A sense of belonging

You know, people talk a lot about vulnerability, some crap on it, some make it out to be the best thing ever, but at the end of the day, if you can’t be honest with other about what you are going through and dumb things you shouldn’t have done, then how do you ever expect you can connect with others, let alone be honest with yourself.

Pain happens. Suck happens. Dumb ideas happen. You’re ego is getting in the way of you can handle all of that yourself forever.

Share. Share the suck. To share is to belong. It’s also a better way to live.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

Josh W.

Josh Waggoner
Mono-tasking

There’s power in full focus.

Giving your full attention towards one task at a time. In a world of prize fighting multi-taskers, mono-taskers have an uncanny ability to get things done.

The same is true for multi-disciplinaries. I think it’s amazing you want to have multiple pursuits, but if you want to make meaningful headway, you must prioritize and focus all in on the task you put in front. As if only the one task you focus on is the only task on your list. Then prioritize the next task.

One turns to one turns to done.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

Josh W.

Josh Waggoner
Dumbest Person in the room

I met a variety of really smart people today.

Smart enough to make me shift my perspective of what ‘expert’ means. Each had a breath and depth of insight that could run circles around me, which I love. Being surrounded by so many smart people and ideas elevates your own. At least it does if you are willing to be the dumbest person in the room.

If you feel like you are one of the dumbest people in the room, you’re in the best place to learn and become better.

I also got a taste of what it means to narrow down your focus into one area and become a master of that domain.

These days you need both, mastery and knowledge if a multiple areas.

Which is what we are after here at The Renaissance Life.

But don’t feel like you have to follow that path. There’s always need for mono experts, mastery in a few, as well as general knowledge in everything.

Figure out which one you are most drawn to and go after it.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh W.

Josh Waggoner
Bad Choices

“Being poor is the most expensive, because you have to pay for it in bad choices”

There’s always a why behind the reasoning.

You reason that you’re doing something because you have too, or because you’re told too, or even because you automatically just fall into doing it, but is that worth the cost of living un-purposefully?

We try so so hard to make certain things happen in our lives, yet heard stop and consider why we want them to happen. Do you really want to start a business? Or do you like the idea of seeing yourself as a business owner?

Do you really want to go to school for accounting? Or are you just doing it because it pays well?

Not to suggest I’m telling you to just follow your passions. That’s a great way of going broke if you don’t have a direction. I more responding to the motivation behind the actions we take. Do we really want it, or do we just want the money to do something else? Do we really want to be famous, or just like the romantic idea of being famous?

There’s good and bad to every reason, but have a strong why behind your actions and you’ll always seem to come out on top and actually enjoy your life, even when nothing is working.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh W.

Josh Waggoner
Human-ish

Humans are naturally social beings.

We seek belonging and connection. We go through life making friends, losing friends, making new friends, looking for love, heartbroken, finding love. We surround ourselves with others like-minded trajectories in school, work, even hobbies.

However, there is such a thing as too much socializing.

Find your constantly surrounded by people with no second to call your own and you’ll never truly have a taste of who you are. Not that you have to know who you are. It’s not a requirement in life. People can live their entire lives without actually getting to know themselves. What they really like, what they really enjoy, hidden behind what others — friends, family, tribe, society, culture — that tell us what’s cool and worthy of our time.

But you’ll never really know who you are unless you get to know yourself when you’re alone.

We find who we are in stillness and space. Showers, long walks, retreats, camping trips, moments right before bed, workouts... all moments of space throughout, showing us the potential of who we are and all the creativity and desires bottled up inside.

Space is how we can learn who we want to be and do with our lives.

Connecting is how we realize that truth into the world.

We need both to to be the best human being we can offer to ourselves and the world.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh W.

Josh Waggoner
GO GO GO

What you do in the morning sets the tone for the rest of the day.

Notice how / what you do in the morning. How do you feel?

Are you rushing? Are you immediately hooking up to your social media feeds?

Or are you calm, controlled, ready.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh W.

Josh Waggoner
Default

Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should.

Choosing default options is the same as choosing nothing. There’s no say in the matter. Just life, chance.

Choice doesn’t give you more control (over things out of your control) but it does give you direction.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh W.

Josh Waggoner
testing grounds

You don’t know how good or bad you’re unless you put yourself to the test. When you are put in an environment where your stepping into things you’re uncomfortable with, you’ll probably will suck at it, but at least you can get the suck out of the way. Testing grounds should be sought out, not avoided.

Josh Waggoner
Nurture the Sparks

“Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.”Golda Meir

This quote really captures why I love small actions and daily habits so much.

The outcome isn’t made from a pie-in-the-sky ideal dream you have, although it can start there. The outcome is made up of all the tiny decisions we make each day. Tiny moments of courage. Tiny moments of following our truth instead of defaulting to others. Small actions and daily, consistent habits fan the inner sparks of possibility.

You have to believe it’s possible, and be bold enough to try, even if trying is just a tiny step in the right direction. That’s how you achieve what you want. But even more so, it’s about fanning the inner sparks you notice rather than ignore or suppress those possibilities.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh W.

Josh Waggoner
So… TechStars

Heads up: My daily blog posts might be a bit short (like this one) the next few months, because the startup I’m with, Pass It Down, just got into TechStars Austin. If you are not familiar, TechStars is a startup accelerator with programs around the world, which, if you company is accepted, provides access to collaboration and mentorship with thousands of top entrepreneurs, mentorships and investment.

I’m excited about the program and connecting with great people doing exciting and interesting things.

I’m also excited to explore Austin, this being my first time here! Topo Chico’s for days.

It’s only day 1 of the program and I’m already missing Gabriella (my girlfriend) and my family. And my dog, really missing her too.

While the program is going on, TechStars owns your calendar, and the rest of the time you’re working on your startup.

I’ll still be doing my daily blog routine, but they might be short, unreadable, gibberish of an overworked mad man, or somewhere in between. But I’ll be doing the best with what I’ve got.

Personally, space breeds ideas for me. The more space I have to think and wonder, the more ideas — including writing ideas — I have. Put me alone in a room for a couple of days, and I’ll have ideas exploding out of my ear holes.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh W.

Josh Waggoner
Don’t Force It

Forcing something to happen is a lot like heating up an empty kettle on the stove - no matter how long you heat it, it’s not going to boil water that’s not there.

Something’s can’t be forced, in fact, by wanting something so much you get the opposite effect.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh W.

Josh Waggoner
The best palate cleanser

Travel is a great way to clean the top soil of your mind and get down deep into what matters most to you.

And what doesn’t matter at all.

I think it’s part being in a new place, part being in a new mindset, which gives you a chance to look up from your life and notice how your living ... and whether or not that matches with the life you dream about living.

Old habits tend to be thrown out the door, or at the very least tested and competed with new ideas and ways of living.

The nice thing is we don’t necessarily need to go across the world to see the effects of travel. ( although traveling far, across the country for example, does increase the potency.)

All we need are places that are

Quite

Different

Unknown

Which gives us space to think about the world and how we want to fit in it.

Stay Bold, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh W.

Josh Waggoner
Quality Pays

Cheaper doesn’t pay in the long run.

Cheap is brittle, short lasting.

It’s not all bad, per se, but in the drive to cheap you have to cut off something, and that something is usually quality.

Cheap food fills you up in the short term, but wreaks havoc on your health in the long term.

Cheap talk fills the space, but doesn’t create deep relationships.

Cheap things — clothing, gadgets, furniture… — don’t last.

Cheap is good until you get a wall and wonder where on earth it came from.

Go quality on the essentials and what you love, and go cheap on what you don’t.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh W.

Josh Waggoner
Digital Reset

Our digital lives can become as cluttered as our physically spaces. How many apps, files, tabs, photos, chats, accounts do you have that are just cluttering up your hard-drive and mind?

What does digital clutter say about our lives? That we are busy, maybe too busy?

If you’re desktop looks like a war zone, maybe you’re living too fast to actually enjoy it?

I don’t know. A good question to ask yourself could be “In 5 years, will any of this busyness matter?”

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh W.

Josh Waggoner
Everything In 0.2 seconds

I’m so bad about bringing too much stuff with me. I usually have a decade worth of books, projects and entertainment with me wherever I go. Am I going to ready all three of these books I have with me (and have been meaning to read)? Maybe… Not.

Save yourself from your own insanity. one book. one task. You don’t need a backup.

Most of us are lucky enough to be a few taps away from anything we want. (Or unlucky in some cases.)

Besides, how many books (or insert your favorite medium here) have you blown throw, yet can barely remember anything about a few months later?

Do we really need our entire morning coffee kit on a weekend trip? Or a different pair of shoes for each day of our vacation? Or enough movies on our phone that outlasts the death of the sun?

Probably ;)

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh W.

Josh Waggoner
Gravity Waves

When I was younger, my cousin and I would love to get into my grandparents pool and start making a ruckus with pool floats. We would pump up and down in a inner tube, forcing the calm pool water into violent rough seas. Do it well enough and the entire pool, from the shallow end to the deep, would be rocking like deep ocean waves.

Everything you surround yourself with has a gravitational pull on your mind.

A pile of dishes, a stack of unread books, instruments, equipment, toys… — aren’t just objects in your home, they are subconscious todos. The waves are subtle too. Little wobbles in your force field, undetectable unless you’re paying attention.

People are like this too. Everyone you come into contact with has gravity waves too.

The closer you are or the more influence they have over you, the more subtle the waves. You think it would be the opposite — and sometimes it is — but it makes sense if you consider it. Who’s hard to say no too, a random person on the internet, or a friend / coworker / family member?

The tricky part is not letting any negative waves influence you or suppress who you are.

Back in the pool, one thing you notice is that even in the strongest waves can be overcome, by an equally strong force, or better yet — by realizing you can always get out of the pool.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

Josh Waggoner
Projects out the ears

Excellence is in doing, more specifically it is in finishing. Having a butt-tillion projects in progress is having a butt-tillion projects with no progress. Nothing gets done when everything needs to be done.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh W.

Josh Waggoner
Millions of Ideas

Spinning multiple plates is a great in the beginning.

You spin up one plate, then another, and another. Hey, this is easy.

The hard part is realize now you have to keep them all spinning. You jump from one, to the other to the other, aimlessly just trying to keep it all going.

Starting ideas is a wonderful feeling, keeping them spinning is the difficult part. Too many and all you have left is a pile of broken idea without enough guidance to make them magic.

But what if we started with one? What if we narrowed into one idea first, and focused the most of our energy there? Would we be able to balance it enough to where it spins on it’s own?

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh W.

Josh Waggoner
A New Story

When it comes to ourselves, we can be so degrading. We tell ourselves we’re never good enough, we can criticize every single we do, even think. But would you ever talk to someone you care about as harshly as you talk to yourself?

In some form or fashion, you are where you are in life by where you’re level of thinking lies. If you think you’re fat and unhealthy, or can’t ever be healthy Ike you were when you were younger, then you’ve already lost in your mind. And by listening to those negative thoughts, you start to believe it, and then act out those things in life, which reinforces the reality you’ve spun in your head, further solidify that they are true. ‘See, you can’t even go one day without eating desserts, you’re hopeless.’ ...

BS.

Our mind is our first line of defense, our first line of action. Critical thinking creates weak action. Practice and improve your ability to recognize negative self talk in the moment, and reframe the narrative looping in your head.

You’re as confident or courageous or strong or wise or wealthy as you think you are.

Don’t let your thoughts control you. Tell a different story.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh W.

Josh Waggoner