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, Apr 3 1910
It was about ten years ago when I first stumbled across that quote, and I’ve carried a copy of it in my wallet ever since. I have shared that quote with many people over the years, with the hope that it inspires and strengthens those the same way it inspires and strengthens me.
I’ve been going through a bit of a rough time lately — a new job that started demanding lots of hours, a long commute (averages over two hours a day each way), some financial struggles (this new job pays half what I was making three years ago, and has brought me to a salary level I haven’t seen in over ten years), and a major lack of time to spend on family, friends, and side work (to address the financial situation)…
I’ve spent all too much time over the past week or so feeling sorry for myself (quietly, of course), and finally confessed as much to a friend today. That friend reminded me of the quote posted above — the quote which I told him about years before, but I had forgotten about. As he said, “You are in the arena.”
Needless to say, I feel a heck of a lot better now, and I’m ready to fight the good fight again. Sometimes, you need to stand back, look at things, and refocus your energy in a positive manner.