If You Couldn't Fail...

What would you attempt to do?

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Comments (21)

(21) Shelly, July 9, 2012 6:31 AM

What eould you attempt to do?

I saw your video and i have been thinking about ejat would i attempt to do... Its hard to decide you know.. People often tell me i have potencial but the real question lays in were should i use it... Any suggestions?

(20) Steve, March 30, 2011 11:38 PM


What if you were to attempt something illegal knowing you couldn't fail such as robbing a bank and not getting caught or drinking and driving. Fear would not hold you back but morals should. That would be the true test.

(19) Anonymous, March 23, 2011 12:02 AM

I understand everything said. But, I feel like if you thought you could never fail then, you wouldn't try as hard because you would no that no matter what u will succeed.

(18) Kevin Cullis, March 12, 2011 6:01 AM

Hashem on OUR side, or on Hashem's side?

It's easy to say that Hashem is on OUR side and is hopeful, but more importantly are we on Hsahem's side, doing His will? Thanks Lori.

(17) Mark Douglas Obenour, March 10, 2011 3:13 PM

It is time for Torah to Unite us!

Those of the Jewish, Christian, and Islamic religions are all brothers and sisters through Father Abraham! It is time we started acting like it! We need to use Torah as the foundational concepts for our religion and unite over that!

(16) Anonymous, March 10, 2011 8:29 AM

If I Couln't Fail: Unfinished Business

Rebbetzin Palatnik, thanks for sharing with us such an eye-opening topic to ponder. If I knew I couldn’t fail I would work faster on my manuscript -- two chapters to go! – and get it published. Now, quid pro quo: tell us what your big plan would be! You say in this week’s installment, “it’s big.” Maybe you will have everyone refer to you by your Jewish name, Leiba Rochel. Better still, I hope you will realize your dream to make Aliyah to Eretz Yisrael. With Hashem on your side, it can happen! You said it yourself. And you will experience unforeseen brachos. Moreover, imagine the impact such a move would have on your Facebook fans and Aish.com audience. Thousands of other Jews might consider undertaking this same mitzvah. I have heard people tell Rav Berel Wein how his Aliyah to Israel influenced them as well. There is no place in the world like the Holy Land, and to quote Reb Ronen Nouril, “even if you think you know what it’s like to live in Israel, you don’t know what it’s like to live in Israel.” The only way to find out is to actually reside here – and keep Hashem in the picture always because He can carry a person through any transition.

(15) Yehudit, March 9, 2011 1:19 PM

more torah please Lori....

Hi Lori, I love your videos. You have such a lovely, warm and gentle manner with a double serve of elegance on the side! You are a positive role model for Judaism and Jewish women: I'd love to see you linking your weekly thoughts to something from the Torah to consolidate the fact that daily life and Torah go hand in hand. I'm sure there is a quote from our sages or a teaching from Gemara to illustrate your point here.... this would inspire your viewers to delve into the Torah a little more when they see how accessible and relevent it is. Yesher Koach!

(14) Anonymous, March 9, 2011 6:00 AM


Wellll... I've heard this before, and it is definitely a striking thought. However, I must say that there are many different angles to this question. Thinking big - bring Messiah, teach Jews worldwide about their precious heritage. I can't do these things single-handedly, nor can I do them completely and fully. I can (only) take steps towards them, and do the best I can. Thinking not so big - things I've always wanted to do like learn archery, or how to horseback ride - and do it, frequently, or really learn how to sew... I'm sure I could do these things if I really invested the time and effort and resources and everything else necessary. But in the end, it's a matter of priorities - are those the most important things that I want to accomplish in my life? Are they, in fact, really intrinsically important at all? Is that what I want to be concentrating on and working towards? Not really... Not at the moment. And then, thinking on a different track - working with dolphins. So... it's not so much a question of what would I do if I couldn't fail, because it's not a fear of failure as much as it is a recognition of where I am. Now if the question were, "what would be THE one thing that you would do...?" - that's a whole different realm. And conversely, "what are things you aren't doing, right now, in your day-to-day (or week-to-week, or year-to-year) life that you feel like you can't because you will fail, or "it's not worth the effort" -- go for it! I often play devil’s advocate, but I must say that I really enjoy hearing your thoughts each week. Thanks!

(13) Welton, March 9, 2011 3:26 AM

If I couldn't fail.....

I would stop man's inhumanity to man.

(12) Sarah, March 9, 2011 2:03 AM

What Would I Do?

I would write a book about the man I loved and lost to suicide. I would contact his ex-wife and ask that I be allowed to have contact with his children, children whom I helped raise for six years. I would walk into the local animal shelter, a kill facility, buy it, and turn it into a no-kill facility. I would grow my hair down to my waist again. I would rejoin Weight Watchers. I would adopt a child. I would take a painting class and learn how to paint watercolor paintings. I would take Russian again and learn how to truly speak and understand it. This is only the start of my list. But honestly, the reason I don't do these things isn't because I'm afraid of failure. It's because what I need these days is peace and quiet. My life has been chaotic for too long. What I want is to come home at the end of the day, sit in my green reclining chair, and snuggle with my dogs. I want to pad around the house on Sunday morning, picking dead leaves off my plants, clean out a cabinet, write in my journal. I no longer want to change the world by doing this or that "big thing." I just want peace. And quiet. And mostly, to be left alone to hang out with my dogs.

(11) Anonymous, March 8, 2011 9:02 PM

If I knew I couldn't fail

I'd push myself harder to excel in math and science thus getting into a reputable university opening a lot of job opportunities for me to succeed in.I would probably land myself a job researching in a lab trying to discover a cure for cancer among other things. I have always had a fascination for science and had wished I could have had a stronger academic background in it. I'm not implying that I'm very unhappy being in the position that I'm currently in. But I wish I could have discovered my other potentials sooner than later.I've found another talent that I hope to parlay it into a career one day. I enjoy cooking and baking (that's as close I will ever come close to science).I find baking to be slightly more challenging but I'm always looking for techniques to hone my baking abilities. If there is another attribute I'd like to have is better social skills. I tend to find it daunting trying to make a conversation with people I don't know. I have not been very popular as a result. I wish I naturally knew how to talk to people and improve my interpersonal skills. It would be nice to have some close friends.

(10) Jack Israel, March 8, 2011 6:37 PM

What a provoking question.

Now, I will be up all night. I am 93 years old - you should have asked me that question when I was 15 or 20. Guranteed, my life would have been different. More than likely better and it has been a good life.

(9) Anonymous, March 8, 2011 6:26 PM

think of the effect on others; it's not just about you

Before you commit to follow that dream, consider the effect on others. Maybe you should have followed a dream when you were young, single, free of responsibility. But you didn't, and you chose another direction in life. Going back to that dream could mean destroying the lives of all those around you. I'm there right now; a husband who is trying to regain his youth, chasing after a lost dream, leaving his wife and family in shambles, running away from responsibility, thinking only of himself, and not the family he had committed to. Leaving the people who loved him devastated, changing their lifes (in the negative) while he chases his youthful dream. It's not as simple as you make it sound, Lori.

(8) Anonymous, March 8, 2011 6:07 PM

think this through

"with Gd on your side?"!!! not a wise statement. think this through, please. rudyard kipling wrote (paraphrased) don't make dreams your master or thoughts your aim. do the healthy, moral mentschlich clear priority. take wise action. and will Gd be on your side? watch out.

(7) Adam, March 8, 2011 3:59 PM

What? Bring Moshiach!

You want us to think big? Here's big: as I read long ago in a Chassidic story, I'd storm heaven and bring Moshiach today!

(6) ruth housman, March 8, 2011 2:51 PM

almost live

Almost Live could be pronounced a different way, as, almost LiIHVE. This is a beautiful statement about our lives, about the fear of failure, and what we would do, if only we could, succeed. Why not, try! In Iceland I had read that the people love to hear about failures in a life, because to them, this indicates life well lived, to have tried something, anything, that one's reach is the important part. I love this and read this in a book of essays that went around the world. As for me, I have a dream, and that is a Dream I have articulated many times, to myself, to G_d, a very personal dream and one I think many do share in these pages, and around the world. Something happened along the way, to me personally, and my impetus has been, throughout, to share this, or else why receive a gift, that is entirely about words and a massive synchronicity that follows my "daze". So yes, I believe we all have stardust in our eyes, and that anything can happen. Make it really GOOD. Dare to DREAM. Perhaps it's about More than Rainbows, and deeply about, the MORE itself, in a word, AMORE. "Your reach should exceed your grasp, or what's a heaven for?" Thank You Lori, for inspiring us all! I DO IT FOR LOVE. And no, I don't think I would change anything, except this: I would love to play an instrument, to belong to a band, and play in concert. Perhaps there are many ways of being, symphonic!

(5) David, March 8, 2011 2:49 PM

Thank you for your timely word

I am reminded of G-d, as He spoke through the prophet Jeremiah in 32:27: "Behold, I am G-d of all flesh. Is there anything too difficult for Me?" Of all the miracles I have seen in my life time, the most profound is that which occurs within one's heart. A healed heart enables the mind to see the possibilities in and through our lives--when under-girded by a living faith in G-d. Not long ago, and while praying against the Western Wall in Jerusalem, I prayed a prayer that changed me forever. I used the words spoken through the prophet Ezekiel, in 36:26, wherein G-d declares to Israel, "I will remove your heart of stone, and will give you a heart of flesh." I therefore prayed that He would remove the hard places in my heart (scar tissue--from emotional wounds), and give me a heart of flesh (the ability to feel again--where there was previously only scar tissue). His response was immediate, and as both hands were on the wall, He surged my heart with far-reaching healing Subsequently freed of self-defeating emotions, my mind was freed to believe for the impossible in my life--renewed hopes and dreams.

(4) Claire Ginsburg Goldstein, March 8, 2011 2:09 PM

If you have G-d on your side, you can't fail...love it

I have big dreams for the Jewish women and would love to see more of my dreams come true. I have been working on one dream for almost 10 years now, getting toys to children in Israel who do not have. Now, I would like to see more women bring their daughters to G-d filled places in Israel..anyone care to join me in that quest? I also would love to see more Jewish women using the mikveh...anyone would like to join me in that quest?

(3) tani, March 7, 2011 9:42 PM


very nice article. behatzlacha

(2) Sharon, March 6, 2011 8:50 PM

take on the world

Well obviously if I knew I couldn't fail, I'd save the world from evil. But when we take on a challenge we consider the investment versus the chance of success. So if I turn to all the Arab dictators and convince them to treat their people well, and to make peace with their neighbors, do you think that they will listen? It's not a question of risking embarrassment; it's a matter of probable outcomes.

(1) Harry Pearle, March 6, 2011 2:09 PM

Failure Losses May Stop Us from Trying

Thanks Lori. Perhaps the reason we don't want to try is because we sense losses from failure. In school, if we tried to answer a question and failed we might face ridicule and a poor grade or worse. In business, trying may cause the business to fail, and we may suffer great losses and humiliation. In the Megillah, Esther, approaches the King, risking her life. But she knows the the risk of not acting. Then, she fasts and she asks the people to fast. Perhaps the story of Purim can help us understand about taking risks in life. Much thanks / Harry@RochesterNY


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