Theodore Roosevelt on Daring Greatly

TRportrait“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.” –Theodore Roosevelt

Let’s face it. To achieve any kind of big success, you have to grind it out and endure failure and rejection. If that failure and rejection stops you in your tracks… Well then, no big success. There are very few Power Ball winners in real life.

The famous quote above, from the 26th president of the U.S., sums it up pretty succinctly. And he knew whereof he spoke.

TR was a sickly child who forced himself to get fit and stay fit. He was bound and determined to achieve greatness, but endured tragedy along the way. Consider this: His mother died two days after his first child was born. That very same day, in the same house, his wife died, as well.

TR’s quote, from a speech he gave in Paris after he left the White House, has been with me since I was a kid. I picked up this copy in a Duluth cafeteria when I was in high school.

Scan 2

About drmar120

D. R. Martin is a writer and photographer based in Minnesota.
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