    And despite any anger you suffer inside,
    From the hurt and betrayals of life,
    Do you manage to keep your own self-respect?
    Or are you led by your own foolish pride?

    Do you live by the motto forgive and forget,
    Or consumed by the need for revenge?
    Do you try every day to live open in truth,
    Or is your life just a game of pretend?

    For those who are young and new to this world,
    So filled with your hopes and your dreams,
    Take my advice, don't complicate life.
    It is simpler than sometimes it seems.

    For when you have reached the twilight of life,
    All the answers are finally revealed.
    And that searching and struggle that left you confused
    With hindsight becomes crystal clear.

    Hold fast to that childhood passion and awe.
    Cling to each moment you get.
    Let your heart feel completely each feeling you have,
    And give the people you love all your best.

    Don't waste or misuse this wonderful gift.
    Don't surrender or grow too complacent.
    Remember in the end it's all up to you,
    And life can be all that you make it.

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  12. 10. Successful Life

    • By Eugene Grinman
    • Published by Family Friend Poems September 2018 with permission of the Author.

    People too often measure their success by the material possessions they have acquired or their status in society. I think a successful life is all of the troubles and experiences that a person goes through and what they gain from them.

    in Inspirational Poems

    Death is an inevitable fate.
    Someday we have to go.
    You hope you did
    your best in life,
    but how are you to know?
    It's not the model of your car
    or brand of clothes you wear.
    It's not some fancy, famous name,
    sewn in your underwear.
    It's not the square footage of your house
    or what you keep inside.
    There's no material you possess
    that proves success in life.
    It's everything you sacrificed
    and choices you made.
    It's all the problems that you solved,
    your lessons from mistakes.
    It's bad times you've persevered.
    It's all the fun you've had.
    It's any time you've ever laughed
    and every tear you've shed.
    It's any time that you've been proud
    of others or yourself.
    It's every song you turned up loud,
    and every friend you helped.
    It's every wish you ever had.
    It's all your dreams and hopes.
    It's all the books you ever read,
    the movies that you've seen.
    It's all the stories you told,
    The places you've been.
    It's every sunset that you caught
    and every cent you spent.
    It's anyone you've ever loved
    who mourns you in the end.
    It's all these things
    and so much more,
    so don't stress.
    If you lived your life
    Then it's been a success.

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  13. 11. Success

    • By Niderah
    • Published by Family Friend Poems July 2008 with permission of the Author.

    Don't ever think success can't be achieved. Inspiration is here, and you need to read this for encouragement.

    in Faith Poems

    The road to success is not straight.
    There is a curve called Failure,
    A loop called Confusion,
    Speed bumps called Friends,
    Red lights called Enemies, and
    Caution lights called Family.
    But if you have a spare called Determination,
    An engine called Perseverance,
    Insurance called Faith, and
    A driver called Jesus,
    You will make it to a place called Success!!

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    This poem really moved me. It made me think of my little sister Dana! Oh, how she is such a cutie. When I grow up, I was thinking about asking her to live with me! Ha! Ha!

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  14. 12. Success Does Not Possess

    • By Camryn Covert
    • Published by Family Friend Poems November 2015 with permission of the Author.

    This poem is about the reality of success and how it is not possessions that make us successful; it's finding our true happiness that makes us successful.

    in Meaningful Poems

    Success is not engraved
    on the pieces of paper
    that control our very lives.

    Success is engraved
    on our hearts
    and is only uncovered
    when we have found
    true happiness.

    Life's goal is not about

    Life is about learning
    to accept yourself
    and let things flow
    in their most natural state,

    To let go and drift
    in the wind with a soul
    as light
    as a summer's breeze,

    To see where life's
    journey takes you,

    To admire something
    or someone you love
    from afar,

    Instead of contaminating
    them with the suffocating
    being of what we call

    is about finding yourself
    and your own meaning
    of the existence of this

    very tiny,
    very isolated,
    and intricately plotted

    To find where you stand
    and fit in the substantial
    and never-ending vortex
    we call space.

    Success is not
    just about living
    but about being alive and content
    with yourself.

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    Well I met the author of this poem in 4th grade, and she's one of the most remarkable people I have ever known or ever hope to know.

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  15. 13. Who Will You Be?

    • By Laila M. Beard
    • Published by Family Friend Poems June 2017 with permission of the Author.

    I had to write a poem for the 8th grade graduation, so I decided to do it about succeeding because a lot of people don't even try at all.

    in Graduation Poems

    Who will you be?
    Will you pass?
    Can you succeed?

    Your future,
    Funny word.
    It determines your life.
    It's the creation of what you do now.

    Now is the time,
    The time to strive.
    Strive toward what you want.
    No limits will be placed.

    In order to succeed you must believe.
    Believe you can do this.
    Believe in anything.

    Your future is who you are.
    Your future is you.
    Your future is who you will be.

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  16. 14. Promises To Keep

    • By Hemant Bohra
    • Published by Family Friend Poems December 31, 2021 with permission of the Author.

    I am a storyteller, entrepreneur, and author. I am like that high ropewalker with only a pole in hand to balance. At one end of the pole is my heart that seeks inspiration and at the other end is my mind that needs motivation. But I am the one who must balance both while traversing through this world. There is no room for procrastination. I want to live every year in a moment and moments in every year.

    in New Year's Poems

    We resolve to turn a new leaf in our lives
    Yet go back to whining old ways in no time

    Why do we break promises ever so often
    When we want a better future than our past or present?

    Why do we not care for ourselves
    Yet want a story that the world will tell?

    But if you want to change your story forever
    Inspiration and motivation will have to go together

    An inspired heart can move mountains and cut the seas
    Don't the stories of these people inspire thee?

    Then comes the role of a motivated mind
    If left idle it can behave weird many a times

    Convince the mind before getting down to work
    Else you will have to fight yourself first

    But the protagonist of your story has the biggest role to play
    If you don't care, then nobody will anyway

    So be the change, and script your story your way
    Start with fulfilling the promises you made

    It is said a journey of thousand miles begins with one step
    Likewise, success in future depends on the promises you kept

    We have a long way to go and many promises to keep
    So treasure every moment and every New Year equally

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