Dr. Pain

I️ went to a pain specialist recently about my chronic neck pain. We talked a lot about my story and how I️ got to were I️ am today. One of the big takeaways I️ got out of the visit was the question: “What’s keeping your body from healing?”

After working my muscles and posture for an hour, my neck felt great. The pain didn’t vanish, but the posture of my head neck and shoulders fell into a thoughtful alignment. Before I️ came in, I️ was actually holding myself up from keeping my body from slouching over, like I­t­ wanted to do. After I️ left, no effort was required. Gravity did all the work. But, unfortunately, by the end of the day, my neck discomfort was back to it's old self. (hello old friend)

The real problem isn’t my neck, it’s my lifestyle. Everything I️ do for work involves being on a computer, and the majority of activities I️ do involve looking down. Reading, writing, piano, hiking, cooking, drawing...

The first thing you need to do when facing down the barrel of a health problem is 

Accept the Challenge.

As much as I️ would love to take the pain and stress that comes along with I­t­, I️ can’t. 

Most of the time pain isn’t out to get you — I­t­ just happens. Maybe it’s your fault, maybe it’s some one else’s. Pain doesn’t care. Pain just wants you to either give in or become better.

Sometimes unfair things happen, big bad wolf problems that we all think ‘that will never happen to me’ until I­t­ does.

Sometimes we put ourselves in harmful situations — for good, or recklessly — and get hurt.

And often times the pain is our body’s way of telling us to pay attention to something we are neglecting.

Are you listening to what your pain is telling you?

That goes for mental pain too. If you’re in a constant state of negativity or fatigue or anger, or undesired stress, or rush hour, or fear, or thousands of other negative pressures, something in your life is not aligning to who you are, your core values and what you envision for your life.

Again, what is your pain telling you?

I️ do believe you were put on this earth to be let pain rule over you. Pain is an opportunity to thrive, all you have to do is shift your perspective from pain to gain, and take on the challenge.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner

1%

Think of something big you want to accomplish in life.

Create a successful business, write a well acclaimed book, go to mars, learn 5 languages... 

Whatever I­t­ is you’ve set your mind on,  there’s you, your goals, and a bunch of unknown, terrifying, exhilarating, rock bottom, uncomfortable things standing in between of where you are and where you want to go.

Big picture goals are like a large realistic painting you view at a distance. When you get closer, you realize the picture was made from dabs of different colors and strokes of movement. Mistakes, creative epiphanies, techniques and layer and layers of work and expression are what turns stretched canvas and some tubes of paste into a masterpiece that resonates through time.

It’s the same with our big goals in life. It’s hard to see how a BIG goal is made when you’re starting at ground zero looking up at this looming mountain, lacking a Sherpa to guide the way. You want to get to the top, but how?

1%.

Doing even just a tiny amount of consistent and deliberate work dedicated to accomplishing your goal will accumulate up over time.

1% doesn’t just add up, it multiplies. The more consistent and good you get at something you love, the more you’ll want to do it.

What’s one small thing you can do today — right now — to get you one step closer to your goal?

Start with 1%, Stick with at least 1%, and one day you’ll be in the top 1%.


Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner

Find Your Thing

I­t­ would have been an ordinary day, except on this day, a humble flight of stairs became the catalyst for a life altering decision.

What separated this particular day’s walk up some steps from any other day, I’m not sure. Perhaps I­t­ was a particularly stressful day at work or at home. Or maybe I­t­ had been awhile since he actually took the steps instead of an elevator. Fat, newly 40, and fearful of dying prematurely of a heart attack, Rich Roll decided to make a major change.

You’ve probably heard Rich’s story before, becoming vegan, teaching his body to get back to running, swimming and moving again. “Two years later, 50 pounds lighter, and fueled by nothing but plants, he surprised the triathlon & ultra communities by not only becoming the first vegan to complete the 320-mile über-endurance event, but by finishing in the top 10 males (3rd fastest American) with the 2nd fastest swim split — all despite having never previously completed even a half-ironman distance triathlon.”

Rich chose health. 
Specifically, he chose plant-based food and ultra endurance.

Now he’s gone well beyond his origin story. He’s a bestselling author, speaker, and his podcast The Rich Roll podcast is a top rank podcast that features high performing guests from all types of industries.

This is just one example of choosing a pursuit, working towards mastery and finding success, and eventually branching to other areas they are also interested in.

What’s Your Thing?

I’ve been struggling to identify whether or not i­t­ is better to focus on one thing at a time versus focusing on many things?

For me, it’s less about choosing specificity over multi-disciplinary, and more about finding a better way to become a multi-disciplinary.

Is it better to focus on one thing, get really good at it, and build upon that skill with other skills that interest me?

No matter how you slice it, there’s only so much time you can give to your craft/crafts in a day. And don’t forget about time with family, friends, sleeping, eating, and possibly even working if your pursuit is not your job.

Time for writing takes away time you could be practicing guitar, or work on your acting skills… etc. With that being said, priority is essential to progress

And there’s also a meta layer of all this of me wanting to make Renaissance Life relevant and appealing to people like me. Renaissance is about creativity, mastery and the art of changing and reinventing your life, but is that too broad for people to connect with?

Is my audience not well defined enough yet, or does my marketing need some work? (Probably a little bit of both)

I don’t have an any of these questions answer yet.

The best I can come up with right now is one idea and a question:

Idea:
Build a strong foundation of meta-skills that help improve your performance in all areas (sales, marketing, writing, connecting, etc).

Stick with 1 to 3 things your working on, but create a regularly scheduled assessment of your progress.  The last thing we want to do is spend all of our time juggling a thousand things and never making traction on any of them

Question:
What are you willing to give up? Or put another way, if you know the general direction you want to go, what are things that are distracting you that you need to say no to?

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner

Bitterness

Bitterness is like acid.

I­t­ eats away at everything inside you and can leave you not only miserable, but too exhausted to do anything about your misery.

The tricky part about bitterness is it’s not a black and white emotion. I­t­’s a master of disguise and usually wears the mask of another emotion.

Sometimes you feel sad, maybe from how someone treats you, but it’s not until deep reflection and honesty with yourself that you uncover it’s really bitterness with a groucho marx disguise.

With bitterness comes the feeling of wishing an outcome in your life had turned out differently, and ‘if only it could have happened this way’ ‘if only I­t­ could of happened that way’.

The hardest thing about people and the best thing about people is the fact that none of them are you. Everyone is unique, and that’s a great thing. But with uniqueness comes the friction of everyone looking out for themselves first and their tribe second. Maybe you believe someone ignores you or treats you unfairly, but as far as you know, they don’t even know that they did.

The problem with bitterness is that the person feeling bitter is going to be the one who suffers the most damage. Or in other words, if I  feel bitterness towards someone, I’m the one who suffers, not them.

It’s such an easy emotion to keep down too.

The good thing about bitterness is I­t­ can point out things in your life you would like to change. (If you can learn to be aware of it’s existence)

Finding yourself bitter about your friends fit figure or work life or wealth leads you directly towards what you want to improve about yourself.

It also doesn’t have to be something you have to fix about yourself.

When you identify yourself being bitter, replace I­t­ with gratitude of who you are and your unique set of skills and experiences. Having an emotion doesn’t mean you are that emotion.

I like to think of emotions as clothing you can put on and take off. Feeling angry doesn’t necessarily mean your an anger person, you’re just wearing your angry coat. You can just as easily take off your angry coat as you can put on your happy coat. 

 

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

Josh Waggoner
Sense of Control

The worst part about feeling bad from illness or injury is losing your sense of control.

I say sense because we are never really in control, we just live in such a cushy environment that it feels like we are... until tragedy strikes (internal or externally).

That’s one of the big reason why I made the decision to go off coffee last year. I felt my coffee habit was controlling me, instead of me controlling it. The quality was bougie and great (grass fed butter, MCT oil, single-sourced beans), but my one cup in the morning, turned into a BIG cup, turned into 3 cups...

I felt my coffee habit was controlling me, instead of me controlling it.

I️ felt like I️ needed I­t­, I️ even hauled a giant kettle and French press around Thailand during a week Long Island hop trip. 80% of my suitcase was coffee and health stuff.

When me and my sisters went to Bonnaroo, no joke, on the first morning, I️ managed to somehow drive out of the park (discouraged), went to the closest Walmart, bought a car battery, and figured out a way to navigate road block after road block back to our tent, just so I️ could brew coffee in the middle of Tennessee field.

All that to say, I️ was either a genius or completely beholden to my habit.

Control is like a fine oriental rug you place in the middle of a crosswalk. You feel safe and sound on your little rectangle, but if you aren’t aware of what’s going on around you, or where you’ve placed your rug, you’ll find yourself surprising crushed under foot traffic. (I’m not even sure that analogy was a complete thought, let alone made sense.) Even when you’ve created a positive habit — routine control — for yourself, I­t­ doesn’t necessarily mean you should stand on your rug for the rest of your life.

Habits and control should always be tested.

And when you run into health problems, someone swept the rug out from under you and you’re not sure where you are anymore. That’s how it’s been for me anyway. I️’d describe my biggest aliment as ‘fatigue’, but fatigue is such a vague and universal component of health issues, if you were to randomly look up a health problem on PubMed, I’d bet you a $2 dollar bill that I­t­ has fatigue under its symptoms list. The worst part is not knowing. Is I­t­ all in my head, or is something wrong? Is I­t­ my sleep? Allergies? EMF? 

The body feels fatigue when something isn’t working 100%. It’s your bodies way of telling you to slow down. The problem with fatigue is because of the lack of energy, you find yourself in a negative cycle of needing to do more because you not fully charged enough to do what you would normally be doing.

The silver lining that’s helped me is focusing on the things in my life I️ can control. 

I️ can’t control the weather, but I️ can control how I️ think about I­t­. My thoughts can amplify the negativity left untrained or can amplify the happiness and gratitude for what I️ do have through daily practice. 

I️ can’t control what people think of me, but I️ can control how I️ treat others. Every person I️ come into contact with I️ begin with respect and genuine care.

I️ can’t control the bad that happens to me, but I️ can control what I️ do about I­t­. Action is the most powerful tool in your area of control. Action has the power to move mountains through consistency and dedication to the goal.

When in doubt, train your thoughts, train how you treat others, and back your intention with action. Even if all else fails, no one can take these away from you.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner

Books Don’t Make You Better

Only you can do that.

Sure, a book, blog or podcast can motivate you and wake you up take action, but you are the one who has to take the leap.

I’ve read hundreds of books, and there’s a countless number of books and insights out there in the world — more than I could read in a lifetime — but it doesn’t mean anything if I don’t use the wisdom in my own life.

That’s why 80% of colleges are broken. All theory, no application. Then again, at it’s best college is designed to give you a good job, not give you a good life.

How many “Read this to change your life” books have you read? How many have you stuck with? If I followed everything in the Four Hour Work Week, I’m sure I’d be financial free right now. If I applied everything in the 7 habits of highly effective people I’m positive my life would be better, right?

But I haven’t. Not because I don’t want to, just because…. Well I haven’t.

You see, change is just another word for hard work.

If you want to see positive change in your life, and in the lives around you, you’ve got to tighten your belt, put on your shoes, and go to work.

What ever the medium that brings you a spark of desire to change, you’re still the one who has wake up and make something happen.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

Josh Waggoner
Reflection Friday: Reset

Who are the masters of starting over and reinventing themselves?

What are effective ways to market your work and grow your audience?

How do you stop being everything for everybody and start being everything for yourself?

Is it possible to impact influence others if you’re struggling with things your self?

Who are some energetic and enthusiastic people that I could emulate?

Is it better to focus on one thing until you’re really really good at it before Pursing other things, or do a handful of things and make incremental progress in all of them at once?

How do you heal from past failures?

What’s a good way to remember the steps and progress I’m making on my way towards creating a healthy life for myself and those I connect with?

As you can see I’m working on a lot of things right now. I try not to be afraid of letting people who read my work what I’m going through, but there’s always that taste of fear in the back of my throat. I’m a strong believer in letting your setbacks become your strengths through stories. Setbacks are touching points that give you the opportunity to share what you’re going through and been through and gives you a chance to relate to others who might be struggling with things as well.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursing,
— Josh Waggoner 

The answers are there, waiting for you to ask the questions.

Confident Amateur

I think I come across as naive more often than not to people I connect with.

Maybe I am, maybe I am not.

To me, they mistake naivety for my beginner’s mindset.

You have to be an amateur first — and be okay with it — to become a master at what you do. That’s one of the big reasons why I pick up on things rather quickly. I’ve had friends comment on how frustrating it is that I can learn skills so easily. That I’m just “disciplined” or "talented”, but the honest truth is I’m not. I’m no smarter nor better than the average person working at Starbucks. I’m just open to new experience and opportunities for learning because I know it will upgrade my performance faster.

I put curiosity first (and wear it on my sleeve).

Ping-pong for example. 

I barely played ping pong growing up. Just wasn’t my thing. Every time I picked up a paddle I felt like the ball was completely out of my control.

Late last year I started playing a lot of ping-pong because there happened to be a table at the office. I sucked at first. Could barely keep the ball on the table. And if you had thrown a curve at me, I would have immediately hit it straight into a game over.

But I kept playing. Kept improving. I was open to failing because failing gave me instant feedback on what not to do.

Now, I can play. I’m not going to win any international tournaments any time soon, but I feel confident in my game.

Without curiosity, without a beginner’s mindset, without being okay to kneel down and bend the knee towards someone who is better than you at something, there’s no chance of learning or reaching mastery.

Pretending to know all that you need is closing yourself off from becoming better at what you love. Faking it helps build confidence, but it doesn’t help build skill. That takes practice and the curiosity to absorb lessons from success and failures.

And if you do fail, and look like a bubbled-boy idiot, who cares? At least you’re not boring. I’d much rather look like a goof and keep improving my skills and performance, over never trying because I might fail.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
And wherever you are, keep smiling :)
— Josh Waggoner

Related Insights

"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, in the expert's mind there are few." — Shunryu Suzuki

"You can learn new things at any time in your life if you're willing to be a beginner. If you actually learn to like being a beginner, the whole world opens up to you." — Barbara Sher

"I didn't see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life." — Steve Jobs

Stop Digging Holes

When your seeking multi-disciplines (Renaissance status) there will come a point when you find yourself saying yes to too many things at once.

And when you’re in a place where you’ve said yes to things you don’t want anymore, my instinctual thought is ‘I’ve got to do more to be able to do less’.

Thoughts Like:

I’ve got to work harder and longer to be able to get to a place where I can work less.

I’ve got to do more in order to be more.

I’ve got to do more things because the old ways of doing things aren’t working.

That’s the instinctual way I think most of us go about making choices.

I’ve got to dig this hole deeper in order to get out of this hole.

But really it's the opposite that’s true. You’ve got to do less in order to make room for more. (Even when our culture and everyone around you tells you to do the opposite)

Less == More

Because less equals room for more.

The best way to think about it is there are only so many yes’s and no’s you have to give in your life. If you’re decisions where a bank account, yes’s and no’s are the transactions. A yes is money out, a no is money saved. If you’re saying yes to only things you hate, dislike or even just like, your spending your yes’s in the wrong places. But if you’re giving your yes’s to only things you love, and saying no to everything else, you're investing in your future. You probably won’t see that investment pay off immediately, and it’s going to be hard to stay the course but it will ultimately lead to becoming the person you really want to be.

I’m still working through this myself, but I think if we let go of the doing — saying yes to everything, or to the things we only like, the more fulfilling and meaningful our lives will be.

Saying no is hard, that's why everyone says yes to things they don't care about. But if you want to say yes to what you want to do, you have to learn to say no to what other people want you to do.

Mastery is found in the spaces we deliberately create for ourselves because it’s within those moments, we find who we are and can grow into who we want to be.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursing,
And wherever you are, keep smiling :)
— Josh Waggoner

Not Complaining Is Hard

Oh, the irony of that headline.

If you were to give me a rough estimate, how often do you think you complain in a day?

10 times?
20?

The average shmoe complains about 15-30 times each day.

(But that was according to statistics from over 6 years ago.)


I started counting the other day, but when I got to 25 complaints, I stopped counting. 

From little things like, ‘ugh it’s so hot out right now’, to larger comments about feeling tired and overworked. 

The average Westerner talks negatively about their image, negatively about their abilities, negatively about their status, negatively about what’s going on in the world, and on and on. Nag Nag Nag...

It’s crazy to me how something so subtle we do is so pervasive.

Complaining has a detrimental impact on our lives. Every problem that we complain about amplifies the problem tenfold because all we’re doing is bringing our complete attention on what’s wrong, instead of what’s possible.

Complaining also infects everyone around us. The more you do it, the more others do it too (or worse — they stop wanting to be around you)

Even if everything sucks, complaining won’t make it better — just worse. The first step to being happy and content in life is to stop complaining about what you don’t have, can’t do, must do, and start acting on what you can.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
And wherever you are, keep smiling :)
— Josh Waggoner


Next Steps: 

1. Try counting how many times you can catch yourself complaining in a day.

2. Go on a No Complaint Diet
 

My City Literally Hates My Guts

Last week, I went down to ATL for a fantastic sales workshop with Scott Sambucci.

Our storytelling company, Pass It Down, was selected to be 1 of the 11 (out of over 250! #superbrag) companies chosen to be apart of the Atlanta Bridge Community founded by Coca-Cola. Bridge is a startup accelerator that connects startups to big name brands for the opportunity to build business partnerships and solutions for their needs. We had a great time meeting all of the 2018 startups, and the bridge team (Carie Davis, Trish Whitlock and Shane Reiser)

However, this isn’t a post about Scott’s Sales workshop or Bridge Community. (Sorry guys, although I might do another post in the near future.)

Instead, this is a post about a health epiphany I stumbled upon. 

Let me back up a bit.

The week before I left for ATL, the pollen destroyed me here in Chattanooga. Not only was I going through boxes of tissues like a monkey on a banana farm, my energy levels were at an all-time low. I’ve mentioned before a few times on this blog that I’ve been dealing with chronic fatigue for the past two years. While not life killing, it is life sucking. I can do everything average Jane's can do (work, travel, workout etc), I just can't a lot because the amount of energy I have to give is small and therefore precious. I’ve been turning over every rock within my means since my fatigue began, but with no clear indication of what’s the cause. (Adrenals? Sleep Apnea? Mind Body Thing? Work Stress? Nothing seemed to add up) 

I went to see Susan Fox, a acupuncture and herb specialist here in town. She recommended a few things to try for allergies (Black Elderberry, Quercetin Bromelain, Hepa Filter), but one thing she said really stood out to me:

“You know, people often forget, but fatigue can also be a severe sign of allergies..”

“You know, people often forget, but fatigue can also be a severe sign of allergies..”

I’ve had allergies all my life. I completely cured them about 6 years ago when I started learning more about health and the idea gears were starting to turn about becoming a Renaissance. But with the onset of chronic fatigue, they came back in full uncut to the face. But up until this point, no one I’d seen up to this point had mentioned any indication that Allergies can cause fatigue.

It makes since in a way. An allergic reaction is an immune response when outside substances (pollen, dust, certain foods, clowns) are seen as harmful to the body. Our immune systems start pumping out antibodies called immunoglobulin E (IgE) to counteract this foreign hell-spawn. Most of the time, these substances are harmful to us, our bodies are just overreacting. I’m not an expert, but I imagine when your body is constantly being bombarded by allergens (outdoor, indoor or internally with foods) your immune system keeps reacting and fighting the good fight, leaving the rest of your internal systems with less energy to work with. Top that that off with the fact that you can’t breathe out of your nose properly, which lowers cellular energy production, and probably a dozen other micro problems like stress and sleep debt, you just created the perfect 💩 storm for Chronic Fatigue! (Yay!)

I bring all of this up because even though I didn’t feel much different in ATL, almost immediately when we got back in Chattanooga I felt awful. Not only could I not breathe that night, the next day I woke myself up with a surprise sneeze attack. (Which is not as fun as a surprise birthday attack, or a surprise chocolate attack, or even a surprise free puppy attack) The next day, Gabriella said that I wasn’t as alive as I was in ATL, and looking back I noticed that too.

All of that to say:

Crap

My city literally hates my guts. If you look at the cities that have the most pollen, Chattanooga isn’t the worst, but it’s definitely up there.

Now, I’m not 100% sure yet that allergies are the cause of my CFS, but to me, it seems very likely.

The big question is should I move?

Maybe your in similar shoes that I’m in, be that fatigue or another health issue you are in the dark about, without question my energy affects everything I do and everyone I surround myself with. I’ve been living between on an energy scale of  4 — 6 for far too long. I don’t want to be dull and unenthusiastic for the rest of my life. I'm striving for all of these things, trying to convince myself I can do them, but if I'm being truly honest with myself, I don't have the energy to give to see them all become impactful. I want to be ALIVE and radiant with energy. And as much as I love my city, if that requires a bold move like moving, so be it.

This won’t be an immediate decision, there are a lot of factors at play here. 

In the meantime, I think my next plan of action is to experiment with living somewhere with low pollen count for a month or two and see how I do.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
And wherever you are, keep smiling :)
— Josh Waggoner

Chasing Squirrels

Owning a dog is one of the most life-changing experiences I’ve had recently. When you have to care for something other than yourself, I­t­ opens your eyes to things you take for granted, and flaws in ways you think. (And if I asked some of my friends with kids, I'm guessing they would say having a baby is 10x the eye opening experience.)

Sure, you’ve got the basic things to think about like water, food and bathroom trips. (Can you imagine having to wait for someone to tell you when you can go to the bathroom or not?!) Beyond that, you have to think about what’s the right things not only for yourself but for her. For example health. Some of us treat our pets health more seriously than our own. In fact, now that I’m writing I­t­ out, everything we often neglect or half 🍑ss for our own life, we actually give time to for our pets.

What’s the right food that doesn’t have processed crap that’s bad for her? How often should we take her for a walk? How are her teeth? What does the Vet say? How can we train her to be a great dog?

How often are you playing with her? I’ll go for hours and hours working without taking a break at the office, but when I’m working near my dog, not even 20 minutes will go by before she starts nudging me with her nose and staring and me with deep, loving eyes, asking me to play. (Which I️ give in immediately :)

When you’re traveling, you miss your pet. When you’re shopping, you think about things she might like. When you make decisions and plans, you have to think about her too.

All of this sound like work, but the responsibility melts away when you’re playing chase with her.

The one thing about pets, dogs, in particular, is they are completely present to what’s going on around them. Everything is something new to explore and experience. Even old paths become new, filled with new smells, sounds, and sights missed last time around. They also love you completely too. I­t­ doesn’t matter how much you have in your bank account, what you do for work, how many people you connect with, or how intelligent you are — they love you for you.

There’s a lot to be learned from the life of a dog. Even silly things like chasing squirrels. To us, a squirrel is a distraction. ‘Look how distracted that dog is’. But to the dog, that squirrel is the most important thing in the world in that moment and she’ll give I­t­ her all to chase I­t­ down. And when she fails, she springs back up ready for the next adventure. Squirrel after squirrel. Chase after chase, with no less lack of enthusiasm from the last chase.

What do you chase after with enthusiasm, even if you fail over and over again?

What are you willing to chase after?

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

And wherever you are, keep smiling :)

— Josh Waggoner

Stop Wondering

The greatest part part about taking action and doing things now, is that each step accumulates and builds momentum. You could have an idea, and wait until the timing is “right”, but in the meantime while you are waiting, your doubt in the idea — doubt in it’s validity, doubt in your ability to be the one to make it... — grows and 100 other things push against you even trying.

Instead, if you do it now, you’re at the very least testing your idea in the real world, versus wondering about it in your head.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursing,

And wherever you are, keep smiling :)

— Josh Waggoner

Josh Waggoner
Bystanders and LifeSeekers

There are people who sit back and watch others experience life —

Only consuming instead of creating.

Only talking instead of doing.

Choosing conformity instead of being who they really want to be.


And then there are people who go out and experience life for themselves —

With missions and purpose.

Willingness to try even though the chance to fail.

Willingness to improve by doing what makes them uncomfortable.


You’re either a bystander who lets life roll on by, or your a life-seeker who makes the moves and steers the boat.

Which one are you?

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursing,

And wherever you are keep smiling:)

— Josh Waggoner

Josh Waggoner
Creme de la Creme

Everyone has room for improvement.

I don’t care if you are the best of the best, creme de la creme — if you stop honing your craft, you lose.

The moment you start thinking that you’ve made I­t­ and don’t need to grow is the moment that you start getting fat. (Unoriginal, filler songs, boring.. etc)

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

And wherever you are, keep smiling :) 

— Josh Waggoner

Josh Waggoner
Enablers

Long, but solid day today.

Up at 5AM to go to Atlanta for a business opportunity, and it’s been nonstop connecting since. I’m grateful, but tied to get quiet and boring when I’m tired. (At least that’s the way I feel I come across)

I don’t consider myself an excellent conversationalists... yet, but I compensate by following rule number uno in connecting with others: be a great listener.

Everyone can talk circles around you, but if you practice being a great listener, you’ll be the most connected and sought after person in the room. (Besides being a storyteller. Great Storytelling might beat great listening)

People gravitate towards authenticity. By intentionally listening and giving your full attention and thought process to what someone’s saying, you’re valuable I. The other persons eyes because you are validating and respect them and who they are.

That’s why I love practicing the art of listening.

Great listeners make others feel good about themselves. Which, depending on your mission, is one step closer to being able to helping and enabling others to be the best version of themselves they can be.

Stay Bold, Keep Pursing,

And wherever you are, keep smiling :)

— Josh Waggoner

Josh Waggoner
Ideas

“If you have a dream, don’t just sit there. Gather courage to believe that
you can succeed and leave no stone unturned to make it a reality.” — Dr Roopleen

Ideas are only as good as the execution that’s behind them. An idea in your is like a false reality. A fantasy in which you imagine all these wonderful things you create in your life yet fade into vapor the moment you hesitate and fear take a step towards making it real.

If you are not acting on your ideas or even giving them to others, what’s left?

Yet we all do it. 

I’m certainly guilty of it too.

If you really want an idea to succeed, you’ve got to go after it with all you’ve got. The tricky is to find that thing that forces you to do it. What’s one small thing you can to start the ball rolling?

An idea with momentum is much easier to do then an idea stuck in your head.

That’s why I love daily habits.  This is day 196 of daily blogging. You think I’m going to miss a day? Heck no. I’m going to stay up as late as I have to and make sure I write something worthwhile.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
And wherever you are, keep smiling :)

— Josh Waggoner

Turning struggle into Freedom

Struggle is a part of life.

We are all struggling in some form or fashion. 

No job, low paying job, unfulfilling job, jobaholics...

Too fat, too skinny, too tall, too short, too much booty, not enough booty...

Too white, Too black... Too obscure, Too fameous... Too quit, Too loud..

A lot of I­t­ has to do with your perspective on perfection.

Fat people think they are too fat. Skinny people think they are too skinny. And in between the too, perfection is an impossible goal. Instead of being happy with where you are, and excited about working hard to keep improving yourself every day for the rest of your life, you spend I­t­ worried or anxious about measuring up to what other people think.

 

But it’s the moment that you choose yourself — allowing yourself to be who you want to be and ignoring everything else — the struggle fades away. 

It’s still there, I­t­ always is and will be (part of being human) but I­t­ disappears because your focus is elsewhere — living a life that aligns with you. 

In my mind, the goal should necessarily be to remove the struggle, but to view I­t­ in a different way. If you think about I­t­, struggle is just the negative form of challenge. It’s believing that the struggle will never change, and that you’ll be stuck in the same day, living your own version of Groundhog Day over and over again. A silly rabbit who always fall for the same old tricks.  Same town, different age. 

That’s one way to live.

Another way is seeing problems as CHALLENGES instead of struggle. Challenge is your opportunity to go from one state to another. From underdog to king of the world. From no job to an incredible career.

One way is a dead end, the other is a road to freedom. 

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing, 

And wherever you are, keep smiling :) 

— Josh Waggoner

 

Josh Waggoner
Does Bad Health Create Bad Relationships?

When you have the misfortune of experiencing a health problem or injury, you might find yourself coming across as a bad friend.

Fatigue and sleep problems can come across as flakiness, boring or lack of enthusiasm, when really you just feel overwhelmed from not having energy and want to go home and rest.

Injury’s can come across as distance, disinterest or self-centeredness, when really all you can think about is how to alleviate your pain.

Life scares can come across as negativity or anger (or other things depending on how you cope), when really you are just worried or anxious about the outcome.

In a way, you are disinterested, unenthusiastic and a bad friend, just not for the reasons people think.

Take me for example. I️ injured my neck in a bad way when I️ was about a year into college. (I’ve been writing a massive post on injury, hopefully I’ll actually finish the josh d🤠mn thing soon.) After a week went by, then a month, then a year... I️ didn’t know how to cope. You try things and hope for the best, but honestly don’t really have the bandwidth for anything other than the bare minimum. I️ would go to class, work, and immediately to bed. Meeting new people and hanging out with friends was the last thing on my mind. 

One of the most difficult things about health problems is getting other to relate to your situation. Unless they’ve experienced their own flavor of misfortunes, you’re definition of pain and there’s is completely incompatible. Pain to the inexperienced is abstract. It’s a thing that happens, but knock on wood hasn’t happened to me. 

Even the big scary one’s that every one knows, like cancer or Alzheimer's, aren’t really relatable unless you’ve experienced them first or secondhand. 

We have to feel pain ourselves to understand the pain of others. 

And so I️ do believe bad health causes bad relationships.

Even if you do everything you can, the people that love you and understand what you are going through, still feel slighted and frustrated about what you’re going through. There’s friction on both sides. They want to help you heal, but don’t know how to help. 

Life affects life. Your life affects everyone you surround yourself with and vice-versa. To get dark for a second, that’s why suicide is so life-shattering. You don’t just erase yourself. You break the glass of everyone around. And if you have influence, even more so — you shatter all the lives that your work has touched. 

So what do we do when bad health rears its ugly head?

Describe what you are going through to friends and family. Even if they don’t understand, letting people know what you're going through will at least given them some thought to the actions you take. This isn’t an “oh poor me” fest. Tell them you want to do I­t­ for them. 

Focus on quality over quantity. As much as you may want I­t­, you are not going to have the energy and stamina to become best friends with everyone in your universe. Focus on a few quality friends that you can give the time and energy you currently have to offer. Quality friends are the types of relationships that will keep you sane during this painful time. Shallow friends ghost at the first sign of trouble. 

Work on your health. Health affects every aspect of our lives. The more you can focus on I­t­, the more optimal your life will be. Health is a spectrum. Working on health isn’t a yes or no answer. It’s gradually eeking over to the extraordinary side instead of sliding towards the other end.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

And wherever you are, keep smiling :)

— Josh Waggoner

Follow me on Instagram: @Renaissance.Life

Related Insights

"True friendship is like sound health; the value of it is seldom known until it is lost." —  Charles Caleb Colton

Timing

There is a time and place for everything.

The Trick is knowing when’s the right time and right place.

Most people will give you a ten bullet listicle on how to have perfect timing, but the honest truth is no one knows.

Call it luck or faith, some opportunities fall into your favor right when you need them. And sometimes things happen and you only discover there value and significance in your life when they are far behind you and you’re looking back on zig-zagging path that has led you to here.

That’s not to say we are powerless. The more we can stack the deck, the more likely outcomes we desire come true.

Visualizing your dreams makes you more open to them occurring. You’re essentially keeping a birds-eye view for opportunities that will make your goals reality.

Seeking advice from people you admire and who have been in the trenches will help keep you from stumbling into the usual trapping of a pursuit that you wouldn’t know about if you were on your own.

A strong of why and purpose behind your actions will keep you focused on the long-term goal, even if you're walking through hell in the short term.

And on and on it goes.

There are those who seek the right time and right place, and won’t start unless they know for sure.

I prefer to start anyway, lining up to catch a wave as much as I can, and finding the silver linings when I don’t 

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursing,

And whenever you are, keep smiling :)

— Josh Waggoner

P.S. It’s super late, and I’m deliriously tired. This post is either the late night earnings of a genius or the stupidest thing ever created. Goodnight.

Josh Waggoner