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Always room for improvement

Kathy Lilje • Jul 31, 2014 at 8:30 AM

“What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?"

— Robert H. Schuller, clergyman


That quote seems to have struck a nerve with a lot of people, judging by the many places I’ve seen it over the last few years. It’s on t-shirts, greeting cards, wooden signs, bumper stickers and as graffiti on the side of buildings and train cars.

Whenever I see it somewhere, I try to answer it. It’s difficult because I find that there are so many things I don’t know how to do. How can I possibly narrow it down.

Fear is crippling. Fear of failure is rooted so deep in our psyches that it’s often impossible to overcome.

I’ve struggled with it my entire life. I have been so gobsmacked by fear that I won’t even attempt anything that I’m not pretty sure I can, if not master, at least make a decent showing .

For this reason, I’ve become better and better at the things I was already pretty good at, but I have learned no new skills in my entire adult life.

I can cook, spell, decorate a home and find the good in everyone. That’s about it.

My sister learned to drive at 40 and play the piano even later. She’s the brave one in the family. The only thing I can do better than her is poach eggs — and she can’t even accept that.

I can’t play an instrument, speak a foreign language, decorate a cake, play ANY sports, or paint (pictures or walls.)

I challenge you to think about what you do well and what you would do if you knew you couldn’t fail.

I am reading a book about a woman who made a promise to herself to try something new every day for a year. Author LuAnn Cahn wrote and lived her book “I Dare Me: How I Rebooted and Recharged by Doing Something New Day”

Inspired by her ideas, I’m trying to make some changes in my life, expand my horizons and learn something new.

Care to take up that challenge with me? I guess this is as good a time as any.

See you next week. Be kind to each other.

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