Tuesday, October 5, 2010

What it takes to be Bold

It's  hard to be bold.  One of the many web definitions on BOLD is "showing a readiness to take risks or face danger". I am really not one of those risk takers or rebellers who throw caution to the winds, tie a bandana and go driving into the horizon.  But life has taught me to cross that thin line we draw within ourselves as our own boundary of taking risks , of taking that one step that's the difference between staying alive and living.

Here are some of the  learnings I have had in my  run of life till now. That made me overcome some of my own shackles.

1. Ask the "Why Not" question we have so often read about. It fuels us much more than the simple "Why".  We end up questioning ourselves, challenging ourselves.

2. There is only one Plan and that's Plan A. Sometimes it's the Plan B's and C's and Z's that make us comfortable. So comfortable that we fallback on these plans even before we give Plan A our best shot.

3.  There are no "shortcuts". To be bold  needs courage and hard work.  Most times we give up halfway or even earlier because it is so easy to look for an easier way, a shortcut that never exists.

4. Put yourself before others at times. The "I" coming before "We" makes us look at life and challenges from a very different lens.

5. Believe in both logic and magic. Life is a mix of both. It's foolhardy to skew towards either. But worthwhile to believe in Life's mysteries while listening to our minds.

6.Believe in our goal.  With this comes focus and singlemindedness. "Either" "Or" and similar words do not have room for  bold actions.

7. Unplay the Rules. Rules set by families and societies  have evolved over time. They remain constant only in our minds. Unplay them . Imagine they are not there. ( Of course do this judiciously. I am assuming we are all matured and capable of knowing what rules to unplay)

8. Ensure that our actions impact us the most and others the least. I have always followed this principle rigorously. Multiply my own success, happiness but reduce the effect on others, if it does have an effect.

9. Be ruthless if required. Starting with ourselves. The first thing that comes in the way of a bold decision are emotions. The "What ifs".

10. Believe in the Power. Whether it is ourselves, the Divinity we worship, the Power we believe in if we don't worship.believe that if we are true to our actions, the Universe listens. ( Paulo Coelho and the Alchemist has been my guiding force)

Some of the above, if not all, apply to the work we do as well. Being in the brand building business, I have seen how difficult it is to be bold and how it is the brands who are bold that have rewritten all the rules. That have created disruption. And a new order.

Ending with   this quote I love from Steve Jobs  "We’re here to put a dent in the universe".

Shaun Smith: What are 'bold brands' - and why do they win?

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