America has settled into a cushy new trademark philosophy. American life is less an adventure than it is a quest for bliss, happiness, comfort and safety. Instead of chasing bold dreams, the contemporary American doggedly pursues low-risk, softer ideals. Instead of putting ourselves on the line for something that is exciting and bigger than ourselves, our most adventurous moments seem to be those we live vicariously through movie and television screens.

“Minds, like bodies, will often fall into a pimpled, ill-conditioned state from mere excess of comfort.” — Charles Dickens

“The human race is faced with a cruel choice: work or daytime television.” — Unknown

Yet, I think boldness is still woven into our character even if it remains dormant most of the time. I say this because in every crisis situation there are heroes, those who rise above their comfort levels to save lives, protect property and defend the defenseless. There are huge reservoirs of courage and boldness inside most everyone, which burst forth as geysers whenever disaster strikes.

People will do the uncomfortable when circumstances demand it. But imagine what could be accomplished individually and collectively if more people routinely tapped into their boldness and courage. Motivational speaker Brian Tracy had this to say about boldness within the realm of capitalism …

“Boldness is a necessary part of courage but it must be a boldness based on an intelligent assessment of the potential risks and rewards. The wonderful nature of boldness is that, properly directed, it builds the habit of courage in the person who practices it.

“A 12-year study of successful entrepreneurs conducted by Babson College concluded that the only thing they had in common was the willingness to launch, to step out in faith. Once they had started, they learned the lessons they needed to succeed, many of them ending up successful in completely different businesses from where they started.”

Business is only one place where courage and boldness can be applied. I recently began imagining how boldness, properly applied, could help me become more successful in all areas of my life: family, faith, career, community service and recreation.

“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 – 1832)

“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” — Lord Chesterfield

“Look with favour upon a bold beginning.” — Virgil (70 BC – 19 BC)

“He who finds Fortune on his side should go briskly ahead, for she is wont to favor the bold.” — Baltasar Gracian

“Be bold. If you’re going to make an error, make a doozy, and don’t be afraid to hit the ball.” — Billie Jean King

“Most of our obstacles would melt away if, instead of cowering before them, we should make up our minds to walk boldly through them.” — Orison Swett Marden (1850 -1924)

“When a resolute young fellow steps up to the great bully, the world, and takes him boldly by the beard, he is often surprised to find it comes off in his hand, and that it was only tied on to scare away the timid adventurers.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882)

“Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Her five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.” — William Shatner (Star Trek actor)

“The wicked man flees though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.” — Bible, Proverbs 28:1

God bless,

— CC

© Copyright August 2008, Clancy Cross. All rights reserved.
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