|Posted on December 22, 2016 at 1:35 PM|
Very rarely do I meet anyone who does not desire to improve their life. Even the people who claim everything is great and simply want to keep it status quo have something they wish they could do better. Yet, how often do you see people getting out of the rut and truly changing their lives. Unfortunately, not as often as we would like. Yes, people join groups and sign up for programs so they can claim they are making a difference, but how often do they actually take the action necessary to make a change? Here is a better question, do they realize why they are not changing? The answer lies in being brave and bold.
Brave and bold are the two elements of greatness. Wherever your passion takes you, bravery and boldness allow you to excel in that area. Bravery is resilience, it is never quitting. The young researchers putting in hours in the lab or the tired infantry solider spending weeks in the field in the rain both display strength and endurance to take them to their goals. There is a certain level of grit and focus with bravery that makes one unloveable from their path. Abraham Lincoln displayed bravery through his stoic behavior as he dealt with his depression as a young man and turned it into a source of strength as he dredged through the long and tough civil war. Or the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan who discovered the western sea and became the first European to cross the pacific ocean. There are accounts of Magellan enduring hunger longer than other men. His ability to travel so far being more comfortable than his pears allowed him to discover places no one before him had been. The same goes for Vincent Van Gough who was rumored to have gone crazy as a result of eating paints as food because he was so dedicated to art that he was counting primarily on his paintings for food, which at the time never sold.
Boldness is the other side of the coin. Boldness is audacity, it’s powerfully shocking the situation. Where bravery is the ability to hold on and keep digging away at your dreams, boldness is the voice in your head that tells you to go against the odds and go for your dreams in the first place. Great reaches are not made through the same recurring actions day after day. Greatness is achieved when something breaks the status quo and challenges the norm enough to urge you to want more. It shocks and surprises you, catching you off guard and grabbing your attention. Theodore Roosevelt was one of those men. Plagued with asthma as a young boy, he was determined to do great things and pushed the boundaries of what was currently accepted of a young sick boy in his day. Future president Roosevelt traveled to Maine to train with outdoorsman and earn his place as a naturalist and adventurer. Often outperforming other New York natives during climbs up Mount Katahdin.
Great things are not accomplished through mediocre efforts. Greatness in achieved only through the boldness to believe and the bravery to hang on. We forget that in our everyday life. There is a belief that things naturally improve with time. Or if we do not talk about problems, they do not exist. How many times have you had someone passionately try to convince you they are trying to do better but you know they are not being brave and bold in their actions yet you please them by saying “good job.” This is a problem that needs to be challenged and it is brave and bold leaders responsibility to show these individuals the way to greatness.
People are not always naturally born great. Steve Jobs in the early 1990’s was not nearly as charismatic as he was in the early 2000’s. However, leaders showed him how to be great and he worked on the skill, becoming one of the most charismatic leaders of our century. Be the mentor that sparks greatness in people, be brave and bold. Show people that regardless of their background it is only their beliefs that hod them back. Beliefs that they cannot do something or are not supposed to do something. Show these people that anything is possible when they are brave and bold enough to go for it.