Theodore Roosevelt quotes we can live by

Traveling in my teardrop camper across western U.S. states this summer I couldn’t help but be inspired by our 26th President. His legacy is etched into the very landscape of the American West.  From his larger than life sculpture at Mount Rushmore, to a National Park in North Dakota bearing his name, the tributes to this man stand tall. Yet more subtly, the breadth and variety of National Parks across the country are all part of this one man’s legacy.

Teddy Roosevelt created five National Parks during his time as president, but many more have benefited from his conservation ethic. There are more National Parks dedicated to Roosevelt than any other American.

Driving through Montana, Wyoming, the Dakotas, Colorado, Arizona and California, I found references, monuments, dedications, and memorabilia in honor of Roosevelt everywhere I went. I found myself captivated by this man’s leadership. In today’s partisan and disheartening political climate, I find Roosevelt’s words to be a solid reminder of the values all Americans share. I think we can all find inspiration in this Republican’s aphorisms that seemingly transcend time. The following are a collection of my favorite Theodore Roosevelt quotes:

“It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.”

“Keep your eyes on the starts, but remember to keep your feet on the ground.”

“Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.”

“I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life; I have envied a great meany people who led difficult lives and led them well.”

“Do what you can with what you have where you are.”

“There were all kinds of things I was afraid of at first, ranging from grizzly bears to ‘mean horses’ and gun fighters; but by acting as if I was not afraid I gradually ceased to be afraid.”

“This country has nothing to fear from the crooked man who fails. We put him in jail. It is the crooked man who succeeds who is a threat to this country.”

“I am part of everything I have read.”

“Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.”

“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.”

“Practical efficiency is common, and lofty idealism is not uncommon; it is the combination which is necessary, and the combination is rare.”

“Whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell ’em, “Certainly I can!” Then get busy and find out how to do it.”

“The leader works in the open, and the boss in covert. The leader leads and the boss drives.”

“The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it.”

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there!”

–Theodore Roosevelt


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