daring greatly

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.

“The Man in the Arena,” an excerpt from Citizenship in a Republic, Theodore Roosevelt.

 

Daring.jpg

Day 87/ 365

I’ve been terribly busy this past week. A marathon – so many deadlines to complete in what seems like not enough time. And on some days, it feels like time has stretched itself out like fat men after a heavy lunch – just seems to drag on into a bleak existence.

I’ve had to change some of my habits in order to create more room for productivity. My days start earlier, and end much later. Without realizing what was happening, my hour (or two) of solitude in the evenings seemed to have disappeared. My alone time is essential for my sanity, so as a result, I became restless, increasingly self conscious and haven’t been sleeping well (the recent heat waves at night haven’t made it easier, sema global warming?).

The truth is, I’ve been exhausted. For the longest time, I’ve thought of exhaustion as a negative ’emotion’ but I realized today that it could be a reason to be grateful! Yes, I know. Sounds crazy.

“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”.

Exhaustion is uncomfortable, but it means growth. Struggle means that you’re actually trying, you are in the arena. I did some reflecting today, and realized that one thing is for sure; I don’t wish for comfort as a mental state I identify with, I want to keep growing, and I’m not entirely sure if I’m ready for it. Are we ever?

I can’t remember exactly how I found this interview of Dr. Brené Brown on Oprah’s YouTube channel. Everything she said made sense, so I knew I had to buy one of her books. I got ‘Daring Greatly’ two months ago, and was ‘saving it’ for something special. That special moment was last night, and one paragraph in I couldn’t put the book down.

I’m now about a third done with the book. It’s difficult to summarize twelve years of Dr. Brené Brown’s research into a single blog post, but she summarizes it best on the cover.

Daring Greatly; How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead.

Almost every page brings tears to my eyes and what Oprah calls ‘aha moments’ – discussing topics like shame, vulnerability and joy. It’s exactly what I needed to read right now. Once I’m done with the book, I’ll write a little more about the lessons I’ve learnt.

I’ll end today’s post with an excerpt from the book, where she talks about ‘Wholehearted living’.

“Wholehearted living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, passion and connection to wake up in the morning and think, No matter what gets done or what is left undone, I am enough. It’s going to bed at night thinking, Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging”.

You are brave, and worthy of love and belonging 🙂

Other useful links:

Listening to Shame
Brené on Oprah

Author: Fatma Sultan

Hello, I'm Fatma Sultan. Architecture is my chosen career path. My love and appreciation for art is larger than I can put in a few words but it all comes down to the freedom to express oneself in so many different ways: painting, sketching, drawing, poetry, writing, photography, furniture design, cooking, pottery and even personal style. I hope to inspire my readers in any way that I can, and at least put a smile on somebody's face. Thanks for stopping by!

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