In my opinion, one of the greatest presidential speeches (and motivational speeches as well) in history, is Theodore Roosevelt’s The Man in the Arena. I cannot remember where I was first introduced to it, but I credit Brene Brown with reintroducing it to me in Dare to Lead.
The link below will take you to a YouTube recording of the most famous part of the speech. I am pretty sure it is Paul Giamatti that is the narrator, but I have not been able to confirm it 100% (although there are some folks in the video’s comments that agree with me). If you are not familiar with it, I suggest you watch and listen to the video before you read the rest of the post. The Man in the Arena.
One of the most frustrating things for me personally is to watch people with potential not doing everything they can to achieve it. Unfortunately, achievement of anything worthwhile will be hard. Talent will always lose out to hard work. However, talent plus hard work is almost unstoppable!
Social media today has created a highlight reel for everyone’s life and career. So much so that you can start to feel like everyone else is doing great, always happy, successful, achieving and never failing or falling down. The reality is that the only people that are not making mistakes are the ones that are doing nothing.
I fear that too many people are falling into a trap of inaction either due to a fear of failure or a fear of hard work. How can we quiet the critics, both internal and external to avoid the fate of the “cold and timid souls”.
Whether it is in your personal or professional life, become the “doer of deeds” and “strive valiantly” to achieve whatever goals you set for yourself. No change has every occurred without someone, or in most cases a group of people taking action and building momentum.
As you continue on your journey in life, if you ever feel your energy waning or the naysaying voices (internal or external) getting louder, pick up a copy or have a listen to The Man in the Arena. It has helped me find the will to push through many times. Go forth and “DARE GREATLY!”