Adversity Introduces A Man To Himself. How Your True Passions Are Revealed Through Failure & Rejection

by Hervict Jacobs

Robert Schuller is widely credited with coining the phrase:

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

I have heard more people use this quote than I care to remember. Popular belief has long maintained that if you ever wanted to know what you’re truly passionate about in life, just ask yourself this question—and the answer will reveal your true passion.

I believe this is one of the most misguided and misleading questions you could ever ask yourself in an attempt to discover what you’re truly passionate about in life.

Here’s what I mean: This question, “What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?” basically seeks to find out what you’d love to do if the conditions were favorable i.e. could not fail.  The answer to that question does not reveal your true passion: it simply reveals what you’d love to do if the conditions were favorable.  And there’s a big difference.  Because your passion is not something you do when conditions are favorable.  You just do it.  Period.  Regardless of what the conditions are.

In my mind, the best question to ask yourself if you truly want to discover your passion in life, is this:

“What would I attempt to do if I knew that I would fail over and over and over again?”

What would I attempt to do if everything in my life was unfavorable for me to do it?

What would I attempt to do when even after several attempts nothing ever turned out the way I hoped?

What would I attempt to do, that after I’d tried, no one believed in me and were convinced I couldn’t do it?

What would I attempt to do, where even after trying numerous times, I still was never “discovered”?

What would I attempt to do, when even after I tried, my dreams still never came true?

What would I attempt to do, If I knew I’d have to sacrifice to do it, and commit years of my life to do it?

What would I attempt If I had to go against hell and high water to do it, and have to fight my way to victory?

What would I attempt to do If others found out about my dreams and laughed at me.

What would I attempt to do If when I tried it, people rolled their eyes at me.

What would I attempt to do If others never gave me an opportunity.

What would I attempt to do If I was disappointed even after I tried to break in, and I failed even after I risked greatly to pursue my dream.

What would I attempt to do If every door was closed in my face.  Time after time.

What is that one thing I would attempt to do if I knew that all of these things would happen to me?

The answer to that question is your true passion.

That answer is the thing that burns in the deepest recesses of your soul.

You see, passion is the mother of perseverance and the father of motivation.  Passion is the difference between loving the idea of a thing and actually loving the thing itself.

Because when you’re passionate about something, it doesn’t matter how many times you fail.

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