Boldness Archive

Not Looking For a Handout

Posted January 21, 2014 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

On Friday, I was running and noticed a gentleman crossing the road. It see,ed a bit odd for two reasons. First, he was weaving in and out of cars rather than crossing at an intersection which was only twenty yards away. And, he was walking straight toward me.

He made his way to the sidewalk on my side of the street and, just as I expected, he approached and stopped me. I paused the podcast I’d been listening to, wrestled the ear plugs out of my ears, and gave him my attention.

He was looking for a homeless shelter. He was new to town, looking for work and had spent several nights out in the cold.

“I was promised some work but not only can I not find the man, I can’t even find thirty-five cents!”

I thought he was going ask me for money but he did not. “I just need to find a warm place to stay at night and I need work. I can do almost anything and am willing to. I just gave my heart to the Lord and I have to trust Him to provide, like the Bible says.”

As he continued, I realized this man was serious and definitely NOT looking for a handout.

I brainstormed with him for a few moments and suggested he walk around the corner to the local Christian bookstore. I figured they would either know specific people at the men’s shelter they could connect him with, or they’d know who to contact.

A wide smile creased his face and he set off in the direction I’d pointed with a new pep in his step.

I’d given him hope.

I watched from a distance as he boldly stepped inside the store to ask for help in locating a shelter, inspired by his resolve to get back on his feet again and make a go of life.

And, as he disappeared behind the glass storefront, I had no doubt whatsoever that he would indeed overcome his current circumstance.

I continued my run to the grocery store, the once intriguing podcast no longer holding my interest. As I walked the isles of the store, I was tempted to buy food for this man. I wondered what he would enjoy eating that didn’t have to be cooked.

I reached for a couple of things but then put them back. This stranger who walked up to me on the street was not looking for a handout. Though down on his luck, he was also self-sufficient, intelligent and resourceful. He would make it through.

As I ran home with grocery bags in hand, I marveled at the inner strength of this total stranger. I also lamented that I’m not more like him. I prayed that I would become more like him.

I also prayed that YOU would be more like him. A chance encounter on a cold sunny morning with a total stranger who shouted by his actions, “I’m not looking for a handout” compels me to a new commit. What about you?

Have you had a chance encounter that changed your life? Gave you hope? Or perhaps a swift kick in the pants? Share it here!

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Go Boldly, or Wimpy… but GO!

Posted January 9, 2014 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

I grew up as a die hard Star Trek fan. I couldn’t wait for the next episode: I knew the intro by heart and recited it with the announcer:

“…to BOLDY go where no man has gone before!”

I always wanted to be a part of that exploration. My heart yearned to head out to places unknown in search of… well, something. Some call it a pioneer spirit. Others, insanity. To me, it’s just who I am.

Heading Out at Sunrise


I wish I could say that I was like Daniel Boone or the astronauts who walked on the moon. Unfortunately, even though many times I did head out in search of something, I was pretty wimpy about it.

Know what I learned about that? Here are just a few things:

Whether I go wimpy or boldly, I still get where I want to go. That’s encouraging. And empowering. I also gain more boldness the farther I go putting my frightened foot forward.

Boldness is overrated. The emphasis should be on the “go” part. Courage is not the absence of fear. It’s moving forward in pursuit of your dream in spite of your fear.

Boldness slips up on you. Piece by piece, boldness is build. The mighty tower is constructed by each and every success you have, no matter how small. Suddenly, you discover you are a fortress of bold confidence.


Everyone’s a wimp on the inside. It’s true. Underneath that strong exterior you see in some, they are afraid. The only difference between them and perhaps you is they felt their fear and pursued their dream anyway. They focused on the “go” part, rather than the wimpy feeling they had.

You have 100% total and complete control over that. You can put one step in front of the other. You can apply for that job. You can talk to that agent or editor. You can lay the groundwork for that incredible business you dreamed of owning. It’s completely up to you.

Success is sweet but it isn’t always reached with finesse. Sometimes even the greatest winners cross the finish line on their hands and knees panting and drooling. But they still cross first and win the race. When they’re standing on the podium getting the medal placed around their necks, do you think it mattered how they looked when they crossed the finish line first? Umm… no.

Victory girl by Photostock FDP

Look, bold is good. Going and getting where you want to be is better. Much better. Just do it. Wimpy or not, GO! You’ll be glad you did and the world will be changed. So will you!

When was the last time you set off to achieve a goal? How did you feel? What was the outcome? Share it here!

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