Earlier this week, Rachel from ProNagger posed the question on Twitter: (Finish this sentence) If I KNEW I couldn’t fail I would…..
I’ve seen this question used as a way to help us figure out our big, scary, exciting dreams. The next step is to encourage you to ignore or accept the possibility of failure and try anyway. Which, WOOT! I totally agree with.
But what popped into my head in that moment was this: @ProNagger If I KNEW I couldn’t fail, I would never need to bother trying.
Call me a contrarian.
But, really, if you knew for a fact that you’d win that race/get that job/win that person’s love/climb that mountain, how much of it would you actually be arsed to bother trying? Isn’t it the possibility of failure that gets your heart pumping, your adrenaline flowing enough to get yourself off the couch to give it a go?
Maybe it’s just me. But the thought of climbing Mt. Everest with the guarantee that I would make it to the top and back down again, alive, safe and with all my fingers and toes makes it look more like a lot of damned hard work and less like something that should be on my bucket list.
Applying for a job you know you already have? Boring pointless annoying paperwork.
If I had known, the day I asked him out for lunch, that Alan and I would fall in love, get married and have a really great life together, I might have calmed down enough to actually finish university, rather than racing to the altar just to be sure. (See, there were these other girls, circling. I had no idea at the time they didn’t stand a chance).
If every act of unprotected heterosexual congress was guaranteed to result in a viable pregnancy, well, Xbox would be even more popular than it already is.
But we don’t know what’s going to happen. There are no guarantees. So even the most risk-averse among us take chances. You get up in the morning and you face the day. And sometimes you end up with twenty-seven years of happiness (and counting) and sometimes you end up with “I’m WHAT?” And you never really know which it’s going to be.
I don’t know about you, but I love not knowing if I’m going to succeed at something. I love the adventure of not knowing how it will turn out. The delicious possibilities, the surprises and, yes, even the ‘Oh crap’ moments are what keep me moving forward.
Alan and I have taken chances, started and ended businesses, uprooted ourselves to move somewhere else and try something new. Some of these things have worked out brilliantly, some not so much. But we love the adventure, the not knowing. We’re always looking out for new, enticing possibilities. They don’t have to be “Climb Mt. Everest” huge. Starting a blog or a new friendship counts. Getting your head around an idea that could be shot down in your next conversation counts, too. I just think that, big or small, uncertainties are definitely worth celebrating.
But what about you? Does knowing you could fail get you out there trying more or less? Please leave a comment and let me know. And have a lovely weekend, whatever you’ll be celebrating.