What would you do if you knew
you could not fail?
~ Robert Schuller
Seriously, WHAT would you do if you knew you could not fail?
At the top of my list you'd find paragliding, sky diving and hang gliding, all related to my fear of tumbling through space to a painful death mangled limbs and paralysis for life heights. This is one of those things I'd change about myself if change was as simple as willing it or wishing on stars.
But it's not. Sometimes I'm a fraidy cat.
A question I often ask when making important life decisions is
Do the advantages outweigh the risk?
It helps clarify perspective. It forces me to consider potential benefit and satisfaction versus cost and consequence.
My 50th birthday is next year.
I think that's the first time I've written it…and though I've said it many times since my 49th, it feels strange clicking off my fingertips, seeing it in writing.
It seems important at this season in life to ask that question–What would I do if I knew I couldn't fail?
On one hand I like the question; it compels you to DREAM BIG. But I think I prefer a different question: What will I regret not trying at the end of my life?
I'm working on a "50 Things for my 50th Birthday Celebration" bucket list; not necessarily to do before or while I'm 50, but 50 things that demand me to step outside my comfort zone, learn something new, challenge curiosity and convention, live more simply, see with new eyes. Take risks.
Will you lend me your imagination?
I'd love to hear your suggestions for my bucket list; I know your creativity will ignite my own (especially if you already have a Life List with ideas). If you're a blogger who's published a bucket list feel free to link the post in comments, too.
And I'd love for you to answer either question:
- What would you do if you knew you could not fail?
- What will you regret not trying at the end of your life?
No pressure to share your answers out loud…but I think it's a wonderful exercise to consider the possibilities.
Written in response to Lisa Jo's Five Minute Friday writing prompt, "Risk," but I exceeded the time limit! Once I began writing I wanted to finish the thought.
These are really wonderful questions!
Oh, I am going to be thinking about them all day now 🙂
If I new I could not fail, I would give more money away. I would be more proactive in making the most of my talents. I’d be more confident.
So many things.
Thank you for this post. I know it will linger long with me.
I might even be pursusaded to sky dive one of these days 🙂
Loved this. If I knew I could not fail, I think I’d be more confident. And I’d take even more chances. I’d say yes more.
Oh, what could I do if I knew I wouldn’t fail? Such a heavy question…..probably live life in a more sacrificial way. You know, giving more, inviting people in, going and doing for those without more. But then real life invades and those pesky fears of failure rear their ugly heads. May you live your life to the fullest!
I recently graduated from my final year as a homeschool mom. I was wondering if I should do something productive like go back into law (maybe have my own practice), or if I should write (my first idea, but so much less quantifiable — how do you know when you’ve accomplished your goal?)
I had a hard time deciding, until I asked myself, What would I regret not trying? Would I ever wonder “What would have happened if I had started my own practice?” or would I say, “What would have happened if I had given myself a real shot at writing?” It was a no brainer.
I don’t think it matters as much whether you succeed. The question that would haunt me is, did I ever try?
If I knew I couldn’t fail, I would not be afraid to take the risks that involve doing so many things in fulfilling and living out those BIG DREAMS! I guess the answer is take bigger risks…no worries, right?
Robin, visiting from Lisa Jo’s. wow, I have to really think on this one. I will be fifty three this summer and I do think often of a bucket life list for my fifties. Taking bigger risks seems to be a newish mantra for me. It has brought freedom. Hard to explain but I applaud you for your aspirations. Gee, just living in Germany is a Huge biggie thingie 🙂 wishing you His grace as you risk…. and have a joyful weekend.
I’m so glad you’re addressing the “big 5-0” because I am having a hard time going there in my mind. I’ll be 50 next year too, and it feels weird to me as well, especially when I feel like 40 just turned over on the calendar.
I don’t have any answers for you, but I sure will be thinking about your questions. I especially like the answer that “a soulful life” gave–give more away. Not just money, but more of myself. I feel God bringing more and more young women into my life, and it takes a lot of energy to give to them. So giving more of me away would be a huge risk.
Ooh, such profound life questions.
First, advance-happy birthday. I’ve long contended that birthdays are a simple result of orbital dynamics and human history. If we lived on Mars we’d be numerically younger. I try to ignore the significance of numbers and instead focus on making each day – an individual gift that I treasure – count a little more.
What would you do if you knew you could not fail?
I’m doing it now. I’ve jumped off the career cliff and decided to pursue this growing journalism thing of mine full-time. Either my wings generate lift and I’m way better off than I’ve ever been, or they stall and I crash and burn. Yet in my heart of hearts, every time I pitch, research, write, submit, publish, interview, talk to either hundreds or millions on television, I know this is what I was destined to do. And I can feel that lift under me, pushing me higher than I’ve ever been. There’s no way I’m going to crash and burn, because there’s no way I can’t make this thing fly.
What will you regret not trying at the end of your life?
Nothing. No one will ever have enough time to do everything they’ve ever wanted to do. And if they live their lives that way – “here’s my bucket list; better get through it before time runs out” – they miss the point of life, entirely. As long as my soul has been good all along, and I left this world better than it was when I arrived, I’ll be happy.
Not sure if that answers your questions as directly as you had hoped, but I felt the need to look at it from a meta-perspective, instead.
Oh, how I’m ENJOYING all your answers! Since I’m replying a few days after publishing my post (we went out of town for the weekend), I don’t know if all of you will see my responses. In essence, thank EACH of you for making me think bigger :).
You all cause me (and anyone who reads) to think, contemplate, meditate on an answer; which typically leads to asking more questions. I like that. You’re smart people, all of you.
And, Carmi–GREAT FOR YOU, FRIEND! YOU *DO* have what it takes, writing with an eloquence and story-telling ability that has drawn me in since Day 1. I’ve kept my eye on you for a lot of years; no stopping that now :).
And new readers? Keep those answers coming! You’re really challenging me! And I like that :).
This has been on my mind since you posted it. What would I do? I haven’t a clue. After dealing with unemployment, underemployment, college, Kenny’s cancer, the stuff with the oldest, raising the two youngest, and the dog dying, I have been so focused on getting through the day I haven’t had any big dreams.
After thinking on it for a few days, I haven’t really come up with anything. And it’s bothering me. I need to dream up some dreams.
A topic close to my heart! I made a list of 100 things to do and have thought of 100 more…then I made a list of 100 things I’ve already been blessed to do and have thought of 100 more. 🙂 Here’s a link to my (10)(10) list.
Enjoyed lurking this morning!
Love your energy girl! I have the big 5-0 approaching too. (not until next year! Ha!). I am facing my fear this fall, after much consideration and worry AND prayer, I’m going to homeschool my 8th grade son. I am terrified! And I am excited! Due to LD issues and bullying in our public school we are tackling this challenge head on! Wish me luck and lift up a prayer!