What Would You do if you Knew You Could not Fail?

by Alexander Heyne · 1 comment

“Those who know do not speak.  Those who speak do not know.”

-Lao tze

Who woulda thunk that Lao Tze, that old bearded Taoist, could have known anything about the modern world.

Turns out, he was a pretty smart dude.  There is a reason why this post title (a quote by Robert Schuller) is also so important here.

The adage provided above, I believe, is not meant to be taken literally.  But it illustrates an exceedingly important concept in life, travel and work.

Being bold, first of all, is about DOING something

Don’t say, just do.

This is one of the hardest things for me personally, and I would imagine, for humanity collectively.  How many people do you know dishing out diet advice?  Honestly, every family gathering for me goes like this:

(Family conversation)

Relative 1: “All you gotta do to lose weight is eat less”

Relative 2: “All you have to do to lose weight is start exercising”

Relative 3: “All you have to do to lose weight is stop eating carbs”

— Yet everyone is just as big as the last time I saw them.

I saw an interview in a recent edition of Entrepreneur magazine that I really liked, regarding getting things done.  It featured the guy who owns Dell, Michael Dell, talking with several other young entrepreneurs.  They are discussing the qualities of an entrepreneur:

Michael Dell: “One of the funniest questions that I get is, ‘How do I be an entrepreneur?'”

( Some selected responses I like )

Craig Dwyer: “What’s your answer?”

Michael Dell: “The friendly version?  It’s go experiment and do something. If you’re waiting for somebody else to tell you to be an entrepreneur, you’re not one.”

Zach Hamilton: “Skills can be learned.  It’s the drive and ambition to go out there and do something that’s special.  Any of us could be doctors.  Any of us could be lawyers.  But it’s the ambition to apply yourself–even when it’s hard– that sets us apart.

Nikhil Sethi: “Everyone wants to be an ‘entrepreneur.’ What does that mean?”

Craig Dwyer: “Two words: action people.”

Ernestine Fu: “What do you think an entrepreneur is?”

Zach Hamilton: “A doer.”

Corinne Prevot: “And it’s a passion, because you have to be willing to learn from it and it becomes so much a part of your life.”

Being bold, second of all, is about doing something you’ve never done before

Yeah, that means if you aren’t getting butterflies in your stomach on a regular basis, you aren’t being bold enough in your life.

Yeah it’s hard.  And it’s scary. But the potential rewards? Unlimited.  Everything you’ve ever dreamed of.

Being bold is the reason why you envy the guy with the pretty girl.  He had the balls to talk to her and you didn’t.

Being bold is the difference between living a life that is just “okay” and a life that “fucking rocks.”

Being bold is the difference between settling and saying “well, it happens sometimes” to being assertive and saying “Zeus, you son of a bitch, you get down here and I’m gonna take your ass out back.” And then making your life how you want it.

There’s a difference between knowing the path and walking the path”


So what does “living life boldly” mean?

It means putting yourself as the center of your sphere of influence rather than on the periphery.  You are the lamp in the darkness.  You are the Moses that parts the seas. You are the guide for the lost travelers.  You are the centrifuge that everything spins around.

In life, it means choosing opportunities that mean you are living life “as an exclamation, not as an explanation.”

In work, it means constantly trying to change your circumstances – striving for change, growth, or fresh plans.

In travel, it means going somewhere off the beaten path.  Go for a real adventure rather than tourist destinations.  Hit up Papua New Guinea, or go drink Kava in Fiji with a tribal chief.  Conquer a fear, like shark diving.  Find a path of self-expansion and growth via traveling, rather than travel for travel’s sake.

The essence of the sphere

Would you rather be the person writing the story, or reading the story?

The doer earns infinitely more respect by those around him, regardless of the amount of perceived, or actual, failures and successes.

One last (overly cliché) quote to think about here:

 It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy course; who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat.

-Teddy Roosevelt

“What would you do if you knew you could not fail?”

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