The late, great, Ray Charles said “Live everyday as if it’s your last, because one day you’re going to be right.” That can be a scary thought, but it can also be a very invigorating one that pushes us into the space of doing. None of us want to near the end of our lives, looking back on lost opportunity with regret.
How much different might our lives have been, had we just taken a few more of those risks that we avoided skeptically? The dissatisfaction would eat away at our already dwindling souls and would expedite our demise.
Luckily, we have the opportunity to look back with gratitude and fulfillment, if we live fully and with passion, zealously following our thoughts, ideas, and hearts. Regret is real, but we can minimize both its occurrence and impact in our lives by taking a bolder approach. Most of us struggle because we want to avoid tension and conflict, and we have a desire for approval and acceptance.
We may have bold thoughts, but we rarely act upon them. Why is that?
Is it because we’re terrified of the consequences and outcomes? Terrified of what other people will think? Is it because of the hostility we may stir up if we dare go beyond our usual comfort zones? We frequently give credence to thoughts which prevent us from acting and excluding motivations for why we should act. This pattern is a significant limitation in many of our lives. It prevents many of us from realizing our dreams, and finding self-validation, and meaning.
Criticism is inescapable.
If we don’t do anything, we’ll be criticized. If we do something grand and impactful, we’ll be criticized.
From the unaccomplished individual to the individual who boasts worthy, noble, or meaningful accomplishments, we all experience criticism. Yet, those who act boldly may experience criticism to a higher degree.
If being bold is a value you hold, having critics is a consequence. Everything is judged by appearance; what goes unseen counts for nothing. The belief that we will always be able to do something special with our talents is foolish, yet we continue pacifying ourselves with excuses for delay.
We treat life as if tomorrow is guaranteed.
We smile and enjoy today, while we have buried potential, or suppressed innovation. We hold value that remains hidden from the world. Our perception of ourselves is what holds us back. I recently listened to an interview with an incarcerated man, who expressed his greatest difficulty was knowing his family’s desire to grow and progress, and his inability to support them and to offer them more.
Unless we find ourselves in such a situation, we are not bound and limited. Our cell is the perception of ourselves, our motivation, and our drive. We have the key to free ourselves, which builds our confidence and courage. This brings about a new perception of self, and the poise to be bold.
The bold person goes where others fear.
Boldness possesses genius, power, and magic. Boldness is taking appropriate and calculated action, seizing opportunity, and worrying about the consequences later. Risks can lead to pain, but this is a small price to pay for the opportunity to succeed.
There will always be two kinds of people – talkers and doers.
When the thought of failure begins to approach, remind yourself of why you are acting, its value, and the advantage of being bold. Failure is part of the process, and at some point in our lives, we will all experience failure. And that’s not just OK, it’s essential. Failure just gives an opportunity to hone and perfect our craft. Taking risks involves failing. It’s not about our failures, it’s about learning from a series of failures while continuing to move forward.
We must practice our approach and aspire to boldness.
Tackling one area of life leads to another, and with each breakthrough we find ourselves more empowered, more in control, more confident, and more bold.
- Don’t be concerned with the criticism of others.
- Take calculated risks.
- Learn from failures.
- Take steps to ensure future success.
- Be inspired.
- Inspire others.
Choose to be bold.
No one honors the timid; Everyone admires the bold.
Carlton Mack is a dedicated father,
passionate student of life, and author of
Attributes of Man and Redemption.