Theodore Roosevelt on Pushing, Daring and Risking for Good Reason

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 and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, 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 he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.

Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure… than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.

–Theodore Roosevelt

I’m sure you’ve seen this quote before. I had been looking for it in the last months, and stumbled across the first paragraph a few days ago. Looking for the full text of Roosevelt’s original speech, I was happily surprised to see it quoted and pointed to by sales consultant Greg Bennett. In his blog post on emulating Teddy Roosevelt, Bennett says:

One of the great secrets of sales (one most people never learn until very late in their career)…is that if you seek only peace and tranquility in sales through playing it safe, you’ll end up with neither…the key to peace and tranquility is to boldly venture into the challenging, scary…aka strenuous…areas…THAT is how you find peace, joy and tranquility.

Discomfort is often a sign of something good.

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