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How to Become the Man in the Arena

Theodore Roosevelt was a pretty amazing dude!  He was a great president, but even more so, he was an extraordinary human being.

When Theodore Roosevelt was just a kid, he was told by his doctors that he was too weak, sickly, and asthmatic, to live a normal life like his peers.

He was specifically instructed by his doctors, to avoid participation in any physical activity, for fear that it could aggravate his condition; potentially leading to his death.


Instead of allowing someone else’s limiting beliefs about what he could do and accomplish, (considering his condition), he went on to live life fully.

Despite his doctor’s admonishments to remain inactive, he revolted, and instead did the opposite.  As such, he went on to have daily adventures in the woods as a boy.

Theodore Roosevelt shrugged off the fate that the world, and seemingly, even nature was trying to enforce upon him.  And, instead forced himself to be active.  He made up his mind… to strive!

Man in the Arena Quote

Against the odds, he eventually went on to play sports when he got to college.  In fact, he didn’t just play, but he excelled in both boxing, and rowing; two sports that require astonishing levels of physicality and great endurance.

When Theodore Roosevelt graduated from college, another one of his doctors actually suggested that it would be best for him to find a desk job so that he could avoid any strenuous activity.

The doctors were still not convinced that his health condition was normal.  They still believed that he would be putting himself in serious danger, as the heart problems he was initially diagnosed with, had not changed.


Once again, not being one to accept someone else’s fate for him; Theodore Roosevelt decided not to heed the seemingly misguided advice of his doctors.

Instead, he would overcome his physical limitations by going on to live an extremely strenuous adult life.

In just about every capacity, he would aim to push his physical limits.  Impressively, he would go on to do so as an explorer, a hunter, a cowboy, an author, a soldier, a judoka (practioner of judo), and a politician.

Ultimately, Theodore Roosevelt transcended the limits imposed upon him by both nature and those figures closest to him, to go on to become one of the most powerful men in the world, when he took office as the 26th president of the United States of America.


man in the arena

On April 23rd, 1910 in Paris France, Theodore Roosevelt made the following speech.  It is a speech that has gone on to become one of his most famous, and it is the essence of his political and personal philosophy.

“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 and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, 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 he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”Theodore Roosevelt

There is much to learn from Theodore Roosevelt.  He was the ultimate man in the arena.  And he has the list to prove it, as he achieved the following:

  • Became The Youngest U.S President in U.S. History
  • Facilitated the Construction of the Panama Canal
  • Was Awarded the Medal of Honor
  • Was the 1st American to Be Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize
  • Graduated from Harvard University
  • Made in onto Mount Rushmore
  • Created the U.S. Forest Service

Considering all these accomplishments, it’s not hard to imagine him being marred by dust and sweat and blood.  In figuring out how to transcend his limits, he came to know high achievement.

Certainly, the great man who we have all come to know as Theodore Roosevelt, lived up to the famous quote which he eloquently spoke to the world so long ago.


If you’re the type of person who wants to do more, wants to achieve more, and aspires to become something more in this life, then I respectfully suggest that you reflect upon the life of Theodore Roosevelt.

Study the powerful suggestions weaved throughout his famous ‘Man In the Arena’ quote, and consider what limits you’ve allowed to suppress your achievements up until this point.

If you are an aspiring entrepreneur, artist, author, or just someone who secretly knows that they can become more than they currently are… I ask you this; ‘what limitations are you allowing to hold you back?’  Once you have the answer to that, channel your inner Theodore Roosevelt, and make up your mind to revolt against them.   If you do this… you too, can become the man in the arena.

Till next time,



PS  –  If you’re ready to unleash your inner Teddy Roosevelt and start living like a lion, and not a lamb, get Go Fearless today!