Are You in the Arena?
Near the end of the year when I’m taking stock of how I spent my life over the past 12 months, it helps to have inspiration to see the big picture. It is easy for me to get lost in the details and goals (especially ones not met), but remembering my mission and the why behind what I’m doing brings it back into perspective.
This excerpt from Theodore Roosevelt’s Citizenship in a Republic speech has always been both uplifting and motivating to me, I hope it will be to you as well.
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. [buy this as a poster]
What does this mean to me?
Devote yourself to something great, shed the cynicism of the world, don’t be afraid to begin, fail a time or two, learn from it, and build character. Do these things next year and I promise your life will be different, mine has been.
What are you striving for? Share in the comments, I’d love to hear from you.
About Cole Bradburn
I'm a writer and doctor in lifelong pursuit of health, happiness, and adventure. I currently live in Raleigh, NC with the love of my life and our amazing boys.