This post began as a comment to MizFit’s post today about it being time for a change. I outgrew her comment box quickly. I’m glad she asked the question:
What would I do it I knew I could not fail?
This is the point where I shrink away from the question, where I throw up my old stand by excuse of crippling indecisiveness. This is where I say I can’t choose anything. If I couldn’t fail I would do everything! Then I will laugh and just ignore it because of course the silly question doesn’t deserve real consideration since you can’t get rid of failure.
But that wouldn’t be honest.
The first thing I would do if I knew I couldn’t fail: I would make a decision. I would choose something and stick with it with no regret. Making a decision is my hardest step. Once I get past that the rest seems almost easy.
And what of the big goals? The lofty aspirations that inspire us all to first dream of these failure free lives?
Well, I would start by quitting my current job. I would not work a low level, monkey-could-do-it, paid peanuts, data entry (basically what I do) job. Ever again. If I knew I wouldn’t fail in what came next I would quit my job in a second. Good bye.
If I couldn’t fail I would be a writer.
I’m not sure how the specifics of “being a writer” work for me. When I was little I dreamed of writing best-selling fiction novels. When I was older I realized I loved reading that type of writing but had no skill or passion for writing it myself.
I originally went to school to become a journalist. I was a few credit shy of a journalism double major when I graduated. I majored in history because it gave me a way to write, write, and write some more without the creative flourishes needed in fiction and less of the formulaic writing needed in journalism. I did well with that type of non-fiction writing, won awards, and received praise. I enjoyed it and realized writing non-fiction was actually pretty fun.
Being a writer for me means I land somewhere in the net of non-fiction, journalism, and blogging. If I couldn’t fail I would pursue this as hard as I could now without any regard to the possibility of not being able to survive on a salary as a writer.
If I couldn’t fail I would be a photographer.
This is one thing I love passionately but firmly remain an amateur because I am scared of being a fraud and a failure. I refused to change my major in college to photography (and I was happy with my majors, I just have dual passions). I took many photo classes but never took the real plunge because I was afraid. I always just said it was a hobby and I still do. I refuse to go in depth and learn more and try new things with it because I am so scared of not being successful. I love to take and edit photographs, but I won’t let myself truly be comfortable in the role of photographer. I won’t allow myself to dream of that as my future, because there are already so many successful photographers. Who would I be in the midst of that when my friends who studied photography can’t even get jobs right now. The little voice of fear inside my mind always tells me that I am not good enough, I don’t know enough, stick to what I know. I forget sometimes that I have dreamed about being a professional photographer, but if I couldn’t fail I know that is what I would be.
If I couldn’t fail I would go BIG with being active.
I would train for and run a marathon. I would set out to bike across the country today. I wouldn’t wait. I wouldn’t let excuses get in my way. If I couldn’t fail I would go sign up for a hip hop class because it has always intrigued me as a white girl with no rhythm. If I couldn’t fail I would do everything I feel like I can’t right now because of my body. I would do a triathlon, I would do 100 pushups, I would run and run and run until I couldn’t run anymore.
If I couldn’t fail I would say YES.
Have you seen the movie Yes Man? Where Jim Carrey has to say yes to everything? If I couldn’t fail that would be me. I would say yes to all things I found interesting. Want to sky dive? Yes, I do. Want to become fluent in Spanish? In Chinese? In Arabic? Yes, I really do. Want to do (fill in the blank with a million cool things)? Well yes I want to if I can’t fail!
If failure wasn’t an option there are a million things I would want to do right now and in the future. I hope that even with the possibility of failure on the table I will still complete many of them.