Avoiding the Will to Fail

“I must do the works of Him who sent Me while it is day. Night is coming when no one can work.”

— John 9:4

Have you ever noticed how sometimes, just on the eve of victory, someone will sabotage his own success by doing something foolish, even if it took him a while to get to that point? He subconsciously gave in to what some psychologists call “the will to failure.”

In her 1936 classic book, Wake Up & Live!, Dorothea Brande devotes a chapter to the “Will to Fail.” She talks about people who are “unconsciously…trying to fail.” She says that the people who essentially waste their lives, either explicitly or subtly, are given over to the Will to Fail. For example, she writes, “Easiest of all to recognize as lovers of failure are the heavy drinkers.”

She lists other examples of this “will to fail.” “There are the takers of eternal post-graduate courses, turning up on the campus year after year like so many Flying Dutchman.” Pursuits that basically cause us to waste our lives manifest the Will to Fail, and so she concludes: “…[If] we are not doing what we are best equipped to do, or doing well what we have undertaken as our personal contribution to the world’s work, at least by way of an earnestly followed avocation, there will be a core of unhappiness in our lives which will be more and more difficult to ignore as the years pass.”

God has given us the privilege to walk in the good works that He has prepared for us to do. Just ask Him to show what those are and then do them.

Heavenly Father, give us the strength today to do the work You have called us to do. Guide us and help us to obey You in all things…