On April 23, 1910, a crowd of over 3,000 people gathered at the Sorbonne in Paris to listen to former President of the United States, Teddy Roosevelt.
One particular passage from his speech would forever be remembered as The Man in the Arena. This passage vividly captured the most elusive yet strangely obvious fact of life: the difference between surviving and thriving, between being reactive and being proactive, between seizing time or simply wasting it.
A mere 140 words long, this passage would forever be used to define a person who chooses to become actively involved in a situation that demands courage, tenacity, and the will to act.
These are the words used by Teddy Roosevelt on that spring day in Paris to define the man in the arena:
“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.”
The Blogger in the Arena
As a strange coincidence, I started my first blog on April 22nd, 2012, almost 102 years to the day since Teddy Roosevelt defined “the man in the arena.”
Over the years, as I became a part of the community, I understood that success wasn’t the by-product of skill, but rather the side-effect of will.
Like in a game of domino, the first piece to fall is a blogger’s mindset.
The give up long before deleting their blogs, their articles, and promising themselves to never write an article again.
I, on the other hand, had made myself a different promise: I had promised myself to never, ever, ever give up.