120 Brilliant Theodore Roosevelt Quotes on Leadership and Life

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Born in 1858, Theodore Roosevelt Jr. is unquestionably one of the greatest leaders in American history. The statesman and writer served as president of the United States and is a prime example of someone who accomplished greatness despite challenging physical health problems during childhood. Not only was he an effective and determined executive, but he is also credited with leading the way to the power and influence of the present presidency. To help you gain a better understanding of the personality of the 26th president of the United States and his insights on leadership and life, we’ve created the following list of inspirational Theodore Roosevelt quotes. Happy reading!

Roosevelt’s personality and character traits played an important role in making the presidency supersede Congress as the most powerful branch of the American government. At the same time, his fierce and decisive executive action as president assisted the transitional process.

“When you play, play hard; when you work, don’t play at all.”
Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt’s enthusiastic and determined appearance in the public’s perception allowed him to shape opinions and win quotes. Interestingly enough, he was one of the first presidents to effectively use the different media outlets of his time to steer public opinions in the intended directions.

Theodore-Roosevelt-quotes

Enjoy this collection of inspirational and popular Theodore Roosevelt quotes

However, this wasn’t done in an aggressive or manipulative way. Instead, Roosevelt used his charismatic perception to develop a strong rapport with his followers.

120 Inspirational Theodore Roosevelt Quotes on Leadership and Life

If you’ve ever had the chance of reading one of the many books written by Theodore Roosevelt, you know how profound and vast his knowledge was. Not only had he important insights to share about leadership, but he also provided tremendously valuable lessons about life. All of the inspirational Theodore Roosevelt quotes – despite being more than 150 years old – have never faded into obscurity. Quite the contrary, they have only grown in popularity. In fact, thanks to the popularity of the Internet, his unique thoughts about life and leadership are now assessable to billions all around the world.


Here’s our collection of famous Theodore Roosevelt quotes:

1.

Roosevelt quote about strength

“Courage is not having the strength to go on; it is going on when you don’t have the strength.”
Theodore Roosevelt

2.

Theodore Roosevelt famous quote

“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.”
Theodore Roosevelt

3.

Inspirational Roosevelt quote

“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.”
Theodore Roosevelt

4.

Quote about courage

“Courage isn’t the absence of fear, it’s the choice that something else is greater than that fear.”
Theadore Roosevelt

5.

Self-discipline quote

“With self discipline most anything is possible.”
Theodore Roosevelt

6.

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

7.

“I am only an average man, but I work harder at it than the average man.”
Theodore Roosevelt

8.

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
Theodore Roosevelt

9.

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.”
Theodore Roosevelt

10.

“Dreams are a dime a dozen. It’s their execution that counts”
Theodore Roosevelt

11.

“Nothing worth having comes easy.”
Theodore Roosevelt

12.

“There is no effort without error and shortcoming.”
Theodore Roosevelt

13.

“Complaining about a problem without posing a solution is called whining.”
Theodore Roosevelt

14.

“No man is above the law, and no man is below it.”
Theodore Roosevelt

15.

“The only man who never makes mistakes is the man who never does anything.”
Theodore Roosevelt

16.

“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty.”
Theodore Roosevelt

17.

“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing.”
Theodore Roosevelt

18.

“Knowing what’s right doesn’t mean much unless you do what’s right.”
Theodore Roosevelt

19.

“Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground.”
Theodore Roosevelt

20.

“In life, as in football, the principle to follow is to hit the line hard.”
Theodore Roosevelt

21.

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

22.

“Never throughout history has a man who lived a life of ease left a name worth remembering.”
Theodore Roosevelt

23.

“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.”
Theodore Roosevelt

24.

“No man should receive a dollar unless that dollar has been fairly earned.”
Theodore Roosevelt

25.

“The reason fat men are good natured is they can neither fight nor run.”
Theodore Roosevelt

26.

“We despise and abhor the bully, the brawler, the oppressor, whether in private or public life, but we despise no less the coward and the voluptuary. No man is worth calling a man who will not fight rather than submit to infamy or see those that are dear to him suffer wrong.”
Theodore Roosevelt

27.

“The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.”
Theodore Roosevelt

28.

“For us is the life of action, of strenuous performance of duty; let us live in the harness, striving mightily; let us rather run the risk of wearing out than rusting out.”
Theodore Roosevelt

29.

“Credit should go with the performance of duty, and not with what is very often the accident of glory.”
Theodore Roosevelt

30.

“I represent the public, not public opinion.”
Theodore Roosevelt

31.

“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”
Theodore Roosevelt

32.

“Women should have free access to every field of labor which they care to enter, and when their work is as valuable as that of a man it should be paid as highly.”
Theodore Roosevelt

33.

“It is out of the question for our people to rise by treading down any of their own number.”
Theodore Roosevelt

34.

“To educate a person in the mind but not in morals is to educate a menace to society.”
Theodore Roosevelt

35.

“As regards the extraordinary prizes, the element of luck is the determining factor.”
Theodore Roosevelt

36.

“Be practical as well as generous in your ideals.”
Theodore Roosevelt

37.

“When you’re at the end of your rope, tie a knot and hold on.”
Theodore Roosevelt

38.

“It may be true that he travels farthest who travels alone, but the goal thus reached is not worth reaching.”
Theodore Roosevelt

39.

“Courtesy is as much a mark of a gentleman as courage.”
Theodore Roosevelt

40.

“Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children’s children.”
Theodore Roosevelt

41.

“For those who fight for it life has a flavor the sheltered will never know”
Theodore Roosevelt

42.

“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.”
Theodore Roosevelt

43.

“There can be no life without change, and to be afraid of what is different or unfamiliar is to be afraid of life.”
Theodore Roosevelt

44.

“Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance.”
Theodore Roosevelt

45.

“To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.”
Theodore Roosevelt

46.

“Only those who live and sleep in the open fully realize the beauty of dawn and moonlight and starlight.”
Theodore Roosevelt

47.

“If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t sit for a month.”
Theodore Roosevelt

48.

“A man’s usefulness depends upon his living up to his ideals insofar as he can.”
Theodore Roosevelt

49.

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

50.

“Politeness [is]a sign of dignity, not subservience.”
Theodore Roosevelt

51.

“Comparison is the thief of joy.”
Theodore Roosevelt

52.

“Let the watchwords of all our people be the old familiar watchwords of honesty, decency, fair-dealing, and common sense.”
Theodore Roosevelt

53.

“Each one must do his part if we wish to show that the nation is worthy of its good fortune.”
Theodore Roosevelt

54.

“There are no words that can tell the hidden spirit of the wilderness, that can reveal its mystery, its melancholy and its charm.”
Theodore Roosevelt

55.

“Only those are fit to live who do not fear to die; and none are fit to die who have shrunk from the joy of life and the duty of life. Both life and death are parts of the same Great Adventure.”
Theodore Roosevelt

56.

“The teachings of the Bible are so interwoven and entwined with our whole civic and social life that it would be literally impossible for us to figure to ourselves what that life would be if these teaching were removed.”
Theodore Roosevelt

57.

“Books are the ammunition of life.”
Theodore Roosevelt

58.

“The nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased; and not impaired in value.”
Theodore Roosevelt

59.

“Life means change; where there is no change, death comes.”
Theodore Roosevelt

60.

“Any man who has met with success, if he will be frank with himself, must admit that there has been a big element of fortune in the success.”
Theodore Roosevelt

61.

“A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education.”
Theodore Roosevelt

62.

“No man needs sympathy because he has to work, because he has a burden to carry. Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.”
Theodore Roosevelt

63.

“I have a perfect horror of words that are not backed up by deeds.”
Theodore Roosevelt

64.

“It is never worth while to absolutely exhaust one’s self or to take big chances unless for an adequate object.”
Theodore Roosevelt

65.

“The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first and love of soft living and the get-rich-quick theory of life.”
Theodore Roosevelt

66.

“With soul of flame and temper of steel we must act as our coolest judgment bids us.”
Theodore Roosevelt

67.

“If there is one tendency of the day which more than any other is unhealthy and undesirable, it is the tendency to deify mere “smartness,” unaccompanied by a sense of moral accountability.”
Theodore Roosevelt

68.

“Conservation means development as much as it does protection.”
Theodore Roosevelt

69.

“The worst of all fears is the fear of living”
Theodore Roosevelt

70.

“To waste, to destroy our natural resources, to skin and exhaust the land instead of using it so as to increase its usefulness, will result in undermining in the days of our children the very prosperity which we ought by right to hand down to them amplified and developed.”
Theodore Roosevelt

71.

“Any man who tries to excite class hatred, sectional hate, hate of creeds, any kind of hatred in our community, though he may affect to do it in the interest of the class he is addressing, is in the long run with absolute certainly that class’s own worst enemy.”
Theodore Roosevelt

72.

“I am a strong individualist by personal habit, inheritance, and conviction; but it is a mere matter of common sense to recognize that the State, the community, the citizens acting together, can do a number of things better than if they were left to individual action.”
Theodore Roosevelt

73.

“People ask the difference between a leader and a boss… The leader works in the open, and the boss in covert. The leader leads, and the boss drives.”
Theodore Roosevelt

74.

“I put myself in the way of things happening, and they happened.”
Theodore Roosevelt

75.

“It tires me to talk to rich men. You expect a man of millions, the head of a great industry, to be a man worth hearing; but as a rule, they don’t know anything outside their own business.”
Theodore Roosevelt

76.

“Justice consists not in being neutral between right and wrong, but finding out the right and upholding it, wherever found, against the wrong.”
Theodore Roosevelt

77.

“It is not often that a man can make opportunities for himself. But he can put himself in such shape that when or if the opportunities come he is ready.”
Theodore Roosevelt

78.

“Nine tenths of wisdom consists in being wise in time.”
Theodore Roosevelt

79.

“A great democracy has got to be progressive or it will soon cease to be great or a democracy.”
Theodore Roosevelt

80.

“I care not what others think of what I do, but I care very much about what I think of what I do! That is character!”
Theodore Roosevelt

81.

“90% of the work in this country is done by people who don’t feel good.”
Theodore Roosevelt

82.

“We demand that big business give the people a square deal; in return, we must insist that when anyone engaged in big business honestly endeavors to do right he shall himself be given a square deal.”
Theodore Roosevelt

83.

“There is not one among us in whom a devil does not dwell; at some time, on some point, that devil masters each of us… It is not having been in the Dark House, but having left it, that counts.”
Theodore Roosevelt

84.

“Our aim is not to do away with corporations; on the contrary, these big aggregations are an inevitable development of modern industrialism, and the effort to destroy them would be futile unless accomplished in ways that would work the utmost mischief to the entire body politic.”
Theodore Roosevelt

85.

“All the resources we need are in the mind. „
Theodore Roosevelt

86.

“It was a pleasure to deal with a man of high ideals, who scorned everything mean and base, and who possessed those robust and hardy qualities of body and mind, for the lack of which no merely negative virtue can ever atone.”
Theodore Roosevelt

87.

“We can do nothing of good in the way of regulating and supervising corporations until we fix clearly in our minds that we are not attacking the corporations, but endeavoring to do away with any evil in them. We are not hostile to them; we are merely determined that they shall be so handled as to subserve the public good. We draw the line against misconduct, not against wealth.”
Theodore Roosevelt

88.

“Character, in the long run, is the decisive factor in the life of an individual and of nations alike.”
Theodore Roosevelt

89.

“The lack of power to take joy in outdoor nature is as real a misfortune as the lack of power to take joy in books”
Theodore Roosevelt

90.

“The joy in life is his who has the heart to demand it.”
Theodore Roosevelt

91.

“Of all the questions which can come before this nation, short of the actual preservation of its existence in a great war, there is none which compares in importance with the great central task of leaving this land even a better land for our descendants than it is for us.”
Theodore Roosevelt

92.

“It behooves every man to remember that the work of the critic is of altogether secondary importance, and that in the end, progress is accomplished by the man who does things.”
Theodore Roosevelt

93.

“It is true of the Nation, as of the individual, that the greatest doer must also be a great dreamer.”
Theodore Roosevelt

94.

“This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in.”
Theodore Roosevelt

95.

“We should not forget that it will be just as important to our descendants to be prosperous in their time as it is to us to be prosperous in our time.”
Theodore Roosevelt

96.

“I am an American; free born and free bred, where I acknowledge no man as my superior, except for his own worth, or as my inferior, except for his own demerit.”
Theodore Roosevelt

97.

“Aggressive fighting for the right is the noblest sport the world affords.”
Theodore Roosevelt

98.

“A vote is like a rifle: its usefulness depends upon the character of the user.”
Theodore Roosevelt

99.

“And it is through strife and the readiness for strife that a man or a nation must win greatness.”
Theodore Roosevelt

100.

“It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things.”
Theodore Roosevelt

101.

“No ability, no strength and force, no power of intellect or power of wealth, shall avail us, if we have not the root of right living in us.”
Theodore Roosevelt

102.

“There is not a man of us who does not at times need a helping hand to be stretched out to him, and then shame upon him who will not stretch out the helping hand to his brother.”
Theodore Roosevelt

103.

“It is no use to preach to children if you do not act decently yourself.”
Theodore Roosevelt

104.

“I would rather go out of politics having the feeling that I had done what was right than stay in with the approval of all men, knowing in my heart that I have acted as I ought not to.”
Theodore Roosevelt

105.

“Although not a very old man, I have yet lived a great deal in my life, and I have known sorrow too bitter and joy too keen to allow me to become either cast down or elated for more than a very brief period over any success or defeat.”
Theodore Roosevelt

106.

“It is better for the Government to help a poor man to make a living for his family than to help a rich man make more profit for his company.”
Theodore Roosevelt

107.

“Each time we face our fear, we gain strength, courage, and confidence in the doing.”
Theodore Roosevelt

108.

“At times a man must cut loose from his associates and stand alone for a great cause; but the necessity for such action is almost as rare as the necessity for revolution.”
Theodore Roosevelt

109.

“Great thoughts speak only to the thoughtful mind, but great actions speak to all mankind.”
Theodore Roosevelt

110.

“Order without liberty and liberty without order are equally destructive.”
Theodore Roosevelt

111.

“It is better to have it and need it, than to need it and not have it.”
Theodore Roosevelt

112.

“The existence of any method, standard, custom or practice is no reason for its continuance when a better is offered.”
Theodore Roosevelt

113.

“There is quite enough sorrow and shame and suffering and baseness in real life, and there is no need for meeting it unnecessarily in fiction.”
Theodore Roosevelt

114.

“Most of the men had simple souls. They could relate facts, but they said very little about what they dimly felt.”
Theodore Roosevelt

115.

“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.”
Theodore Roosevelt

116.

“If given the choice between Righteousness and Peace, I choose Righteousness.”
Theodore Roosevelt

117.

“A man who has never gone to school may steal a freight car; but if he has a university education, he may steal the whole railroad.”
Theodore Roosevelt

118.

“No man is justified in doing evil on the ground of expediency.”
Theodore Roosevelt

119.

“We are the heirs of the ages”
Theodore Roosevelt

120.

“The government is us; WE are the government, you and I.”
Theodore Roosevelt

I hope you enjoyed this collection of inspirational Theodore Roosevelt quotes.

Stay victorious!


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