What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail??

Posted on September 23rd, 2010 by

Hey again ya’ll!

Let me tell you first how excited I am to be interning in the CVR this year.  I have always been so intrigued by this office’s interest in helping me find purpose and passion within my life.  I hope this blog and the ideas expressed through it can help inspire a fulfilling sense of exploration like it has for me.  So let’s start with a question:  What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?

But, seriously.  What would you do?  Take a second to think about it.  How would you be living your life differently at this very moment if you were positive you could not fall short of success?  It’s a big question, one of the CVR’s specialties.

This can be a fun question to think about in all sorts of situations.  In the short term, you could be thinking of that one person you would like to ask out on a date, or you could be thinking of trying out for the basketball team, or declaring the major you have always wanted to.  You can think of it in the long term, maybe about living in Asia at some point in your life, maybe you’d go skydiving, or maybe you would open up your very own restaurant.  Who knows, the possibilities are as endless as your imagination!

But, let’s get real here.  In our world today, failure is very real, and sometimes probable.  Let’s face it, people are denied for dates all the time, hardly anyone who majors in studio art makes a living creating art, and a restaurant?  In this economy?  Pssh, yeah, fat chance, Ben.  We all know that things don’t always go the way we imagine they will.  And with those moments comes disappointment, embarrassment, and oftentimes defeat.  If you believe that these emotions are entwined in failure, then maybe we can never be certain of times without failure.

I think we would accept defeat far to quickly by accepting this reality.  What could we do instead of accepting defeat and calling a moment a failure?  What if we re-conceptualize what it means to fail?  What if surrendering defeat wasn’t associated with failure?  What if failure meant growth and experience, and not losing hope for the experiences in the future?  If you knew every failure was an opportunity for personal growth, what might you do that would surprise even yourself?

Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Do something everyday that scares you.”  Can you think of a time when you decided to forgo some action for fear of defeat or embarrassment?  Of failure?  I think we all have moments like these.  What’s comforting about these moments is that we don’t have to fail.  We can grow into people who are serious about personal growth and learning about life, sometimes through red cheeks or shaking knees.  What would you do if you knew the moments that scared you most were there to expand your personal growth?

What would you do today if you knew you couldn’t fail?

Cheers and Love



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