[Warning: If you are interested in a calm, comfortable life, this blog will be counterproductive for you.]

Monday, August 27, 2012

Teddy Roosevelt On The Glory Of Failing At Greatness

Define yourself by the great causes you charge at. Focus on your efforts--what you can control--and not primarily on the outcome--what you can't control.

"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 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 and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for 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 he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."

Theodore Roosevelt
"Citizenship in a Republic," Speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910

How are you trying to make the world a better place? What arena(s) are you in?

Whatever the external results, whatever else others think, let me honor you today for your striving. Keep going. Get up one more time. Because in the end, the only thing you can truly control--the ultimate measure of who you are--is the choices of your soul. And failing while aiming for great causes makes you a better person than succeeding at a self-protecting, safe life.

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