We can be heroes

Make a difference in your own life this Fourth of July.

It’s the week of the 4th of July, and every year I like to share these words from a great American with you:

“It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat.”

That’s Teddy Roosevelt speaking at the Sorbonne in 1910, but he could have just as easily been speaking to you.

Readers, we all know those professional critics and perpetual naysayers who say: “It’s no use; it can’t be done. Don’t try. Give up.  Why do you have to stand out? Just be smart and give up.”

They are an all-too-common, misfortunate fact of corporate life and they populate our hallways, snack rooms, and company cafeterias.  They lurk there, with their drag-down message of gloom and doom in the hopes of ensnaring you in their misery.

But it’s important for you to know: the naysayers are wrong, and you don’t have to buy into their message of “settle-for-little” and underachievement.

Because you’ve been blessed with talent; because you’ve had the fortunate happenstance to be born in this great country (or emigrate! or visit!); because you are one of the leading professionals in this great land of ours, you have a higher purpose this Fourth of July holiday.

I’m asking you this Fourth of July to reach deeper. To use the great talents you’ve been given; the skills and abilities and experience you’ve developed over the years; the guts and courage that are so much a part of you, to be even greater.  

I’m asking you to make a difference in your own life: to find that next great job that will make you even better; to stretch yourself further than you knew was possible; to be that person you’ve always known you were capable of becoming.

I’m asking you this Fourth of July to be a hero.  Your own hero.

And with that, I’d like to end this newsletter with a few lyrics from a talented Brit (hey, they took part in the 4th of July, too!)

You know, I think this motley-eyed chanteuse is on to something…

We can be heroes; and I’ll be rooting for you all.