Decision Points: How Daring to be Bold Can Make Your Life

All glory comes from daring to begin. – Eugene F. Ware

Of late, I have been really enjoying the “My Big Break” series from NPR.  The high-stakes storytelling of a life-making moment is compelling; uncovering for the listener a time in the life of someone fairly well-known that essentially opened a door to the path to success and/or achievement.

What’s striking is that for a series called “My Big Break”, it could have easily been called “My Big Choice.”  Echoing through each of these stories is a decision point.  All the stories outline a  time and place where they were presented or perceived an opportunity that they could either seize or turn away.  In all of these stories, our protagonist seizes the opportunity, and the outcome is transformational.

This is not to ignore the fair bit of luck, good timing, and coalescence of a lifetime of experience, confidence, and doubt.  But what is important to note is that these decision points are all times that they could have taken the safe route but instead choose to press on and try something new, uncomfortable, or bold.  Emily Blunt found the courage to set aside fears about her stutter and join the school play, which set her on a course for eventual Hollywood stardom.  Nancy Cartwright decided to try for a more interesting, those less conventional, role when auditioning for The Simpsons in 1987.  That bold decision point lead her to nearly three decades as one of the most recognizable voices and characters in popular culture.

My point is this: cultivate the confidence and agency to make the bold choice when the time comes.  Know that while things are not always going to be easy, nor will they be obvious, making bold choices allows you the opportunity to succeed boldly or fail boldly.  And if you’ve cultivated that confidence to make that choice, then you’ve also built the inner mettle to bounce back, more resilient and ready for the next bold choice that comes your way.

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