The Man in the Arena...

Let’s face it folks…no matter your role in this this business…. it’s tough. A rewarding business but a tough one. This week has just been one of those weeks – that whatever could go wrong went wrong. At times I felt like I had everything back under control and not ten minutes later I'd feel like the guy on the bottom of a rugby pile. One of those "Why am I doing this to myself" kind of weeks! 

Often times when sharing “war stories” with folks outside of the AECO arena, I always here the “man I am glad I am not in that world”. Sometimes I would think…maybe they are right, this business is fraught with all kinds of problems – many completely out of our control at times. Why I am putting myself through this, should I go into another line of work? This is CRAZY!! 

While that thought may linger for a little while, it never comes to fruition. While we may be asked to have the answers for every possible scenario, every risk covered, act as mind readers, and meteorologists at times – I don’t think I would trade being in this arena for anything. I’ll wear my battle field scars as a badge of honor, take pride in those learnings and use them to improve things in the future, not only for myself but for my clients and those industry professionals who come after me as well.  Proud that I did not waiver, give up, or throw in the towel. 

I am sure we could fill up pages and pages with experiences and stories from this crazy business we are in. But there is one thing we all have in common – a driven passion for what we do - no matter the obstacles. Passion will always outdrive resources and experience. As the saying goes “When the going gets tough the tough get going”. 

A couple of years ago, a friend of ours father passed away. He was a Retired Colonel in the US Army and received full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery. Due to the pandemic, sadly we had to watch online instead of in person, but during the eulogy his daughter talked about how her dad always stood up in the face of adversity and kept trudging on. One of his inspirations he always went back to was “The Man in the Arena” – from Theodore Roosevelt. Often times when this business gets to me – I think back to that…so I will leave it here for you as well when your times get tough: 

   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 

Till next time, 

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Friday, 12 April 2024