It Is Not The Critic Who Counts

Are you dirty,



Good. I encourage it. Keep on keeping on.

Good on you. I salute you.

You can call yourself a prize-fighter. Few others can.

Most will be satisfied to spectate and comment about you being in the arena.

Boxing Gloves

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…among the free peoples who govern themselves there is but a small field of usefulness open for the men of cloistered life who shrink from contact with their fellows. Still less room is there for those who deride of slight what is done by those who actually bear the brunt of the day; nor yet for those others who always profess that they would like to take action, if only the conditions of life were not exactly what they actually are. The man who does nothing cuts the same sordid figure in the pages of history, whether he be a cynic, or fop, or voluptuary. There is little use for the being whose tepid soul knows nothing of great and generous emotion, of the high pride, the stern belief, the lofty enthusiasm, of the men who quell the storm and ride the thunder. Well for these men if they succeed; well also, though not so well, if they fail, given only that they have nobly ventured, and have put forth all their heart and strength.”

This excerpt was taken from the speech given by Theodore Roosevelt: Citizenship In A Republic. It was delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910.

Print this out and frame it. Hang it on your wall. It has been on mine for years.

There will be naysayers.

As you go about creating your life, reference it. There will be detractors. There will be naysayers. There will be those who said It Couldn’t Be Done.

And they are so right, for them.

You, on the other hand, will do it.

You will embrace life in the arena.

In closing, you will…

Live it LOUD!

Look How Hard He Works!

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34 Responses to It Is Not The Critic Who Counts

  1. Boy do I love this! Every time I visit here, Rob, I feel like my life just got a pick-me-up. A way to be enthused and excited about each new day. In short – Today Has POWER! I’m certainly printing out that quote. It really touched me.

    What I get from it, is one simple thing. Live. And don’t let stumbling get you down. I was just talking about this with my piano teacher today. She’s over eighty, and still enjoys life. Just spent a month in Europe with her two daughters WITH a walker. She said she was able to do everything; with a little effort. She talked about the importance of living life, and not being afraid of falling. Making a few mistakes along the way – and to keep getting back up, again and again. Such wise words to learn from so many different individuals.

    Thank you for writing.

    • Rob says:

      Hey Christian,
      My daughters piano teacher is also about eighty. He finished writing a book a few years ago. The Sibyl Sanderson Story (opera singer!! hint-hint)

      re: and to keep getting back up, again and again
      Get Back Up Again by TobyMac is one of my fav’s.
      ‘There’s always scars,
      When you fall back far…but,
      It’s never too late to get back up again!
      We really are measured by how many times we can get back up again. Everyone gets knocked down.
      You were inspiring to me prior to my knowledge of your illness. Just know it is elevated.
      I want an autographed copy of the book when you write it!
      You’re the best.

  2. Julie says:


    You are so right. I went onto buzz the other day for the first time and looked at what everyone else was reading, what was popular, and I was amazed. Who cares what celebrities are doing? What someone wore to an event? How can this stuff even remotely matter or be of interest? Then all the craziness of judging Bin Laden and Obama, even intuitives were looking at pictures and judging everything by trying to “read” Obama. My 6 yo came home and said that a little girl in his class called him a nerd. (Forgive me, I had to laugh, since this class is the “gifted” nerd of all nerds class, and she is one herself, but the name calling already!) Why many people do this is beyond me. Standing true to ourselves in our own power is what we are here for, hopefully with a bit of kindness for other human beings in the mix.

    • Rob says:

      Hey Julie,
      These are some powerful words: ‘Standing true to ourselves in our own power is what we are here for, hopefully with a bit of kindness for other human beings in the mix’.
      Well put.
      I am a proponent of kindness, especially the random sort. It can empower beyond what we fathom.

      Thanks so much for commenting Julie, I appreciate your words.

      Live it LOUD!

  3. Hi Rob,
    In my mental ladder of best motivational blogs recently yours has been number one!
    And this little post is amazingly effective at giving me a lift to try even harder.

    You are undeniably right Rob. The world belongs (and it’s been that way from the beginning of humanity) to those who dare, not to the critics and observers.
    It’s the doers, who taste success and defeat. Observers and critics, they only experience defeat, but the irony is that they often think that they are successful, because they make zero or few mistakes.

    And mistake avoidance is one of the biggest bitches I’ve seen. By being afraid of mistakes and failures we shoot ourselves in the foot with a canon. Then we limp around through life wandering what’s f#}%^*ng wrong with the world.

    Nothing is wrong with the world. It’s our chicken attitude. It has always been.

    Thanks Rob for another awesome post.

    Derek @ Smart Goals

    • Rob says:

      Hey Derek,
      Spot on. I must say that for years I was the spectator. It was easier. I might have to learn, otherwise. I might have to change some convictions. I might have to quit making excuses. I might have to stop blaming others. Freedom was birthed the day I held MYSELF accountable. The day I realized for myself that TODAY HAS POWER. We can make it into what ever we choose.
      ATTENTION EVERYONE: Pick up your gloves and get into the arena. The view is so much better. And, there is very little competition.

      Keep living it LOUD! Derek

    • Bill Dorman says:

      Mental ladder? Chicken attitude? Really?………..I see you still got the lid Derek.

      The problem is nobody wants to step up; they wait for someone else to do and then start talking about how they could do it better.

      Do not be afraid to stand up and never back down from your beliefs.

      Good to see you D, you know I was just pullin’ your leg, right?

  4. “There is little use for the being whose tepid soul knows nothing of great and generous emotion, of the high pride, the stern belief, the lofty enthusiasm, of the men who quell the storm and ride the thunder”

    Hi Rob, I found this passage, particularly beautiful. Sometimes the biggest naysayers and detractors in our life is “ourselves”. Few of us have a many haters (for want of a better word), as we think. I enjoyed this. Stacey

  5. Stuart says:

    Rob! Live it loud!

    First, I apologise for not being around recently. I’ve been working on a lot of guest posts and projects, and commenting has been sparse.

    Second, what a great read! I already admired Roosevelt, but I positively love the guy now, that speech was so incredible. I’m going to have to print it out and stick it up somewhere.

    You’re right, there will always be naysayers, there will always be doom-mongers and critics. It’s a law that the more successful you will be, the more people will want you to fail. But you can’t let that happen.

    In a sense, you’ve got to live inside your own bubble, a bubble that is protected against any negativity that you come across. The only things that are allowed inside your bubble is that of a positive nature, nothing else.

    Keep shining amigo 🙂

    • Rob says:

      Hey Stu,
      No offense taken as I see you caught a nice wave (by being proactive). When one finds himself (or herself) upon a monstrous wave, it begs to be ridden LOUD!
      Just keep riding my friend as I enjoy riding but I also enjoy watching other cats that can ride. By the way, you really can ride!

      If you like Teddy, you must read just a bit about the assasination attempt. Really brief version: He gets shot in chest (3 inches in) but delivers a 90 minute speech any way. That is without any medical treatment!
      Thanks for stopping by Brother.

    • Bill Dorman says:

      King Crimson would never be a naysayer………just sayin’…………

      Getting too popular Stu, I’m sure Rob is glad to see ya; just next time bring some beer or chips or something.

      Be responsible for your actions and don’t be afraid to stand up and be a leader.

      • Rob says:

        Hey Bill,

        Nice to see you 7…no wait, is it 8 times on this thread:)
        Stu need not bring anything excepting his high level of prose.
        As for you my friend. Your W’s are always welcome: wit and warmth.
        Live it LOUD!

  6. Bill Dorman says:

    Fop, now that’s an old school word no longer being used w/ any regularity.

    Oh, it’s so easy to sit back and be a naysayer; the cancer in the room that is bringing every one down. I have to deal with this in my office environment at times.

    At the end of the day, the buck stops here……………….if it’s going to get done it’s going to get done because of me. No whining, no excuses, just figure out a way to make it happen. Only worry about the things in your control; everything else going on around you is just noise.

    Good post Rob, I hope your journey has been a good one.

    • Rob says:

      Hey Bill,

      My long strange ride has been excellent. And, it’s getting better.
      re: “Only worry about the things in your control”
      Not big on worrying. Most things that we worry about never come to fruition.
      And being proactive can win the day in many scenarios.
      As it turns out, I believe an awful lot is in my control that may not seem that way. Too often we don’t realize a kind word, smile, hug (or comment!) may be a trigger for someone experiencing a rough go of it at the time. It’s as simple as me taking my daughters face in my hands before she leaves and saying, ” Daddy loves you. You are special. Make a difference.” I have to believe someone else may be on the receiving end of that from her. In your office, when taking the high road, you may be blessing a family with a great night. Your kind response to someone may go home for the night. We bring home bad days. Doesn’t it work in reverse also?
      Live it LOUD!

  7. Jk Allen says:

    Hey there Rob,

    I loved this post – short and to the point -powerfully driven and I will print this out.

    There are always going to be naysayers…which some (like myself) refer to as haters. Those haters serve a purpose for us. They test our strength – they challenge our drive. And when we overcome – we gain another stripe because we just may earn another supporter.

    • Rob says:

      Hey Jk,
      How true that our strength gets tested. In this, and so many other ways.

      Everyone must know this though.
      Past results aren’t indicative of future results (in a good way). We can fail 9 times and breakthrough on the 10th.

      Live it LOUD!

  8. What a powerful speech, Rob! The part that hits me the hardest is when he says: “The credit belongs to the man…who comes short again and again.” Sometimes, it feels like there are too many options these days. It’s easy enough to say: “Well, this isn’t so bad. I can endure it.” But it’s not about enduring, it’s about fighting and one failure is not enough. Life is about failing time and time again because that’s when we learn, develop and grow!

    I also loved how he describes a person “who knows great enthusiasms.” I think that’s what life’s all about! The super highs and super lows. I’ve always been a person of extremes and even though that means that I can have low lows, it also means that I can experience the greatest thrills and joys! =)

    Thanks so much for sharing this speech, Rob! It’s going on my desktop. =)

  9. Rob says:

    Hey Samantha,
    It’s obvious Teddy Roosevelt was talking about you, and here, you look so young.
    I, too, have been given to the extremes. What has finally permeated my mind is that pushing through when not ‘feeling it’ is the difference maker in life. It is evidenced in so many areas. I like to think of Edison. Was he disheartened? Sure. Did he press on? Sure. Did he have success? SURE.
    It’s interesting to note that Edison’s patent was granted before finding that a carbonized bamboo filament would do the trick.
    Thanks for stopping by and keep…
    Living it LOUD!

  10. Pingback: My Story

  11. Chadrack@Making Money Blogging says:

    This totally resonates with me. I’ve printed it out and will follow your advice. It will be up in a frame. Thanks for sharing.

    • Rob says:

      Hey Chadrack,
      That has stayed on my wall for years. In any endeavor there will be detractors.

      Teddys’ niece Eleanor wasn’t too bad with words either:
      “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

      Thanks for stopping Chadrack.

  12. Rob,

    I had the Rocky theme song playing in my head as I read this. What a great reminder to stick with it, to keep believing, even when things are getting tough. I’ll definitely print that quote and post it on the fridge.


    • Rob says:

      Hey Katie,
      Ah yes, “Don’t Stop Believin” as Steve Perry belted it out. Some of us have supporters, some of us have detractors. We need to act accordingly. Roosevelt was a highly interesting cat and achiever. What kind of speech will we write from our own experiential living?
      Thanks for stopping.
      Keep Living it LOUD!

  13. Keith Davis says:

    Loved that Rob, absolutely loved it.

    We would all do well to remember…

    “Most will be satisfied to spectate and comment about you being in the arena.”

    A short quote to add to the discussion…

    “Everything in life is sweetened by risk.”

    I’m with you Rob – let’s step into the arena and take the risk.

  14. I love your motivational posts! I was just talking today about how it really can be hard to change your situation, even though it will be a better situation. For me, it is wanting to change careers and get to spend more time with my family, while still helping to provide for them financially. It really does take courage to break out of a familiar routine.

    For me, my downfall is that I worry so much about what people will think. I’m getting better about not worrying so much, but I still worry about failing in front of those people who don’t believe in me.

    I have decided that I have to move forward and take the chance that I may fail, because I know that in the end, maybe after some failures, I will succeed.

    Thanks for the motivation,

    • Rob says:

      Hey Stacey,

      A good book I keep telling folks about is A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller. The idea is creating a story (your life) that is worth telling. We get just one go-round to do this. Stacey, I’m going to send you my eBook for free. Read it as it will help with the brave choice you’re making. I encourage you to block negativity affecting your choices at all. You are the one living it and no one else. We all support you here. We are pulling for you. We want you to Live it LOUD!
      If you need anything that myself or a reader may be able to help with, please ask away. I have the most awesome group of readers on the net.

      • Thanks Rob,
        I’ve already read the 1st two chapters of your book! I definitely need a plan. You have quite a story, and I love how you are using your success to help others achieve success!


        • Rob says:

          Hey Stacey,

          Keep reading, it gets better. There is one concept in there that is very powerful when used.
          Also, about the plan. You probably have heard, ‘If you fail to plan, you plan to fail’. There is some truth to that. Others have done exactly what you are seeking to do. Read about them. Learn about them. Contact them. There are many out there that want to give back and offer a hand.
          Again, if I or a reader can offer assistance, please reach out to the THP family.

          Live it LOUD!

          • I read the whole thing, and I’m ready to reread it. I did see where you are an inventor, and I consider myself to be an inventor. If you have any info or have anyone I should contact for info, I would be really grateful!

            I love your honesty about the fact that this will be difficult and failure will happen, but we have to press on and not give up. My plan is getting more and more focused each day!


          • Rob says:

            Great Stacey!

            Applying the principles in that eBook will help ANYONE get to the next level. I say that because I know from personal experience (my own and others).
            It has been selling well for a reason. I have gotten excellent reviews without even marketing it yet.
            I love focused plans as long as they include dates for implementing. This is very important. Also, I read your email and hope that every person involved holds their end up. I wrote a post about Waiting for Godot. Be the person you count on most. Demand more from yourself because it is YOUR dream.
            As far as inventing, there are many sources. I would seek someone (or a site) that has something similar to what you have and learn how they did it with their product. I WOULD NOT pay any service until I was completely educated on the entire process.

            Enjoy, and Live it LOUD!

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