Saturday, July 11, 2009

The will to fail

The will to fail is a brute of a thing. Snapping and
snarling, it still has the power to back me into a
corner. You tell yourself you want to succeed, and
of course you do, you press on towards your goal,
but there’s a perversity that shapes our ends,
something that wants to sabotage our nobler attempts
to leave some kind of mark on the cave wall. The
nearer the goal, the more the feet begin to drag, as
they naturally would do if a rottweiler had its teeth
sunk into your shin. Doris Lessing, I seem to recall,
once called it the self-hater. Actually, it’s probably our
old mate death, which comes into the world with us
and is never far away thereafter, making its pitch for
oblivion. So impatient.

1 comment:

Mary McCallum said...

In sport, don't they call it 'choking', Denis? Interesting thought that the will to fail is death snapping at our heels saying 'it's all worth nothing in the end anyway so why try?' I think it varies from person to person, really,and the size of an individual's self-worth is the main contributor to this - and there are those grandiose creatures for whom 'failure is not an option'....