Maybe I misunderstood the question, but my answer is: nothing.

I guess it’s looking to probe your fears or your greatest dreams and you might list them in a regular-fear-dream fashion:

  • Go to the moon,
  • Sing in an opera,
  • Or I don’t know, something like this:

I could very well be over-analyzing the question (it would be far from the first time … ), but I’m not sure I’d do anything if there was no chance of failure. My simple and maybe over-simplified comment would be:

What fun would that be?

Sure, I could do that daredevil flying suit thing and it would be a blast. But isn’t part of the excitement knowing that it could go wrong? Or I could do something really daring and writing four children’s books with no audience, no marketing plan and not really a care in the world and I could see what happens. Well, actually, I’m not sure if I could fail that one because my goal was to write (and finish and publish) them, not become a millionaire from their sales. But when I started, I was scared to even start writing because the fear was that I wouldn’t finish–or ever really get started.

Maybe I lived too close to Silicon Valley for too many years, but failure isn’t just something to avoid. Au contraire, mon frère! It’s something to wear as a badge of honor! It’s something to strive for. Do you know where the best products come from? From mistakes. From attempts that didn’t quite make it–but we learned along the way. Without failure, would there even be success?

If everything was easy and successful and guaranteed not to fail, what would then be the challenge, the fun, the thrill or even the purpose?

Like I said. I might be way over analyzing this. Let’s just all make a simple list and think we might actually do those one day. Someday. Not today, though. Way too many things going on today.

I think the real question is this:

What would you attempt to do if you knew you might fail?