Failure is one of my biggest fears. It paralyzes almost every plan I make. I've grown up being told that I would end up doing something extraordinary in my lifetime - from close teachers to parent's friends to guidance counselors I only met with twice. I know that most of these people feel they have some sort of obligation to tell youths these sorts of things, but I was always really impressionable and I started to believe that it was my duty to do something remarkable lest I let down every adult in my life. The fear of failing at The Remarkable has kept me idle longer than I ever thought it would.
Last night I saw Tammy (dir. Ben Falcone; starring Melissa McCarthy & Susan Sarandon). After a public outburst Tammy sulks about what become of her life when Kathy Bates lays into her about her choices. She tells her, "you complain about your life but you won't make any changes to improve it". Kathy Bates' character lives in a large house and runs a successful corporation and explains to Tammy that she didn't get it by complaining and waiting for things to fall into place. She worked really, really hard for it. That's the only way to get things done.
A few months ago Jim Carrey gave the commencement speech at Maharishi University of Management. He spoke about risk and passion and specifically his father giving up his passion for security. Alas, the security didn't last. He was fired from his menial desk job and his family was right where they would have been had he pursued his dream. Jim Carrey went on to say, "I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which, was that you can fail at what you don't want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love."
Words to live by, thats for sure.