80+ EXCLUSIVE Theodore Roosevelt Quotes To Make You Rethink

Theodore Roosevelt Jr. was an American statesman, politician, conservationist, naturalist, and writer who served as the 26th president of the United States from 1901 to 1909. He is widely regarded as the first modern President of the United. Famous Theodore Roosevelt quotes will get you thinking, explode your motivation and bring the best out of you.

If you’re searching for famous quotations about life that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of famous George Washington quotes, best Abraham Lincoln quotes, and timeless Eleanor Roosevelt quotes.

Theodore Roosevelt Quotes

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

Nothing in this world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty. ― Theodore Roosevelt

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; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.― Theodore Roosevelt

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

theodore roosevelt quotes arena

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

To sit home, read one’s favorite paper, and scoff at the misdeeds of the men who do things is easy, but it is markedly ineffective. It is what evil men count upon the good men’s doing. ― Theodore Roosevelt

A soft, easy life is not worth living, if it impairs the fibre of brain and heart and muscle. We must dare to be great; and we must realize that greatness is the fruit of toil and sacrifice and high courage… 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

Believe you can and you’re halfway there. ― Theodore Roosevelt

theodore roosevelt quotes daring greatly

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

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. ― Theodore Roosevelt

I don’t pity any man who does hard work worth doing. I admire him. I pity the creature who does not work, at whichever end of the social scale he may regard himself as being. ― Theodore Roosevelt

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

theodore roosevelt quotes man in the arena

People ask the difference between a leader and a boss. The leader leads, and the boss drives. ― Theodore Roosevelt

Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure… than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat. ― Theodore Roosevelt

We must show, not merely in great crises, but in the everyday affairs of life, the qualities of practical intelligence, of courage, of hardihood, and endurance, and above all the power of devotion to a lofty ideal, which made great the men who founded this Republic in the days of Washington, which made great the men who preserved this Republic in the days of Abraham Lincoln. ― Theodore Roosevelt

Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care. ― Theodore Roosevelt

theodore roosevelt quotes on leadership

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

Unless a man is master of his soul, all other kinds of mastery amount to little. ― Theodore Roosevelt

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

I cannot consent to take the position that the door of hope — the door of opportunity — is to be shut upon any man, no matter how worthy, purely upon the grounds of race or color. Such an attitude would, according to my convictions, be fundamentally wrong. ― Theodore Roosevelt

Best Theodore Roosevelt Quotes About Life, Nature and Work

  • Much has been given us, and much will rightfully be expected from us. We have duties to others and duties to ourselves; and we can shirk neither. We have become a great nation, forced by the fact of its greatness into relations with the other nations of the earth, and we must behave as be seen as a people with such responsibilities. ― Theodore Roosevelt
  • To educate a person in the mind but not in morals is to educate a menace to society. ― Theodore Roosevelt
  • Our aim is not to do away with corporations; on the contrary, these big aggregations are an inevitable development of modern industrialism. 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
  • 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
  • It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things. ― Theodore Roosevelt
  • You often hear people speaking as if life was like striving upward toward a mountain peak. That is not so. Life is as if you were traveling a ridge crest. You have the gulf of inefficiency on one side and the gulf of wickedness on the other, and it helps not to have avoided one gulf if you fall into the other. ― Theodore Roosevelt
  • Knowing what’s right doesn’t mean much unless you do what’s right. ― Theodore Roosevelt
  • It is a bad thing for a nation to raise and to admire a false standard of success; and there can be no falser standard than that set by the deification of material well-being in and for itself. ― Theodore Roosevelt
  • Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official, save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country. In either event, it is unpatriotic not to tell the truth, whether about the president or anyone else. ― Theodore Roosevelt
  • Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing. ― Theodore Roosevelt
  • The unforgivable crime is soft hitting. Do not hit at all if it can be avoided; but never hit softly. ― Theodore Roosevelt
  • Never throughout history has a man who lived a life of ease left a name worth remembering. ― Theodore Roosevelt
  • No nation deserves to exist if it permits itself to lose the stern and virile virtues; and this without regard to whether the loss is due to the growth of a heartless and all-absorbing commercialism, to prolonged indulgence in luxury and soft, effortless ease, or to the deification of a warped and twisted sentimentality. ― Theodore Roosevelt
  • The first requisite of a good citizen in this republic of ours is that he shall be able and willing to pull his own weight. ― Theodore Roosevelt
  • It is of little use for us to pay lip-loyalty to the mighty men of the past unless we sincerely endeavor to apply to the problems of the present precisely the qualities which in other crises enabled the men of that day to meet those crises. ― Theodore Roosevelt

Memorable Teddy Roosevelt Quotes on Leadership and Goals

  • Courtesy is as much a mark of a gentleman as courage. ― Theodore Roosevelt
  • 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. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance. ― Theodore Roosevelt
  • With self-discipline most anything is possible. ― Theodore Roosevelt
  • Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far. ― Theodore Roosevelt
  • The boy who is going to make a great man must not make up his mind merely to overcome a thousand obstacles, but to win in spite of a thousand repulses and defeats. ― Theodore Roosevelt
  • Courage is not having the strength to go on; it is going on when you don’t have the strength. ― Theodore Roosevelt
  • Get action. Seize the moment. Man was never intended to become an oyster. ― Theodore Roosevelt
  • Appraisals are where you get together with your team leader and agree what an outstanding member of the team you are, how much your contribution has been valued, what massive potential you have and, in recognition of all this, would you mind having your salary halved. ― Theodore Roosevelt
  • I am a part of everything that I have read. ― Theodore Roosevelt
  • When 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Every immigrant who comes here should be required within five years to learn English or leave the country. ― Theodore Roosevelt
  • A vote is like a rifle: its usefulness depends upon the character of the user. ― Theodore Roosevelt
  • 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
  • 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
  • In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person’s becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American…There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag… We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language… and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people. ― Theodore Roosevelt
  • When you play, play hard; when you work, don’t play at all. ― Theodore Roosevelt
  • 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
  • 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
  • Don’t hit at all if it is honorably possible to avoid hitting; but never hit soft! ― Theodore Roosevelt
  • When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer ‘Present’ or ‘Not Guilty’. ― Theodore Roosevelt

Greatest Theodore Roosevelt Quotes That Are So True

  • 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
  • Politeness [is] a sign of dignity, not subservience. ― Theodore Roosevelt
  • The reason fat men are good natured is they can neither fight nor run this country we have no place for hyphenated Americans. ― Theodore Roosevelt
  • 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
  • The joy in life is his who has the heart to demand it. ― Theodore Roosevelt
  • If given the choice between Righteousness and Peace, I choose Righteousness. ― Theodore Roosevelt
  • The credit belongs to those who are actually in the arena, who strive valiantly; who know the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spend themselves in a worthy cause; who at best know the triumph of high achievement; and who, at worst, if they fail, fail while daring greatly, so that their place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat. ― Theodore Roosevelt
  • 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
  • No man is justified in doing evil on the ground of expediency. ― Theodore Roosevelt
  • Character, in the long run, is the decisive factor in the life of an individual and of nations alike. ― Theodore Roosevelt
  • 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
  • Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars, but remember to keep your feet on the ground. ― Theodore Roosevelt
  • Comparison is the thief of joy. ― Theodore Roosevelt
  • Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to befoul the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of today. ― Theodore Roosevelt
  • The great body of our citizens shoot less as times goes on. We should encourage rifle practice among schoolboys, and indeed among all classes, as well as in the military services by every means in our power. Thus, and not otherwise, may we be able to assist in preserving peace in the world… The first step – in the direction of preparation to avert war if possible, and to be fit for war if it should come – is to teach men to shoot! ― Theodore Roosevelt
  • Wide differences of opinion in matters of religious, political, and social belief must exist if conscience and intellect alike are not to be stunted, if there is to be room for healthy growth. ― Theodore Roosevelt
  • 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
  • Order without liberty and liberty without order are equally destructive. ― Theodore Roosevelt
  • No man should receive a dollar unless that dollar has been fairly earned. ― Theodore Roosevelt
  • I am only an average man, but by George, I work harder at it than the average man. ― Theodore Roosevelt
  • Every reform movement has a lunatic fringe. ― Theodore Roosevelt
  • In life, as in football, the principle to follow is to hit the line hard. ― Theodore Roosevelt

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