“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.” – Theodore Roosevelt.
I recently watched Diana Nyad’s Tedtalk – Never ever give up. She talks about her swim from Cuba to Florida, it took her most of her life to reach that goal and she made it. Its a great talk, her words, “Find A Way” have stuck with me. I feel like I am constantly trying to find a way. There are no maps, no roads to follow. When you consistently break the status quo the way can be lonely. It is unkempt and brutal. There is no let up.
Without the struggle the journey is not as great. Without the pain the end doesn’t taste so sweet. It makes it real. It acts as a reminder that we should never take anything for granted. We have to earn it. We have to find it, we have to fight for it.
Everyone will suffer and feel pain as they walk through this life. You can guarantee you are not alone in your pain. Find your way. Find your way through the pain. Learn to live another day. This is about not giving up and not giving in. It is about the fighters. The strivers. The people who push through never ending pain and suffering even though they know it may never end, they don’t give up. They find their own way, they carve their own path into the wilderness.
Those people who have not fought, they will not know the true triumph of victory. They will never realise the feelings of elation and the exhaustion of successes. They won’t have found there own way, they will have followed the paths of those who went before. The paths of those who started tall, and crossed the finish line on hands and knees, gasping for breath. They may criticises your path and your way, but they will never know what is is like to be in that arena. To hear to roar of the crowds.
Find your way. Find your own way. But don’t forget to look over your shoulder because others will be there right by your side, finding there own way too. Most importantly the thing I took away from the talk is that although we must find our own way, we are not alone.
We are not alone. There are others in the arena. We fight back to back. If you look closely you will see there eyes are brimming with the same tears, there faces also covered in dust and sweat. Their hands are bleeding. They know. They know how hard it is to pick yourself up. They know the struggle. They will be there to give you a hand when you can no longer lift yourself. But they will also be there to share the joy. What is joy if it is not shared, what is success if it can not be celebrated with others.
Diana says every day of our lives is epic. Every day of our lives is epic. It might be a day filled with epic struggle, it might be a deal filled with epic grief. It may be filled with an epic adventure, but every single day is epic. We must remember this on our journeys, when we are struggling to find out way. If we stop appreciating the ‘epic-ness’ of each day it gets easier to give up. Find a way. We have to find a way because the journey is worth taking. The journey is what makes each day epic.