If You Stop Betting, You Never Have to Lose

Posted on April 25, 2011


I am convinced that the moment a person tries to make things happen, it’s impossible.

Let me rephrase myself.

The moment I try to build the perfect Jenga tower, one block sends the entire tower DOWN. It doesn’t just rain. It POURS.

The title of the post implies that if you never take a risk, you never experience failure. We all have been told that as bad as failure feels, it’s necessary for life. Failure teaches you how not to do things so you don’t make the same mistakes twice. In the first National Treasure movie, Nicholas Cage’s character pointed out that Edison needed only one correct way to create the lightbulb. Edison’s thousands of incorrect methods that did not create the lightbulb were failures – failures necessary to bring forth the eventual success of a working lightbulb.

Yes, I’m getting there . . . 

For months and months I drive myself crazy, convinced that I’m doing what’s best for me. That how I feel is correct and what I need to be feeling. And no one argues with me. And then guess what? I decide it’s time for me to feel something different – to want to go in a different direction than I originally did. That I was finally ready to open myself up to something I did not want to open myself up to months earlier.

And nothing’s working out as I hoped. Instead, all I’m thinking is that just MAYBE if I wanted things to be different, maybe if I went back to how I originally felt, then maybe life would start working out. Maybe what I want would actually present itself in some form or another. Maybe the greatest bet or biggest risk is not risking anything at all, but consciously deciding that it’s not enough just to want something. That the greatest bet I can make is betting on myself – that things might work out if I stop trying to make something happen and just let life happen.

Or is that being passive? Is it true that “those who don’t try never look foolish” (from Wicked)? Where do you draw the line between letting life happen the way it’s supposed to, and putting yourself out on a limb?