Choose Not to Fail

Much of the time when we set out to do something, we go in with a mindset of trying. We attempt to do it. We “test it out” to see if we can handle it.

While this approach is certainly useful in many contexts, at some point it’s more beneficial to discard it.

At some point, we must decide to stop trying and deliberately choose not to fail; simply choose to succeed.

This often happens inadvertently when your back is up against a wall. If you’re hanging from a cliff, your survival instinct will kick in and you will choose not to fall. You don’t try to lift yourself back up, you don’t have a choice, you simply do. If you get laid off from your job and no longer have an income, you will probably choose not to be broke. That might mean immediately finding new work or starting a business where you don’t try to make it succeed, you will it to succeed. The greater the probability of succeeding is usually directly related to how little of a safety net is in place.

What this comes down to ultimately is no margin of uncertainty. You simply decide that it’s going to happen.

Here are some of the ways I’ve experienced this:

  • In martial arts. I can “try” to not get hit, and I may or may not succeed. However, if I choose to not get hit, I most often don’t get hit.
  • In business. I can try to make a decent income, and sometimes I will. Or I can choose to make a specific amount and work backward to see what I will have to do in order to make it happen.
  • With health. I can try to eat right, and maybe I will. But when I deliberately decide that I will eat the healthiest food possible, I nearly always do.
  • In my relationship to my wife. I can have the desire to be loving, and it may work out. However, I always seem to express love more profoundly when I consciously choose that my actions reflect love.
  • With fitness. I can really have the intention to be fit, but that’s not enough. By choosing to create a certain level of fitness and determining what it will take to achieve it, I greatly increase my chances of success.

I’m not saying this always works. Sometimes it will be highly beneficial for you to fail, because often it isn’t until you fail enough times that you actually succeed. But even then, you can deliberately choose to fail, instead of avoiding it in fear of embarrassment or injury to your ego.

I’m not really sure what it is, but something interesting happens in your brain when you deliberately decide something will happen. When you decide that the outcome you want is inevitable, your mind and the universe tend to agree. When you’re internally wavering and unsure, the world will undoubtedly agree.

How you’ll get there isn’t very important compared to knowing undeniably that you will, no matter what it takes.

When you know there is no other alternative, you remove all the mental weight of indecision. You know that what you want isn’t a probability, it’s an inevitability. It’s just a matter of time.

[Note: This post was inspired by this amazing Parkour video.]

photo courtesy of will-lion

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