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, J.D., “Citizenship in a Republic” speech (excerpt commonly referred to as Man in the Arena)
My dearest Shosh and Jaialai:
Today, it rained cats and dogs. Huge drops of rain. A deluge. I loved it. I love watching the rain and feeling its coolness. Oh, how I wished you were here to enjoy it with me!
Ok, let’s talk about something else near and dear to my heart: the need to be action oriented. Do. Act.
There is a time for analysis, but once that time is over, act. Perfect knowledge and absolute certainty are luxuries afforded to none. Make the best decision you can under the circumstances, then act on it. Just do it. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
In this day and age, you cannot escape the talking heads. They are everywhere, telling others how to live their lives, and how to fix this or that world problem.
They remind me of a commercial about these two consultants who pitched a plan of action to a company executive. After the pitch, the executive told them he liked their ideas, and he wanted them to execute the plan. The consultants laughed, and told him they tell people what to do, but they don’t know how to do it themselves.
First, don’t listen to the talking heads. Think for yourselves. Remember what I said about the need to think critically?
Second, don’t be a talking head. Be action oriented.
Every day, I hear people whine about the state of their health, the challenges in their lives, the misery of their jobs, etc. They fail to recognize how lucky they are, and how their failure is their own.
If you are lonely, go outside and meet others. If you are unhealthy, exercise. If you don’t like your job, quit. Find another job. No one’s life is perfect, but if you are unsatisfied with something, change it.
Losers whine. Winners do. Do not be whiners, my sons, go forth and do. Practice being proactive at problem solving now. Problem solving is a skill honed over a lifetime, and that skill will serve you much better than sitting around and whining about your lot.
All my love, always,