Updated: Dec 10, 2020
What would you do even if you knew that you would fail?
I recently heard this question on the Tim Ferriss Podcast. It was a reframing of one of the questions that he usually asks his guests--what would you do if you couldn't fail?--and personally, I think that it is a more powerful question.
What would you do even if it meant that you wouldn't succeed...at least not right away? Some of us are held back from leading the lives that we dream of because we are too afraid of failure. What if we took that right off the table from the outset, and just assumed that anything worthy of achieving is going to involve failure?
My past is full of many such moments. At the precipice of hard decisions, I have gone in one of three ways. 1) I have defaulted to the norms and expectations of others, 2) I have charged boldly into the unknown, or 3) I have ignored the challenge altogether. Only one of these has led me to feel truly authentic in my actions. The other two have led to a recapitulation of questions, more fear, and unresolved tension. All three will lead to learning in some form, but option 2 is an open invitation for the lesson to begin.
I'm not saying that I (or anyone) need to go galavanting around making messes of everything. Do your homework, ask others, run little experiments, Google that $#@T. And if you determine that something is worth doing even if you get it wrong, go DO IT. Small experiments done daily develops the mental fortitude for larger life projects. This was my mentality when I started CHM back in 2016 and continues to influence my life today.
I want to hear your answers to the first question. What do you feel compelled to do in your lives? You have permission. Just remember, things that are meant to last are less fragile than you think, and we want to invest in things that will last.