Mindstate Motivation Blog

See Why Second Class Success Is First Class

So…which face of the four presidents carved on Mt. Rushmore are the people working on in the featured image above?

Some people may not know so I will give you the answer.  It’s Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States.

You might be wondering why he was included with Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln in that wondrous work of art in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

When you delve into Teddy Roosevelts background and life’s work the answer becomes evident.

He was a man with extraordinary difficulties in early life, especially, but he did not allow those to stop him from becoming an extraordinary human being.

The example of his story could serve as inspiration as you write your story.  That is, if you want to do extraordinary things.

theodore-roosevelt-393205_1280If he can do it, you can too.

Let’s take a brief look at some of his thinking I believe illustrates the depth of his perception and why many consider him to be one of the greatest Americans who ever served in the office of President.

I had occasion recently to read excerpts from Theodore Roosevelt’s autobiography. My reading confirmed that Teddy Roosevelt was truly an amazing person in an all-encompassing way.

He was particularly amazing in terms of the level of success he achieved in his life even though he was challenged in so many ways; not the least of which was his very poor health as a youth.

Anyway, it is an excerpt from Roosevelt’s autobiography where he talks about his views on success that I believe is powerful information for you.

To quote the great man:

“But much the commoner type of success in every walk of life and in every species of efforts is that which comes to the man who differs from his fellows not by the kind of quality which he possesses but by the degree of development which he has given that quality. This kind of success is open to a large number of persons, if only they seriously determine to achieve it. It is the kind of success which is open to the average man…who has no remarkable mental or physical attributes, but who gets just as much as possible in the way of work out of the aptitudes that he does possess. It is only this kind of success that is open to most of us. Yet some of the greatest successes in history have been those of this second class.”

It was Teddy Roosevelt’s belief in the potential of the “second class” of success that transformed a sickly child into one of the greatest achievers of all time.

The moral of the story is most of us fall into this category of “second class” which means (according to Roosevelt’s thinking) we don’t have to settle for “second place” results in any aspect of our lives!

What are some things in Teddy Roosevelt’s life he did to grow into the success he ultimately achieved? 

They are things you can do to create “second class” success even if you don’t have a “first class” background.

questions-1328466_1920Yes, he was born into wealth but he was very frail and sickly as a boy.  Wealth can’t buy good health!

It’s a person’s character and self-discipline that gets you the best health you can achieve.

In Roosevelt’s case, rather than wallow in self-pity, he dedicated himself to strengthening himself through a regimen of gymnastics and weight lifting.

questions-1328466_1920He had the privilege of being able to attend and graduate from Harvard College.  But, then lost focus and dropped out of Columbia University Law School.

You can’t achieve even “second class” success if you quit!

Roosevelt didn’t quit…he refocused on his interest in public service.  At 23 he was elected to the New York legislative assembly.

questions-1328466_1920We all have heartbreak in our lives.  You, too?

Teddy Roosevelt, at the ripe old age of 26, suffered what you might think could be the ultimate in devastating sorrow.  His mother and wife died on the very same day!

He did what you should do when devastated by sorrow.  He took a break and refocused on a new approach to living a life of meaning.  Once again…he did not wallow in the misery of his loss.

You have to do that too.

questions-1328466_1920Teddy Roosevelt persisted through an up and down political career.  Some wins—some losses but always demonstrating a determination to overcome the disappointments.

There’s much more to his story that can serve as examples of what you need to do if you want to achieve success even if it is “second class.”

The bottom line on all this for you is regardless of how you define your success it takes:

  • Character
  • Self-discipline
  • A spirit of constant renewal
  • Overcoming heartbreak, disappointments, and challenges
  • Persistence

garylogonewbrownsmallWhat are you going to do first in assuring your “second class” success?

Please share your thoughts by commenting below.  

Share this information with others by following the social media links at the top or bottom of this post.  Thank you.   

Crop of GNCC ShotMindstate mentor, author, trainer and speaker, Gary Greenfield (@LifeRider) provides self-employed people inspirational insight and concise business ideas to help improve mindstate and minimize stress. He believes a mindstate that is positive and stress that is minimized helps self-employed people better profit through performance.

Sandy Geroux

February 11, 2017 7:19 am Reply

Wow! Great message. Gary! And thank you for sharing that story. I had no idea of what Teddy Roosevelt went through in his life and truly did show the power of the human spirit.

He must have maintained an incredible mindstate to persevere – especially when his wife and his mother both died on the same day. That really told me something.

Again, thanks for sharing!

    Gary Greenfield

    February 27, 2017 10:06 am Reply

    Sorry for the tardy response to your kind message but have been traveling in locations with very limited internet access. Anyway, as you confirm, Roosevelt’s story is one example of how our human spirit is indomitable, if we each choose to make it so.