Sky Stebnicki

What Would You Do if You Were Not Afraid?

If failure was not a concern, and resources were not an obstacle, what would you do differently with your life? It is a sad and tragic reality that the vast majority of us will never be able to answer, "I would do exactly what I am doing now."

It is important to note that this question has nothing to do with what you have or who you are, but what you would do being who you are. So often we escape the penetrating string of such questions by throwing out ridiculous categorically-flawed answers like "I would be a billionaire," which is a perfectly valid desire, but it is not an answer to the question originally posed.

Let me phrase it this way: given your current abilities, desires, values and hopes, what is it that you would do with your life if you were not scared of failure?

We live in amazing times when so many obstacle are being removed by advancements in technology and culture. Massive amounts of information is now freely available so anyone can educate themselves. The internet has given anyone a global voice if they have something interesting enough to say. Production costs are low or even nonexistent depending on your field.

So why aren't more of us doing what we love? The answer is often because we allow fear to paralyze us enough that we waste the majority of our lives in unfulfilling jobs with no hope or plan for better future. Here's the thing - fear is not going to go away. In fact, I would argue that it would be a tragedy if it did because fear can be a great natural moderator of human behavior. Courage is not the absence of fear, it is the act of facing your fears and not letting them overcome or paralyze you.

Of course, we live in the real world and I'm not advising everyone to quit their paying jobs to play video games all day hoping that if you work hard enough at what you love then you'll make money. That would be ridiculous. If the first half of the equation is to determine what you would like to do, the second half is to determine how you will do it in a way that can be monetized and then be willing to do the work needed to get there.

The important thing is that you start doing! If you want to be a blogger, then start writing. About what? I don't care, whatever you are interested in. Chances are that others share those common interests so just get started. Want to be a designer? Start designing things, even if they never get used. Programmer? Build some useful software. Whatever your dream job may be, you don't need permission or endorsement from anyone to get started. Just go for it. What do you have to lose? You've already determined this is the thing you would do for free, right? Time to put the horse before the cart and crack those whips.