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Advice from a Mustachioed Man: Theodore Roosevelt

Long before becoming the youngest commander-in-chief and the first of only three sitting presidents to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) was the kind of child who was described as having a "weak constitution." When he graduated from Harvard, doctors told Teddy to "get a desk job and avoid strenuous activity."

Naturally, he did no such thing. He built a ranch, and spent his time hunting animals and outlaws. He founded the Rough Riders, and toured Africa and Europe. Below is an excerpt from a speech given in 1910 to a class at the Sorbonne in Paris:

“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, and 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 the 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 know neither victory nor defeat.”

Check out the rest of Birchbox Man’s historical advice columns here.

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