If you do all that you can.

If you try your best.

If you really stretch yourself, but still don’t quite get the reward that you are looking for, you get a consolation prize.

You can sleep at night knowing that you gave yourself a chance.

You can learn from the experience.

But if you don’t try.

If you make no effort at all.

There is no consolation prize.

Just regret.

Soul-sapping, brain-gnawing regret.