The young Theodore Roosevelt.

The Bully Pulpit

I’ve recently begun listening to The Bully Pulpit by Doris Kearns Goodwin on Audible. I’m 3 hours in, and so far it’s fascinating.

So far, Doris has introduced Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft, describing their upbringing and family background through college and their very early careers. They seem to have had incredible success quite early in life, and stood out as having unusual talent. Their success seems to spring from three things:

  1. And willingness to work incredibly hard to achieve success in their activities
  2. Some natural talent in energy and intelligence, which they were able to leverage in their pursuits
  3. A strong family upbringing that provided support for their ambitions (and helped them develop their ambitions in the first place

So far, Theodore seems unique in the personal interest he takes in the subjects he approaches, which contrasts with Taft’s approach to problems as “hurdles”. This seems to result in Teddy’s greater satisfaction from his pursuits.

Interestingly, Taft’s success came despite his challenges with procrastination. This bodes well for those of us who deal with the same. However, it is worth noting that Teddy’s much stronger self-discipline in focusing on his tasks in a timely manner may have contributed to his ability to enjoy a wide range of hobbies and interests.

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Aaron Ryland’s story.