In Case Of Failure

‘Those with “something to fall back on” invariably fall back on it. They intended to all along. That is why they provided themselves with it. But those with no alternative see the world differently.’ – David Mamet

Today’s visit to the city of books led me to Herzog on Herzog, a collection of interviews with Werner Herzog, acclaimed German filmmaker who recently filmed a 3D documentary called Cave of Forgotten Dreams. When deciding to buy a book or not, I typically read the introduction hoping to be intrigued with some jewel of wisdom, and Herzog on Herzog blessed me with the quote above. Something or someone was speaking to me in this quote. I didn’t know what, but I knew that this book was going to speak to me at some artistic or personal level. Yet another book was purchased to live in the stack of books next to the full bookshelves.

So, what is it about the quote that speaks to me? It is a powerful statement of the transcendence of vision beyond mere success or failure. It is placing a purpose or meaning for life above simply making it, surviving or even thriving. It is making sure that the very things that I set out to do are not mere flirtations with what could be, but worth giving all that I have so that they will be.

The quote is asking me a very simple question: Do you have something to fall back on?

Part of me doesn’t think that I do, but then there is the doubting Thomas within that says that maybe I should give up and get a “real job.” Then I remember why I do what I do. It’s not just about the work, but how the work impacts others. That is why there is no fall back plan. I may change directions, but the vision remains the same.

What is your fall back plan or are you stubborn like me?

Let’s change the world by not changing our minds when the wind blows against our very existence.