The Man in the Arena

It’s not the critic who counts.

It’s the day after Thanksgiving, and while you’re probably sleeping, the refactoring fox (and the Internets) do no such thing. (Though if you’re reading this, you’re likely less asleep than I thought, but let’s not get mired in details.)

This week the fox offer two tremendous visual experiences.

The first is an inspiring comic by one of my great friends at (though we’ve never actually met, and I’m not sure his stance on animals). It depicts a quote made by Theodore Roosevelt, a man who’s grandeur has grown over time, but can hardly be classified as overstated.

Growing up, Teddy was severely asthmatic, too scared to play outside and would instead spend all his time reading. Finally, his father told him to ‘man-up’ and overcome his physical frailty through will power and mental toughness. Theodore not only overcame his asthma, he went on to embrace what he called ‘the strenuous life’ – a life filled with physical activity, adventure and action. He had a fierce intellect as well, writing several books, mediating wars, winning political duels and oh yeah … he was President for 8 years too.

This comic is inspired by part of a speech Roosevelt gave in Paris in 1910 and has become known as The Man in the Arena.

The Man in the Arena

The second experience is a woman who has become one of my favorite inspirational speakers of 2013. If you haven’t heard of Brene Brown yet, you certainly will soon. She is a social worker and researcher from the University of Houston, and has spent the last 6 years studying shame and vulnerability – topics the fox knows all too well. I watched her TED talk in 2010, then saw her speak live at the Global Leadership Summit this summer. Below she address a crowd of creatives at 99U, and her message is tied directly to Teddy Roosevelt’s 1910 speech as she inspires us to not hold back who we are and to get in the arena.

Watch it full screen and listen with your heart.


Fox Tip: What arena have you been hesitating to step into? What if you stopped hesitating?

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