If Success Is Guaranteed, Is It Still Success?

Scroll down ↓

Interesting question, right?

And it came tumbling out of my friend, Chris Guillebeau’s mouth during a conversation we filmed for this week’s episode of Good Life Project™.

We were talking about taking risks, going public with impossible quests and striving to bring ideas, businesses and really anything deeply meaningful and new to life.

Any time you do that, it will make you uncomfortable. Anxious. You’ll feel it in your gut, your heart. It’s not just a mind thing, it’s a soul thing. It’ll make you feel uneasy. And that freaks some people out. But that feeling. It’s actually a sign that what you’re doing matters. That you’re vested. That you’re not just copying what’s been done before.

The only way for success to be guaranteed in advance is to do something that’s so devoid of meaning and so stripped of creativity and innovation that even though you may be 100% capable of success, it’s not really success any more. It becomes an empty victory. Nobody will care, including you.

It’s like watching the Wizard of Oz for the bazillionth time then dancing around and claiming victory for predicting the Wicked Witch’s death and Dorothy’s return to Kansas.

The appropriate response isn’t congratulations, it’s duhhh!

But that’s exactly what so many of us do. We wait around and spend the vast majority of our waking hours waiting for the “guaranteed success” stars to align before acting. And guess what, they never do.

At some point, you need to get off the damn porch and dance with the things that scare you.

Because that place, that process, that journey, that evolution, that willingness to act in the face of imperfect information. That moment where you stand up and say, “this may not work, but the pain of a life never trying so far exceeds potential pain of trying and failing AND takes from me the potential gift of succeeding that I must act. I must try.” That’s the moment that defines your emergence from the gray zone.

The fact that success is not guaranteed is proof that the quest matters.

Chris Guillebeau’s path is proof of what can happen to a life, a community, a world when a single voice stands up and says, “damned the butterflies, this must be done!”

Watch the full interview with Chris on this week’s episode of Good Life Project now.

And, if you’re so inclined, share it with friends.

Join our Email List for Weekly Updates

And join this amazing community of makers and doers. You know you wanna...

1 response

One response to “If Success Is Guaranteed, Is It Still Success?”

  1. […] Jonathan Fields argues that success, if guaranteed, is hollow. (How does that saying go – what would you do if you knew you could not fail? But is certain […]