This morning I saw a meme in a Facebook group I follow, that made me stop and think.
“If you couldn’t fail, what would you do?”
Other versions of the phrase are
“If you had unlimited time and money, what would you do?”
“If money wasn’t an issue, what would be your perfect day?”
All slightly different but with the same intention; to make people think about what they’re doing in life as opposed to what they wish they could be doing.
I’ve heard the phrases many times before, even used it on friends and clients. As an empowerment coach, it’s a great way to find out what clients are longing for. A starting point, to understand them a little better and get them thinking beyond their current world view.
Of course, the response is inevitably something like “I’d quit my job, travel the world, eat at the best restaurants, buy a Ferrari, get a luxurious massage every day”, etc…” These are all great lies that we all say in such times because we’ve never truly thought of achieving our hearts desires as a viable option before. More often than not, we’ve accepted that this is never going to happen so don’t allow ourselves to even instigate the dream. So we go for the quick, generic response that we think the asker of the question wants to hear.
This time I read the meme, it was different for me. This time I was being asked the question (obviously not directly but it felt like I was). Suddenly I thought about it in more depth than I had previously. What would I really do if I couldn’t fail…
And then it hit me, how boring life would be. If you were to do something, anything and know absolutely what the outcome would be, wouldn’t that take all of the emotion out of it? There would be no difference between washing the dishes and jumping out of an aeroplane. Knowing without a doubt that you will land safely, would remove all fear, all excitement, all adrenaline. Starting a business would be a case of going through the motions because you would know that it would succeed. And relationships would be without passion because you would know that you couldn’t screw it up.
We need the unknown, the mystery of what’s to come. It’s what pushes us, makes us strive to be better. It’s in failing that we learn and evolve. It’s in knowing that we can fail that gives us the courage to do it anyway. It’s in the chaos that gives us the hope and faith to battle on. It is in taking risks, that we feel the excitement.
What are we without emotion?
Of course, they are still good questions to ask, to loosen up a persons mind and get them thinking outside the box. Followed up by the real question;
“What do you really want to do with your life?”
So… what is it?