I’m a great believer in quotes, and Theodore Roosevelt’s ‘The Man in the Arena’ speech is one of my favourites. Brené Brown’s TED Talk helped me truly appreciate it, and it’s a passage that we’d all do well to remember, whether to help us through love, life, business, health or something completely different.
“A quote for a Post-it?”, you may be asking. Well, quite simply, I copy my favourite quotes, lines of poetry and other inspirational or beautiful words onto Post-it notes. I then put them above my desk, on my laptop, or on my mirror and change them up every so often. It works for me.
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, The Man in the Arena. Excerpt from the speech “Citizenship In A Republic”, delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910