Fundamental Friday: The audacity to be great

Thank God it’s Fundamental Friday. This weekly article will venture into the fundamental elements of a variety of aspects of our lives and present the questions to us all, “Are we fundamental sound?”

Audacity: The fundamental word for this Friday.

Audacity is the willingness to take a bold risk. This willingness is often demonstrated by youth ages twelve (12) to twenty-one (21). Their attitude is I can do anything and there is no concern or regard for failure, the very thing that prevents many of us from taking a risk. As individuals mature, risk becomes something that is calculated. If the risk is thought to be too great, many select to be conservative and do not take some risk.

To truly grasp “Audacity” as a fundamental element, we have to expound on risk, in particular, bold risk. Risk is defined either as a situation involving exposure to danger (noun) or exposing someone or something valued to danger, harm or loss. For this article, we are focusing on the latter in which the fear of danger, harm and loss paralyze and prevents us from taking any actions.

In pro baseball, especially the National League in which the pitcher on in the batting rotation, the pitching coach is often faced with a decision to leave a pitcher in the game or bring in a new pitcher. This decision not only effects the defensive element of a baseball game, but it will also impact the offense aspects as well. If a pitcher is tired, leaving him in the game could be harmful to his arm.

San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner pitched the Dodgers tough in a 2-1 win on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017. Photo by Kevin Carden/News4usonline

To pull the pitcher out of the game will have an immediate effect on the batting line up if the pitcher is coming up to bat soon. Losing the game is the risk that can paralyze a coach into waiting when he should pull the pitcher, or pulling the pitcher when he should not.

Winning or losing is one perspective, but how players handle being taking out of the game or being inserted into an uncontrollable situation can also have drawbacks. Therefore, the coach has to consider much more than just the game; he has to incorporate timing, player attitudes, and the effect any change will have on the game.

Good and experienced coaches will boldly make the move and stand behind his decision regardless of the outcome of the game. Audacity in this situation has a coach moving intentionally and decisively knowing the outcome will be favorable.

Life is similar in that we are faced with situations and decision daily in which the outcomes will have an effect on whether we are successful or not. It seems that throughout our teens and early twenties, we have a sense of confidence that looks at any mountain, situation or event from the perspective of being conquered. It is this attitude that helps us understand the intent of the definition use of the words BOLD RISK.

Dodgers pitcher Kenta Maeda got roughed up in his first career postseason start, giving up four runs to the Washington Nationals in Game 3 of the 2016 NLDS. Photo by Dennis J. Freeman/

Moving is a reality that we experienced throughout our lives. The boldest move comes when individuals decide to move out of their parents’ house. This move is seemingly embraced by youngsters. Especially those planning to go to college out of state. There simply does not be a concern regarding failing or not being successful. This audacious attitude is clearly beneficial as the world is filled with pitfalls for our youth, yet someone, some way our youth seeming come through these experiences fine.

Somewhere between leaving home and settling down with a wife and family, many of us lose the audacious attitude and embrace the safe conservative options which are the exact opposite of audacity. We carefully analyze the cities, communities, schools and crime rate before deciding to move. The analytical process sometimes paralyzes us into not moving at all.

This is not to suggest that we should not plan our next step or that we don’t consider the possibilities and risk. We are simply pointing out that many of us will analyze our way out of a decision because of the risk. In the field of project management, risks are only calculated to develop a plan to address them if they occur. These risks are lessened by elimination, avoidance or transferring them. Strategies are developed minimize risk then action plans are executed.

This type of analyzation is not paralyzing but it builds a strong foundation that allows a project manager to move boldly in their decisions. The fundamental aspect of audacity may dwindle as we get older, but examining the project management perspective is a method that allows us to restore an audacious attitude towards every project or life situation.

photo credit: K.M. Klemencic DSC_2272 via photopin (license)

The last but most important aspect of audacity is demonstrated by those that believe in God. Those that know they can do all things through God. Faith in God is immeasurable and is a cornerstone for those that know God is with them in every situation. This is not to suggest that those who believe in God are always audacious in their attitude, but to point out that those who stand firm on God’s word in some situation demonstrate an audacity that generally leads to a successful outcome regardless of the situation.

As we move through this journey of life and mature with each day. Let’s remember that audacity is given to us at a young age. We are able to do the impossible without much thought because we believe we can. Somehow we have to maintain that twelve (12) to twenty-one (21) attitude and be bold in stepping out. This requires maintaining a youthful attitude as we mature.

With age, we can let fear come in and paralyze us. This is where we can use the elements of project management to assess risk, develop a plan to address any risk and then move boldly with a plan. This type of assessment helps us avoid the paralyzing effects of overanalyzing situations. In some cases, there will be risks that we can come up with a solution for, that’s when we still step boldly, intentionally and decisively into actions.

Clearly, a relationship with God and understanding that with God all things are possible is the factor that clearly removes all fear from any situation. Establishing and maintaining this relationship requires work and we must realize that the closer we get to God the more our faith will be tested.

Fundamentally, we need to have audacity in every aspect of our lives. The essence of standing boldly in the midst of any situation and moving intentionally will allow us to reach goals and heights that many will doubt are attainable. Whether sports, life or our relationship with God, our audacious attitudes can be the difference in determining how successful we will be. Let’s be fundamentally sound as we demonstrate a level of audacity that shows in every decision we make.

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