In January 2018, Revlon launched its new Live Boldly campaign in New York City, introducing four new Global Ambassadors. Gal Gadot. Ashley Graham, Adwoa Aboah, Imaan Hammam and Raquel Zimmermann were chosen to represent Revlon’s new campaign platform because they embodied what it is to “Live Boldly.”

As a top model and advocate, Graham has used her celebrity voice to challenge conventional perceptions and inspire women everywhere. Her optimism, compassion and strength have changed the industry’s perspective by creating a more inclusive definition of beauty. While “live boldly” is geared towards building optimism among women I feel that the message is relevant to us all. We are all in search for the positivism and optimism, yearning for strength that can or will profell us to that next new level

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The boldest people in our world sometimes or most of the time go beyond call of  duty. Any scan of the news in our different world we find bold voices who are testing boundaries or are using their power to bring hope and ingenuity to the world around them. True “bold makers” and “bold livers” don’t only step out with strong opinions and conviction, but they are led by their deep compassion for others and a true desire for peace and prosperity. Our world desperately needs these kinds of people today.  Bold people who engage the needs of our day with conviction and compassion.

I remember when I was appointed to implement Jordan’s Principle in the Province of Manitoba,Canada. This is an initiative to facilitate services for First Nations children living on and off reserve. The opportunities were there before us, we knew we had over 3000 children needing services that ranged from respite, Occupational Therapy, Mental Health etc, and the funding was to make it happen was available. The issue we had was that there were people who had lived in the old way of doing business; we had too many people thinking inside the box, wanting us to hold the Province of Manitoba accountable first, wanting us to use the conventional way of business. As the leader, I knew we had to do business differently; we had to always put children’s needs at the center. This is a skill I learnt in my Nursing and Lean Management. I learnt that when you put the interests of the customer at the center then it is up to the customer to pull the services they want. The customer become the determining factor.

As I visited the different First Nations I used a “it is a new day for our children ” mantra. I told communities to send their Jordan’s Principle dream. We made it simple, I would say that the proposal should not be more than two pages. I asked communities to think outside the box. Why was I doing this? I wanted to give First Nations leaders opportunity to drive the process. I learnt early on in my life in Kenya that when people own their dreams and destiny they feel proud of their journey and calling. Having worked with First Nations for many years I have learnt that winning their trust is more important that the activity that I want them to complete. This is very much similar to my Kenyan background. If you want to see great outcomes working with us you have to win our trust. For us trust means allowing us to be actively involved in what we are doing together. I should explain that actively has a different meaning than the conventional way of thinking. Actively for us and I believe it apply the same for First Nations it means, we are part of the decision making and nothing gets done without us, we feel needed in the process. This is what we had to do with the Jordan’s Principle here in Manitoba. This was unlike how government work. Government’s process include lots of consultations but for us we had to turn tables upside down. We wanted the First Nations to tell us where they wanted to go. We had to work boldly because we were expected to stay within the guidelines of Jordan’s Principle but yet not box ourselves.

Three years now, we had been able to mobilize lots of services to all 63 First Nation communities in Manitoba. We have all 63 First Nations leading in First Nations and Children centred services. We are very proud of the many children and families receiving services close to their home. This could not be accomplished within three short years without lots of collaborations and championing among all partners. We had to live and act boldly.

Here are a few of the ways I try, each and every day, to live as boldly as possible:

  1. Love yourself – How do you show love for yourself? Do you look in the mirror every morning and wish that you looked younger, thinner, taller?  If so, you’re not loving yourself.  Take time to think about the things that you love about yourself, but dig deep.  Do not let other people’s negative comments about you or your dreams pollute your image or your goals, you are the best you have. Remember, that these negative comments were likely spoken by people who also failed and probably projecting their contempt onto you.  When you love, respect and believe in yourself you learn to shut out those who do not treat you with respect.  So every day make sure you remind yourself that you love the person you are and that you believe in yourself. I do this everyday myself, it is easier to see my black colour when I am white co-workers and friends feel intimidated or unworthy but I don’t all those feelings or thoughts enter into my mind and heart. I boldly walk and talk knowing who I am, I am strong and courageous, I have a strong mission and vision and I can everything given to me that is within my scope and capacity.
  1. Take risks – I don’t mean start jumping out of airplanes (although you can if that’s what you really want to do). Try something new and different, volunteer with programs in your neighbourhood and abroad . Taking any kind of risk, whether it be physical or creative, builds self-confidence, it allows s to give back to others and it sometimes lead to opening up new opportunities for you and others.
  1. Conquer fear – While I certainly do not support taking unnecessary risks, tackling our fears leads to greater self-confidence and happiness.  Try to suppress the constant voice inside you telling you what could happen.  Focus on the moment and not on the what if’s.  Take small steps, at first everything might feel overwhelming but with time everything becomes clear.
  1. Surround yourself with positive-thinking people – It is almost impossible to live boldly when you are constantly surrounded by people who see the negative in everything.  Cut those people loose, if you can, or at the very least keep contact with them to a minimum.  Who knows, maybe your positive outlook and greater self-confidence will eventually rub off on some of those who always see glass half full. We need to look for those people who make our hearts want more because there is more to life than looking at what did not work.
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