In Paris on April 23, 1910, retired US President Theodore Roosevelt delivered one of his greatest speeches. He closed with the quote at the end of this blog.
Reka recently asked me to join her for a day-and-a-half-long workshop based on the work of Brené Brown. Since we’re now providing and refining couples retreats of our own, I thought it would be fun to participate. We have seen Brené Brown speak before, and we are big fans of her work and approach.
The workshop began with the Roosevelt quote. I believe the gist of this quote highlights the importance and willingness to be fearless, and to do what’s right in the face of what is scary. It also suggests to ignore all the voices and critics that don’t matter. There will be voices and critics that will beat you down, but only safely from the sidelines – those individuals who aren’t willing to act fearlessly even when it is scary.
The following week after that workshop, we frequently discussed this topic. We both reflected upon what had been highlights and achievements of our past. In many cases, we realized that some of the greatest victories we had achieved were scary at the time. We realized there had been many naysayers on the sidelines who were happy to amplify the possible negatives. However, it had been by entering the arena, being fearless and facing what was scary, we not only experienced our greatest personal triumphs, but also our greatest personal growth.
With that in mind, then next time you are challenged to do something great that might be scary, that might not work, that might be extraordinary, I would encourage you to ignore the advice of most people, as they have never entered the arena. Seek the advice of those who have been there, battered and bloodied, but have dusted themselves off and tried again – only to taste victory.
It can be spectacular…
“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 up 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.”
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