I’ve often thought why sports are a big part of American culture. Billions are spent on it annually. Fans flock to opinion talk shows and discussion groups are flooded with arguments why an athlete is or isn’t good.
As a fan I have my favorite teams. I have my favorite athletes. I’ve been on the courts and field of play. I’ve had fans yell for me and against me.
Perhaps sports are a microcosm view of life. Especially in the pursuit of owning your own business. Being employed for yourself, by yourself, completely independent as an entrepreneur is always scary.
One of my favorite excerpts from a talk is a corollary to entrepreneurship. It 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.”
(Excerpt from the speech “Citizenship In A Republic” delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910 by Theodore Roosevelt)
I honor all those athletes who dare greatly. I have little regard for the talking heads and especially fans who express disdain for an athlete as if to judge him/her for not making the fan’s team or perhaps the fan’s prediction look good.
I honor those daring greatly in the independent pursuit of entrepreneurship.
They are each to be honored and respected. Not the critic or skeptic “who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.”
Each of my heroes, an athlete or entrepreneur, who “strive[s] 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.”
Daring greatly is a way of life for some.
No wonder the athletes and entrepreneurs never hear the jeers from the critics and skeptics in the stands. Critics are everywhere only to watch (and judge). Critics are to fearful to play and dare greatly because they couldn’t take what they dish out.
The only courage is from those on the field of dreams.