The Man in the Arena

trsignature2010bWhen I did the Chopra piece last week, and spent some thought on Kierkegard’s quote and “daring,” I remembered my post a few months back about my favorite speech of all times by one of my favorite Presidents –runners up Truman and FDR– and Brené Brown’s book “Daring Greatly.” I looked and couldn’t find it, it must have gotten lost in the Twitter-shuffle.   So I thought I recycle the tweet, this time for posterity, and recommend Brown’s book, and her TED talk.

“Daring Greatly” is not about winning or losing. Instead, Brown offers an interesting take on what daring, putting yourself out there, really means, which is for her being vulnerable, and, based on twelve years of research she investigates and dispels the cultural myth that vulnerability is weakness.  She claims that nothing is as uncomfortable, dangerous or hurtful as standing on the outside looking in and wondering what it would be like if one had the courage to actually step into the arena.   And she quotes a passage from this speech of Theodore Roosevelt, the famous speech “Citizenship In A Republic” that he delivered at the Sorbonne on April 23, 1910.  That’s how it goes:

“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 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 . . .”

276916_119438064752473_647408869_qEnjoy your weekend!