Living your Dreams & the Value of Failure


I wanted to speak to the topic of “the value of failure” for a minute. I tell people that “I’ve learned more in each of my business failures, than I have in all my 25 year career combined” (well I tell some people, something similar anyway)

The fact is, when we become stuck “in a rut” becoming “comfortable” we rarely change…. And definitely not for the better. We may have minor advances and improvements…. But I bet you, like me, you probably fall right back into the same old, bad habits, the same procrastination, the same laziness, the same fighting with your spouse, the same forgetting to pray or meditate each morning or whatever it is in your life, within just a few days… What does all this have to do with “the value of failure”? You may be asking…. Well

To me, FEAR and ACTION go hand in hand… If your too afraid to lift yourself out of that “comfortable rut” your in and take on real challenges in life, if that comfortable armchair Lazyboy keeps calling you back because it’s “easy” then you will never change or attempt to live your dreams or follow your passion (I mean really attempt some significant changes in your life, the kind where you actually RISK something you hold precious). I’m not referring to what we all do, those half-hearted attempts to stop the whining spouse, or son or daughter or parent(s) or ease our own guilty feelings of failure… THOSE WILL ALWAYS FAIL!

Unless we do it for ourselves and commit EVERYTHING to its success or failure, we’ve not truly made a valid attempt at taking action to change our lives for the better friends… Many people will argue this point and try to say you don’t have to go that far…but I have always been of the belief that:

#1 If your going to do something, DO IT RIGHT
#2 Always give 100% to everything you do (not only do you deserve nothing but the best from yourself, but if it’s a paying gig, whoever is paying you deserves nothing else)

I’m not talking about those half-hearted things you call “attempts”… I’m also not talking about the 99% of dreamers who, never stop dreaming long enough to be doers…. I read a phrase the other day that said something like “Everyone has great ideas, it’s the 1% who take action on their idea that makes the real difference” To take their dreams to fruition. To my mind it’s ALL about FEAR. I’m talking about mortgaging your home to achieve your dreams, or selling everything you own and ending up in the streets kind of commitment here folks… I’m NOT JOKING, it’s happened to myself and many others and not just in the present, many great people of history never had a dime to their name and many ended up dying poor and never received their recognition till years after they were no longer even here! BUT THEY BELIEVED in their dreams enough to FACE THEIR FEAR and “move beyond it” as I have heard many people in combat say… By recognizing the fear, but not allowing it to control your actions or life.

A friend of mine told me recently “I can’t do it, I’m giving up….” then after he had been talked into sticking it out… The miracle finally happened the next day…. I believe God (whatever you call him) wants us to give everything we have, and then, when we’ve exhausted everything and are on the very edge of collapse or walking away or perhaps we just quit… typically that exact moment, when the end is so close we can smell it and we are reduced to tears… That’s when God steps in, at that ultimate last moment, when we have exhausted ourselves trying to do it with our own power and says “here it is…see how easy it was?” I  am one the ones who seriously believe that God has an AWESOME SENSE OF HUMOR because the fact is, it has happened to me so many times in my life it’s almost an old friend!  ☺

My round about point is this…LIFE IS AND SHOULD BE LOOKED AT AS A CONSTANT LEARNING EXPERIENCE AND ADVENTURE FOR BETTERING OURSELVES…. What can we learn sitting in front of the “boob tube” with a remote, glass of sugar water and a donut?

When people are afraid of doing something, I always ask them, just as I ask myself when facing my own fears “What’s the worst that could happen?”

Now sometimes it’s as simple and harmless as “you may get no for an answer” and yet you can’t imagine how scary that is to some people, (and we should respect that it’s a real fear for them, it may seem a harmless “no” to you and I, but we’re not here to judge others, but to help them), however other times it may be as substantial as “I may die” or “I  may lose my home” or “lose my car” but the bottom line is, NOTHING TOO BAD WILL EVER HAPPEN as “Death” has no power over those who believe in an after life (for you who have not found something or someone “greater than yourself” I encourage you to start or keep seeking because otherwise if we are the most intelligent creatures here, THAT WOULD TRULY BE SOMETHING TO BE SCARED OF),the death of the flesh or our bodies is not a “bad” thing or anything to be afraid of… And as for the rest, they are just “things” and can easily be replaced.

We came into this world Alone & Naked and will be leaving it in the same way…

You however, only have ONE LIFE TO LIVE!
I pray you won’t allow your fears to keep you from realizing your real and sometimes, deeply hidden dreams and living your passions my friends!

Jarrett Neil Ridlinghafer

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By Jarrett Neil Ridlinghafer
Founder & CEO/CTO
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