Be Bold

Many eschew grand ambitions for fear of falling short, so the higher you aim, the thinner the competition. Plus, because nothing is truly easy, you might as well attempt something truly hard. Who knows? You might even succeed, surprising everyone, yourself most of all.

Because so few people are willing to risk boldness, being bold makes you a leader by default. Some will see their feelings articulated in your vision and join up. Others will see their fears reflected in your vision and cry foul. Whether they opt in or out, you are defining the terms of engagement and inviting them to clarify their thinking.

If you're going to boldly go where no one has gone before, do so with clear eyes. Otherwise you might go boldly off a cliff or into a brick wall. Don't cling to obsolete points of view. Boldness requires flexibility. If you discover new evidence that changes your mind, admit you were wrong and set a new course.

Life is so damn short that living boldly seems an apt way to honor the fleeting gift of existence. If you're not going to be yourself, who else are you going to be? Be yourself, be bold, or die trying.

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Complement with How to make sense of complex ideasCultivating a sense of presence, and Quantity is a route to quality, not its opposite.

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Eliot Peper is the author of nine novels, including Cumulus, Bandwidth, and, most recently, Veil. He sends a monthly newsletter documenting his journey as a reader and writer, tweets more than he probably should, and lives in Oakland, CA.