Tom Brady: This is what makes you successful—and it's not about winning

FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - JANUARY 04: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots walks off the field after their 20-13 loss to the Tennessee Titans during the AFC Wild Card Playoff game at Gillette Stadium on January 04, 2020 in Foxborough, Massachusetts.
Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Tom Brady is done reeling after the New England Patriots' devastating loss on Saturday to the Tennessee Titans, dashing Brady's hopes for a chance at a seventh Super Bowl win.

On Wednesday, Brady took to Instagram to thank his fans and talk about what success means to him — and it has nothing to do with winning football games.

"I wish every season ended in a win, but that's not the nature of sports (or life). Nobody plays to lose," he wrote. "But the reward for working hard is just that, the work!!"

Brady said he's "been blessed to find a career I love, teammates who go to battle with me, an organization that believes in me, and fans who have been behind us every step of the way."

And after taking a few days to reflect on the season (the Patriots were 12-4 leading the AFC East), Brady said he was reminded of a quote from a speech President Teddy Roosevelt gave at the Sarbonne University of Paris in 1910 called "The Man in the Arena":

"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.

Brady said the words "fail while daring greatly" stick out to him the most.

"We've been rewarded with something that the scoreboard won't show—the satisfaction of knowing we gave everything to each other in pursuit of a common goal. That is what TEAM is all about," Brady wrote.

He added that in both life and football, "failure is inevitable" and "you don't always win."

However, it's key that you learn from each and every failure and pick yourself up with "great enthusiasm, and place yourself in the arena again."

"And that's right where you will find me. Because I know I still have more to prove," Brady said, addressing rumors of his possible retirement.

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