Choose the Arena

 

Words matter. Words can either breath life, or tear us down. One of the more powerful words ever spoken was an excerpt from a Teddy Roosevelt speech titled Citizenship in a Republic that he gave in Paris, France in April 1910.

Perhaps you are familiar with it. Even if it is, I encourage you to read it again as if it’s the first time.

"It is not the critic who counts;
it’s 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...

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When Failure is an Option

I love the NASA story.  The aspiration we had as a nation in the 60's and early 70's to put man on the moon is an incredible example of perseverance!  What seemed impossible at first, was made possible.  But it wasn't without some challenges.

One of the most infamous statements in the midst of a challenge, which was used as motivation to help bring the crew of Apollo 13 safely back to earth, was a directive from Gene Kranz. In a moment of crisis, he coined the phrase "Failure is not an option."

Kranz, who's back is depicted in the picture above, was the flight controller for that mission, and many others.  Almost fifty-six hours into the Apollo 13 mission, an explosion occurs on board. One of the oxygen tanks blows up, threatening their survival. This not only keeps them from landing on the moon, but jeopardizes the lives of the astronauts.  The fear is that they might not come home.

A mix of contractors and NASA personnel representing various...

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