A life long philanthropist, he was also a big game hunter, a boxer, a cowboy, a naturalist, a soldier and explorer. Now considered one of the five best President’s of all time, his likeness is carved on Mount Rushmore. If he were President today, he would probably be compared to, and have the temperament of Emperor Trump.
I’m currently reading his auto-biography, which is brimming with great anecdotes that can be applied to any ambitious man’s life philosophy.
On work ethic:
I never won anything without hard labor and exercise of my best judgement and careful planning and working long in advance. Having been a rather sickly and awkward boy, I was a young man at first both nervous and distrustful of my own prowess. I had to train myself painfully and laboriously not merely as regards my body but as regards my soul and spirit.
Being an insecure young man hampered with asthma, Teddy immersed himself in sports and outdoor activities that challenged him. He also studied science, philosophy, politics, naturalism, and was an avid reader. Self-improvement was a life long passion that allowed him to overcome his perceived limitations, and eventually become the leader of his nation.
And you guys are afraid to talk to women.
On overcoming fear:
When a boy I read a passage in one of Marryat’s books which always impressed me. In this passage the captain of some small British man-of-war is explaining to the hero how to acquire the quality of fearlessness. He says that at the outset almost every man is frightened when he goes into action, but that the course to follow is for the man to keep such a grip on himself that he can act just as if he was not frightened. After this is kept up long enough it changes from pretense to reality, and the man does in very fact become fearless by sheer dint of practicing fearlessness when he does not feel it.
A short form statement would be, “Fake it till you make it.” Teddy understood that the only way to overcome fear was to face it head on. This is why I consider pickup coaching nothing more than immersion therapy. If talking to a beautiful woman causes heart palpitation and adrenal spikes, then you must expose yourself to more beautiful women. Our lizard brain doesn’t seem to know the difference between approaching a girl and charging a hill of machine gun nests. But any man can overcome his fear through the, “act,” of not being frightened.
On Patriotism (Americanism):
I do not think that a man is fit to do good work in our American democracy unless he is able to have a genuine fellow-feeling for, understanding of, and sympathy with his fellow-Americans, whatever their creed or their birth-place, the section in which they live, or the work which they do, provided they possess the only kind of Americanism that really counts, the Americanism of the spirit.
I think Teddy would be absolutely disgusted by the divisive state of identity politics in modern day America. Where it’s trendy to play the victim card, to separate your self-worth based on whether you’re a transgendered Peruvian midget or a cis-white male. In his America, it didn’t matter what your race, or gender, but that you were a hard-working, patriotic, brother and sister loving American.
On strong vs weak character:
Practical efficiency is common, and lofty idealism not uncommon; it is the combination which is necessary, and the combination is rare. Love of peace is common among the weak, short-sighted, timid, and lazy persons, and on the other hand courage is found among many men of evil temper and bad character. Neither quality shall by itself avail. Justice among the nations of mankind, and the uplifting of humanity, can be brought about only by those strong and daring men who with wisdom love peace, but who love righteousness more than peace.
Theodore Roosevelt was a man’s man.
If he were born in the modern age, I think he would be horrified by the present character of his nation: a corrupt mainstream media, a corporate hegemony, a nation divided by identity politics and political correctness, addicted to sugary, fattening foods, social media, video games, and obsessed with celebrity.
He wasn’t perfect by any means, as no man is. He had a massive ego, an insatiable ambition. Many conspiracy theorists believe that he murdered then President Mckinley in order to ascend from Vice President to President. But then again, history is written by the winners.