"Most people are content right where they are . . .
given the cost of changing.
Nevertheless, they have unfulfilled dreams. They also have unfulfilled potential. They have time, although it's running out in a grimly predictable manner. They have not achieved what they hoped they would achieve. They would like to come closer to their original goals. But they don't change. There is a reason for this.
Unfulfilled potential, dreams, and hope all begin with
two words: "If only. . . ."
Like Mt. Everest, there looms a barrier to "if only": price. At zero price, there is greater demand than supply. This law of scarcity applies to unfulfilled potential, dreams, and hope.
Yet there are two prices: (1) the price of attempting to fill the unfulfilled; (2) the price of not filling the unfulfilled. The second price we call regret.
I have known a lot of successful people in my line of work. I have never heard any of them express emotional regret for a project they launched that failed. Financial regret, yes, but not emotional regret. But on occasion, I have heard some of them express regret for a project not launched.
This is a defining mark of successful people. They can contend with specific failures far better than they can contend with unfulfilled dreams.
Conversely, a defining mark of less successful people is their inability to deal with the threat of specific failure, and their emotional acceptance of unfulfillment.
In "On the Waterfront," Marlon Brando plays a washed-up prize fighter who had been told to throw a fight. This ended his career. He never got over this. In one of the most famous lines in the history of the movies, he complains to his older brother, who had carried the message to him to take the fall: "I coulda been a contender."
Brando the actor recognized that the power of this line comes from the feeling, almost universal, that every man has that he, too, could have been a contender.
As the movie works out, he becomes successful. When he must show real courage and stand up to the corrupt labor union boss who told him to take the fall, he does so. Why? His moral dilemma can be solved, but only at a very high price. He faces death. But he has been down the dead end road before. Death looks better than a moral dead end. He decides to be a moral contender.
That's why it's important that people know the difference between a failed attempt and a failed dream. If a specific failed dream is inherently a failure, then it can be abandoned without shame. Not every dream should be pursued. But if a dream defines you in your own eyes, it is better to try to achieve it and fail. Better to regret not having succeeded than not having tried."
The above was Gary North's work. I thought that was worth while. Be a contender.