The Arena

I was reminded recently of two things:

  1. How hard and lonely it can be to chase a dream to create something out of nothing;
  2. How easy it is to criticize someone who is trying to create something out of nothing.

The world basically runs on mediocrity and smallness. Think about it. How many people do you know who are dreaming big AND working their ass off to make that dream a reality? Dreaming and doing are NOT the same thing. Anyone who dares dream big and jumps into the arena of risk and hard work is quickly going to feel the hardness and loneliness of the quest. Most people who feel these feelings (natural obstacles, by the way) eventually cut their dreams back so they can lower their discomfort, simply “manage” life and “hang in there.” 

rainbow falls

I acknowledge that life is hard. Trust me, I get it. But does that mean we back away from our dreams and live small?! Are you going to let the ups and downs of life that we ALL face keep you from reaching your potential? Happiness and peace in life comes from discovering who you are and what value you bring to the world. I contend that getting through the hard times, the harder the better, and coming out the other side–stronger, wiser, more experienced–enhances our happiness and deepens our peace. There is less satisfaction in easy things.

We all have value to add to the world on some level. It’s not about having more or less value or potential than someone else. It’s about YOU and becoming YOUR best. Happiness is within us if we don’t compare to others and shun those who would tear us down.

Unfortunately, some of the small souls in this world who are merely “hanging in there” may regret their decision to give up on their dreams so much that they become critical of those they see trying to actually become more. It’s like: “Dude! You’re supposed to hang onto !this rope of life, not climb it!” Don’t be a cold and timid soul. The world doesn’t need any more of those. 

Find your potential, get moving and be ready to fight like hell.

I leave you with this poignant and compelling insight from former US President Theodore Roosevelt who captures the absolute magic of the quest made by the bold and daring. Win or Lose. Perfection or Failure. The man (and woman!) in the arena is living life to its fullest and therein lies true happiness and peace.

“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.”

Ignore the critics, take a deep breath, and let’s go!

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