What Would I Attempt to Do If I Knew I Could Not Fail?
Fear of failure is built into our culture. We are brought up with an ingrained fear of being “wrong.” Drawing on the Aristotelian and Medieval Monk traditions, upon which our Western Civilization is built, we are not taught to be fearless, experimental, innovative, adventurous or wild. Instead, timid conservatism is applauded and rewarded in terms of being “right.” Everything is right or wrong, black or white, with no room for “maybe” or “interesting.”
This being the case, we have to be diligent in stepping out into the Unknown, in daring to risk, in pioneering new territory for ourselves and our culture. “Courage to Fail 101” and “Advanced Risk” should be taught at all levels of our educational systems, and also in the workplace, for out of our most horrendous failures can come our greatest achievements. Edison “failed” 10,000 times before he was able to successfully invent a light bulb. Steve Jobs “failed” again and again in order to come up with the concepts and designs that have made Apple one of the most successful companies in history.
Write Now! So this question is a good one to start the New Year, and to ask yourself right now: What would I attempt to do if I knew I could not fail? Stretch your imagination. Reach for the stars. Send the demons and petty tyrants of self-doubt packing. Get in touch with your Inner Dreamer, and spend 15 minutes just brain-trusting with your Muse. Take notes! Surprise yourself! This is an excellent exercise to do at least once a month. Have fun! GO!