‘The Man in the Arena’: Theodore Roosevelt’s Inspiration to Persevere

Theodore Roosevelt was a soldier, explorer, naturalist, and statesman who served as the 26th President of the United States from 1901 to 1909. Born a sickly child with debilitating asthma, he eventually overcame his health challenges by embracing a rigorous lifestyle.

Following William McKinley’s assassination in September 1901, Roosevelt became president at age 42, the youngest person ever to hold the office. One of his more famous quotations was shared in a speech the year after he left office. It is commonly known at the “The Man in the Arena” quotation, from an address titled, “Citizenship in a Republic.”

Regardless of how many times you may have stumbled or failed, be inspired by Roosevelt’s words to persevere:

“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

“Citizenship in a Republic”
Speech at the Sorbonne Paris, France
April 23, 1910

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