Theodore Roosevelt’s Speech of 1910
The Man In the Arena
“IT IS NOT THE CRITIC WHO COUNTS; NOT THE MAN WHO POINTS OUT HOW THE STRONG MAN STUMBLES, OR WHERE THE DOER OF DEEDS COULD HAVE DONE THEM BETTER.
THE CREDIT BELONGS TO THE MAN WHO IS ACTUALLY IN THE ARENA, WHOSE FACE IS MARRED BY DUST AND SWEAT AND BLOOD; WHO STRIVES VALIANTLY; WHO ERRS, WHO COMES SHORT AGAIN AND AGAIN.
BECAUSE THERE IS NO EFFORT WITHOUT ERROR AND SHORTCOMING, BUT WHO DOES ACTUALLY STRIVE TO DO THE DEEDS; WHO KNOWS GREAT ENTHUSIASMS, THE GREAT DEVOTIONS; WHO SPENDS HIMSELF IN A WORTHY CAUSE; WHO AT THE BEST KNOWS IN THE END THE TRIUMPH OF HIGH ACHIEVEMENT.
AND WHO AT THE WORST, IF HE FAILS, AT LEAST FAILS WHILE DARING GREATLY, SO THAT HIS PLACE SHALL NEVER BE WITH THOSE COLD AND TIMID SOULS WHO NEITHER KNOW VICTORY NOR DEFEAT.”
Now I ask you kindly…
If Theodore Roosevelt was speaking this today, right here in 2019, who would he be referring to?
This is my thought:
He’d be referring to people sitting in the cheap seats. People who sit in them criticizing and judging you!
These people NEVER do much of anything in the way of ‘Daring Greatly’ with their lives.
And if they can, they will make sure to criticize, judge, and demoralize you enough so that you won’t either.
Please please please be brave enough to fail forward.
Have the courage to leave the hurtful stuff, the criticisms, the unfounded judgements, with those people in the cheap seats.