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  • James McNeil

We can say “the sky is the limit” but we could be forgetting one small thing...

Many years ago, I was approached with a question. I didn’t realize it at the time, but the question was a direct quote from Robert Schuller. The question was intended to motivate me to be creative with my ideas, and to a small extent it did.

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

When I heard that question, my mind started racing. So, in that regard, the question did what it was supposed to do. I came up with grandiose ideas that would change the world (or at least change my corner of it). Then I came back to earth with a stunning realization. The question, while motivating, was not realistic. I could fail. In my mind, I had only recently done so with the military, having been medically discharged after just over six years. Also, in my mind, I had failed again due to my inability to find meaningful work after the Army.

Failure was real, and I knew I could fail. That was disheartening. Today, I’d like to ask another question. This one is based in the first, and it’s so simple, it can be easily overlooked.

“What would you do if you knew you could succeed?”

The simple fact is you can fail. But if you knew you could succeed, what would you do? When I asked myself this question, the answer surprised me a little. If I knew I could succeed, I would write a book that chronicled the issues that led to me attempting suicide twice and almost a third time. If I knew I could succeed, I would design a clothing line that would work hand in hand with the book to empower people to overcome these obstacles for themselves or someone they loved. If I knew I could succeed, I would pursue an MBA (which is still ongoing).

What would you do if you knew you could succeed?


Don’t get me wrong. You and I both can still fail. Simply asking this question or answering it is not enough. It’s like saying the sky is the limit to someone who’s still on the ground. This may offer a little comfort, but it doesn’t help anyone achieve their dream.

Zig Ziglar said it this way. “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing- that’s why we recommend it daily.”

Now that you’ve discovered what you would do if you knew you could succeed, look for ways to motivate yourself (and each other) to achieve that goal. Realizing how far you could go is like saying “the sky’s the limit.” When you motivate yourself (and others) daily, you add fuel to the fire to get yourself there.

To check out the motivational clothing, purchase your own copy of Finding Your Personal Mission, or read more posts like this one, go to jamesmcneilauthor.com today!

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