The Thought for the Day – FDR

The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. – Franklin Delano Roosevelt


Franklin Delano Roosevelt was, of course, the 32nd president of the United States. The only president to serve more than eight years, he died in April 1945 three months into his fourth term. Today’s Thought is the penultimate line in a speech FDR was working on when he died. We’ve read the speech – he was merely putting the finishing touches on it when he died – and had he lived to give it both the speech and today’s Thought might well be living down the ages.

FDR had his strengths and for our money, his greatest was not in his policies but in knowing the exact mood of his fellow citizens and, when the time came, how to marshall them into one collective body. His ability to do this allowed America to lead the Allies to victory in World War II and we are not entirely sure anyone else in either party would have been able to do that.

…our doubts of today.

FDR had success as a leader in part because he was able to set aside his doubts. And don’t doubt that he had them because FDR was as human as you and me. He knew, however, that doubt wouldn’t do him or his country any good.

Similarly, our successes will come because we were able to set aside our doubts. This isn’t always easy. Doubts about whether we are taking the right path or whether we will be good enough abound. The best way to ease doubts is to have some success. Small successes at first, which will lay the foundation for bigger successes. But to have the successes that lead to the tomorrows we want we must set foot on our paths and start living the lives we were meant to live.

The only limit to our realization of tomorrow…

Tomorrows are there to be realized by all of us, not just the rich and famous or those we think have made it. Tomorrows, though, aren’t realized by chance. We must have something worthwhile to accomplish, something that speaks to us from deep inside. Then we have to have a plan for making it happen. Then we have to have the courage to go and execute that plan. Each step is equally important and each step is equally difficult and each step can seem overwhelming.

The Thought for the Day runs regularly. Quotes are from Gaylon’s private stock.

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