Be Bold and Daring

Action asks a good question: What is the latest “BOLD” thing you’ve done?

I say that it is a good question because I had to stop and think before I could answer it. I was surprised that I had to think about it!

– I shouldn’t, because it means that I am not doing enough to be a successful indie or successful at a lot of things.
– I shouldn’t because it means that I am always getting satisfied with hitting plateaus and don’t push harder.

The bold actions I recalled:

  • A little over two years ago, I kissed my current girlfriend for the first time.
  • In January, I moved into an apartment with my girlfriend.
  • Around March, I finally submitted the paperwork to form GBGames, LLC.
  • When applying for a programming position in April, I decided to try a completely new design for my test assignment.
  • A couple of weeks ago, I was at Cedar Point in Ohio. I’m terrified of roller coasters, but I went on them.

For each of these actions, I ended up with a good result. I have a great relationship, a great home, a great company (I think so, anyway), a pretty good job, and a great weekend of fun and memories. Still, I had to think back about two years, and I could only come up with a handful? Some of them weren’t all that bold when I think about it, such as my programming design or roller coaster rides. I was either going to do it myself or get a bit of peer pressure to do it. As for being bold, I find that I am lacking.

Fortune favors the bold, which is more than just a cliché. Wouldn’t I be better off, financially or otherwise, if I made it a point to do more things that scare me? At the very least, I should look at the things I have been putting off and ask myself why I am procrastinating. It’s likely that they’ll be like riding the roller coasters: intimidating, but once I do it, I’ll find that it isn’t so bad and is actually enjoyable.

What kind of bold things are we talking about here? Is trying a new recipe instead of eating what I always make considered bold? Is making a call to get a better deal with a service provider bold as opposed to doing nothing and going with the plan I already have? Is running home from work as a form of exercise as opposed to driving or walking a bold move on my part? Is boldness measured in terms of what everyone else is doing or other choices on my part?

Here’s a scary thought: I can’t immediately think of something bold I want to try. When I ask myself, “If you knew you would succeed, what one thing would you do?”, nothing springs to mind. It’s not like I believe my life is perfect, so why don’t I immediately think of at least a handful of things to do? Did I really get conditioned to “go with the flow” when I wasn’t paying attention? I’m going to work on this problem, because it is a problem. I should have at least a general sense of direction in life.

So, what is the latest bold thing you’ve done? When were you daring?

16 comments to Be Bold and Daring

  • One of my favorite topics! I can go on and on about how human beings are capable of anything if we only have the vision required to see beyond the arbitrary limitations we put on ourselves and the determination to actually do it. And by that I don’t mean we can leap tall buildings in a single bound or anything, but we always tend to put ourselves in, what I believe, is a relatively small, but comfy, box of potentialities where we become complacent and think we can only achieve what is inside that box.

    My life is filled with examples of doing things that make people ask “Can you really do that?” … and it’s filled with periods where I can’t for the life of me think of a single that I did that would be considered outside my comfort-zone. I would love to think that it’s possible to constantly be outside the box, but I don’t think mentally anyone could do it non-stop. I find that when I see the box for what it is, then it’s time to stop resting and get a move on… even if I don’t know what it is that I need to do 🙂

    We filed the paperwork for Theoretical Games in February, we’re pushing a new Friends Play Free model for selling/marketing our game and in May we bought a rental property just for my in-laws. It’s been a pretty constant stream lately, but if you had asked me in January I would have said “it’s been over a year.” 🙂

    Sounds like you’ve seen the box. Good luck!
    -Andrew

  • I decided to give up a career of doing boring ASP.NET coding and take a lower-paying job at a videogame company in return for some help with my indie company.

    It felt good. Still does.

  • Andrew: Just in the past year I have had days when I was incredibly productive. Multiple items would get checked off of my list, and I would also get the benefits of having completed those tasks, all at once! When you just hunker down and do it, it gets done, and at a much faster rate than you would think. Sometimes it isn’t just doing something bold that matters. It can be the little things that are so easy that they are neglected for too long.

    Jay: It’s good to hear. I imagine that it resulted in more than a few people asking you “What are you thinking?!”

  • I have social anxiety, so stepping out of my comfort zone is a no-no 😉

    If there’s something I really have to do I do it, otherwise I always take the easy way out.

    I don’t have a “day job” for just this reason, I also don’t have a girlfriend and have never had.

    So maybe fortune favors the bold, but safety favors the timid 😉

  • Keith: Have you looked into cognitive-behavioral therapy? According to what I’ve read, which is admittedly not much, it isn’t like going to a therapist for years and years. Apparently short-term therapy works very well for people with social anxiety.

    If you haven’t looked into it before, perhaps it is the bold thing to do?

  • tkc

    Thanks for this article; I’m inspired. I have been stuck in analysis paralysis for the past year and I’m sick of it. I’ll never be a game developer until I just do it.

  • TKC: “Just do it” has to be the best motto ever. You might want to check out the interview with Ryan Gordan at FLOSS Weekly to get some inspiration, at least enough to make a Tetris clone. B-)

  • so, I hate to be another dissentor in this thread…but I’m not always sure being Bold is the way to go.

    Most of the time, I’d say you can still do research around your options to see which ones are a good fit at the time. Its economics to me, evalute the risk, the cost, the opportunity cost, how much you’ll enjoy things, what kind of enjoyment you’re giving up, the percieved risk, stories your friends tell you, posts from someone’s blog etc.

    Action talks about these V.C. people who make tons of money etc. But its not like they give it out to anyone who comes up asking for it, you need a biz plan. You need a SOLID biz plan, you need an amazing idea, something that inspires them. Basically, you need to convince them you are a risk worth taking.

    Like, here’s a question, being Bold is good right? Well, right now, is anyone willing to take EVERY penny they have and go buy lotto tickets? Or walk into a Casino and bet everything on a single poker hand? I’m gonna guess no (Action might, action is crazy awesome like that). I’m gonna guess its because you guys know the odds, the real chances of success. And if you lose, you’re going to lose all of your money. I would argue likewise you can try to estimate what your risk is.

    Sure, sometimes you have to make a choice based on little or no information, like making a new game genre, but that doesn’t mean you have to go full-force into things. What’s the harm in iterating into the risky area until you get a better feel for it?

    I think if you look at things this way, you’ll see a lot of “risky” situations really have little loss in them. Like walking up to a cute girl and getting rejected, you’ll feel bad for a bit (or if your drunk you’ll still feel fine) but it doesn’t really cost you anything. Self-esteem and pride are emotions you can rebuild quickly. But when you start venturing into areas of finacial or body-part loss…that’s where things get harder to risk.

  • Impossible

    I don’t know, expose action for the motherfucking bitch he is?

  • I don’t think being bold necessarily means ignoring risks. If you are fine with the risks, then betting it all on one poker hand is fine. Maybe you feel confident that if you lose you could still amass your savings to the same level quickly.

    But if you need that money to pay your mortgage, betting it all would be foolish.

    However, if you could get back 20% in a year by investing in real estate or stocks, perhaps it might be a good gamble. The one who doesn’t will never make that much, while the one who does has a good chance of winning big or winning a little or losing a little or losing big.

  • […] Action and GBGames have recently been having an interesting discussion on the concept of being bold.  A lot of it seems to come down to rising above your “path-of-least-resistance” internal programming in order to get out there and achieve something of consequence.  However, as I read through these posts I found myself asking, ”Is this the most productive way to think of being bold?  To rise above… to ditch the path of least resistance forever… To take the path of MORE resistance, in order to get results…” […]

  • Wow that thing pings quick. Well as you can see… my reply to this post got a BIT long-winded so I decided to throw it to the Blogosphere. Believe it or not most of that was in this comment box before I decided I had gotten too out of hand for blog-comments and had better move it… 🙂

    The short summary — boldness seems to be a word attached to something you really don’t have much control over.

    Damn fine post GB, and thanks for the serious food for thought and the topic.

  • Tim: I think your reply’s last paragraph hit the nail on the head. The only thing we have complete control of is our own mental attitude. All actions come from thought. So I would agree that once you get your thinking in line, the “bold” actions are really just a natural consequence. If you want to be your own boss, once you get your mind thinking about the benefits and challenges, you’ll naturally come to the conclusion that working for someone else is slowing you down.

  • […] The GBGames post Be Bold And Daring really hit me hard. How long will go on with my self-imposed doubts without attempting to boldly go where so many successful businesses has gone before? […]

  • Ah.. Bold.. Such a good word. I’ll use that for the next time someone calls me an asshole. No, no, no.. Not an asshole. I’m just BOLD.

  • Bleh

    “It’s not like I believe my life is perfect, so why don’t I immediately think of at least a handful of things to do?”
    Because you asked yourself to think of one thing to do?

    You could try: “If you would succeed at anything, what’s everything that you would do?”

Twitter: gbgames

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