Boldness is my One Word for 2022. I have found the one-word concept extremely beneficial, especially these past few years with life being different. Referring to a single word theme – Presence (2021) and Rejoice (2020) – has kept a steady focus on my journey. This year ahead will be significant, and it will likely include several life changing decisions that come with an unknown after effect.
The definition of boldness is the willingness to take risks and act innovatively to get things accomplished. Boldness is the product of knowledge and conscious thought. For me being bold this year will require a brave attitude acting on what I discern God’s plan is for me. I will need to Live in the Vision and Trust. Boldness requires confidence, courage, and faith. It can be self-inspiring, leading to progress and growth.
“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness had genius, power and magic in it.” The source of this quote is debated, either Johann Wolfgang von Goethe or William Murray. It fits nicely with a previous blog, “Dream, Believe, Dare, Do.” Be bold enough to reach for what will truly fill us. Orison Swett Marden, an American Author who founded SUCCESS magazine in 1897, on common-sense principles and virtues, wrote, “Most of our obstacles would melt away if, instead of cowering before them, we should make up our minds to walk boldly through them.”
Making a key decision is better than choosing to make no decision. In my experience, it has been better to act with boldness and make a choice. If the choice is wrong, or not the best outcome, then change direction. This is far better than waffling or waiting for 100% certainty. The adage, “It’s better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all” applies here. Billie Jean King said, “Be bold. If you are going to make an error, make a doozy, and don’t be afraid to hit the ball.” They say that ‘life and luck favor the bold.’
When our founding fathers signed the Declaration of Independence, they stepped forward with conviction and commitment. Thomas Paine wrote the words to his epic pamphlet, The Crisis, just two days before the planned attack on Trenton:
“These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated. Britain, with an army to enforce her tyranny, has declared that she has a right (not only to tax) but “to bind us in all cases whatsoever” and if being bound in that manner, is not slavery, then is there not such a thing as slavery upon earth. Even the expression is impious; for so unlimited a power can belong only to God.”
Boldness should never be seen as arrogance. Arrogance is “I am it” or “I am the ultimate,” but boldness is “I really believe in this” or “this idea I believe in with all my heart.” Opportunities may not arise once, let alone a second time, so we need to be bold, say yes, and embrace our desired future. Burning the Boats is an act of boldness. The poet Rumi said, “One must live like life is rigged in their favor.” Being bold also includes a long-time tenet of my philosophy, “Do or do not, there is no try.”
“You Gotta Be” by Des’ree was a USA top 10 hit in 1994 and a mainstay on my play list since. The song is a smooth blend of pop/R&B music with a power-of-positive thinking lyrical style. It is about having the inner strength to figure out who you are:
Listen as your day unfolds
Challenge what the future holds
Try and keep your head up to the sky
Lovers, they may cause you tears
Go ahead release your fears
Stand up and be counted
Don’t be ashamed to cry
You gotta be
You gotta be bad, you gotta be bold, you gotta be wiser
You gotta be hard, you gotta be tough, you gotta be stronger
You gotta be cool, you gotta be calm, you gotta stay together
All I know, all I know, love will save the day
As one ages, not being bold appears to be an unintentional choice. We can be overwhelmed when we see all the unrest and disunity in the world. We can feel helpless and that we don’t have the energy, time, or ability to affect change. We can also be less attracted to the rewards from being bold as the direct impact is often negligible. However, we can be bold within our inner circle of family, friends, and workmates. We can also be bold in our social media interactions. We have control over these daily little things. Throw a tiny pebble into a pond and the entire pond surface will have ripples of waves across it. How we treat others will impact the legacy we leave behind.
Holiness includes boldness. A calling to make a difference and leave a mark in this world. Boldness and apostolic courage are an essential part of mission. “Boldness” is a recurring theme of Acts Chapter 4. In Acts 4:13, the authorities saw the boldness of Peter and John and they were amazed, having perceived them to be uneducated, ordinary men. In Acts 4:18-20, the most powerful men in Jerusalem threaten Peter and John further, yet they were defiant and announced their intention to continue preaching. In Acts 4:29-31, the disciples prayed to be filled with the holy Spirit and continue speaking the word of God with boldness.
Boldness is contagious and is offered to us through His grace. In Hebrews 4:16, the author, unknown, but likely someone with Paul’s inner circle, is noting that we have confident access to God, made possible by Jesus. “So let us boldly approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help.”
My approach to 2022 is to be Bold, not be afraid to take my swings, and challenge what my future holds. I plan to do this with confidence, courage, and faith. Knowing that I have His grace and believing I am following His will, I am confident any obstacles will melt away.