The Need to be Challenged

challenge inspiration john dessauer Mar 16, 2022

Posted on March 16, 2022 by Jordan Dessauer

Most of you have read my blog Ignorance: The Factory of Fear, in it I talk about the Journalist Juan Williams and the situation he was in earlier this fall with National Public Radio. Also in it, I talk about a personal journey to explode fear through knowledge. From Juan’s story, I took on a personal challenge to go to a service for all the five major religions to gain knowledge about the unknown. I wanted to challenge myself in a way that would give me a better understanding of the world religions.

I got inspiration to a proactive approach to self challenge by the show on MTV, The Buried Life. If you have ever watched the show, you know its about doing 1000 things before you die. The group has compiled the list of 1000 things they want to do before they die and each episode is about crossing off one of those things. At the same time, they help a stranger do something they want to do before they die. The show is done quite well. I took that idea and decided to implement an ongoing approach to self challenge.

Regarding my religion challenge, I have done three of the five and am having a wonderful time. The final two are scheduled to happen this month. (I will be writing a blog about my experience with that.) Anyway, it got me thinking. Very few times in life, do we challenge ourselves continuously. In thinking about my religion challenge, I have journalized the fear, excitement, knowledge and experience from each visit.

Then, from that journal, I think about the value I get from it. It is not only entertaining, but amusing. I think about how much was that worth in value? I can’t tell you how inspirational this has been for me. It also has taught me the importance of challenging oneself. It is creating a wealth for me that is intangible. Let me focus more on how important that is for people personally and in business.


For my third book, The Twist, I am writing a chapter about the fall of ancient Rome. In my research, I found out that the first indication of the fall of an empire is an increased amount of entertainment desired by the people. Entertainment that is paid for by the wealth and riches of the empire. In other words, they pay for it rather than creating it themselves. People are no longer amused with their own life(even though that was the very thing responsible for creating the empire) and look for external ways to be entertained and amused.

If you look up the meaning of the word amuse you will find that it means “without inspiration.” I think about where we are today as a society (or an empire) and I have to ask the question, “Are we self inspiring? “ Unfortunately, I would have to say “no.” We look to external sources of entertainment. That’s one of the reasons that I think the “Housewives” series and reality TV in are so popular(ironic, I got the idea to do this from a reality TV show!).

Challenging ourselves serves as entertainment, amusement and inspiration. Something the human spirit thrives on. We currently have a dumbing down effect on our brains by looking to external sources(cell phones, computers, TV’s). By looking at the lives of the people on reality TV, we miss out on the challenge of changing our own lives to become we were destined to be. It may just be the piece of the puzzle that is missing from your life.

By challenging ourselves I also have found that it serves another purpose. It solidifies relationships. My wife, Heather has joined me in my quest of the five religions and we are having a great time discussing how we felt and what we learned by going to each service. It is definitely different from the same old routine that we all get accustomed to.

We have also together been going through our challenge of life simplification and minimalization. It has been another way we have worked through a common struggle to achieve non-monitory wealth. The challenging of ourselves often involves things that require very little or even no money.

Our next challenge? We are going the whole month of January living the vegetarian lifestyle. We have already started our research and are excited to start the journey. Who knows… I may even lose a couple of pounds in the process.


I see this process helping in business too. I have created business’ basically for the past ten years. It has been something that I have quite enjoyed. Being an entrepreneur is a challenge in its self. I am currently starting two new business’. (I forgot how much work and effort that it takes to get everything set up). However, I have already started to see the fruits of my labor.

In this economy, I think we need the challenge in business to be able to adapt to changes we face. Changes such as lower business volumes, lack or limited bank lending, etc.. If your not challenging yourself in your own business or the business that you work for, then you must make a dramatic change. Please note, that challenge is a word closely related to change. If you want change in your business, challenge yourself.

One challenge could be starting a peer group of your competitors. Or you could challenge yourself to take a marketing or finance class to make yourself and your company more well-rounded. You could take on an extra project for your boss. The extra effort may separate yourself from your other co-workers. Letting the higher-ups know that they can really depend on you to take on tough tasks.

Challenges are different from solving the problems or issues that you already have. Challenging yourself or your business means adding a new task or effort that will bring you to a new level of three things. Experience, knowledge and enjoyment. For the individual and business it means growth.

Without growth, we die. Dealing with things that are unknown expand our mind. When we grow, we are better equipped to handle future challenges that come up. We also have wonderful stories that we can pass down from generation to generation. Growth is one of the ways in which we should measure wealth. How much you have grown is in direct correlation to how much you challenge yourself or your business.

“Remember, wealth has nothing to do with money, success has everything to do with failure, and life is as simple as you want to make it!”– John Dessauer

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