Two things happened yesterday.
I read this:
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 President Theodore Roosevelt’s speech “Citizenship In A Republic,” delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on April 23, 1910
And I saw American Sniper with Bray.
This is what hit me at my deepest core: You Are Too Comfortable.
I have relied on perfectionism being my enemy of progress. But I believe now it’s really comfort that I am battling.
We make a nice living and live in a comfortable house and raise comfortable kids and go to church on Sundays and eat out on Friday nights.
I want to live braver than that.
I want to make bolder decisions that may result in folks criticizing the hell out of me or in epic failures, but at least I’ll be actually moving at a great clip toward progress with enthusiasm and passion and devotion.
Comfort is sitting in the pot that slowly gets warmer and warmer until you’ve ended up boiled alive because you never risked jumping out.
American Sniper was hard to watch last night, but what I saw there was this: an unwavering commitment by the hero to follow what he believed in. It doesn’t matter if you believe in what he believed in. He believed in it, and he followed it tirelessly until the very end.
We care too much about what everyone else will say. I have two friends that I talk to regularly, and we often begin our conversations with, “well people will think I’m crazy.” The good thing about these friends is they go ahead and take the bold step even with crazy faces staring back at them.
Don’t you love the end of that quote? 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.
Don’t you want that? To at least not to be left at the end with neither victory or defeat? Wouldn’t you rather fail while daring greatly ? I would. And I’m drawing a line in the sand. I will consciously evaluate decisions against the backdrop of comfort, and I will not let my personal ease or people’s opinion be the determining factor in whether I follow the bold trail God is blazing for me.
Art: The Battle of the First June, by Philippe-Jacques de Loutherbourg, 1795