Boldness has Genius, Power, and Magic in it.: When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

John Cousins
February 7, 2023
5 min read

Our understanding of strategy and tactics is rooted in prior experience. This limits our ability to address current situations. Prior experience isn’t necessarily applicable in solving current problems because of rapid change and progress.

This tension creates a state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, especially relating to behavioral decisions and attitude change. This state is known as cognitive dissonance.

Don’t be limited by dogma, tradition, and convention. Think laterally. Study the works of Edward de Bono. Try solving problems by an indirect and creative approach. View the problem in a new and unusual light. The problem contains the solution.

Avoid the tendency to spend peace time studying how to fight the last war. Instead, prepare for what might lie ahead.

Shed old habits and habitual thinking. Be imaginative and daring.

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.

When you come to a fork in the road or a decision point, always choose the bolder option.

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

Yogi Berra

We need not wait to see what others do. Choose Yourself for the success, purpose and life you are meant to have. Escaping the labels and titles and ambitions that others have foisted upon us is the first step.

“If I had listened to the critics, I’d have died drunk in the gutter” — Chekov

Silence the noise from the naysayers and critics; especially the critic between our ears.

“It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”

Theodore Roosevelt, “Citizenship in a Republic,”
Speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910


Earlier times may not have understood it any better than we do, but they weren’t embarrassed to name it: the life force or spark thought close to divine. It is not. Instead, it’s something that makes those who have it fully human, and those who don’t look like sleep walkers…. It isn’t enough to make someone heroic, but without it any hero will be forgotten. Rossseau called it force of soul; Arendt called it love of the world. It’s the foundation of eros; you may call it charisma. Is it a gift of the gods, or something that has to be earned? Watching such people, you will sense that it’s both: given like perfect pitch, or grace, that no one can deserve or strive for, and captured like the greatest of prizes it is. Having it makes people think more, see more, feel more. More intensely, more keenly, more loudly if you like; but not more in the way of the gods. On the contrary, next to heroes like Odysseus and Penelope, the gods seem oddly flat. They are bigger, of course, and the live forever, but their presence seems diminished…. The gods of The Odyssey aren’t alive, just immortal; and with immortality most of the qualities we cherish become pointless. With nothing to risk, the gods need no courage.

-Susan Neiman, Moral Clarity

Rise to the Occasion

Prepare yourself for big things. We never know when challenges will arise that will test our will and abilities. There are many stories of people rising to the occasion and elevating their game when called upon. Sports are filled with these champion stories.

Life is too short to be small.

— Benjamin Disraeli

Winston Churchill was out of favor and out of politics when called upon to marshal the resolve of the English and the British Empire in the darkest days of World War II. He rose to the occasion. He couldn’t have known it was coming, but its like he prepared himself his entire life to be ready to take on the mantel and the responsibilities.

In a time of crisis we all have the potential to morph up to a new level and do things we never thought possible.

Stuart Wilde

Challenge Yourself

“Life is a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations” — Charles Swindoll

Embrace whatever gets in the way, until it ceases to be an obstacle.

If you find yourself in career doldrums, challenge yourself to rethink your career. Below is something to ponder.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

— Mark Twain

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John Cousins
Author, Entrepreneur, & Teacher

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