Thursday, July 29, 2010

The power of audacity

I was flattered beyond every belief to read the title of Obama’s book “The Audacity of Hope’’ where he decided to point out the concept of audacity on the title which I had always preached to anyone who would listen was one of the most important drivers for success. As if I had owned that idea! Anyways, I never got around to reading it; I think I have hardly read any autobiographies of great people because at the end they are all very personal accounts with little left to pick up on, or so I like to make myself believe. And then happened the improbable, and the nice people in Stockholm really did take the wind out of my sails for the Obama craze. I was initially one of the biggest admirers of his charisma and ability, yet by him receiving the Nobel Peace Prize for having done absolutely nothing at the time except making it to President of the US of A, they sort of took away a lot of spirit and inspiration from this impressive persona.

But now back to the original reason for this piece, which is audacity.
I think it is some people’s overwhelming boldness and audacity, sometimes even ignorance of a better alternative, which allows them to fly to unequalled heights in the different walks of life. This of course applies to the more mediocre geniuses of our time, not the real ground-breaking, earth-shattering intellects and talents of this world that, hate them or love them, you need to respect.

Now let me bring that a little closer to a reader’s mind. Let us take a look at that TV presenter with minimal culture and barely acceptable education and grammar. Now this man/woman throws him/herself at TV stations, at intellectual gatherings, and to top it all off, on audiences and the world. The result? Quite often, if this person persists, and continues to persist, and continues to live that illusion that they are worth the effort, somehow somewhere something will give way and they will make it. Sometimes they will make it big-time.

So what was extraordinary about them? Their language – no, their communication skills – big no, their research methods and extreme wit – I swear again, NO. It was their audacity. Now of course, the ultimate thing to do for them then, is to also carve out a niche for themselves (kindly project that onto your office life) – and thus they become as strong and powerful as their respective audacity. Sometimes we like to glorify their audacity by giving it other names such as persistence in the face of obstacles or determination, but in the end is a good healthy ignorance of their own weaknesses and a belief that they totally have everything it takes that takes them there.

Now excuse my corporate background, but who of us hasn’t seen managers who have shared with the world, not only verbally, but in letters to the entire organization, their insights, reflections, and views on the many facets of business with a confidence that would leave the biggest thinkers and intellectuals of our time feeling humbled.

It has finally happened and for no apparent reason...

I have absolutely no idea how it happened and why, but here I am posting my first blog. I have been pondering the idea for ages, discussing it with friends, revisiting it in every possible dimension, waiting for my IT savvy friends to help me set it up, and suddenly I find myself creating my own blog in a few minutes without any further thought, discussion, plan, or assistance. I don't have a name for the blog so I had to go the easiest one that came to my mind, I don't have a vision for how to take this further, so I went ahead and did it anyways, I don't even know what I will post but I am sure I will find a few things to share for now. Expect my writing to branch out into whatever roads my mind will twist into, and I hope it is worth your read.

All that sudden surge of emotion brought up a few big questions in my mind which I intend to post in later blogs (ha, I can now post future blogs - isn't it just amazing the amount of freedom technology can give you?).

1- The overwhelming difficulties of choosing a blog name and design for yourself - should everything you do say something about you, or is it just random?

Excited about getting the blog done, but wondering what the name and design will say about me and about people should expect from me, I started browsing every background and template and contemplating the very serious consequences each and every one of them will have on my image. Realizing that nothing will make it worse or better than it already is, I just went for whatever came easiest to me. Well, sometimes I believe that a decision taken quickly or seemingly randomly, is often much more appropriate than the one that took ages to make up. Similar to the business world, where people get together and try to perfect an idea until they have stripped it of everything that made it special to begin with – so they end up with full alignment and zero spirit.

2- Taking the initiative

So I have a separate blog for this one as well, but to keep it very short, turns out one should apparently just be confident enough or ignorant enough of his/her own weaknesses, and go ahead and shoot. Get the stuff done, perfect it later – unless you are doing surgery, it quite often works out just perfectly fine. Therefore, instead of waiting another few more years to perfect the idea of the blog, and plan my copyrights, I decided to start my blog – and now. Why the blog, and why not the earlier idea of compiling it all for a book which is another dream of mine? Put simply, I think the blog will provide me with instant gratification, insult, or feedback in general. Please read the blog about audacity and its merits when I post it.

3- What would you do if you didn’t have to work for the money?

Apparently the most intriguing question of all, the one that starts conversations even when people are mostly uninspired. Why is that? I think people deep down feel like they never had the opportunity to fulfill their dreams and would like to mostly blame it on something else. Lack of time, money, energy, abundance of other commitments, and the list really does go on. This week, thinking I was a witty conversation starter, I once more dropped the above question, tried to lead the conversation by asking what it is that keeps us from doing the great list of things that we would dedicate our lives to if we didn’t have to work for the money.

It turns out there are a number of things one can do without leaving their job, walking out on their families, growing dreadlocks (with my type of hair it is indeed the only alternative), and roaming Latin America looking for Che Che Guevara hiding out somewhere. The Egyptian version of the above scenario really being that I would throw away my ID, get kicked out of my job, find another low paying job in a public facility where I can come and go as I please, and brag about some literature I read on the late night café sessions somewhere around mid-town only to be interrupted by an ugly cough of my deteriorating body.

So the blog is one of the answers to the questions of what I would do if I didn’t have to work for the money.

More to follow