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Inspirations

Ode à l’audace

At every great party, and on everybody’s lips, the spirit of boldness is omnipresent; encouraging, inspiring and making things happen. But exactly what it is and its effects are still something of a mystery.

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According to philosopher Goethe, ‘it has genius, power and magic in it’. And he certainly wasn’t referring to Asterix’s strength potion nor Tinkerbell’s magical touch. The kind of boldness so devotedly and enthusiastically drawn upon by adventurers, sportsmen and women, and artists alike. As if there could be no greater formula for success. But how can a single character trait elevate someone to such dizzy heights?

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Firstly, it is important to determine the difference between boldness and courage; while boldness takes the natural lead, courage requires that extra push to gain forward momentum. Boldness is synonymous with both free will and a determined plan of action, or as Kirkegaard came to conclude, ‘the moment of decision is madness’.

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And further proof perhaps that a leap in the dark is nevertheless premeditated. If fortune favours the bold, it is because they always push the boundaries, in spite of the risks incurred.

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Daring is David Bowie changing his style like a chameleon, or Bob Dylan, trading his acoustic guitar in favour of electric, both challenging their followers, taking them to new heights. Or tightrope extraordinaire Philippe Petit walking the wire between the Twin Towers, a hair’s breadth from certain death.

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To be bold is to flaunt the rules, as did Yves Saint Laurent with the Mondrian style, or James Joyce challenging the accepted rules of language. In other words, to push oneself, a genre or an art form to the very limits. Time and time again, it is by virtue of boldness that the world refuses to stand still and continues on the march of progress.

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