In my life and work with leaders I see how fear of failure, criticism, ridicule or disappointment, prevents people from moving forward and living their best lives professionally and personally. I've referred people to this very famous excerpt from Theodore Roosevelt's speech which talks of our responsibility as citizens to make use of what we have, whether it is wealth, wisdom, or ability. And to meet our needs and those of our family and to contribute to our community and country. I understood what he was saying is that it is our obligation, not to be idle but to be industrious, without worrying about our success.

Excerpt from the speech "Citizenship In A Republic", delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910

"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."

For me it's even more than this, it's about taking risk, pushing boundaries and striving for better. Putting our ego aside and either not worrying about the 'failure' or recognizing that some of the best learning comes from 'failure'.

We are on this earth for a short time. We have an obligation to live our best lives and be willing to embrace all aspects of our human experience, pain, pleasure, joy, love, sadness in order to be the best we can be.


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