The point was well made in the first part of this article, that there is NO security in this life, that “playing it safe” is not the best strategy to live life to the fullest. The best strategy, in my opinion, is to…

Be Bold and DARE …

“Don’t persist in the routine and the predictable simply because you’re too scared to try anything else. Don’t take care ... TAKE RISKS. We cannot progress unless we take some sort of risk.” Michael McKinley

“There is nothing valuable that does not have inherent risk. If you want to be the star of your life, you’re going to have to get out and read your lines. When you’re ready, TAKE A RISK!” Sinara O’Donnell

“Laugh at yourself, but don’t ever aim your doubt at yourself. BE BOLD! When you embark for strange places, don’t leave any of yourself safely on shore. Have the nerve to go into unexplored territory.” Alan Alda

“The unhappiness, unease, and unrest in the world today are caused by people living far below their capacity.” Abraham Maslow

Sinara O’Donnell was an accomplished professional speaker, a very wise woman, and a good friend. And she lived life to capacity, right until she left us prematurely in her mid-forties. In her most delightful book Be the Star of Your Life, she urged us to “Give an Oscar-winning performance … whatever part we play.”

Just think of some of the “Oscar-winning performances” we’ve seen recently—Ben Kingsley, Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Julia Roberts, Halle Berry, Adrien Brody, Hilary Swank. What was the ONE thing all these people did to earn that award? THEY GAVE IT ALL THEY HAD! They went all out. They did not hold some back for the next role.

In 1999, Russell Crowe gave it all in The Insider. Ditto in 2000 in Gladiator. Same thing in 2001 in A Beautiful Mind and again in 2003 in Master and Commander. ALL OUT! ALL THE TIME! To capacity!

"You know, when you grow up in the suburbs of anywhere, a dream like this seems kind of vaguely ludicrous and completely unattainable. But this moment is directly connected to those childhood ‘imaginings’. And for anybody who’s on the down side of advantage, and relying purely on courage, know that IT’S POSSIBLE!" Russell Crowe (in his acceptance speech for his Best Actor Oscar for Gladiator)

You’ve heard that expression a hundred times, “He’s got potential.” Worse than that is, “He HAD potential …” Whatever your plans are, don’t let that be something people say about you behind your back. Or at your funeral. Or something you’ll tell the other “souls” in the next realm, “Hey, I had all kinds of potential, but …”

“Potential” is nothing. Nada. Zilch. It’s like the millions of gallons of water stored behind the Hoover dam. As long as the water just sits there, it’s a liability. It costs money to keep it contained, and it represents a risk. To be worth something, to live up to its “potential,” to produce results—electricity—it must DO something. It must pass through the gates and activate the turbines. Then, and only then, it becomes an asset, something valuable.

“Halfway is no way as far as I’m concerned. Life is too short. Care deeply about your IT … or don’t bother getting out of the sack.” Tom Peters, The Circle of Innovation

“Live all you can; it’s a mistake not to. It doesn’t much matter what you do in particular, so much as you LIVE while you are doing IT.” Henry James

Go all out! It’s YOUR show!

There has rarely ever been any great achievement without excess. Do things to excess. We’re not referring to eating, drinking or doing drugs. What we mean is resisting the temptation to be philosophically moderate. We’re attempting to be moderate rather than excessive in everything we do, to the point of becoming wishy-washy. Whatever we decide is worth doing is worth doing to excess. Pile on the stress. Make the heart pound. Indulge in constructive concepts, values, and ideas with excessive commitment. Get worked up over something.

Here’s a contribution from my friend Su Thomas: Make a Big ‘Dash’!
19XX — 20XX
“If the dash between our date of birth and date of death represents what we choose to do with our lives, what will you make of your dash?

In the 1940s, Marjorie Robertson, a young Jamaican woman was awarded a scholarship to study medicine in Canada. She was one of two women in a room full of men, and the only person of color. At a time when racial and gender discrimination was accepted, she fought for the opportunity to explore groundbreaking studies in cancer research. Her strong will and belief in her ability to make a difference led her and her team to identifying the gene that is the foundation for cancer research to this day.

This determined woman balanced her strong will with an equally strong love of family ... my family. Marjorie Robertson was my Grandma. I had only learned of the barriers she broke through after she passed away. I did know that the way she lived her life on a daily basis instilled in me the courage to go after what I want. To not allow barriers or other people’s thinking to limit me.

Whether your source of inspiration lies within or comes from somewhere else to confront the barriers that may be holding you back, consider making your dash significant. You never know who your BIG dash will inspire.”

Before closing, here are some astute observations and wise recommendations for you to consider if you are to make a “big dash”—accomplish something significant. The first one is: BE UNREASONABLE! Considering the times and Marjorie’s “circumstances,” do you think she acted “reasonably?”

“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” George Bernard Shaw

“Most of us are tiptoeing through life so we can reach death safely. We should be praying, ‘If I should wake before I die.’ Life can get away from you. Don’t be satisfied just pumping blood.” Tony Campolo

“Life is not measured by the numbers of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.”

Here is one of my recommendations: ASK MORE FROM LIFE! Have you ever noticed how people at an all-you-can-eat buffet will fill their plates until they overflow? Even though they can go back as often as they want. And yet, in the case of life, where they have only one crack at it, they go to the table with a pillbox for food and a thimble for drinks.

“Life is like the ocean—there’s plenty. Success is NOT in short supply. It isn’t rationed so that when your turn comes they already gave it all away. The problem is that most people go to this ocean of opportunity with a teaspoon. In view of the size of the ocean, may I suggest that you trade in your teaspoon for something bigger?” Jim Rohn

I like Jim’s “ocean” analogy. Here’s another one of mine. Why not think of LIFE as a BIG tree, full of all kinds of fruit—opportunities—free for the picking. All you have to do is show up, pick and carry. But you can only make one trip. My question to you is, “How will you do it? Will you show up with a basket or perhaps a wheelbarrow—like the 97% of the people who settle for ‘good enough’? Or will you back up an eighteen wheeler equipped with a cherry-picker and load it to capacity?”

“It’s not that people want too much, it’s that they want too little.” Mark Victor Hansen

My last recommendation is: CHALLENGE YOURSELF! As someone once pointed out, “If the going gets easy, you may be going downhill.”

I’ll close with the words of Robert E. Osborn who said, “Undertake something that is difficult; it will do you good. Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.”

Daniel G. St-Jean
Aka The Sparkplug of Personal Development
Author of 7 Simple Keys To Spark Change In Your Life Now!
Co-author of 101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life – volume 2

Author's Bio: 

Daniel G. St-Jean’s mission is to instruct and ignite the people who are just thinking about making significant changes in their life, and to support and encourage those who are in the midst of making such changes so they get to live the life they really want to live. Visit his web site at, read his Blog at and subscribe to his eSparks at