man in the arena

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“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 speech Citizenship in a Republic known more commonly as the Man in the Arena

“The loudest boos always come from the cheapest seats” ~Babe Ruth

Whether in life or online many of your critics will be the ones that put little at stake to give you their opinion. Online most of the worst trolling comes from anonymous social media accounts that hide their own identity while judging others who put their self out there. The cheap seats online cost nothing but boo the loudest at people with the largest audiences. Other boos in the real world will come from the unsuccessful that have accomplished nothing yet feel the authority to judge everything.

Broke people will judge your business, investing, or trading plans. Overweight people will judge your eating plan. The single and divorced will judge your dating and marriage decisions. A simple life hack to quiet the impact of critics in your life is to only take advice and criticism for those that are successful in the area their criticism is on. No one sitting in the cheap seats booing could have hit a home run and that is why their feedback didn’t effect Babe Ruth’s swing. Where they were sitting told Babe Ruth all he needed to know about their qualifications to criticize him. 

Too many times in sports we can see the seats filled with spectators in need of exercise watching a field full of players in need of rest. Business, work, and life can mirror this situation with too many critics and trolls commenting on too few producers and creators. People without skin in the game should remain quiet when they are not qualified to give constructive and informed feedback to those in the game taking the risks and doing the work whether they win or fail. 

Don’t feel sorry for yourself when you are met with criticism, feel sorry for the trolls as that is all they have. It is sad. 

man in the arena
Pach Bros., Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons