I’m writing this from a sauna about an hour from Chattanooga and Atlanta. 160° F / 70° C and rising. I wonder how hot an ink pen can get before it explodes into a splatter of ink and rage and paints me a nice shade of blue (like Paul Giamatti in Big Fat Liar).
I should do this more often. So far I’m the only one in here which is nice. Luckily, no naked 70-year-old fat dudes have been spotted, ready and willing to share their latest skin ailments and cholesterol problems. Knock on (cedar) wood.
One of my biggest goals with each daily blog post I write is to leave myself and you with a positive note. Not in an overall narrow or optimistic way, as everything crumbles around me, but as a way to reinforce positive, can do self-talk and lifestyle design. No matter how discouraged or stressed I might be at the beginning of sitting down to write, I never want to leave in a negative state. Open questions are welcome, negative Nancy’s are not.
Call this overly optimistic or looking on the bright side, my goal is to slow down enough to see the lessons in the hard things and chaos that comes with Pursing creativity (and life in general), and leave my head — and hopefully yours too — a little better than I found it.
It’s kind of like cleaning your bedroom or your office. You could throw your stuff about, like the kool-aid bro just busted through your wall (ooooooohhhh yeah), or a gaggle of tourist popped by and played hockey with your stuff, like a tornado decided to only hit your room and no one else’s, like Miley Cyrus brew in like a wreaking ball.... what was I talking about again?
How is disorganization going to make you feel when you come back? How is it going to make the next person that comes in feel? Happy or subconsciously stressed the 🤖 out?
180° F / 80° C
Leave it better than you found it is a mental practice much as it is a physical one.
A side benefit of having a daily writing practice is taking a moment to check in with myself and how I’m feeling and what I’m doing and adjusting if necessary. Small adjustments don’t seem like much in the heat of it, but in the long term view, they add up to a meaningful variance.
200° F / 90° C. Now We Are Cook’n
Writing is just one of many types of check-ins you can have for yourself.
Running, Vlogging, Talking to friends, being out on the water, therapy, shouting at the heavens... anything that gets you out of your mind and into the present. Before my daily practice, I was living like most do, mindlessly going about my life without actually considering what I’m doing. Before I started my renaissance life, I was living as if the world was monochrome. It’s not a bad life, in fact, it's much easier to live this way. Go to school, do this job, eat this food, buy these things. You don’t have to think about health or purpose or originality that much.
However, a mindless life is not an extraordinary life. Once you see the world go from black and white to spectacular color, it’s impossible to go back. Checking in with yourself does that. Pain, injury, and failure can do that. Nature can do that. Anything that gets you out of your self-centered nature can do that.
The person you envision in your head you want to be won’t become reality without the mental feedback that mindful living brings. Not to say that it doesn’t happen, it does, but often times we are too busy, too stressed, too up our own bums to see that we’ve gotten what we wanted, but having it wasn’t enough. I want $1,000 dollars. No $10,000. No — $1,000,000. No make it a billion. The amount doesn’t ultimately matter to us in the end. It’s learning to enjoy the process, and knowing the reason why we want things in the first place — the purpose and value behind the goal — that actually gets to the meaningful life we want.
If you ever have a strong suspicion that you could be doing more, or could be more, then maybe its time to add a daily practice to open up that conversation with yourself. What practice you choose is up to you. What matters is giving yourself the outlet and challenge to define who you are and what you are capable of.
Looks like my pen lasted longer than I did. I’m getting out of this hot box.
Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
And wherever you are, keep smiling :)
— Josh Waggoner