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” Paris, 1910
Theodore Roosevelt was a truly incredible human being. as a boy he was weak and frail. But forced himself into a life of adventure to promote personal growth and increase confidence and, suffice to say, it worked. However, it was this address which resonates through the years for a great many people.
In one paragraph he single handedly finds the words to liberate anyone of the fear of failure. Certainly after reading this you’ll be full of the confidence to basically tell your armchair critics to do one. How great it is to be given permission from, arguably, one of the greatest US presidents to not give a monkeys what anyone thinks. Which comes in useful if you want to take on seemingly big challenges.