While the Guinness factory in Dublin may seem like an unlikely place to get a huge jolt of inspiration, that is exactly what it provided upon my recent visit. My husband and I were traveling around Ireland for a much needed vacation and as any stout lovers would do, we decided to buy tickets and tour the famous factory at St. James’s Gate.
To be honest, I didn't know much about Arthur Guinness or the background of his beer creation. However, about two minutes into the tour, I learned one critically important fact that has stuck with me ever since.
When Arthur initially signed the lease for the building that Guinness still uses today to brew their beer, he signed a nine-thousand-year-long lease. Not ninety or nine hundred but nine-thousand. You should know that when the lease was signed the year was 1759 and our friend Arthur was only in his mid-thirties.
Throughout the rest of the tour – which was both informative and delicious – I kept ruminating on the courage, boldness and determination required to solicit that long of a lease. What foresight! What gumption! What madness! I was reminded of these words of Goethe:
“Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”
The interesting thing about boldness is it’s available for the taking. You don’t have to have any special conditions to be bold. Boldness is always an option. Arthur Guinness knew this when he made a choice to dedicate his vision completely to this pursuit and passion. There was no other alternative but to commit wholeheartedly and without reservation. It was all vision, risk, and eventually, reward.
I know in my own life, I played it safe for a long time. I played it safe in my career, in some of my relationships, and in the way I perceived my place in the world. I didn’t always make space for spontaneity, change, and the magic of taking a big risk. For a long time I thought grinding away in a job I knew well but didn't have a passion for was just the way it was. I was complacent and felt small even though deep down a small part of me knew that safety of routine was actually more of a prison than a comfort.
But boldness changes all that. Boldness has a magic and a power in it. There is something undeniably magnetic about it.
When I took that first step in being bold and made a major career re-route, it was dangerous, overwhelming, and one of the best and most thrilling decisions I’ve ever made.
Besides making you feel alive, boldness reconnects you with who you are in your deepest sense of being. It cuts through what we’ve been inculcated with culturally to believe is important and instead gets to the root of what life is actually all about.
Though there are the big ways to be bold – to change careers and follow your bliss, to finally take a class or pursue a hobby you’ve loved, to begin a new relationship, to say goodbye to an old one, to go back to school – there are also little ways to be bold each and every day.
You can be bold in the way you support your friends. You can be bold in fighting for what you believe in. You can be bold in prioritizing your own wellness and self-care. You can be bold in recognizing your own power and purpose.
Be bold in prioritizing your dreams. Be bold in your pursuit of health. Be bold in making needed changes in your life. Your 9,000-year lease on your dreams awaits.
Joanna Andreae is a Health and Wellness Consultant, helping individuals find a more balanced, happier, and healthier life. For more information about Joanna and her private and corporate wellness consulting opportunities visit: www.wanderingwellness.com.