The Man in the Arena

It is not the critic who counts, not the person who points out how the strong man stumbles 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 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 enthusiasm, 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.”

These words were spoken by Theodore Roosevelt. I’d read them before but today, I got a totally new perspective (Thanks to one of the blogs that’s growing on me lately, Girl on Fire by Tessy Maritim, a bold, vivacious 21 year old who will inspire you). The Man in the Arena. The doer, the man who takes action, that is he who gets credit.

No, not the guys on the sidelines criticizing your every move. No, not the guys in the background pointing out every fault, every shortcoming, every reason why you cannot make it. And get me right, I am not talking about positive criticism because this is, in fact, very integral for one to move forward. I am referring to the naysayers, the ones who tell you you don’t even have a glass to start with, let alone whether it is full or empty.

See, whatever you do on the face of this good earth, not every one will support you, practically, not everyone can. So you just have to ignore the negative energy and do you. Always wanted to do something? Get your masters? Travel the world? Start a fashion line? Write a blog/ book? Quit your day job to raise your kids? Start saving for the purposes of investing? Just go ahead and do it.

Many of us spend time wishing, wondering what ‘they’ will say, thinking we are not ready. Truth is, ‘they’ will always say something, many things. And you will never truly feel ready. Quit wishing and, just do it. Take action. So many wishing, so few doing. Which explains in part why, doing attracts criticism (both good and bad). As long as you are committed to your cause, running your race tirelessly, those guys on the sidelines mocking you, jeering you… those guys are irrelevant. And that’s because, you are the man in the arena.

That’s because you are the one who is actually trying, doing something. It does not hurt to try. If you succeed, you get to achieve what you set to do. If you fail at it, you learn something new, you take on the courage of a challenge that will see you grow and get out of your comfort zone, you get new perspective. There is something fulfilling about immersing one’s self into a worthy cause, one that you believe in, one that, even when marred by sweat and tears, is still worth channeling one’s energy to.  Whatever arena you are in, seize the moment to savor victory and cherish the lessons of failure.

PS: Relating this to my life, I had always wanted to start a blog that creates a platform to share my story on Post-Partum Depression (PPD), the silent struggles, the hushed cries for help, the long and lone nights of lullabies that did not lull my son to sleep, the frustration of the flinty life ahead… but there was always a reason an excuse not to do it. I am not prepared, I lack content, I am not active on social media, Lord, what do I have to say, Others have harder struggles… till I realized, for as long as I do not share my story, there is simply no way to reach out. I shelved those doubts and thoughts to the back of my bald head and just, plunged. I hope, pray, a mom, even one mom, will find inspiration here to know that they are never alone in the haze that PPD is. It feels like an island, alone, lonely, like no one understands, but truth is, someone somewhere can hold another mom’s hand.

Blessed Sunday good people.

Featured Image Photo Credits: Karoly Lorentey

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  1. hmmm. hint much mami?? point taken.. and well received. thank you. I will definitely endeavour to be the man in the arena.

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