Principle #1: Become a Lifelong Learner
"Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do." — Pele

Lifelong learning is the foundational principle of believing there is always room to learn something new and improve in things you love. When we start thinking we have nothing else to learn, we begin to plateau and eventually will feel stuck. 

What you pursue is up to you! I love music, writing, design, entrepreneurship, connecting, ideas, psychology, and health and wellness to name a few dozen. 

High performers know there is always the next level — 

Someone who can teach you more and something new.
Something you can practice to hone your skills.
Even something you can create and experiment with to expand what you think, and what the world thinks is possible!

Mastery isn’t an end state; Mastery is a mindset. A mindset that begins with becoming a lifelong learner.

Now, there are two polar extremes that are easy to fall into, (believe me, I’ve been there) which GO AGAINST the learning principle:

1. “I am not enough” “I will never be enough”
2. "Lifelong learning is too long, too hard and too overwhelming. I need results ASAP!:

1. False Belief: “I Am Not Enough”
 

This is a limiting belief that is holding you back. Perhaps a family member or teacher told you this (or implied it). They don’t know anything. They don’t know you. They don’t know what you are capable of. The person that creates your self-worth is YOU. I’m here to tell you, YOU ARE ENOUGH. If you get one thing from this post it’s that. You are enough. Learning isn’t about fulfilling a hole in your life of not being enough. Learning is the mutual belief that you are enough WHILE knowing, with a little bit of elbow grease, you can be more, do more and have a more impactful life.

In other words, learning is one of the keys to unlocking a meaningful life.

The more you know, the more capable you become, the more people will desire your help.

 

2. False Belief: "Lifelong learning is too long, too hard and too overwhelming. I need results ASAP!"

Pursuing a life of learning doesn’t mean it’s going to take you a lifetime to reach greatness in what you do. You will immediately start seeing results from learning and challenging yourself. Even a single day of learning means you know and are more capable than you were yesterday! Learning compounds by how much you practice and who you surround yourself with. The longer you stick with it the more you will accomplish.

So what does lifelong learning look like in practice?

Lifelong learning in practice

Read A Little Every Day.

Create a habit of consuming quality input of work from the wisdom of our ages. When I want to learn something new, the first thing I do is go to Amazon and see if there are any good books on the subject.

Try adding books that feel outside of your abilities too. Expand your mental muscles a little each day!

Find People/Mentors Who Can Push Your Mind and Fill You with Insights

I used to falsely think it was better to learn without imitating others. I would deliberately not read books or learn songs on guitar because I DIDN’T WANT THEIR WORK TO CHANGE MY VOICE.

I D I O T. 

Everything we do since birth is infused with imitation! The greatest ideas are ones that come from other’s ideas and create connections in a unique way.

Share What You Learn

Find friends who love what you love.
Teach what you know.
Create your own community around the skills you are learning to master.

Lifelong learning is your first principle to mastering your life.

Q: What are you going to learn?

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

P.S. Join the Renaissance Life newsletter to learn more insights on life and mastery.

Related Insights

"Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow." — Anthony J. D'Angelo

"Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever." — Mahatma Gandhi

"Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning." — Albert Einstein

How to Become Your Best Self

At the age of 25, Jim Rohn was down on his luck without a penny in his pocket. (Hmm… sounds familiar…) He was a hard worker, went to work early and stayed late. But no matter how hard he worked, he was still a broke joke. He didn’t know it at the time, but he was focusing his efforts on the wrong things. His life began to change when his mentor guided him with the phrase, “Learn to work harder on yourself than you do on your job”. The Art of Exceptional Living

By striving for your best-self, you are living within the boundaries of the question, “How can I become more valuable?”

Life isn’t about what you do for money. I can become a great barista, (I’ll be the guy who can paint butterflies in lattes) but that shouldn’t completely define me as a person. If you think it does, you need to consider that maybe (just maybe) you are bigger than your job.

You are multifaceted and complex being.
Being a barista is part of who you have decided to be. If that doesn’t resonate with you anymore, perhaps its time to try something else.

And if you want to do and be multiple things — you’re allowed. Despite what society tells you. You can pursue all that you love, not all at once, but you are capable of stepping into something new (for work or fun) at any moment in your life. Colleges were originally created to make well-rounded citizens. The Renaissance Life is about enabling others to be all they can be and creating a community around pursuing life and mastery.

Life is about all the things that you do that make you into who you are. 
Just as Aristotle said so long ago, "Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit."

When you focus your time and energy improving yourself, you are creating your best-self life.

No one will improve you for you. You have to do that yourself.
I can show you how to play an instrument, but you are the one who has to pick it up and practice.

For the next odd sum of days, I'm going to be posting about the principles of living a Renaissance Life. To stay up to when the next post goes out, sign up for the newsletter here.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

Related Insights

"Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present." — Jim Rohn

"Learning is the beginning of wealth. Learning is the beginning of health. Learning is the beginning of spirituality. Searching and learning is where the miracle process all begins." — Jim Rohn

"You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight." — Jim Rohn

 

Shortcuts to Life's Biggest Problems.

Books are my go-to when I’m facing difficult problems.

(Well... and books are my go-to for fun too.)

(Heck, they're just my go-to.)

Learning and reading are shortcuts to life's biggest problems.

What would you rather do: lose all your money, or read a book about someone losing all their money and how to NOT do that. Sure there's nothing like learning from your own practical experiences, but there's also nothing like learning to avoid pitfalls we all can make when we're stumbling towards a dream.

Starting a business is great. But what about starting a business testing a personal MBA you've developed by learning from the books of the greatest entrepreneurs in history?  Better.

Books teach you how to think well.

Books won’t necessarily give you the answers to the test (aka life), but they will give you a more capable understanding of the questions. When you read a book, you’re not just learning the content, your learning how the writer thinks. And if a book resonates with you, you’re absorbing ways to think about the world the way the author does.

When I’m facing a career change or a health issue, money anxiety, happiness, and fulfillment problem, I seek books or lessons from people who have been there done that and come out thriving and better than they were.

We are as only as capable as we think we are. 

Having a more meaningful, inspirational, financial free life will be ours when we adopt a more capable way of thinking and taking actions.

Learn from the best. Absorb lessons from their wins and loses.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

Related Insights

"Change is the end result of all true learning." Leo Buscaglia

"Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow." — Anthony J. D'Angelo

"Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever." — Mahatma Gandhi

Lifeline Quotes: getting through difficult moments

Find a quote from the wisdom of the ages and hold on to it like you would a piece of driftwood when lost at sea. Don't just read a quote, embrace it. Here are some to get you though difficult moments:

"Find a place inside where there's joy, and the joy will burn out the pain." — Joseph Campbell

"Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties."Helen Keller

"Fresh activity is the only means of overcoming adversity." — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (couldn't help myself with the link ;)

"Today I choose life. Every morning when I wake up I can choose joy, happiness, negativity, pain... To feel the freedom that comes from being able to continue to make mistakes and choices - today I choose to feel life, not to deny my humanity but embrace it."Kevyn Aucoin

"Divide each difficulty into as many parts as is feasible and necessary to resolve it." — Rene Descartes

"Find joy in everything you choose to do. Every job, relationship, home... it's your responsibility to love it, or change it." — Chuck Palahniuk

"You should never view your challenges as a disadvantage. Instead, it's important for you to understand that your experience facing and overcoming adversity is actually one of your biggest advantages."Michelle Obama

"Being aware of your fear is smart. Overcoming it is the mark of a successful person." — Seth Godin

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

Looking for the perfect life in Barnes & Nobles

Gabriella and I did something fun tonight.

... No not that, get your mind out of the gutter.

We went rollerskating!

The Skate Place was my jam back in the middle school days.

Tricks. Pizza basically made out of cardboard. Trucking and Jamming.
Aka living the dream.

I bought a pair of skates for Gabriella for Christmas 🎄 so we went to go try them out.

The place hadn’t changed an ounce. The only thing that has changed was me. I had grown wiser yet also more anxious about my world. (Also taller, I’ve gained a few inches since middle school. I was definitely the tallest person there and I’m only 6 ft)

Before we went, we grabbed some dinner and hopped into Barnes and Nobles for a bit.

We always have fun in booklandia. (Well... aren’t you the life of the party Josh)

I wanted to find a book that will change my life, help me simplify and handle overwhelm better.

I asked Gabriella to help me find some and as we were looking she wisely said,

“If you’re looking for the perfect life in Barnes & Nobles, you’re in the wrong place”.

She’s right of course.

If you’re looking for the perfect life in Barnes & Nobles, you’re in the wrong place.

Books are windows into mastery and wisdom.

Books can give you the insights and answers you seek. But there comes a time where books aren’t going to work for you. To change your life you must do the work. You must make the hard decisions and take action towards the life you dream of. Same goes for talking, daydreaming, complaining, wishing — eventually you must decide whether you are just going to talk the talk for the rest of your life or also walk the walk.

The difference between those who have and those who don’t is consistent, persistent actions towards the life they want. Dreams don’t fall from a book, or plow into you as you go around the skating rink; Dreams happen through Bold actions.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

Related Insights

"When you have a dream, you've got to grab it and never let go." — Carol Burnett

"Change your thoughts and you change your world." Norman Vincent Peale

"If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude." — Maya Angelou

The Sweet Spot

Knowing who you are is much more important than knowing what you want to do.

Having a deeper understanding of your values, beliefs and life principles will actually reinforce what you should be doing.

If you define what you do for money as who you are you’re life might be out of balance. I know — I’ve been there.

How much you have in your bank account should equal how high your self-worth is. Money is a resource to amplify your life mission.

Which, it’s why it’s so hard when you’re not there yet. Not having enough money or resources for your dreams doesn’t mean they aren’t important. 

Creating an extraordinary life starts with staying true to who you are and who you want to be.

Maybe you don’t know who you are either. That’s okay. That just means you have the opportunity to try on different versions of yourself you could be, and pick what resonates. 

How do you know what resonates?

When you can lose yourself to something and give it all of your attention.

When you feel ALIVE, more alive than you ever felt.

When you go to bed with a smile on your face.

That’s when you know you’ve found the sweet spot.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner
 

Related Insights

"I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're doing something." — Neil Gaiman 

"The better you know yourself, the better your relationship with the rest of the world." — Toni Collette

"Know yourself to improve yourself." — Auguste Comte
 

A Nudge In The Right Direction

This week's been rough.
I don’t fear to admit it.

My mind has been in a funk, can’t tell if it’s a physical thing or a mental thing — probably both.

I’ve probably read 50 stupid articles on how to unfunk yourself, but they all same the same old things:

  • Write down what you are grateful 
  • Meditate, go for a walk
  • Be around people who you love

It’s not that they are wrong — in fact, these are great things you can do — it’s just their intuitive about things we already know we should be doing. 

Writing down what you are grateful for focuses your mind on what’s positive.

Mindfulness and walking primes your physical body into wellbeing.

Being with close friends and family centers you on what’s important.

But Sometimes you have to be sad — to feel your emotions, sit with your problems, and rest your mind — to be able pick yourself up.

A problem isn’t a problem unless you know it’s there.

Most of the time your subconscious knows somethings not right before you do.

For me, falling back into despair — or whatever it is when you paint the world grey and your mind feels mentally and physically exhausted — is a sign that I’m not quite aligning my daily living with my values and what a fulfilling life looks like. 

Whatever you’re facing, you always have the capacity to change what is in your control about it.

If you need something, ask for it.
If something is wrong, change it.

Life changes quickly and pursuing change always nudges is in the right direction.

Stay BOLD Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

Related Insights

"Life begins on the other side of despair." — Jean-Paul Sartre

"Action is the antidote to despair."Joan Baez

"If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair." — C. S. Lewis

What I Can Control

I can control my habits instead of my habits controlling me.

I can control my spending/money instead of debt/poverty defining my life.

I can control who I give my time to and how much time I give by being the owner of what I say YES or NO to.

I can control how my body, mind, and spirit feel through optimal nutrition and doing activities like music and dance that rejuvenate me.

I can't control every passing thought, but I can direct how my mind thinks. I can focus my mind on opportunity, abundance and creative expression through affirmations, mindfulness, and exercise.

I can control my actions, for actions speak loudest for what my life represents.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

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Post inspired by The Daily Stoic Journal by Ryan Holiday

"The secret of success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of having pain and pleasure use you. If you do that, you're in control of your life. If you don't, life controls you." — Tony Robbins

"Control your own destiny or someone else will." — Jack Welch

"At the end of the day, you're responsible for yourself and your actions and that's all you can control. So rather than be frustrated with what you can't control, try to fix the things you can." — Kevin Garnett

Future You 2.0

What would you the future you want you to do?

What would he or she wish you would do right now?

Worry more?
Watch more tv?
Eat another round of donuts?

We see our future as some far off event but really it’s happening right now.

What we do today determines who we will be tomorrow.

In a weird, mind exploding time travel movie way, we are all time travelers.

The best way to begin answering the question above is asking if you could go back in time to your past self, what would you change.

You can do that right now with your ideal future you.

From this long-term perspective, some things aren’t worth your time and some are.

Imagine what you look like in 5, 10, even 20 Years. What would a habit of working out do to your body and longevity? What would saving and investing do for your financial freedom? What would taking challenges — even though fear — do to all the place you will go because of it? What would cherishing friendships do to your happiness and peace of mind?

Your future is written in the stone of what you do each day. So what are you going to do?

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

Related Insights

"The difference between an amateur and a professional is in their habits. An amateur has amateur habits. A professional has professional habits. We can never free ourselves from habit. But we can replace bad habits with good ones." —  Steven Pressfield, The War of Art, Do the Work

"Our character is basically a composite of our habits. Because they are consistent, often unconscious patterns, they constantly, daily, express our character."Stephen Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

"Winning is habit. Unfortunately, so is losing." — Vince Lombardiwas an American football player, coach, and executive in the National Football League.

Reach Out First

Sometimes you have to lean into different areas of your life while neglecting others in order to make headway and accomplish them.

But to love and be loved, you must cherish your friends and family continuously. Healthy relationships are nourished by reaching out to those you cherish, in small intentional ways that show you care.

When a friend fades from your life, it's not that you dislike them or have branched towards different paths per se, it could simply be that you’ve forgotten to reach out to them.

Always be the person who reaches out first.


The other person always expects you to reach out. —Yourself included.  When everyone expects the other to reach out — nobody does. After a while, you get worried its too late, its been too long to reach out now, and the relationship fades.

If you want certain people in your life, you’ve got to go after them. Courting isn’t only for the one you date. Healthy relationships are built on love and respect (even I love you man kinda love) 

Surround yourself with people you aspire to be more like and then be it.

See the world you have and go make it.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

Related Insights

"The only way to have a friend is to be one."Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Friends show their love in times of trouble, not in happiness." — Euripides

"A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out." — Walter Winchell

Two Choices...

Every day you wake up you have a choice:

1. Do what you’ve been doing.

The same old same old you heard before: 
Let fear rule you. Give into easy. Do what ‘they’ tell you. Blame the world. Work the job that everyone tells you too. Go through the motions of living.
Sure, things are safe, but safe doesn’t automatically mean fulfilling. 

Or —

2. Do something different.

Be the person you want to be. Do the things you want to do.
Write, design, act, paint, perform, inspire, LIVE.
Make the job up as you go. Work like few do, so you can live like few can.

The first path is the easiest because I­t­ requires nothing of you. The second isn’t necessarily harder, it's just unpaved. You’re in the woods and there’s not going to be one way through. You’ll have to think on your feet and be creative. You’ll have to be bold and willing to push yourself like you’ve never pushed yourself before. You’ll have to let go of who you were in the past, so you can be who you need to be for the future.


Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing

— Josh Waggoner

Related Insights

"If you want to conquer fear, don't sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy." — Dale Carnegie

"Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear." — Mark Twain

"It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live." — Marcus Aurelius

I Wont Stop

When something goes wrong, I️ tend to default to being discouraged. If someone reprimands me or tells me I️ can’t do something (you can’t accomplish x, you’ll never be able to do Y), its easy to fall for their point of view or, at the very least, let I­t­ effect my mental performance. But this is not a successful mindset.

Complaints, criticism, disbelief, or hate towards you is inevitable when you’re doing something out of the status quo. (Something the hater wishes they would do themselves) 

The status quo is the collective agreement of the way things are, from the people and culture that surrounds you. The funny thing about status quo’s is that they are different depending on who you surround yourself with. What’s normal and expected from your typical college student is wildly different from what’s normal and expected from billionaires changing the world. What’s abnormal for your circle when you break the status quo can be natural to another groups point of view. Reading, for example. If you are surrounded by people who hate reading or saying something like ‘what’s the point of reading when you have a TV?’, you’re going to be shamed into the same mindset. And if you start reading they’re going to give you hell for I­t­. But on the opposite spectrum, point out to me any billionaire who doesn’t have a massive library and are constantly soaking up knowledge.

Once you realize that status quo’s are not all created equal, you can begin to take BOLD actions and create massive improvements in your life.

Instead of being discouraged, a successful mindset takes what the person says and turns I­t­ into fuel. Coal to the fire. It’s an “I won’t stop” or “I’ll prove you wrong” mentality. Although you’re not doing I­t­ for them — you’re doing I­t­ for you. I️ won’t stop — no matter how hard or scary I­t­ gets — because I️ know that I️ am capable of achieving my goals with enough time, effort, and intent.

By thinking this way, not even pain can stop you.
By adopting the mindset of the type of person you want to become, your dreams are inevitable.\

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing

— Josh Waggoner

Related Insights

"I like criticism. It makes you strong." —  LeBron James

"In criticism I will be bold, and as sternly, absolutely just with friend and foe. From this purpose nothing shall turn me." — Edgar Allan Poe

"To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing." — Elbert Hubbard

All Work And No Play Makes Josh A Dull Boy

I’ll often find myself go go go going. With the desire to pursue so much — music, writing, design, connecting, development, dancing etc — I️ tend to push myself to the absolute margins.

But I️ don’t like that, I️ don’t think it’s healthy. When one domino falls, they all fall. Without giving your mind a respite from action, your energy and output will suffer.

All work and no play makes us into zombie machines, moving from one task to the next without actually enjoying what we’re doing (or even doing I­t­ well).

One potential solution is scheduling time for negative space. 
In architecture, negative space is the space between the space. In our case, negative space could be a block of time devoted to nothing. No tv, no social media, no email, no /thinking/ about email. Just 15+ minutes of you, yourself and a sprinkle of you. 

For some of you, that might terrify you. 
I’m a strong proponent of if something scares you (and I­t­ won’t hurt you) you should do I­t­. Why do you fear being alone with yourself? Perhaps you don’t like who you are... If that’s the case, negative space is a great way to reinvent yourself into who you want to be.

Negative space is a mental breath — a deep inhale and exhale — of our worries, concerns and break-neck speed life. When architects design buildings, you could argue the negative spaces are just as important as the buildings themselves. The negative space is where the magic happens. The connections, the creativity, and ideas that will infuse into when we are on the move, taking action.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

Timing Important Decisions

I'm adopting a new decision policy with potential opportunites.

When opportunities arise, instead of immediately blurt out an answer each time someone pitches me on a project or idea,  I'll say something equivalent to:

"This sounds interesting! I have a policy to never make decisions on the spot when it comes to projects like this. Give me 24 hours — same time tomorrow — and I'll reach out with a response. I say this with every opportunity."

Adding a buffer of space gives you time to mediate on whether or not the idea aligns with the life that you want to have / create.

Every decision I've made on the spot has a 'UGH!' moment attached to it afterward. Things I didn't consider. Even with great decisions I can usually think of 3+ things I wish I had clarified instead of assumed (or not even thought about). Maybe you, my reader, are better at making decision on the fly than I am.

Even so, I think it's good to pause and look at all the angles of what saying 'Yes' means.

Opportunities are abundant. But if we say yes to things we don't honestly care about (or care enough about), opportunities can easily become burdens.

Not only does a 24 decision making policy give you time to let the opportunity stew, it also gives you a deadline to decide. In 24 hours, you either have to say Yes, or No.

And if they refuse to give you the 24 hours to decide, then it's a good sign it's probably not a great fit for you in the first place.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

Related Insights

"It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped." — Tony Robbins

"There is no decision that we can make that doesn't come with some sort of balance or sacrifice." — Simon Sinek

"Think 100 times before you take a decision, But once that decision is taken, stand by it as one man." — Muhammad Ali Jinnah

My Favorite Music Albums in 2017
Share the Weight

Sometimes,
Just letting it all out on the table and talking through things with a friend or loved is life’s best medicine.

We often feel alone in our experiences (of pain, failure, remorse etc.) but loneliness evaporates as soon as we speak out our experiences. The act of speaking to someone who cares and is listening lightens the load of each person involved. To love and be loved. To care and be cared for.

When you're feeling the weight of the world on your shoulders, it's time to share with others. No one person is made to carry that much weight. You need a team. If you don't have one it's time to make one.

Our experiences are touching stones of connecting and inspiring others.

Perhaps the worst things that happen to you and how you got through can be shining beacons of hope for those going through similar things.

Perhaps we can pull ourselves off the cliffs of our darkest moments by recognizing that how we handle the problems can have a positive influence for others, and having a positive impact is the reason why we have to keep persevering through the dips.

Be A Positive Influence You Wish You Had Yourself.

You can be an example of negative change or positive change to everyone in your life. Which will you choose?


Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner

Related Insights

"Vulnerability is the birthplace of connection and the path to the feeling of worthiness. If it doesn't feel vulnerable, the sharing is probably not constructive." — Brene Brown

"Communication - the human connection - is the key to personal and career success." — Paul J. Meyer

"God has given us two hands - one to receive with and the other to give with. We are not cisterns made for hoarding; we are channels made for sharing." — Billy Graham

Small Ways to Reset

Falling off the treadmill is inevitable. Someone’s bound to bring in a box of donuts 🍩 to work. You’ll inevitably miss a day of writing (insert your own pursuit here) because you were sick or traveling. But jumping off the boat doesn’t mean you should say in the water. In fact, getting into the habit of reinforcing your passion and reason why you are making habits and going after goals in the first place is key to achieving them.

I used to have a binge mindset. Dang, I ate a cookie... oh well might as well eat 100 more. I told myself I wasn’t going to watch TV today... oh well, guess I’ll watch THE ENTIRE CATALOG on Netflix. But just because I mes up shouldn’t give me permission to go crazy. What if I messed up every day this week? What would that do to my health or long-term progress? If I binged watch shows an entire week I would end up being a vegetable, unable to do anything my heart desires.

Missteps are a part of the learning progress. Mastery comes to those who fail and yet keep going anyway. 

When you catch yourself doing bad habits that don’t build your long-term dreams, here are small, practical ways you can reset yourself:

MOVE: Reset your physical state by going for a run, swim, sprint (name your poison). It doesn’t have to be long, even 5 minutes of moving can reset your mental state.

Cold exposure: Reset your physical state splashing water on your face. (Or more hardcore: take a cold shower or ice bath)

Check yourself: Are you hungry? When’s the last time you took a mental break? Take time to rejuvenate yourself.

Small actions: Doing a small incremental action can reset your mind to do the bigger tasks. Win small to win big. 

Change your location: Moving your body to another place (think coffee shops, outside etc) can shift your mindset as well. 


Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

Embrace New Beginnings

I think New Years, and New Year Resolutions, in particular, feel good because we see them fresh starts. New Years is the ultimate clean slate. Last year was.. well sooo last year. This year will be different. It’s brimming with possibility. 

So we set multiple goals and stick with them for a week or so, but when we fall off the treadmill, we give up on the year. Maybe next year. (Well, I missed one day of working out, I guess I’ll go eat some cheesecake)

There are multiple problems with this mindset:

We expect the new habit, skill or challenge will be easy.

We try to do everything all at once, 90 miles a minute.

We see the New Year as our one chance for redemption and give up if we don’t perform perfectly.


We expect the new habit, skill or challenge will be easy.

During school, I always loved when the new school year came around. (Well, first I dreaded it and wished dragons would rain down fire on the school building, but I came around to the idea once I saw a new semester was inevitably going to happen.) New classes, books, and classmates. New opportunities to learn and connect. But then the class would sink in. Oh, wait we actually have to *study*... what did I sign up for... or God, please save me, why is this class/ teacher so boring.

Changing our life requires putting in the time, attention and work. The sweat, blood, and tears are the cost of admission but are well worth it. The results and our lives will be amplified by the amount of effort we put In!

We try to do everything all at once, 90 miles a minute.

I’ve been updating my 27 goals for my 27th year by rewriting out my goal list for 2018. 

I’ve got 5+ pages of goals I want to accomplish which even just looking at overwhelms me (I can’t imagine what my friends or Gabriella would do if I tried walking through them.) I’m bad about getting past wanting everything all at once. If not properly prioritized, prepared and tamed, your ambitions will kill your drive and ability to take actions.

Remember, your not competing against others, you’re competing against yourself. Instead of trying to lose weight, AND learn photography AND start an online business, start with one. The others will be waiting for you to accomplish them. And by focusing on one goal at a time and chaining each win, you skyrocket your motivation to do the others once you achieve each goal you set out to do. 

We see the New Year as our one chance for redemption and give up if we don’t perform perfectly.

But every second you are still alive is an opportunity to reset and change your life.

I’m here to tell you that you can push reset at any moment. You can’t turn back the clock, but you can move forward. Even when we hit rock up there’s always a way to find our way back up. It’s cliche to say, but every new day is a fresh start and opportunity to improve. All it takes is one little step in the right direction. 

And when we fall off the treadmill as we will inevitably do, know that falling is a natural part of living. We fall when we learn to walk. We fall when we learn to ride a bike. We fall when life punches us in the face.

But we can always choose to get back up and keep going. Hit reset. Grab a fresh sheet of paper, and start again.

Embrace new beginnings: anytime, anywhere.

Happy New Years everyone!

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner 

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"New Year's Day. A fresh start. A new chapter in life waiting to be written. New questions to be asked, embraced, and loved. Answers to be discovered and then lived in this transformative year of delight and self-discovery. Today carve out a quiet interlude for yourself in which to dream, pen in hand. Only dreams give birth to change." — Sarah Ban Breathnach, best-selling author

"For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: 'If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?' And whenever the answer has been 'No' for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something." — Steve Jobs

I️ want to be ALIVE

A Renaissance Life is about the art of living. Being ALIVE. Continuous learning and improvement. That being said, the best way to understand how to live is defining the opposite: Complacency. (Dun dun daaaaaaa)

Complacency is doing things — or not doing things — because, well, ‘I don’t care’. 

Complacency is complaining about our lives more than we act on changing them.

Complacency is giving into temptations of self-sabotage because things are good.

Complacency is giving into easy, fear, thoughts of never being good enough and every other million ways we can lock ourselves in a cage of our own design. 


The cure for complacency is designing your life. It’s trying new things and taking on pursuits. It’s learning, growing, and connecting with others. It’s adding a little (sprinkle) of positivity to the world.

Being ALIVE is taking up the mantle and choosing to be better than complacency and all of his ugly friends (apathy, despair, and self-loathing to name a few).

Being ALIVE is knowing you are capable of change and that change can be good. Second chances are always one step away.

Being ALIVE is committing to caring. Caring for what/who you love, caring for values and most of all caring for the well being of others.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing

— Josh Waggoner

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"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." Winston Churchill

"Thank you for life, and all the little ups and downs that make it worth living."  — Travis Barker

"One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today." — Dale Carnegie

Micro Rewards

Making progress happens with consistent action, but motivation is usually the issue.

Having long-term motivations are great, such as visualizing yourself on stage playing or speaking to a sold-out stadium, or interviewing Oprah, or picturing your book on the NYTBS list. They­ help keep you pointed on the right course.

But sometimes high-minded motivations aren’t enough when you are in the mud, doing the work. That’s where short-term micro-rewards (microwards?) come into play. Short term motivations adjust you to the long-term vision.

Over time, you can incrementally change your behavior to complete hard tasks by motivating yourself with a healthy reward if you complete the work first.

I say ‘healthy reward’ because the last thing you want to do is make a micro reward unhealthy. (Eating cake after every time you finish a blog post is not going to do you any favors)

Think of I­t­ like, ‘I would love to do X but first I will do Y’. You’re not depriving yourself of pleasure, you’re just pushing I­t­ off and actually making the pleasure more enjoyable. ‘No one loves water like a man who is thirsty’ (Someone said that once... probably) Of course, I’m not telling you to stop drinking water until you work out. (That’s silly) The absence and gap between allowing yourself a little treat are all the more rewarding.

A great example is a vacation. Planning and daydreaming about a vacation you're about to go on is usually more enjoyable than the vacation itself!

Micro Rewards give you the discipline to focus on what you really want, versus what you’re mood, mind, and body says you want in the moment.

Want to watch an episode of The Runaways? Great idea, but finish writing your two pages of your book first.

Want to read Tech Blogs? Good! Me too. Just make sure you call a friend you’ve been meaning to talk to first.

Want to go out for a drink? Okay, but first practice your piano scales.

Small daily habits towards our long-term goals are how we achieve them.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

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"For every disciplined effort there is a multiple reward." — Jim Rohn