Chris Guillebeau

Chris Guillebeau

The Art of Non-Conformity

What Would You Do if You Knew You Would Not Fail?

What's truly worth doing, whether you fail or succeed?

Posted Oct 22, 2010

fail-whale
I like thinking about hypothetical questions, and this one is a good start. Most of us have some kind of dream trapped within ourselves that has somehow become stifled by the fear of failure.

So, yes, it's good to think about this question and bring your answer to the surface.

The problem, though, is that most things that are worth doing involve a real possibility of failure. Marriages fail, other relationships falter, businesses close their doors all the time. A big goal, like the ones we looked at recently, always involves a certain degree of risk.

How to Think About Your Life

On book tour I've been having hundreds of conversations about this subject with people from all walks of life. Figuring out what you want to do with your life is a hot topic, as is the fear of failure.

If you're new to this kind of thinking, it helps to ask yourself these simple questions:

What excites you? Why do you get up in the morning? If time and money were no object and you had no pressing responsibilities, how would you like to spend your days?

What bothers you? What problem would you like to fix? There are all kinds of problems in the world... which one(s) are you most troubled by?

You can also try to remember if there was something you wanted to do as a kid, but then turned away from because it was discouraged by someone. Therein lies the source of all kinds of dreams that lost their way as you transitioned to something more "responsible"—and if you read AONC, you probably know that the pursuit of a big dream isn't something you need to justify to others.

Back to Failure

Instead of thinking about what you would do if you knew you wouldn't fail, maybe a better question is… What's truly worth doing, whether you fail or succeed?

How would you answer that? You can share your answer here or you can keep it to yourself, but mostly I hope you do something about it.

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Image: Whatknot

Hat-tip: Kelly Newsome

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