Monday, September 12, 2011

Audentes Fortuna Juvat

For this week’s article I will be focusing on ‘boldness’; an essential ingredient in achieving your goals.

I once read a story about an army that travelled by ship to a foreign land to wage war with another country. The men were slightly outnumbered and their spirits were low. When they arrived at their destination the captain gave the order that the ships should be set on fire! As the ships went up in flames he announced that there was no way to get back home so they had to win the war in order to survive. They won.

In order to achieve your goals you need a high level of boldness and this can be achieved in numerous ways. Below I have set out what I believe to be 3 determining factors which, if taken together, will lead any individual to take calculated yet bold actions when working towards achieving their goals.

1.       Urgency – Achieving your goals must be such a top priority that you go through tomorrow literally behaving like someone who is trying to make 1 million dollars a day for example. Pushing your goals back too much sometimes leads to a relaxed attitude which ultimately leads to half hearted attempts to achieve your goals. Put your goals on your daily to do list and work towards them regularly.

2.       Standards – If you want to be successful but are constantly plagued by limiting beliefs, your chances of success could drop dramatically. Jordan Belfort once told a group of mentees:  if you don’t make $250k in your first year you’re suspect, if you don’t make $ 500k in your second year you’re considered weak and worthless...  what he was doing was trying to inspire his students (who at the time believed that they could only make $80k a year at most) to aim high. So first what you need to do is eliminate your limiting beliefs by aiming high because as Les Brown says ‘Life has no limitations except the ones you make’.  So you have to set high standards because as the saying goes aim for the stars because if you miss at least you’ll land on the moon. Don't settle for less.

3.       The Final factor is the Ultimatum. Once your goals have become a matter of urgency and your standards are raised to the point where you’re ready to begin performing at a high standard you must take action that forces you to succeed. I’m slowly completing my double degree (Law and international studies) but last year I found myself in a situation where I was sitting with Fs on my report card and was close to be being excluded from the university. I would have been satisfied with a ‘PASS’ average at the time. Instead of sulking I took action (1) Prioritized on improving my marks, quit all my jobs, deactivated my social networking accounts, stopped going to parties, stopped drinking, attended my classes (2) increased my standards to a distinction at the very least, (3) signed a contract that said if I failed again I would be excluded from the university...

I passed, not just that but it was one of my best performances since beginning my University studies and I have just been offered a position to complete my honours at my University. By including this personal perspective I aim to show you that taking bold action can be done with day to day tasks as well as your long term goals. Boldness leads to growth...

Name any successful person on the face of the earth and I will show you someone who required a level of boldness to get to where they are today. So it’s fair to say, success rarely, if at all, visits the timid because Audentes fortuna juvat, translation;

"Fortune Favors The Bold"


  1. I absolutely love this! Well written, and some great thoughts coming through.