Sunday, January 31, 2010

Motivation and Fear

I watched a movie today called Lying to be Perfect. The main character creates a fake person to write columns and answer people's questions. She does this because she wants to write and give people advice, but she feels like she can't because she is frumpy and overweight. She tells her love interest at one point in the movie, "if you don't try you can't fail."

On House, Cuddy wants a baby and is planning to adopt one from an ex-drug-user. House tells her she won't be a good mom and keeps trying to convince her of that throughout. The ex-drug-user-mom gets sick with something that requires immediate action: wait to deliver and risk the mom's life or deliver now - 10 weeks premature - and risk the baby's life. Cuddy asks House for his advice because she's not sure if she is objective. She thinks the mom should deliver now, therefore risking the baby's life. House says she thinks that because if the baby dies, Cuddy won't have to find out if she's a good mother or a bad one. "If you don't try you can't fail."

This attitude comes out in life often. I have this extravagant weight loss plan but I have yet to go to the gym.
Last semester, I got overwhelmed by a research paper and couldn't find the info I wanted, so I gave up and took my F.
People don't apply to college.
They don't go take their driving tests.
They don't attempt to be the person they know they can be.
"If you don't try you can't fail."

When did we become such cowards? When did we collectively give up on the possibilities in life?
Maybe it was when people started saying things like, "Don't try. Just do it" and "Do or do not. There is no try." The human spirit is a fragile thing, prone to breaking when discouraged. So now we don't attempt things we don't know we can dominate. We live in fear of failure rather than motivation by the possibility.

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