Would You Want to Know Your Life Potential? (ala The Big Door Prize)

Our current lunchtime show is The Big Door Prize on Apple TV. It’s a show about a vending machine that appears out of the blue in a small town (or, rather, a town that is both very big and very small, depending on what the writers need it to be at any given time). If you sit in the machine, it dispenses a small card with–so it claims–“your life potential”.

While there is a mystery in the show about what the machine is and why/how it’s able to dispense seemingly accurate forecasts, the show focuses much more on how people might respond if they actually knew their destiny. Most people in the town use the machine and immediately act on their potential (sometimes with comedic results), and a few avoid the machine altogether.

I think I would most likely fall into the latter category. If a fortune-teller reveals your future, the knowledge can end up impacting your decisions, steering you towards that future (or away from it).

At the same time, I think it’s human nature to wonder about our potential. There are so many paths to take–sports, hobbies, jobs, relationships–that we can’t possibly try them all. What if you could know from a very young age that you would be an amazing swimmer if you tried it, or a champion-level poker player, or an accounting whiz? The process of figuring out what I’m good at and what I enjoy is important, but I can see the appeal of instantly knowing if I just happen to be naturally equipped for anything specific.

Do you think you’d put a few quarters in the machine to learn your life potential? Or would you prefer to proceed without that knowledge?

5 thoughts on “Would You Want to Know Your Life Potential? (ala The Big Door Prize)”

  1. This idea reminds me of The Machine of Death (https://machineofdeath.net/about), which was a thought-provoking concept about a machine that would give you a (vague) indication of how you’d die.
    Two collections of short stories were written about it, some were very funny, and some were quite poignant.

    (Haven’t seen this show, as I don’t have Apple TV )

    • (Hit send before I was done 🙂 )

      I think the concept is a fascinating one, but also leads to dealing with the idea of how much being told about your potential impacts it (as you mentioned). Have they established whether the machine is accurate, as that would change things considerably, I’d expect!

    • Thanks for sharing this book! I like the concept. The show hasn’t revealed if the machine is accurate (and I’m not sure it will, as many people are doing what the machine suggests, so its predicts become accurate simply by existing).


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