What’s the one thing you’d do…

…if you knew you wouldn’t fail?

You may have been asked this before. It’s the type of thing that’s asked at the beginning of motivational business conferences as the ‘icebreaker’. Or it’s written in curly font with butterflies on a meme shared around Facebook getting one million likes and comments such as ‘so true’ and ‘luv this’.

But have you ever taken a moment to sit back and think… what’s the one thing you would do if knew you wouldn’t fail?

Do it now. Think of an answer!

Then I’ll let you read on.


So what did you come up with? I’ve asked a few people this lately and I’ve categorised the most common answers.

1. Quit my job and become a…

This seems to be a popular answer. We go to work, day in day out, and most of the time we don’t enjoy it. A change of career – and one we are good at – has to be the answer!

But the grass is always greener on the other side, right? The doctor who wishes she could play sport. The basketballer who wishes he could work with animals. The farmer who wishes he had a desk job. And the receptionsist who wishes she was a doctor.

2. Win the lottery (or invent a time machine so I can find out the numbers that were drawn, then win the lottery)…

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ll know my thoughts on whether money solves problems. Yet this has to be up there on the list of most popular answers. Money means you can quit that job you didn’t like, you can buy that house you’ve always wanted, and travel to anywhere in the world. All sounds pretty peachy, hey?

Could this be a wasted opportunity? Are you actually improving things long term by winning a bunch of dollars today? Shouldn’t you go for something bigger?

3. Achieve world peace / wipe out animal cruelty / put an end to…

Now with this one you could really make a difference! It’s a bit ‘pie in the sky’, but if you could be guaranteed you wouldn’t fail, why not?! Many people have tried these things, and all of them have failed.

These might be good options if trying to impress your boss at the motivational business conference, but in reality, surely you’ll go for something that benefits you more directly…?

4. Go skydiving / basejumping / wingsuiting / mountain climbing / extreme something…

Ahhh, of course. The extreme sports. Why not use this opportunity to throw yourself off a cliff and know you’re going to survive?

It’s not a bad option. Just a little short-lived. Maybe when the adrenaline wears off you’ll wish you’d picked something else.

5. Write a novel / become an actress / paint…

Follow your creative dreams! Throw aside work and family and responsibilities and focus on your artistic pursuits. Everyone has an unwritten book or an unpainted masterpiece. This is your chance to get it done!

This one is actually quite achievable. You should still give this one a go, fear of failure or not!

6. Be a better wife / mother / son / best friend…

Be a better you. Devote more to your loved ones. Care more about others around you. How very selfless!

However, this exercise is about taking away the chance of failure. Does anyone really not try to be a better wife / husband / friend because they think they’ll fail? I think it’s a good idea to strive to be these things, but failure doesn’t really come into it.

7. Nothing.

So how many of you chose to do nothing?

How many of you are not holding back? How many of you are already living your dreams?

Here’s the goal I’m going to set you: try to live your life without the fear of failure. Try to love your job. Be happy about the number in your bank account. Work towards making the world a better place. Do something extreme every now and then. Be creative! And be a better person around those you love.

Then, ask yourself again in one year’s time: ‘What’s the one thing you’d do if you knew you wouldn’t fail?’

And maybe… just maybe… your answer will be just that: nothing.

3 Comments

Filed under BLOG: The Duchess of Charlestown

3 responses to “What’s the one thing you’d do…

  1. Love it! Try to love your job… or current circumstance… That is my goal. Remind me in 12 months!!

  2. RAM

    I’ll take number 5!

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