The Triumph of High Achievement

By July 7, 2008

I see quite a few posts around the Fourth of July that pay tribute to patriotism and democracy. The one that really captured my attention and fueled my passion was more about individual challenge. See if you can guess who said it:

It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, 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 the dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat.

It’s from Teddy Roosevelt speaking at the Sorbonne in 1910. It resonates with me nearly 100 years later. It seems these days in the corporate world, in government and elsewhere we are surrounded by naysayers, critics and those who have simply have given in. I have never been one of those cold and timid souls. I’m the one marked by the dust and sweat and blood. I refuse to settle for underachievement. I refuse to put up with negativism. I refuse to give in or give up. I’m going to get up again and again. I’m going to reach deeper and stand taller than ever. I’m going to put more guts and courage in everything I do! How about you? Are you challenging yourself to be the person that you KNOW you can be? Are you reaching beyond the limits that others shackle you with? Are you striving for the triumph of high achievement?

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Joel H. Williams July 18, 2008

If you hadn’t told us who said it, since my mind was on blog posts as my frame of reference, I would have guessed Chris Brogan. I don’t get out much.

sschablow July 18, 2008

Joel, thanks for the comment. LOL I thought it was going to be from Vince Lombardi, given as a locker room speech. Ha. Shows how much I know. NOT.

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