“Words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth.” – Alan Moore
Ian Holdcroft and Martin Brooks first founded Shackleton to inspire and equip a new generation of pioneers. They found many similarities in the explorers they met over the years – patterns of thinking and quirks of character that became increasingly more and more manifest. One similarity was the use of personal mantras and stirring words as means of motivation. After hard days on long, untouched trails, hunkered down in the wind and rain and snow, personal mantras and memorised sayings seemed to become sparks of fire, reigniting their willingness to go on.
More than just an explorer, Ernest Shackleton himself was also a poet and diarist.
He was someone who understood the importance and power of words in validating the resilience of the human spirit. He even kept a framed copy of the poem If by Rudyard Kipling in his cabin and found solace in books throughout his life, as a way of restoring his optimism and moral fortitude.
Vital Mental Medicine is a free journal of quotations included in every Shackleton order. We asked adventurers from all over the world to suggest the words they use as personal mantras to keep going in the bleakest of times. We expected Churchill and Roosevelt. We didn't expect Peter Kay and Dolly Parton.
Vital Mental Medicine was compiled by The Shackleton Company and Tim Lawler on a not-for-profit basis. Each quote has been included verbatim. The foreward was written by Dr Nathan Smith.
We are hugely grateful to all contributors whose favourite inspirations are shown
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, If