Faking Success (for now)

One of my favorite authors is Lois McMaster Bujold. She created the Miles Vorkosigan saga beginning with The Warrior’s Apprentice in 1986. In the sci-fi series, Miles is the physically challenged, yet brilliant son of major political and military figures on his home planet. Despite his body’s limitations, he possesses an unwavering aggressiveness towards life which propels him into many adventures. His “forward momentum” attitude keeps him on the edge of failure as his schemes grow ever more complex.

Not that I haven’t leaped up into the blinding light of competence now and then. It’s sustaining the altitude that defeats me. (Miles Vorkosigan, A Civil Campaign, by Lois McMaster Bujold)

The thread by which Miles hangs on to the slimmest advantage is one I feel many people share. Most are unaware just how fragile their margin for error remains or how little it would take for life to come crashing down around them.

A single confrontation, poorly handled, could set in motion a sequence of events that could alter their family’s future for generations. The point of change may go past unnoticed, except in hindsight, with few options available for damage control.

Conversely, if one is hyper-aware of life’s dangers, the knowledge could immobilize you. Too much thinking, too little action, and the events overtake you while you stand still.

My advice? Take action. Move ahead or move aside. “Damned if you do or damned if you don’t” offers limited options. I would prefer dealing with the consequences of my actions instead of my inaction.

What is the one thing at which you are the most afraid of failing?

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