Daring Greatly – Are you in the Arena?

Hello my fellow page-turners,

It’s Friday. Fridays are probably the most darling of all the days of the week. (I think that is how Audrey Hepburn would say it…).

Why? Because during great, fulfilling weeks Fridays are the exclamation point, the “you did it”, the satisfying completion of a hard workweek. And during the hellish weeks characterized by stress, mess, and red wine stains on your favorite dress, Fridays are the fabulous part of the week when you get to turn the page, start new, and recharge over the weekend!

So, in celebration of Fridays, I’ve decided that each week I will share a “bookmark” with y’all.

What’s a Bookmark?

A bookmark is anything fabulous and inspirational that I’ve come across in life and have metaphorically “dog-eared” so I remember to share them with you! These little bookmarks are anything that makes life sweeter – recipes, books, ideas, quotes, jokes, etc.

So, without farther ado … Here’s bookmark #1…

Man in the Arena

I love this quote from Theodore Roosevelt’s speech “The Man in the Arena.” It’s something I should read to myself daily. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Dare Greatly- navy

Daring Greatly

I’ll be the first to admit when it comes to my personal performance, I completely despise failure of any magnitude. But I’m learning more and more about how important it is to celebrate our mistakes and missteps rather living in the fear of failure.

We shouldn’t be worried about our failures. We should worry about the opportunities and lessons we miss when we don’t even try. (Honestly, this is the logic that has given me the courage to start this blog.)

Our failures are beautiful reminders of the fact that “[God’s] power is made perfect in weakness” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10. They are tangible souvenirs of the sufficiency of Grace and our need for it. So, why not celebrate those reminders?

I believe that embracing vulnerability and learning from our mistakes is essential to our personal and spiritual growth. Not only does “getting in the area” make us stronger and our skills sharper, it also keeps us humble (Proverbs 15:33).

Humbly in the Arena…

Lately, my “arena” has been this blog. It’s something that I wanted to do for a very long time, but I have always been too afraid of criticism or failure to post anything. But, I promised myself that by April 1, 2014 I would post something. And I did. I stepped into the arena and it wasn’t that bad!

But then, this morning at 7:05 am vulnerability and failure smacked me right in the face. I had inadvertently emailed my a good chunk of my contact list an announcement that I had posted this blog! But the problem was, it wasn’t finished yet. Not even close!

I have spent months planning my marketing strategy and posting schedule. I’ve labored for days on the design of the site, and prayed for hours that my network would get behind me and help spread the news about my little blog. And now, on my second post, I’ve blasted out half-baked, sub-par work! (And that auto-generated email wasn’t even cute…!)

So… its 8:01 and I’ve got a decision to make… I can beat myself up and stress about the fact that I may not succeed at this. OR, I can  I can dust off my dress, get back in the arena, and try again!

I can thank God for the one wobbly step I took toward growth this morning (and the lesson I learned about Mail Chimp WordPress plug-ins). Even though, it still stings a little, I will celebrate this mistake because it’s reminded me (once again) that this is not about me.

A big spoonful of humility is a painful, but awesome way to start a Friday.

So, what about you?

Are you in the arena? Did you fail while daring greatly this week? If your answer is “yes”, I’d love to hear about it so I can celebrate with you! Share your story in the comments or shoot me an email.


Shameless plug:

Brene Brown, Ph.D., LMSW, research professor at the University of Houston wrote an amazing book on vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame entitled Daring Greatly. I’d encourage you to check it out; just be sure to use the truth in Scripture as the litmus test for what you read (as should be the rule with any advice that you read, watch, or hear).

In Daring Greatly, Dr. Brown shares how to live a wholehearted life by embracing vulnerability (and I would add by pursing an active love relationship with Jesus Christ). It’s a great, encouraging read!


  1. Barbara Shannon

    Great read Morgan. The book by Dr. Brown is one we recommend often in my profession. Look forward to reading your work! Good way to start the day AND make me feel closer to you! Good luck with this endeavor! Love you!XO

    • Morgan Eseke

      Thanks for reading, Barbara! Glad you enjoyed it. Love you! xoxo

  2. Sarah Welch

    I love that you are blogging!! I think we can’t fail when we step out and are vulnerable…I’m thankful you are modeling that and I know it will be an encouragement to so many! 🙂

  3. Kenny Greaves

    Always been one of my favorite quotes. Got it hangin up in my office. Awesome post Morgan!

    • Morgan Eseke

      Thanks, KB! It makes sense that this is one of your favorite quotes. You get in the arena and dare greatly pretty well! Thanks for always setting a great example of this for me, brother!

  4. Ken Greaves

    Great post Morgan! I think that quote was in y’alls (had to check the correct spelling on that) senior year football program. Left off one of my favorite parts at the end – “so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

    Keep up the great work!

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