Recently, I spoke with a friend who was trying out online dating. It was challenging for her and she was feeling some frustration…but she kept going and worked through it.
I decided to read this quote to her from Teddy Roosevelt’s speech delivered at the Sorbonne in Paris, France in 1910:
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.
I, too, have been stretching my comfort level in a variety of areas, and found contentment, inspiration, and the desire to do more as a result of these words.
This post is a reminder and a bit of a direct challenge for all. During these uncertain times, with the constant barrage of COVID and political news, our unique personal or business challenges, and lots of other craziness, we can’t bury our heads in the sand.
Are you curling up and becoming a critic by ignoring or running from the challenges? Or are you dusting yourself off, standing up, becoming engaged, and willing to dare greatly?
Win or lose, it is worth it to enter the arena.