Dear Faithful Readers,
I have a question for you.
I’ve been thinking a lot about one of my favorite expressions:
“What would you do if you knew you could not fail?”
Failure. Now, there’s a scary word….but how would you define it? When you’re in school, you can say, “I’ve failed the test.” It’s true, plain and simple.
But, how about in life? Failure takes on a whole new meaning. I was surprised by how many descriptions I found for this word in the Encarta Dictionary:
1) Be unsuccessful: “This plan can’t fail.”
2) Be unable to do something: “She failed to see what the problem was.”
3) Not pass exam or course: “He failed English.”
4) Collapse financially: “The business failed after six years.”
5) Stop functioning or growing: “The brakes on the car failed.”
6) Judge student not good enough: (no example given)
7) Let somebody down: “My courage failed me.”
8) Become weaker: “The light began to fail.”
9) Stockbroker’s default: (no example given)
Of course, the opposite of fail is success. Again….a tough word to describe, depending on who you ask. Success is defined as “the achievement of something planned or attempted”.
So, does this mean that if you don’t achieve your goal as originally planned that you’re what? Done? Game over? Move on...I’m sorry…you have achieved an EPIC FAIL. (Borrowed from Fierce-hope she doesn’t mind) What about all these famous people I hear about on The Biography Channel who were rejected, rebuffed, rebutted, refused, released, renounced, repelled, resisted or otherwise restricted from role after screenplay after manuscript by people who swore with all their expertise that they didn’t have what it took to succeed? And yet, against what seemed like insurmountable odds, they did.
I read an article recently about choreographer Twyla Tharp. She came to New York City from Indiana and her obsession was dance. After graduating from college, she went on many auditions and was told she lacked the technical skills to be a ballerina…and lacked the stature to be a Rockette. Every way she turned, she faced rejection. According to her autobiography Push Comes to Shove, she wondered if she’d ever be a dancer…even questioned if she had any business dancing. She decided the only way to find out was to form her own troupe, creating a style of dance she could call her own. Failure was not an option…she merely revised the method to achieve her goal. Her first dance troupe practiced in her local Greenwich Village Church for five years…earning little pay and even less recognition. She’s quoted as constantly asking herself, “Do you want to do this, or don’t you?” Today, Twyla Tharp has choreographed over 100 dances on Broadway, won numerous awards, choreographed dances for several movies and has 40 years of experience under her belt. Today, she still asks herself the same question…and the answer is still “yes”.
And so, my question to you is in two parts: What would YOU do if you knew you could not fail? And, does failure truly exist? Or is it simply a sign that we should try again…or go through another door…or find a way to redirect or redefine whatever it is we’re striving for?
I can't wait to read your responses...but I understand if it takes you a while to get to it. Especially now that 99.9% of us have officially announced we're procrastinators. I'd go back and confirm that figure but I've gotta go hit the bank...I'm two days late as it is. Did I ever get gas?
Enjoy your weekend, all!