How gladiator mentality landed me on the Ohio State Buckeyes football team

There’s a famous “Man in the Arena” quote from Theodore Roosevelt that reads:

“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.”

What’s in living life, if you never strive to do anything great or create lasting positive impact. Long before I knew this quote I had been driven by the words in it.

Driven to be in the arena, by a desire to contribute, create impact, and positively leave my mark wherever I went.

In everything I’ve done from college to Microsoft to entrepreneurship, I’ve put myself out there and gone through some of the most difficult situations and tackling hard problems.

I can’t pinpoint a specific moment in my life when this mentality began to manifest and so, to me, it has always been there. But in no way does that mean it can’t be developed.

We all have our own arenas, whether that is at home with the family, at the office on the job, or on the field in the stadium.

Why not strive to do something & be something great there?

If you are striving to do something or be something great in your arena, do not let the critics or spectators diminish your belief in your abilities to accomplish what you set your mind to; for they have no insight into what you’re capable of.

And if you’re sitting in the stands, spectating, my question to you is, what are you waiting for? There is no, nor will there ever be any glory on the sidelines or sitting down.

The credit belongs to the (wo)man who is actually in the arena, doing, trying, and yes, sometimes failing, but getting back up and trying again and again and again!

So why not step in the ring of your arena and see what you’re made of.

Today is the day to be great.