Cindy Boyd, guest blogger
… “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 in that his place shall never be with those cold and
timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”…
Beautiful Lady, insert feminine pronouns accordingly in Teddy Roosevelt’s disquisition above; does this not apply to us girls as well? Allow me to answer my own question; damn right it does.
I’m a 48-year-old wife, mother, corporate professional and Army Veteran. I’ve had more failures than I can count and fewer successes that I can. BUT, my successes greatly outweigh the failures because I refuse to allow the opposite to occur. I’m that person who willingly and ceaselessly gets In the Arena, slogging it out every day and loving every bit of it. Striving to be the best, never expecting perfection, knowing that I could fail, enjoying the challenge, remaining unafraid while daring greatly.
In practical terms, what does daring greatly mean? It could mean many things; that depends entirely on you. It could mean, telling a person you love them without expecting a similar response. It could mean, stopping an unhealthy habit and going stone cold sober. It could mean, starting a healthy eating lifestyle and attending a daily workout regimen. It could mean, confronting a bully not sure of an outcome. It could mean, demonstrating kindness rather than anger. It could mean jumping from an airplane at 14,000 feet rather than watching others do it while you are sitting on the ground! It could mean applying for a job knowing that you do not meet all prerequisite qualifications. It could mean departing a profession to become a stay-at-home mom. Daring greatly means you put yourself out there and own it.
Bottom line: don’t be that timid soul, be the warrior who willingly gets In the Arena to tackle a worthy cause; knowing that you may come up short again and again but perseveres anyway. Take on that cause that will make you, a better you. If you fail, apply that lesson learned to improve future outcomes, never look back. There are plenty of critics, don’t be one. Learn to not take yourself too seriously – we all fail – have fun with it. As you pursue your cause, be kind and generous with those around you; your good name is worth more than precious jewels.