Mitigating Fear

There’s a razor thin line between fear and safe.

In fact, making decisions out of fear can sometimes look like making decisions out of concern for safety and risk. And even worse: sometimes we can disguise one from the other with ourselves.

You make the call to not move across the country. But was it because of fear or because you’re playing it safe?

It depends on what’s driving you.

Fear might give you a hundred reasons why you shouldn’t.

Safety might give you an additional hundred ways things can go wrong.

Safe actions get you safe results. Usually.

But worst case scenarios can be planned or in advanced.

If fear is the only thing holding you back, then it’s time for a bold action.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

Daily Blog #511

IG: @Renaissance.Life

Josh Waggoner
Wit & Will

I’ve been re-watching the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies recently. I started with the first Iron Man and now just wrapped up The Avengers Age of Ultron

I needed some comfort food (the best top notch million+ $ kind) in a troubling time in my life. I guess you could say I need some heroics in my life right now.

One thing that holds true with Marvel hero’s — and hero’s in general — is there will. The kind of will that get’s you up off the ground no matter how hard you were punched or kicked in the face. Will. And the willingness to fight for what you believe is right. And wit. A lot of wit.

The ability to joke on the worst days, and pick yourself up (or pick others up / or allow yourself to get picked up by a helping hand), and to help when all odds are against you, and all you have left is your friends and your wit. Now that’s heroic.

Every day won’t be happy. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be. Happiness is willed into your life from the inside.

And hard work is what wills our ideas and dreams into reality.

Sometimes we get beaten down.

But beaten down doesn’t mean lost.

There’s always away.

We just need to stand up and keep fighting for it.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

Daily Blog #510

IG: @Renaissance.Life

Josh Waggoner
Turn on Happiness

Of course it hurts, that’s why it’s called suffering.

However, pain isn’t finality. It ebbs and flows — here one day gone the next.

Bad day’s are just that — a bad day.

Don’t let suffering drown out your happiness.

Happiness is a skill, just like anything else, that needs to be cultivated.

Happiness is being in a cage yet totally free.

Whatever your cage is, whatever is holding you back, it and happiness are not mutually exclusive. They can coexist. Even if everything sucks around you, you can still turn on your happiness.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

Daily Blog #509

IG: @Renaissance.Life

Josh Waggoner

I’ve got a T-shirt that says “100% Human”.

It’s a silly shirt, that gets silly replies like “100%! I don’t believe it” or “I’m 90% percent human, 10% robot” or “ I’m 100% sparkling water“.

... Alright that last one I made up.

If I were to think about it and take it literally, I am 100% human. We all are.

At the end of the day, despite any negative setbacks or poor decisions or good decisions that end up badly, still human.

The limitation are the same. But the capacity to grow and change and connect and help and stand up and do better the next round is what human means.

Our challenges are our strengths.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

Daily Blog #508

IG: @Renaissance.Life

Josh Waggoner
Something Bold

Intuition is a little like the game of darts. You might not be 100% right — in fact your aim could be completely off — but if your gut is telling you something, you’re probably close to hitting the bullseye.

There’s nothing worse than having a gut moment of intuition / instinct, not following it, and ending up it being true.

Well some things are worse. Like allergies.

But that feeling of knowing you should do something — usually something BOLD — but don’t out of fear or sympathy or not wanting to be wrong is certainly not my favorite emotion.

As you are reading this, think about your own intuitive situations.

Intuition comes from life and our experiences. It’s not something most of us grasp or even think about normally, but it’s something we all feel a taste of sooner or later. From my observations, I’d say that intuition is part nurture, part character. It’s voice is determined by who we’ve been and who we want to be. It can get out of whack sometimes, and it’s always good to check in with yourself, but more often than not its leading you where you want to be pulled. I don’t know for sure. For all I know we are born with it. Whatever the case, what we do with it is the more practical thing. Will you ignore it, or use it?

Feeling your gut is learned through listening for it’s pull.

Following your gut is learned by each bold step towards it we take a chance on.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

Daily Blog #507

IG: @Renaissance.Life

Josh Waggoner
Rube Goldberg Solutions

What action or series of actions can you do that cascades into a desired result?

Think about it like trying to skip a rock on a pond. You need to find just the right type of rock and throw it at just the right angle and WHOOOSH skip skip skip away it goes. Skipping rocks, knocking down dominoes, creating rube goldbergian contraptions, a snowball rolling down the mountain... whatever example that sticks with you.

What are the small things you can do that create the big outcomes you want?

Going to bed early => more rest and energy => greater resilience to stress => more creativity => healthily mindset => better sleep => even more rest and energy....

What is a big problem you can do that solves a whole bunch of little problems automatically by their relationship to the real issue?

Fix your health => smart and deeper work + better relationships + better outlook on life..

Or looked at the opposite: what are the small things, the small bad habits or decisions that are causing me the most harm and taking me in a direction I don’t want to go?

Find the first action. Make the change.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

Daily Blog #506

IG: @Renaissance.Life

Josh Waggoner
It’s time for a different playbook

Bitterness is like ink overrunning on a sheet of paper. It stains everything: your hands, the paper and everything it touches.

The problem is — to take this analogy to the extreme — the ink is invisible.

Bitterness hits us and builds before we even know what it is. Outwardly, it can be confused as anger, or resentment or passive aggressive or reckless. But usually its unseen and harms the giver more than the receiver.

Bitterness happens when things don’t go in our favor. The fault can, and usually is, completely out of our control. Yet we are the ones that still feel let down by events and life and bite the bitter fruit.

Bitterness is cured by resilience. We need to be able to adapt to misfortune and find the sweet / opportunity in any bittersweet moment. Things happen. How we think about these things and what we decide to do with them is how we win.

When you do your best and nothing goes right, its not you — it’s your playbook. Find more information. Seek wisdom and counsel. Learn to have compassion for yourself, even when you feel like doing the opposite.

When in doubt, throw out your playbook, start from scratch or find a better one.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

Daily Blog #505

IG: @Renaissance.Life

Josh Waggoner
Having Influence Over Yourself

There’s very little of our lives that are set in stone.

Birth and death.

But our time here, the living in-between those two bookends is ours.

Things happen to us, things happen at us, things happen because of us, and — of course — things happen regardless, without our input.

There’s only so much we can change with things that happen to us. We can change our inputs. We can change what and who we surround ourselves. A large part of the things that happen to us is determined by where we live and what we do for work.

The things that happen after the things that happen to us, on the other hand, we can change. Our reaction might be just as important as our actions.

Others have said this better than I:

“It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.”Epictetus

“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”Charles R. Swindoll

“How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.”Wayne Dyer

And related: “It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.”Hans Selye

We are not the sum of what happens to us, but we become the sum of how we act with what we are given.

Some unfortunately don’t see that in time and crash and burn.

Others learn that (usually the hard way) and become better for it.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

Daily Blog #504

IG: @Renaissance.Life

Josh Waggoner
Worry worry...

You’ll never no if you don’t try…

And if you don’t try, you’ll definitely get a no.

Sometimes, it’s worth going for it.

Other times, it’s worth waiting until an opportunity presents itself. But you still have to be ready when the moment comes.

There’s nothing worse than looking past an opportunity that you didn’t take because, for whatever reason, you feel like you weren’t ready (worthy / able / enough) in the moment.

I don’t worry about dying, I worry about not living.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

Daily Blog #503

IG: @Renaissance.Life

Josh Waggoner
Pursue your Bliss

Pursuit is a fickle thing.

Desiring something doesn’t assure you will receive it. That’s only one piece of the puzzle. Curiosity, grit and resilience (aka humble stubbornness), kindness, vision, drive, discipline, friendships, courage, and getting back up when you fear and fail.

In fact, anyone can desire to create something, but not everyone with a desire does. How many kids want to grow up to be an astronaut, yet how many reach it? The desire was beat out of them.

Of course there’s always other dreams. Always other ideas and desires we can reach for. Like they say, ‘one door opens as another closes’.

Pursuing something is meaningful, but don’t think it will be easy. But just because something is difficult doesn’t mean we shouldn’t go for it. If you can’t stand waking up and not seeing your ideas reality, then by all means, give it everything you’ve got. But remember on the hard days, the fun of creating can also be challenging and that the challenge is part of the fun. (Even if it sucks.)

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

Daily Blog #502

IG: @Renaissance.Life

Josh Waggoner
To Catch a Wave

Newsletters, blogging, twitter, vlogging, podcasting, instagram live….

The medium is different, but the idea is the same: to share your voice and stories and to connect with others.

To resonate with others, you must resonate with yourself. Resonance is knowing who you are and also seeking who you are.

There are a lot of voices out there, and sometimes I feel like a pebble in the grand canyon. But that doesn’t mean I should stop. There are plenty of waves to go around.

It’s just a matter of finding that sweet spot between practice, discipline, endurance and luck.

And the luckiest seem to be the once that keep standing up after getting knocked down.

Sometimes the best way to catch a wave is not at all. Instead, help others catch their own wave.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

Daily Blog #501

IG: @Renaissance.Life

Josh Waggoner

Another day finished.

Another daily blog completed.

Not as important as yesterdays, nor tomorrows. Because each day is equally important.

Today matters.

Because todays checkmark on the list means something. Even the crappy ones.

Consistency, progress, and growth matter. The good adds up.

We are always changing towards something.

Make your something meaningful.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

Daily Blog #500

IG: @Renaissance.Life

Josh Waggoner
The Things about Unhealthy Habits...

Unhealthy habits are usually masking a greater issue underneath the surface. They are a way to cope with something we dislike — such as pain, failure, boredom, unfulfillment, money problems — with something that gives us immediate pleasure — taste, numbing, excitement, distraction, escape.

The problem isn’t really the unhealthy habit of eating a whole box of cookies multiple times a week, or smoking, or drugs, or buying anything you want. The problem is what’s missing from your life. Sure, eating a whole box of cookies each night isn’t going to do you any favors, nor bring you your life back, but it’s not what’s bothering you — what’s bothering you is your life.

We need to focus on improving the big things that are bothering us, our friendships, our job, our relationship, our passion, our finances *first.*

In fact, we just need to focus on one. One thing that will lead to the next, then the next. Then the little unhealthy habits are not needed anymore.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

Daily Blog #499

IG: @Renaissance.Life

Josh Waggoner

Everything doesn’t always go right.

In fact most of the time it doesn’t.

Because right is only perception.

And right is a fixed moment in time, a period (.) at the end of a sentence.

We don’t know what’s coming after wrong. A moment of failure could be the greatest thing to ever happen to us... because it changes the course of our lives. Failure stings, but not hopelessly. Failure, pain, loss... negative things can either be our master or we can be there’s.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner.

Daily Blog #498

IG: @Renaissance.Life

Josh Waggoner
Inspiration & Desire

Where does desire come from?

What makes me want to write a novel, or start a company?

What drives someone to start a book club, or become a parent, or choose sailing as their career?

Nature? Nurture? Is it in the water?

From birth, we are inspired by what we experience. Not all of what we experience is our choice, but what we do with that experience is. We are inspired by those we are around — happenstances or choice. We are inspired by the invisible wheels of culture and systems we live in. We are inspired by what we say yes and no to. Inspiration is powerful.

Which means, something things we desire might not be our own, which is scary and difficult to navigate. Insecurities masking confidence masking pain masking truth. Not to say all of what we are inspired by is false, we felt something by the words of encouragement, or the act of boldness we experienced. Inspirations can lead us to wonderful places. Desire for desire sake is what we want to avoid.

To be honest, this idea is too much for me to handle it. It’s like having an idea for a piece of furniture but not having the tools nor the skills of how to make it. I don’t know how to talk and think about these things right now, at least not yet. I do know we should be open to exploring why we do what we do and whether or not we actually want to, despite what our feet tell us.

I think some call this intuition or instinct. A bubbly warm pull in your stomach or head telling you what to do or not to do. I’m still finding mine.

Examine your desires. Examine your actions. Figure out what you really want, not just what you say you want.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner.

Daily Blog #497

IG: @Renaissance.Life

Josh Waggoner
Unhealthy Habits: part 2

The unhealthiest habits are the ones you don’t know you are doing (or worse — you think they are good for you).

I like to picture habits weighted on a balance scale. How do my good habits outweigh my bad habits? And more specifically, how does each individual habit’s value outweigh its disvalue?

My rule of thumb is to start by focusing on adding good habits first, instead of trying to remove or restrict yourself from bad habits.

The moment I tell myself I can no longer have any cookies, I have an immediate desire to go find and or eat all the cookies. But if I allow myself to have cookies (and also minimize them by avoiding being in arms reach of them) and instead focus on adding in veggies and whole foods from a variety of colors (greens, reds, purples etc), my good habits are outweighing the bad ones.

Just like habits are routines that we build over time (whether we know it or not), we need to see how tiny little things we do in a day add up to something significant — for better or worse. A random walk in the park that leads to a daily habit of walking, or how actually smiling at people lead to a better mood all around and eventually lands you a job somewhere you didn’t expect. And of course, the dreadful side of bad habits, like a box of cookies a day that leads you panting up a flight of stairs, or a little complaining that compounds into complaining as your job description.

The point is to change your mind about what a bad habit really means and what it does to your life.

But what about those pesky, unknown unhealthy habits that are slowing stifling our creativity and ruining our lives?

We need to track them. We need to keep track of what we are doing, and how we feel about what we are doing so that, over time, we can see what we are missing on the day to day basis, and course correct when we lead ourselves to gloomy, sorry places.

It’s hard to know what you don’t know. That’s why we need to begin to explore and paint a picture of what our habits — and ultimately, life we are living — are telling us.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

Daily Blog #496

IG: @Renaissance.Life

Josh Waggoner
Unhealthy Habits

Everything we do has the potential to be beneficial or detrimental to our lives. It’s weird to think about life in these systemic terms, but it’s true.

A pancake isn’t going to kill you.

A pancake a day for 10 years will… eventually.

That’s the tricky bit: *eventually*.

Habits, good or bad, are felt in the long term, not in the day to day. It’s the slow, boring, sometimes daunting accumulation of good habits that make all the difference in our lives.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

Daily Blog #495

IG: @Renaissance.Life

Josh Waggoner
Free Time

If you had nothing to do, what would you do?

Would you read a book? Take a nap?

Explore your part of the world?

Leisure days can tell us a lot about who we are and what you need and what you like. Weekends usually don’t count, however. Weekends tend to be rest up / veg out / party through working too much and not fueling your body with good things. No, it needs to be out of the ordinary. A day of travel, an unexpected day off. A chance encounter of isolation or companionship.

We hide so much in our ‘go go go’ lifestyles. We hide how our body feels (tired, restless, angry, anxious). We hide what we really like to do. (Well, I don’t love doing it but at least it has great benefits. I used to play basketball but I haven’t in years.) We hide our dreams. We hide all the hidden things we don’t even realize we are hiding. Some of it will be fear and things holding you back. For me, I’d rather know about those and then create a plan for them, versus not knowing about them and letting them control my life.

But when we have a moment of pause, if you listen for it, it all comes rushing in. You already know what you need, what you like (or at least think you would like to try). It’s easy to ignore it.

But if you listen for a moment, it’s impossible to ignore.

You know something is off.

You know something needs to change.

Find some free time.

Figure out what you need.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

Daily Blog #494

IG: @Renaissance.Life

Josh Waggoner
Ask it

The knowledge is out there, you just have to find it.

There are so many incredibly smart and insightful people out there in the world.

Seeking advice is part of the process. We learn from what others learn, and impart and teach what we learn ourselves. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

Daily Blog #493

IG: @Renaissance.Life

Josh Waggoner
Finding Intuition

I hear the advice “follow your intuition” or “follow your gut” a lot and have seen the power intuition can have on your life.

In hindsight it’s easy to see when your instincts were shouting out the truth but you were to in the thick of things to hear it.

In order to follow your intuition, you actually need to be able to hear it in the moment when it’s speaking to you.

First comes listening.

In order to follow our intuition we first need to actually be able to hear it. It’s hard to follow great advice if you don’t know it’s there.

Find your intuition by pausing. Take a moment before immediately jumping into the next thing. I find journaling and writing everything you know Down helps. Ask yourself, ‘What’s the driver behind this? Is fear leading me or is my intuition and experience?’

Or find your intuition by speeding up.

When your brain gets in the way of your intuition, do the opposite of pausing and speed up your decisions to the point you don’t have the time to listen to anything other than your gut instinct. Make enough bad moves this way and you’ll quickly sort out when fear is talking to you or when intuition is.

Stay Bold, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

Daily Blog #492

IG: @Renaissance.Life

Josh Waggoner