I have a slightly different take than some others on the following quotation from Teddy Roosevelt:
“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; … 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.”Teddy Roosevelt
Sure, there’s the normal understanding:
👉 Have the courage to try something that’s hard for you, even if you might not succeed.
But there’s another side of it that also resonates with me.
👉 Have the courage to stop polishing your work and release it even when you know there are flaws.
Yes, there will be critics who will love to tell you where you fell short.
They’ll always be willing to spotlight how other people’s work is “not good enough.”
And when it’s your work, that spotlight can be painful.
And more often than not, the polish whose only purpose is to silence potential critics doesn’t really add real value. And the time and energy you spend polishing takes away from more important things.
But “it’s not the critic who counts.”
Daring greatly often means moving on to the next challenge even when someone else can criticize the solution you just delivered.