This week had some high points (yay!) and some low points (well, there you go) and lucky for me the pluses outweighed the minuses. Since I work alone in the NH woods (with all due respect to my gifted Jack Russell, Andy), I often rely on the words and wisdom of other people who have persevered to help me plow through those low points — like working on a book chapter for a week only to realize it won’t work, at least not yet — without reaching for the Nutella jar. This week, I was reminded of Teddy Roosevelt’s speech “Citizenship in a Republic,” which he delivered at the Sorbonne in Paris on April 23, 1910.
I first ran across the passage that made the speech famous in Brene Brown’s book, Daring Greatly. (Check out her fabulous TED talk on vulnerability here.) I’ve given it to several people to mark important milestones, and thought I’d share it with you as well — wherever you triumphed or failed this week, Teddy Roosevelt will leave you feeling proud of your efforts.
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.
What passages or quotes give you inspiration? What resources do you use to get through your more trying moments? Please share! We can all use the help.
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