“The way of the superior person is threefold: virtuous, they are free from anxieties; wise they are free from complexities; and bold they are free from fear.”
BOLDNESS. Are you hiding out waiting for life to happen? Do you let fear or doubt hold you back? What bold moves will you make this year to live authenticity?
My Mom’s cousin, Juanita Jeanette Lindsey, died in Harlem at the age of 71. On the surface, Jeanette appeared to live an ordinary life, yet her everyday boldness made her extraordinary. Although she didn’t go to college, she was determined to be somebody. After holding various jobs in the ’50s and ’60s, she ventured into learning computers when mainframes came into use. Over her many years of working for New York City, she became a leader in her union and amassed savings in the seven figures. Despite being heavy-set, she had very healthy self-esteem. She even studied modeling under Madame Ophelia DeVore, another lion-hearted woman. If Jeanette decided to do something, she wouldn’t make excuses – she would simply do it. For example, if she wanted to see a play and didn’t have someone to go with her, she would go by herself. She didn’t wait for others in order to live her life.
Jeanette’s spirit is a reminder for all of us to be bold. I’m not talking about being boastful or banking on your “big break.” I’m talking about being able to consistently step out with faith and confidence in your Purpose – to live a specific life that represents the essence of who you really are. Boldness starts off in the seemingly “little” decisions we make every day and snowballs into a spirit of greatness. It’s bold to be an entrepreneur, an educator, or a loving parent. Whatever you choose to be; be that fully. Being bold can be scary and fun, difficult and liberating, ordinary and then extraordinary!
My sister and I spent time in China together. I’ve been traveling the globe since I was six weeks old, so going to Asia wasn’t bold. Our boldness reared its head in our tendency to take the unbeaten, non-tourist path. We ended up in places where there were no foreigners – the outskirts of the Forbidden City that was truly forbidden; the underground mall that was literally under the ground! We rode the subway and walked the back streets. We saw historical sites, but again in unusual ways, such as venturing to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall instead of the popular Badaling site. China was the first place I’ve ever visited where I didn’t know any bit of the language – and didn’t have the tools to really figure it out! It took me out of my norm and into a world of adventure. We met other Americans doing uncommon things – a jazz musician from Brooklyn playing and living in Shanghai; a business man from a little town in Colorado who built his life around helping other small Asian companies succeed; and two amazing women from San Francisco who founded the first yoga studio in Beijing. The experience was inspiring and invigorating. I returned with renewed energy for my business and for life in general.
I was inspired into boldness through my parents – both pioneers in international communications. When I graduated from college, my cousin Lloyd asked me if I was afraid of becoming the youngest on the staff at the Harvard Business School. I answered, “No, I learned from my mother. She’s not afraid of anything!” That was the impression she made on me. If I had asked her, Mom may have had trepidation about various things, but it was her very spirit of boldness that encouraged me to be fearless. This year, I invite you to join me in being divinely bold, motivating others to do the same. Be a model of courage and commitment. It starts with your everyday decisions.
We all know that tomorrow is not promised. Do the things in your heart today – don’t wait. Be prepared for greatness, remembering that faith is belief plus action. Don’t take the easy way out. Choose what you feel you have to do to live authentically. Make a statement with your life. As Goethe said, “Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it. Begin it now!”
Today, I live with boldness.
I do not let fear or doubt hold me back. I live a life of adventure and not regret. I step out in faith, taking action to achieve my vision. Whatever I do, I do it fully.
Today, I live with boldness.
Listen to the Affirmation:
Copyright Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy. Power Living® Column Vol. 57.07, originally published January 2007. Teresa Kennedy has written over 70 “The Power of…” columns that are a part of the Power Living® Empowerment Series and available for syndication. Call 212-901-6913 for more information.
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