The Man in the Arena

This is one of my all-time favourite quotes. Every so often, we ought to dig it out again. Re-read it, and let it sink in. Adjust accordingly, then get (back) in the game.

  1. Stop talking about it.
  2. Don’t ask for permission.
  3. Actually, give yourself permission.
  4. Take a deep breath and acknowledge the fear.
  5. If it’s worth doing, start.
  6. Be passionate. Give it everything you’ve got.
  7. Don’t wait till it’s perfect.
  8. Prepare to fail.
  9. Refocus.
  10. Do the next thing.

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.

From THE MAN IN THE ARENA, Theodore Roosevelt Excerpt from the speech “Citizenship In A Republic” delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910 Photo by Colby Stopa