I n a recent conversation “the man in the arena” came up. I don’t know if I had read the entire quote. I love it. I relate to it, as we each in our own ways might.
“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, 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
After reading this and discussing how it relates to anyone with an unconventional life or career path, I am inspired to incorporate a new mantra into my life.
Stay in the arena.
Each morning when we wake up, we might be tempted to measure ourselves by a measuring stick that is not our own. We might see our life and choices through a lens other than our own.
It is then we must remember to stay in the arena.
We must stay in the arena, so we can experience it fully, conquer its challenges, and grow from the experience.
Only we can make the mistakes and experience the triumphs, and learn the wisdom from our arena.
This thought has been especially resonant for me. And, the simple phrase stay in the arena, has served as a quick and effective reminder to focus and be fully present. In case it may now or in the future be helpful to anyone else, I wanted to share it here!