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  • Writer's pictureWiehann de Klerk

Bold Action

It is better to do nothing than do something half-heartedly.

There is no space for timidity in the weight lifting industry. Timidity will cause the weightlifters to question the act of lifting - potential injuries. Timidity will stop them from achieving greatness. Boldness is the key.

Hesitancy mixed with a course of action results in an uncertainty of success. Any doubts or hesitations will affect your ability to execute effectively. Timidity is not to be belittled as it is treacherous; It is far better to be bold in action as mistakes omitted through boldness can easily be corrected with more boldness. The bold are admired; the timid, dishonored.

No one accomplishes greatness before first, accomplishing great boldness within themselves. A bold man or woman can do anything. A timid man or woman accomplishes nothing. When action takers are timid in their approach, they are easily influenced or affected by that which they accomplish or that which they don't accomplish. Such people easily quit if things do not go as planned, or, if the unexpected occurs. Their timidity causes them to tumble when struck by sudden winds, waters or unexpected tides. Challenges that are unexpected causes them to fall. To the contrary, the bold expect challenges and hardships - a lack of thereof causes these individuals to question their action as worthwhile. The timid hate criticism; the bold love criticism – they know that criticism comes to those that do great things, and therefore, if there is a lack of criticism in what they do, they begin to pursue even bolder activities. The bold are never pleased with their boldness; they are pleased by the hardships and the challenges brought upon them due to their bold action. Timidity causes action takers to achieve small things; the big things cause their timidity to be displayed to those around them as weakness. Timidity is dangerous and not a worthwhile state; it is far better to do nothing than do something half-heartedly. Timidity is a state of being timid, defined as a lacking of self-assurance, courage or bravery, characterized by or indicated by fear. The keyword here is self-assurance. An individual that is not assured of their abilities to be courageous or brave in their action will never, even if they want to be, be courageous or brave. First, they must be assured of their ability to engage in such admired traits, and then, they can be so. Assurance is key. Timid people are easily alarmed by pains, sufferings, and issues in the world and their lives, simply because they are not assured of their inner abilities to deal with such things. Fear is evident in their lives, despite the fact that fear is not real. I'm sure you have heard of this: Fear stands for False Evidence Appearing Real. I find this to better articulate the meaning of fear than its definition. It is very unlikely that the fear experienced by mere average humans are indeed real. Think about this; we live in a civilized world, there are no lions walking on the streets or aliens making their way to earth, at least not now as far as I am aware. These are real threats, and such real threats can cause distressing emotions to emerge from within us, however, we do not face such threats and instead face impending dangers and pains that are mostly imagined: We think of the consequences of our actions, and we imagine such consequences to be greater than what they really are, and then, in addition, by being overly concerned about the thoughts of others, we become distressed.

"No one accomplishes greatness before first, accomplishing great boldness within themselves."

Timidity allows the act of questioning to occur; boldness questions the act of questioning. When individuals embark upon wholehearted action, they are dedicated. There is no time to question the future nor is there time to question their dedication. To question is to be timid. Boldness is the only option on the road to accomplishment; any other options are not leading to accomplishment. Timidity is essentially being fearful; a point at which someone is pusillanimous or cowardly, being afraid of others, what they will say or do; being discouraged in, to sink under, or be intimidated by the requirements of what is to be done. Such a state is not only undesirable but is not of God; you were not created to be weak.

"Timidity allows the act of questioning to occur; boldness questions the act of questioning."

Whole-hearted action is the foundation of greatness; all greatness that has ever been achieved was achieved by the simple approach of boldness. Fear has no place amidst greatness. Fear is the object in front of greatness that stops up from stepping into our destiny. Desmond Doss was a non-combatant in the Second World War, who, single-handedly rescued 75 men, one man at a time. His religion of Seventh Day Adventism forbade him from bearing armed weaponry or explosives of any kind, or from threatening another human life, a rather inconvenient forbidden act considering the circumstances. He meticulously and strictly objected to combat, and, placement as a non-combatant resulted in mockery from partnered soldiers. However, the non-combatant role of medic was the only way Desmond could adhere to the commandments of his religion, to honor the Sabbath. His religion considered Saturday as the Sabbath, but, Desmond believed that his work as a medic was obedient, saying that "Christ healed on the Sabbath." He was ridiculed due to his beliefs - one soldier, in particular, seeking to have him discharged on the grounds of mental illness. The movie, Hacksaw Ridge, powerfully depicted this story in immense detail, and I highly recommend its viewing. Desmond was situated as a field medic in Okinawa, where the Japanese attacked his unit, on top of a cliff at the time - many men were killed. Desmond was intelligent in his approach, quickly rigged up a stretcher which, through the use of ropes and pulleys, could be lowered to the ground below where a few partner soldiers were situated. Then, by himself, though under fire, he saved each soldier in his unit, lowering them to safety. The President at the time, Harry S. Truman, presented him with the Medal of Honor for saving the lives of 75 men. Timidity is in and of itself, a provider of suffering; knowing that you could have done greater things. Desmond took bold action despite the adversity which was so clearly upon him. He didn't pay attention to the thoughts of others, nor the clear and loud gunfire that was upon him. If you think about it, I truly believe that God was with him, assisting him in saving those 75 men - survival in the midst of gunfire, without a gun. He showed such boldness in his action, values, and beliefs. Despite the ridicule that came his way, his boldness made a better way. Bold action is admired by all; timid involvement disparaged. Bold action enables an individual to do what is humble: Boldness and humility is more correlated than people think.

"Bold action is admired by all; timid involvement, disparaged."

There is also much that can be taught by our smaller friends, and in this case, it's Sargeant Stubby, the hero dog of World War One. I have a very cute dog, a small shih tzu - when she hears anything loud, even if it just the loud footsteps of someone she doesn't know, she runs and hides. This was definitely not the case for Stubby: The little bull terrier that was found by J. Robert Conroy, who, upon the discovery, decided to smuggle the hero dog into war. Poor thing you might think, but nothing to worry about. Stubby was intended to be a little mascot. You and I, to the liking of others, are preferred too, to be mascots. This dog, Stubby didn't want to be a mascot, he wanted to have greater significance, and decided to prove himself as a great asset to the soldiers. Stubby suffered a gas attack and, as a result, his senses became very sensitive - in the trenches, he will run, and bark and bite soldiers awake before an attack: He was the eyes of the soldiers that saw further than they could have seen themselves. In our lives, there will be times when we too are attacked, not necessarily gas attacks, but those moments of financial hardships, the loss of a close friend or family member or even just a business deal that didn't work out - in these moments, we have a choice, to learn from these hardships and use them as opportunities to take bold actions, or, to become negative and give up. Stubby was attacked specifically by a mustard gas attack, yet, despite this catastrophic event, he chose to be bold in his action to ensure that such an event not come upon his friends in the battle. Stubby was able to locate wounded Americans, by using his ears and hearing the voices speaking English amidst the chaos - he didn't pay attention to the chaos and simply took bold action. He would stay with the injured and bark until the medics came, or lead the soldiers back to the trenches - bold actions inherently provide you with a leadership platform. Stubby was respected as a leader - he was listened to, adhered to and admired. Unfortunately, due to injury, Stubby was removed from the battlefield, but, he did engage in 17 battles and enabled many soldiers to survive. Stubby lived his life in peace thereafter with his master, Conroy, who also survived. Our past experiences, whatever they may be should not be obstacles but steps that we can climb on.

"Whole-hearted action is the foundation of greatnness; half-hearted action, the foundation of weakness."

On June 12, 1987, President Ronald Reagan was bold - he stood at the Brandenburg Gate in West Berlin, Germany and said, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” Now, President Reagan’s words weren’t the only catalyst for the fall of the Berlin Wall, but no one can deny that his heartfelt leadership at such a critical moment was a deciding factor in the demise of this despised communist icon. Conniptions between two governments occurred at the simple thought of Ronald Reagan standing in front of the Cold War Icon with demands for the leader of the Soviet empire to "tear down this wall." Firstly, the State Department - such harsh rhetoric could bobble any efforts concerning communication or negotiation with the Soviet Premier, Mikhail Gorbachev. Secondly, the West German government was deeply concerned about such challenges as a spark for nuclear confrontation. Despite all potential opposition, Reagan continued to deliver the speech. Now, more than 30 years after, Reagan's words made a stamp on the history books for setting the collapse of the Soviet communist regime in motion. There certainly is a clear juxtaposition in play between Reagan's rising demands, and two years thereafter when the Wall opened, dissolving the East-West animus. Do you look at the walls before you, or do you tear them down?

"The future doesn't belong to the faint-hearted; it belongs to the brave." Ronald Reagan

If any form of timidity was in practice during these true stories, well, these stories will not be true. Desmond Doss would have undermined his character by disregarding his beliefs and values and would have saved the lives of no one except himself; Stubby, the heroic dog, would have hidden himself from danger to avoid another gas explosion and would never have proved himself useful to the lives of so many soldiers; Reagan would have said what many presidents have said, whether directly or indirectly - "someone should do or say something." Timid involvement, in any case, whether you are on the field of battle or whether your a teacher at a primary school, doesn't work. Approaching life in a manner that is timid will result in one thing, and that is average. Are you timidly involved in your marriage or do you, with bold action, ensure not just the survival, but the thriving of your marriage? In your job right now, do you do what is required of you to get your paycheck, or are you boldly and actively doing what is best for the organization in which you are employed? In anything you are involved in right now, whether that be a relationship, job, gym membership, fundraiser, are you doing the bare minimum to achieve the bare minimum or are you bold in your daily life? If you are timid with a relationship, it won't last long; job, you will never get promoted; gym membership, you will never lose weight or get that muscle you always wanted to build; and fundraiser, no one will give you money. If you are not boldly committed to your relationship, why would your partner boldly commit to you? People get promoted to better jobs when they are bold in their actions within it - promotions don't come to those that are good at writing emails. Many join gyms but not many utilize the gym - on average, 80% who join in January of any given year are likely to quit within five months. I asked my local gym manager, but, there is research out there to back this up. Crazy right? People sign up, but do not take bold action toward achieving that body that they dreamed of - they are timid. If you want to raise a lot of money for your fundraiser, be bold and do something audacious. I recently worked with a friend - I assisted her in her ballroom night she organized: The night was incredible, and she raised over $5000. Whatever you do in life, give it your everything and be bold.

Timidity is dangerous as it is the home of hesitancy, and when there is hesitancy, there is uncertainty. Such uncertainty can be evident in many different ways - a lack of involvement, an abundance of procrastination or even a display of average, to name a few. Uncertainty stops anyone from stepping into boldness - how can you be bold if you are uncertain? That uncertainty within you will stop you from getting involved in what needs to be done, cause you to postpone doing what needs to be done, and, showcase to the world your ability to be average in doing what needs to be done. Unsuitable and out of place. Recently, I saw a volunteer at a Church organization who was asked to do announcements on future events coming up: His approach was most certainly, timid. His lack of boldness in doing what he was asked to do was so clear in the eyes of the beholders: His look to the floor in times of thought, uncertainty with regard to what was said, both before and after saying it, and most sadly, his inability to speak with clarity and power. I might sound brutal as I recall his pathetic attempts, after all, he did do what he was asked to do. However, just because we do what we are asked to do does not mean that we do it boldly. This speaker was timid in his approach, unprepared, unable to utter any true words of wisdom, but, most certainly, the words of a fool. I'm sure that many did not notice his average remarks at the time, although, all those that are bold in what they do on a daily basis would have noticed his timidity. That is what is important. If you want to get far in life, you must be viewed as bold by those that have power in this life. If you are a business analyst within a large corporation, you will be employed most probably, by someone that is bold and powerful, if not, then the livelihood of the "large organization" is questionable. To obtain that promotion you always wanted, you must showcase boldness, not timidity. Why do I recall the story of that average speaker so clearly in my mind? Because I am a public speaker and can see boldness within speakers, or a lack thereof, from a mile away. I can smell it. I will never, in a million years, hire that speaker, even if he wanted to be hired. If he lacked the ability to speak well but had boldness in doing so, I might have thought of hiring him. Be bold in the things you do, and promotion is sure to come your way. Successful people understand that there is nothing wrong with making mistakes. However, there is something wrong when the mistakes are omitted by someone that is timid. A timid individual that makes a mistake is likely to hide, after all, they made a mistake and may be judged by others. A bold individual couldn't care less about whether they failed or succeeded, as long as they failed or succeeded with boldness. A mistake that occurs after bold action (s) can be corrected with more boldness. Look at Desmond Doss as an example - he made the mistake of questioning the leadership above him, declining the use of a weapon in a time of national and international crisis. This was a huge mistake at the time and resulted in lots of ridicule from his peers. However, his boldness when saving the lives of 75 men removed the initial ridicule. People forgot about his mistake, and only remembered his boldness. There is nothing wrong with making mistakes; however, there is something wrong with making mistakes at a time when you are fearful. Mistakes made by those that are fearful showcases weakness. The bold are admired; the timid, dishonored.

"The source of our suffering has been our timidity. Because we have been afraid... Let us dare to read, think, speak, write." David McCullough

Timid action takers are like a feather that drifts in the wind, easily persuaded or led astray. They are easily influenced or affected by that which they accomplish or that which they don't accomplish. When timid individuals fail, they go into a deep place of sadness. When they succeed, they are surprised. When things become difficult, they quit. Bold action takers, however, when they fail, they learn; when they succeed, they celebrate; when things become difficult, they get excited. Bold individuals understand that when things are easy, they are doing the wrong things. They do a 180-degree turn, find harder things to do, things that match their level of boldness. The bold are never pleased with their boldness; they are pleased by the hardships and the challenges brought upon them due to their bold action. Timidity is dangerous and not a worthwhile state; it is far better to do nothing than do something half-heartedly.

Points to ponder:

What can you do to ensure that you are bold in everything you do? Perhaps, speak to your loved ones and ask them. Boldness is the key to greatness, and knowing this, what can you do to use it in your job, family, relationships, pursuits, and dreams?

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