Most Problems Have More than One Answer.

“The wise man doesn’t give the right answers, he poses the right questions.” Claude Levi-Strauss

“We don’t know all the answers. If we knew all the answers we’d be bored, wouldn’t we? We keep looking, searching, trying to get more knowledge.” — Jack LaLanne

One of the great (and occasionally frustrating) things creativity is there is rarely a single answer or way of doing something.

For example, if you are living in a town with all dirt roads, how do you keep your feet from getting dirty? Well, one way would be to wear sneakers or boots instead of sandals. Or maybe that’s not ideal because it’s also a hot tropical environment, so instead, you could water the dirt (to pat things down and keep dust out of the air) and add a knee-height facet to your shower, so you can wash your feet. The (current) modern solution was just to pave everything in asphalt. One is a simple personal solution/cost (i.e. wear/buy sneakers) and another is a complex society solution/cost (i.e. pave the crap out of it).

This is a random example, but it highlights a simple yet overlooked insights:

There is usually more than one way to solve a problem.

Finding an answer to a problem isn’t necessarily an effective solution.

An effective answer isn’t necessarily the correct answer.

And not all answers are universal. (Some work better for different people.)

That goes for roads, businesses, applications, oil paintings.

We can build on the knowledge that came before and come up with something new or start completely blank and unsure and build our own path step by step to something original. Or mix things up and do a hybrid.

It’s also worth noting that just because we have an answer now doesn’t mean we’ll have a better answer in the near future. Until digital currency we used checks. Before that, cash. Before that, people carried around gold and silver.

What’s something we do today that will make us look like cavemen/cavewomen twenty years from now?

Many innovative solutions only came about after multiple (step-by-step) iterations of ideas that came before. Digital currency is an order of magnitude more efficient than trading sheep for brick, but it didn’t happen overnight. It happens slowly, yet also quicker than you think. Nowadays our Marvel or Game of Thrones TV shows look real, compared to Jar Jar Binks not too long ago.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1275

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Uptight

Today was our first day in Halbox Mexico soaking up the sun (and mangoes).

I’ve been needing a break for a while. I’m almost to the point where I don’t even know what to do with myself.

Have you ever been in a restaurant and the customers at the table next to you sounds like they are having the time of their lives—conversations, laughter, enjoyment—and you’re quietly sitting with your party, trying to think of something interesting to say?

Am I boring? Vanilla? Uptight?

I don’t think so. But taking everything to serious and working (out of necessity) all the time will do that to you.

Having fun looks differently for different people. I mostly love to read and explore while I’m at the beach. But is that boring?

I’m reminded of the saying from Benjamin Franklin, “Either write something worth reading about or do something worth writing about.”

To have good stories, we need to do something worthwhile, and out of our normal comfort zone.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1274

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Creative Uncertainty.

Creativity naturally lives in uncertain territory. When you are attempting to build something new, knowing what works or what doesn’t is rarely a given. Even following someone else’s playbook doesn’t inherently mean you will succeed.

Not knowing how to do something is part of the process of learning and building mastery.

Sometimes that means looking like a complete boob. Like when you are learning a new language and forget half the words and mispronounce the other half.

Not knowing is part of the process. And discovering.

Discovery of the hidden mechanism of the world has been the driving motivator of countless entrepreneurs, investors, scientists and explorers.

Discovering what’s out there in the wild unknown.

Creative uncertainty also adds mystery and out-of-the-box quirks to our work.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1273

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Yes yes no

Have you ever said yes to a project or job you knew you shouldn’t do?

Maybe the opportunity was too good to turn down, or the pitch was so enticing to say no

… but your body said no. Your gut gave a tung, telling you something was off about it. Or your chest felt suddenly anxious.

I’ve been working on listening to these signals more. If your body can tell you when it’s hungry or tired, why wouldn’t it be able to tell you when a decision is a good one or not.

Not that our instincts are infallible. The key thing to look out for is how your body and spirit compare to your mind.

• Your mind says yes, but your heart or gut says no—probably a no. Think it over. Consult your mentors and inner friends.

• Your mind says no, but your heart says yes—might be a calling or something you need to do.

• Your mind says yes and your body says yes—go for it!

• Nobody’s talking—could be a yes could be a no. Give it some time and ask for advice.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1272

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Misplaced Effort

It’s easy to mistake motion for progress.

Simply taking action doesn’t add up to a whole lot if you don’t have a goal in mind or if you are acting on the wrong things.

Where are you directing your effort *towards*?

Displaced effort often looks like doing too many things at once. Even if they are things we want to do, the more we spread ourselves around, the less potent our effort is.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1271

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On Being Too Nice

Being nice is a great quality to have (and practice).

You could be the most talented person in the world, but if you’re a jerk-butt then no one will want to work with you (for long).

But I do think there is such a thing as being too nice. If you come across as too nice, you might be mistaken as a pushover, or as someone to take advantage of.

It’s one thing to lend a hand, it’s another to do something you don’t want to do or to compromise your values.

Being nice begins with being nice to yourself.

Helping others but running yourself into the ground ultimately helps no one.

So if you find yourself being too nice and overreaching, direct that energy towards taking care of yourself.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1270

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Silence speaks

“Let silence do the work for you.”

This is one of the big lessons I’ve learned in my adventures with podcasting.

If there’s a void, we want to fill it. If there’s an awkward amount of space, we feel the urge to say something.

This works for us too. If you need to do some inner work, and figure something out about yourself, then give yourself alone time and ask yourself questions—your mind will fill in the answers.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1269

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Creative Gold

You probably already know this, but the best way to get a job is your connection: who you know and who they know.

The second best way is excellence: be good at what you do and be passionate about it.

If there has to be a third, I’d give the trophy to attitude and tied it with learning to come up with good ideas.

None of these ideas are new. But what’s interesting is when you mix and match and combine them together.

Great friends and peers. Exceptional work. Resilient attitude. Big ideas. Talk about setting yourself up to more likely to succeed.

This applies to find clients too, we often use different words to describe it: word of mouth, professional, self-leadership, and enthusiasm.

Heck, they apply to all aspects of life.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1268

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Candor

I find it good to have a friend or two who always tells it like it is. Frankness isn’t necessarily a quality you want to be around 24 / 7, but in the long run, it’s more painful without it than with it.

Candor keeps our ego in check and helps us avoid mistakes and errors of judgment we aren’t noticing.

We don’t grow when everyone tells us yes, or gives us only praise and compliments, or fibs to not hurt our feelings. (We don’t grow when all we get is criticism either. We need a healthy balance of critique and celebration.

Critiquing and honesty are nuanced skills. The best critiques show us a path forward (sometimes an alternative path than we are currently on) to be better, rather than just putting us down. Honesty isn’t about regurgitation all your thoughts aloud, rather it’s about using truth to help us be better friends and better human beings.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1265

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Healthy Avoidance

I try not to learn/start things with the potential for bad habits.

Sometimes that’s less about the act and more about the frequency.

For example, I’d love to dive into mixology, but if I did I would 100% more likely to drink more. Unless I was trying to make a career from it, I would personally see a negative net benefit despite its appeal, because health comes first for me. Even though it would be a cool thing to know (and a great party trick), and fun to learn.

To each their own, of course.

My goal is to avoid habits that lead to bad outcomes.

Of course, there are always interesting alternatives to think about. What if you want to prioritize health but still what to learn mixology? You could learn how to make mocktails with kombucha and healthier syrups (made with coconut sugar and fruit, for example).

Ask Yourself:

Does X habit lead me to where I want to go?

What’s an alternative I can do that aligns better with my goals?

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1264

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