Nature and Nerve

“Like musicians, like mathematicians — like elite athletes — scientists peak early and dwindle fast. It isn’t creativity that fades, but stamina: science is an endurance sport. To produce that single illuminating experiment, a thousand non illuminating experiments have to be sent into the trash; it is battle between nature and nerve.” — Siddhartha Mukherjee, The Gene: an Intimate History

“Grit, in a word, is stamina. But it’s not just stamina in your effort. It’s also stamina in your interests. If you are working on different things but all of them very hard, you’re not really going to get anywhere. You’ll never become an expert.” — Angela Duckworth

Are you in it for the long-term, or are you just doing it because you have to?

You are going to fail. You are going to have crappy days.

You’ll be tired, grumpy, lonely and sad sometimes too.

But if you are pursuing something hard yet something you love doing, you’ll find strength you need on the hard days to keep going.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh W.

Daily Blog #484

IG: @Renaissance.Life

Josh Waggoner
Going Through The Motions

Why do we do the things we do?

Why do you say yes or no?

Why do we say nothing?

Sometimes I catch myself just going through the motions of my normal.

Get up, morning routine, go to work, go home.

Like cranking a wheel, routine and rut are the same motion - one just gets you where you want to go and the other gets you nowhere.

It’s good to pause as much as you can do and make sure your habits and your decisions are pointing you in the right direction at least. It’s also good to spice things up and turn things on its head every once in a while to dust off the cobwebs and see if the routine is still helping you.

It’s hard to notice your going in circles unless you stop, slow down and notice what you are doing and why.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

Daily Blog #483

IG: @Renaissance.Life

Josh Waggoner
Champion of ideas

Theses aren’t really my ideas.

Not to say that I am borrowing someone else’s ideas. I’m just a champion for ideas. A bowl of chili of my own life experiences. A passage in a book that sparks something within. A speech or conversation that makes me think. And all the other people and things in my life I surrounded myself with.

Ideas can light up the world.

But they don’t just come to you. Well, that’s not true. They do, but they are slippery. Having a great idea is kind of like catching a fish with your bare hands. Even if you manage to nab one, you still have to cook it. (I’ve mentioned food twice now, I must be hungry😋 🍪 )

To be a champion of ideas you have to be a seeker of ideas.

Open to new experience, willing to change and apply what you understand.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh W.

Josh Waggoner
Unnecessary Pressures

“It can be strangely tricky for us to identify what kinds of tasks actually are hard — and therefore need to be approached with a lot of respect. A child learning to play the violin might get very worked up because they felt they were not making any progress — after twenty minutes. Failing to internalize that a challenge is going to be arduous is at the root of so many of our troubles.”

Calm, page 26, by The School of LifeAlain de Botton 

I have a strong hunch that the more serious we become about something, the less creative we also become. ‘Serious’ might not be the exact word I’m looking for. Forceful, perhaps. Dependent. The desire of wanting something to happen so badly we unintentionally create the opposite outcome.

‘My blog posts have sucked the last couple weeks.’

That was the first line of yesterday’s blog. On the surface, it’s true. My recent posts have been mediocre. Solid ideas; Poor Execution. But underneath the surface, my post reeks of desperation. The desperation to be a great writer. The desperation to do something for myself, something I enjoy for a chance, instead of just work-work-working to make ends meet. (meet or meat? :)

What an idiot. (Yes I just called myself an idiot.)

How many people are reading this? A dozen? Hundreds? A thousand? It doesn’t matter if you are not writing for yourself. When has pumping out content for the sake of it ever worked? When has forcing something ever worked out in the long run? My daily writing challenge is about increasing creativity, not squeezing it out my like a lemon.

I’ve been putting the wrong kind of pressure on myself, unnecessary pressure. Just because I want to be a great writer, a great multi-disciplinary, doesn’t mean I am one now. This undue pressure is also disrespecting the craft. Writing is hard. Crafting compelling stories is hard.

Anything worth mastering is hard. That’s why it’s worth mastering.

80% of people have already given up. All we have to do is keep going, keep learning, keep getting better and keep stumbling forward to make what we do worth it.

“Everybody gonna die, gonna go one day, maybe it’ll happen on a Monday Drop into work and get hit by a Hyundai, f* it, let it all go one day...” — Logic, Fade Away

I want to write a nonfiction book that means something.
I want to write a fiction book is a masterpiece of storytelling.
I want to write songs that resonate with individuals everywhere.
I want to create art and ideas worth creating.

But what if I die before I make it? I can’t control that.
All I can control is what I do today. Today leads to those hard goals above.

That’s starts with doing the best I can today, but that doesn’t mean I should expect my work to be immediately fantastic the moment I start.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner

Daily Blog #482

IG: @Renaissance.Life

Josh Waggoner

My blog posts have sucked the last couple weeks.

The ideas are there, but the execution has been mediocre.

Who would believe that only putting in 10 minutes a day on these wouldn’t work? :)

I hope I can look back on this time with fond remembrance of how much of a dummy I was trying to do too much at once.

Despite my schedule here at TechStars, and despite my continued war with fatigue, I’m going to strive to put all that I can into my writing and music.

Connecting with others, sound writing and thinking, creating, these are things that make me feel alive. What’s the point of doing anything if you going to do them halfway?


Keep Pursuing,

— Josh W.

Josh Waggoner
Toss Toss

There’s always a way forward.

Feeling lost, broken, or vulnerable isn’t a weakness — it’s an opportunity.

An opportunity to do better.

An opportunity to stand a little straighter.

An opportunity to go your own way, instead of the way ‘you should’.

There is no lost moments or time if you flip the lessons of loss in your favor.

A simple toss of a coin is how easily our minds can shift our realities.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh W.

Josh Waggoner
Take a Beat

It’s easy to get lose sight of yourself when you’re in the thick of it. Constantly going all day. Quick bites.

Hovering over a keyboard all day, trying to make things work. Coffee uppers, downers. More uppers.

We do everything to reach for success and create happiness in our lives…

except the things that we love, or know we should be doing.

Resting. Taking care of ourselves. Taking a break once in a while. Connecting.

You never want to be on the wrong side of the health spectrum, trust me.

You don’t realize how much you come to rely on something ordinary, like you’re back or your neck for example, until you can’t anymore.

Life is part taking in enjoying the moment AND pushing forward, changing and creating change.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh W

Josh Waggoner
Real Resonates

How real are you?

Are you true to yourself?

Are you, well you, despite whose around.

Are you willing to stand up for yourself, as well as be honest about what you are struggling with?

Real resonates. It’s how we create great relationships with those around us. It’s also how we cultivate a great relationship with ourselves.

Are you your own best company, or your worst enemy?

Real resonates within and without.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh W.

Josh Waggoner
Turning the Faucet On

It’s crazy to me how a few minor changes in your habits or actions can put you in the worst mood or completely lift your spirits. We all have little faucets and levers in our lives that if turned and tuned properly bring us the most joy.

Some faucets are universal. We all need sleep, nutrition, connections. And the more we optimize these the more we can push the boundaries of our energy and ability to live and think how we want to.

Some faucets are unique to us.

One of those for me is music. I’ll go days without singing or playing guitar, yet the moment I spend even just 5 minutes playing, I feel like a completely different person.

What are you neglecting that you love?

What are you tolerating that you shouldn’t be?

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh W.

Josh Waggoner
What’s the reason?

Take a step back.

Does everything you are striving for have a reason, a *why* behind it?

Are you moving with intent or just moving to move?

Motion doesn’t mean progress or efficiency. Sometimes it can lead to the why, which leads to progress, especially when you don’t have a clue where you want to go.

Take stock regularly and remember why you started balancing and spinning plates in the first place.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

Josh W

Josh Waggoner
Everything else is noise

There’s only one significant difference between those who pursue their dreams and those that don’t:

those that do, do.

those that don’t, don’t.

Everything else — having enough money, having enough time, having enough skill… etc — are just things we may or might have on top of the pursuit. Not having ‘enough’ money is a negative, as long as you keep thinking it’s a negative. It could also be something positive too if you let it. A chance to flip things on its head.

When you throw out everything else, all that’s left that’s stopping you is you.

I am my own worst enemy.

I hold myself back with my perceptions (and other voices telling me who I am and what I’m capable ) of what I can and cannot do.

At the end of the day, if you can pursue your dream, despite the lack of money in your bank account, despite not having enough time and energy, despite not knowing enough, then it’s a good sign that whatever it is it’s worth of pursuing.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh W.

Josh Waggoner
Meeting advice in the middle

Advice can come from anywhere.

You hear lessons on how to live throughout your entire life. What to do, what not to do.

Love everyone. Be yourself. Don’t care about what others think. Follow your instincts...

But advice doesn’t mean much unless you come to it, instead of it coming to you. It needs to sit and stew within you. It needs comparison and contrast within your own experiences.

Advice can be taken, but it’s only become real to us when we experience the results firsthand, no matter what side of the tracks we end up on.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh W.

Josh Waggoner
Bad Weather

I felt a little lost today.

tired, disconnected.

I know this is just a day. It will be a different one tomorrow.

I don’t know if I can verbalize the reasons why.

maybe I don’t want to. I need to check in with myself. I need to seek advice from others.

I need to do something.

I hate when problems occur, but I also love them too. Problems tell me something needs to change, or at the very least there is potential for change. That’s powerful. That’s energy.

I don’t know what this post is about yet, but that’s okay.

Nobody has it all figured out. Everyone feels like a fraud sometime or another.

Tomorrow is another day to figure it out. Another chance to figure yourself out.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh W.

Josh Waggoner
It’s silly to say, but

being self-centered versus sharing is not the same thing.

Self-centeredness is about me me me, now do what I say.

Sharing is here’s where I am, here’s what’s right, here’s what I’m struggling with, now join me.

One demands, and the other connects.

Our job is to be really bad at one, and really stellar at the other.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh W.

Josh Waggoner

Stuff doesn’t get better on its own.

It requires nurturing and effort.

You don’t get good at guitar by owning a guitar.

Just like you don’t get good at singing by just having a voice.

Your voice is your baseline, for some that means you’re starting at a higher level of talent, but it’s still your baseline. You can always improve and expand further than your baseline.

Problems don’t get better on their own either. In fact they usually get worse, or buried.

They need to prioritized and addressed immediately.

You can always go further, but you can’t go anywhere without effort and the willingness to try.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh W.

Josh Waggoner
Time Woahs

I’ve been struggling with balancing work with my other passions and priorities while I’m here in Austin for TechStars. Writing, for example, is incredibly important to me, but my work days creep into work nights, and living in the same house with the team, conversation tends to gravity holds the company.

All good things, just not always in balance with my priority.

I’ve only had about 5, 10 minutes tops to think about writing this blog each day. 5 minutes… I’ve waited in traffic longer than I have that. I want to add more, but shoving more writing time in the day isn’t the answer.

More isn’t an antidote for more time.

Trying is what matters, really.

The harder you try, the more it shows in your work.

But if you only have a little bit to give right now, or you’re not at the top of your game, at least you’re putting in some piece of effort. Do you want to do more at a higher quality? Absolutely. Then prioritize your life around that.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh W.

Josh Waggoner
Finding Luck

How many business (and individuals) have you heard contribute their success to luck?

There’s a healthy balance between habit and spontaneity.

Habit leads you in a direction. Exactly which direction depends on the habit, but we can at the very least its directing you somewhere. Spontaneity is mixing the chocolate with the peanut butter. Its following where your feet take you. Too much habit and you very rarely deviate from the routine. Too much spontaneity and your always moving on to something else, without the enjoyment that comes from progressing and sitting with things.

Where that line is for you personally depends on what end of the spectrum you fall upon. If you’re all habit, then step out side of what’s normal and mixing things up for a change. If you can’t remember the last time you stuck to something for more than a couple of days, then focusing on creating one positive habit is a great place to start.

In the end, you find luck just as much as luck finds you.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh W

Josh Waggoner
Things I'm Practicing this week


Telling my story



There are alway things you know you need to do more often, and those same things are usually what we feel the most reluctant to do. The key is asking yourself where the reluctance is coming from. Is it out of laziness or fear?

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh W

Josh Waggoner
“Half-truth is the enemy”

I worry about being boring sometimes.

I know I’m *not* boring, but sometimes I think I can come across that way.

I’ve felt suppressed the last few months. Maybe that’s too harsh of a word. It’s more like I’m not as radiant and exuberant as I want or see myself as being. Last year was a tough year, and that’s certainly contributing to this feeling. There’s also a lot I need to improve in when it comes to connect with others. For example, put two options in front of me to either tell someone about who I am, or just say something short and concise, I would pick option two, or at least hesitate to say something personal. It’s not like I’m lying or trying to be something else, but it like living a half-truth. And a half truth is just as misrepresented as giving no truth at all.

On the surface, I’ve been called quiet, striking, mysterious.

Get to know me and you realize I’m silly, ridiculous, observant and prone to an insight every now and again.

a half truth is not a great place to be. It’s not very bold to suppress who you are to others, or allow dominant figures in your life to suppress who you are either.

Whole truth is confident. It’s saying this is who I am and who I want to be.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh W.

Josh Waggoner