What's Your Failure Threshold?

Safe dial - Leo Reynolds - Flickr

If you’re big into self help and personal development, you’ve probably heard the story of Thomas Edison and his famous 1,000-10,000 failed experiments on the way to inventing the light bulb. Clearly, it takes guts and determination to stay relentless in the pursuit of ones vision.

You’ve probably also heard the following adage: the definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. The point usually being made is that you’ve reached a dead end and must change course. This also takes guts because one may need to abandon the vision altogether.

Things I Once Believed

Santa Mug Shot - kevindooley - flickr

“Who’s your daddy?” While often used as a schoolyard taunt, it’s actually legitimate question of illegitimacy. After all, a university study concluded that up to 1 in 25 fathers are unknowingly raising another man’s child.

I love my mom, but my world flipped upside down when I learned my dad was one of those 4%. It was even more bizarre because I was good friends with my half-sister and half-brother and saw my biological dad on a regular basis. I was too blind, too naive, and too trusting to ever think anything different.


Image of a wrecked home - joeldinda - flickr


  • [with obj.] fail to fulfill or undertake (a responsibility or duty).
  • without obj. to renounce or relinquish a throne, right, power, claim, responsibility, or the like, especially in a formal manner.
  • to cast off

Life can be scary. And as a result of fear, we sometimes cling to those who offer some (real or imaginary) hope of solving our problems. This is not to say that we cannot work with or depend on others. That can be a very healthy way to achieve a goal. But it’s not healthy to knowingly place ALL the responsibility of the big decisions onto others.

The Copycat Conundrum

Snowflake photo by CaptPiper

Each snowflake is structurally unique. And yet, they all have 6 sides and the same exact name—snowflake!

In high school, we’re told that copying is bad, illegal, and YOU’LL FAIL! Then we create a standardized test and tell 30,000+ students across the state to write a 4 paragraph essay on the exact same topic. Statistically speaking, I’m shocked there are no exact duplicates.

How's My Writing?

Rick at the typewriter when he was young

One of my 2011 goals is to further develop my writing and communication skills. So how am I doing? Any feedback you can give would be much appreciated.


PS. I believe I'm in the 1-2 year old age range in this photo. I guess it was never to early to start a goal!

Writer's Block: Saving the Best for When You're Famous

Hollywood Walk of Fame Star - jtfmulder - Flickr

How many of you faced this dilemma: You have this amazing idea for a blog post, article, book, etc, but you currently don’t have enough traffic or a large enough following to get any mileage out of it. Do you punt it until the unknown future? Or do you publish it now and suffer the emotional heartbreak of no one caring enough to stop on by and see your work?

Congratulations, you’re facing facet of writer’s block.

If You Made It Free, Would Anybody Care?

Free hugs campaign

The allure of making money online is a powerful one. I’ll admit that I got caught in the entire eBay marketing hype a few years back because I wanted to get rich quick. And so naturally I lost some money in the process. I was beckoned by the simple dream, the simple meme: if you build it, they will come.

And so many build, and few show up, much to the dismay of the would-be internet millionaires.

How I Lost My Fingerprints

Stalks of corn - flickr - John Lillis

Discovering I had no fingerprints startled me. I actually felt my head jerk in the same way my body shakes awake when I fall in a dream. I was washing my hands (like usual) and I noticed that my hands and fingers were slipping past each other with zero friction between them. Was it a different type of soap? No, because even when I dried them, I could rub the pads of my fingers together with almost no resistance. All the ridges that you normally can see with your eyes had been smoothed away.

I was confused. How did this happen? Would-be crooks, pay attention! Rick’s secret to fingerprint-free fingers is about to be revealed.

What if It's All Junk?

Stack of papers - flickr - ant.photos

I face this fear almost every time I write. What if it’s all junk? What if nobody likes it? The list goes on.

But why do we not ask the opposite? What if it’s great? What if it really connects with a reader in a big way? What if it permanently shifts their perspective on life forever? And all from a single post, how amazing!