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Thursday, November 13, 2014

I Cannot Fail Therefore


At some point—whether it’s a college application essay, a job interview question, or part of an obnoxious board game—the question will come up: “If you knew you couldn’t fail what would you do?”

All sorts of answers come up: “Sail around the world,” “Ask Taylor Swift out,” “Be great at this job/school (very original, thanks)” and so on. 

The question is probably asked to learn about someone’s personality and what makes them tick. But there isn’t much hope to learn about a person’s truest self because they shouldn’t be asked the question in the first place. 

The question should be reframed as a statement. “I cannot fail therefore…” Think about that and take it beyond the college application essay or job interview. Take the statement with you everywhere you go.

“I cannot fail therefore…”

Therefore what?
  • The possibilities for me are limitless
  • The hurt from falling on my face is temporary
  • Failure is a lesson
  • I can start learning to play tuba at fifty years old
  • I can ask for a promotion at work
  • I can ask that person I like out for coffee (or peppermint tea if I have to)
Anything is possible—except failure.