Are You in the Arena?

Persistence. Perseverance. Tenacity. Endurance. Resilience.

These are the character traits of a creative person who simply does not give up.

You may stumble. You may fall. You may win no artistic awards or personal accolades.

But you do not give up.

You are comfortable with being uncomfortable until your creative work finally bears fruit. You don't whine or complain or ask for a safe room or comfort puppies when things don't go your way. You are committed to your craft.

Your art-making is not dependent on outcomes. 

You create because you were born to create. You are fulfilling your God-given purpose.

Blood. Sweat. Tears. You're in the arena and that's what counts.

In 1910, Teddy Roosevelt gave one of the most searing speeches ever recorded by a former president. Speaking at the Sorbonne in Paris, he stood up to critics who looked down on men and women trying to make this world a better place.

I have a framed copy of it on my wall near my desk.

It's a message I need to remind myself of often.

It's called "In the Arena".

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.

In some small way, I hope these words inspire you to keep getting after it.

Dare greatly.

Don't settle for being a cold or timid soul who knows neither victory nor defeat.

Don't settle for standing on the sideline like a sneering, whining critic.

Rise above each and every challenge you're facing today.

God is with you.


If these words resonated with you today, I'd like to invite you to this Friday's webinar...

The Enduring Artist Webinar
Developing Persistence & Perseverance during Challenging Times
Friday, October 2, Noon PST
Save your spot. Register today. Invite a friend.

How do you develop resilience in your creative life?
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