This is the time of year when people will gather around graduates and congratulate them on the achievement of earning a diploma. It’s really great when you get to the end of a goal and everyone comes around you to say “good job”. The problem is you don’t always need a “good job” when the goal is reached. Sometimes you need it on your way to the goal. Sometimes you need a push on days when you don’t think you can reach the goal. Hopefully, you have someone who will support you on those days, but if you don’t you still have to find a way to keep going. I suggest you “Toot Your Own Horn”. Look yourself in the mirror and remind yourself of who you are. Maybe you are a really good friend. If so, pat yourself on the back for that. Maybe you worked on a project at work that really turned out well. If nobody said” great going”, don’t worry about that. Perhaps you took the opportunity to handle a conflict with someone in a healthy way and you took the high road. Give yourself a hooray! There will be times when the greatness of you goes unnoticed for a season, but the most important opinion of you should be the one you have of yourself. I’m sure there are areas that could use improvement, that’s true for all of us, but while you work on those things give yourself some credit for what you are doing well. Teddy Roosevelt put it best in his poem “The Man in the Arena”. You can read it below. In the mean time let me say it in a very simple way. Give yourself some credit for not giving up. Give yourself some credit for falling, but getting back up. Give yourself some credit for learning from your mistakes. Give yourself some credit for trying, doing and being whether anyone else takes any notice at all. Whether you get any hand claps for what you do, whether you get any awards do your best and persevere just because, and when you need an extra push don’t look around for it “Toot Your Own Horn”.
The Man in the Arena
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.