Theodore Roosevelt on Success and How to Stand Out In Life!

Theodore Roosevelt's StatureHave you ever read something that left you with a WOW experience?

How about if it’s from someone you have grown to admire, do you take some time to ruminate on it until you’re drawn in and it becomes a part of you?

That exactly is what happened to me some time ago when I read a speech by Theodore Roosevelt, a former President of the United States of America. The speech titled: “Citizenship in a Republic” was delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910 (over a hundred years ago!)

Today I want to share with you a quote from that speech. I’ve been greatly  inspired by this speech and I hope it will also inspire you too.  Read it carefully. I’ve included my reflections. You may also want to share yours with us in the comments. Here’s the quote:

“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.

“Among the free peoples who govern themselves there is but a small field of usefulness open for the men of cloistered life who shrink from contact with their fellows. Still less room is there for those who deride or slight what is done by those who actually bear the brunt of the day; nor yet for those others who always profess that they would like to take action, if only the conditions of life were not exactly what they actually are. The man who does nothing cuts the same sordid figure in the pages of history, whether he be a cynic, or fop, or voluptuary.

“There is little use for the being whose tepid soul knows nothing of great and generous emotion, of the high pride, the stern belief, the lofty enthusiasm, of the men who quell the storm and ride the thunder. Well for these men if they succeed; well also, though not so well, if they fail, given only that they have nobly ventured, and have put forth all their heart and strength.”

Now My Reflections:

1. Having an eye for the things that are wrong with others could be a real good pastime but it will benefit you nothing. As a blogger in the make money online niche, I’m always concerned when I see some bloggers who love to speak more of what others are doing wrong. As much as these ones think they are trying to help the community, I think as an entrepreneur, whatever your market may be, look at what others are doing and where you see something they are doing wrong, find a way to do it better. If you must correct others then try the biblical injunction to correct in love!

2. Action and action alone will give you the results you so much desire. Learning and planning, as good as they are, will not give you results. If you want the results you must be ready to get into the arena and be dirtied and marred by the dust, sweat and blood! That’s what is meant by the saying, Ready, Aim, Fire!

3. If you fear failure success will be far from you. Trial and error are almost always twins in success! Don’t let the fear of failing stop you from starting that venture. As Theodore Roosevelt puts it, if you fail, at least fail while daring greatly!

4. Success is not something you can achieve alone. You need others on your way to success. The internet may have created a world of our own for us but as business entrepreneurs, using the internet as a marketing tool demands that we network and build relationships with others. I think this is why social media sites have become so popular for online entrepreneurs today. Remember no man is an island! Theodore Roosevelt puts it correctly, “Among the free peoples who govern themselves there is but a small field of usefulness open for the men of cloistered life who shrink from contact with their fellows.”

5. There is never the perfect time. As someone did say, do not wait for your ship to come in, swim out to meet it! Waiting for when the conditions are perfect will only produce regrets. Now is the time to do whatever you wanted done; there’s no other perfect time than now!

I think I must stop here to allow you to reflect on this. Please read the quote again.

Now take a minute to reflect on what you’ve read and yourself, you’re a doer of deeds or the critic who is always pointing out what should have been done? Are you striving valiantly in the arena marred by dust, sweat and blood?

Share your thoughts with us in the comment below

Stay inspired!

23 Comments

  1. Apple Mango
  2. Cindy