Because Reasons

“Never underestimate the power of anyone’s story… anyone’s life.”

Abby Johnson

“If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story.”

Orson Welles

Two opposing thoughts to events in our lives:

“How could I be so unlucky? Why is this happening to me?”

“How could I be so lucky? I have so many opportunities coming my way it’s crazy. Why is this happening to me?”

Whether you are going through good times, bad, or a little of both, there’s one thing to consider:

Perhaps it is all happening for a reason.

Maybe this is exactly where you need to be, so that you can learn to become a better version of yourself that you are capable of being. Maybe this is what needed to happen so that you can use your story and your hard (or expectational) life lessons to create an impact in the lives of others who needed help.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #753


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Shiny New Choices

“My washing machine overwhelms me with its options and its sophistication.”

Uma Thurman

“You can make bad choices and find yourself in a downward spiral or you can find something that gets you out of it.”

Ray LaMontagne

“I like both Blu-ray and DVD, but Blu-ray gives you more options.”

Nicolas Cage

Too many choices is likely the biggest culprit for why we can’t finish anything. There’s just so many ideas, projects, books, courses, places to visit… you name it! We could be doing all of them, so we end up doing none of them.

Why finish this thing when we could start that other thing.

Too many options is the same reason why when we get a chance to travel (particularly abroad) we inevitably cram our days with things to do and see and attempt to fit one thousand experience into one week.

Whether it’s a business idea, art project or travel plan, one big reason why we get stuck or derailed is because of too many options.

Don’t get me wrong, options are great. Options are opportunities. Some people this very second are dealing with the fact that they don’t have many options. But too many possibilities can leave us feeling overwhelmed and winded.

I think this is why minimalism and The Magically Art of Tidying Up (wait, is that the right title?) is mainstream right now. We’re all feeling the creep of more — more choices for entertainment, and food, more global connectivity, more stuff, more work, more time needed. No wonder most of us crave simplicity. We crave flexibility and freedom of choice, but also equally crave simplicity.

Another way to think about minimal living is ‘intentional simplicity’. It’s not that you can’t do more, buy more or see more, it’s just that you choice to narrow your focus on only what matters to you in this moment.

Limitation sparks creativity.

Narrowing our options gives us more room to breathe and more time to enjoy what we love. The desire is to keep yourself in check and doing the things you love, instead of being endlessly distracted by shiny new things.

There’s a balance, of course. Make things too simple, and you end up with an empty apartment with only a mattress on the floor with nothing to pursue. (Unless your intention is to force yourself out of the house 😉.)

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #752


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Knowing too much

“We think too much and feel too little.”

Charlie Chaplin

Excessive knowledge can be a problem if it keeps us from acting on intuitive decisions. Knowledge is a balance. Just like how we can die from not enough water and too much water, we can just as easily know too much about things (work, life, circumstances etc) than knowing too little. (Although it’s easier to die from lack of water than too much.)

Not enough knowledge keeps us where we are because of ignorance, too much knowledge keeps us where we are because of fear, uncertainty and anxieties over whether or not we are making the right call.

When we are feeling stuck, it’s good to pause and go with what our guts are telling us to do and just let ourselves go for it, despite the doubt. Another approach is pretend as if you were giving advice to a close friend on what to do. In my experience, I’ve found it’s better to follow your intuition and possibly be wrong than to do nothing (or do what someone inexperienced is telling you) and be mentally second (let’s be honest third) guessing yourself.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #751


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Happy Pursuits

“A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at.”

Bruce Lee

It’s the pursuit that we are all really after in life. We ask questions and seek answers, but an answer is just a momentary end to the seeking.

The chase of love.

The enjoyment of old routine and new experiences.

The joy of figuring things out.

The thrill of the race.

The freedom to create what we are passionate at.

The confidence of belief.

To create a meaningful life, focus on the pursuit, rather than the wins and losses. If we can align — even if it takes some time — what we do with what love, then our failures and adversities become less disappointing and difficult and our successes become satisfying and humble stepping stones to further success.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #750


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Enjoy the Process

“Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.”

Anais Nin

Creative endeavors are never binary. Both success and failure are subjective. Success and failure are never final — they are just fixed moments in our minds or what our culture deems success or failure.

Is success really a success if you stop? Is failure really a failure if you pick yourself up and keep going?

Live is a series of wins and loses. The key is loving what we do and not let momentary success or failures stop us from improving and being who we want to be. By loving what you do, it doesn’t matter if you’ve had a crappy day or went up to bat (metaphorically) and struck out. The same with having an incredible day and knocking it out of the park. Tomorrow will come and we’ll be back to creating something new.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #749


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Be a Spark

“The larger the change, the more people will resist it. Thus, make it seem so tiny and trivial that people don’t even realize it.”

Maxime Lagacé

“Let him that would move the world first move himself.”

Socrates

When you think about it, creative work is very ethereal — particularly digital things. Design, marketing, fashion, music, dance, videos, (dance videos), articles, websites, apps…

Everything online is continuously changing and iterating.

We spend the better part of our day working on things that likely won’t be around in a few years, let alone a century from now. You could see this as a negative. Why work on something that’s not going to last? But I see it as a positive. It’s our chance to try new things and see what sticks. It shows us that we should enjoy it while it last, but also not take work too seriously and let it run over our lives. Future innovation doesn’t happen unless we innovate and push boundaries in the present and do the work now. You can see progress from a bird’s eye perspective, but change happens on the ground.

Some thing we create have the chance to be perennial, but most of what we create won’t even last a day. But everything we are is an accumulation of what we’ve done and where we’ve been.

Ethereal work might not last a century (very little does), but if we can even impact one person in a positive or thought-opening way with our work, then what we do is worth all the time and effort.

Be a spark for other people’s change. We don’t necessarily have to beat people over the head with our ideas and try to force them to chance, we just need to open the door and let their curiosity do the work.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #748


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Creative Obstacles

“Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them.”

Albert Einstein

“If you always put limit on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them”

Bruce Lee

Creativity is about giving what you’ve got, not what we wish we had or think we need to create.

Sometimes that means working with the materials and equipment you have on hand.

Or sometimes that means being time-bound, finishing an idea in a day or working on a project every spare 10 minutes you can give.

One thing you learn along the way is there’s no one way to make something. There’s your way, my way, their way — we all approach projects differently. That’s why there’s hundreds of unique songs made with C, D and G chords played in different ways.

Sure, there are more effect ways than others, but effectiveness depends on the goals you have in mind. Are you trying to make something with a low budget? Are you trying to work around a physical limitation? Do you feel stuck in where to take your idea? Use it to your advantage.

The key is to not let finding the ‘right’ way to do something limit you from doing it. There are no limitations in life, only creative workarounds and solutions to hard problems.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #747


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Filter

There’s never been more information and ways we can spend our time. There are multiple lifetimes of books, subjects, websites, films, tv shows and music. And (unless there’s an apocalypse) the inputs aren’t going to get any smaller.

But despite the increasing about of things we can do with our time, our amount time remains the same. 168 hours in a week. 24 hours in a day. 16 hours after subtracting sleep (give or take). 8 hours for work. 8 hours for everything else.

Which is why it’s vital for us to prioritize what we do and ultimately not do with our time.

Activity doesn’t mean quality or meaning. We can easily invest a whole lot of time into a whole lot of things that don’t actually add up to something meaningful in our lives.

Now, I’m not telling you to set fire to your tv and cancel your Disney+, Netflix, HBO and Apple TV+ subscription. Enjoyment can be quality well spent. Nor am I saying we should only spend our time working. Live is bigger than just work.

However, if too much input is taking away your time and ability to create and do the things you dream of doing, then it’s perhaps time to take a look at where your hours go and how much bang you’re getting out of them.

The key to having a balance great inputs is for them to improve our lives instead of distract us from living.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #746


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Trajectory

What we do inevitably creates who we are. And who we are motivates what we do. Ad infinite.

The direction changes when we interject new experiences and decide to prioritize one thing over another. This is good, because it gives us control over our lives by giving us the chance to replace bad habits we dislike with good habits we want.

Eating sugary desserts after dinner trains you into wanting dessert every night. Sugar is an addictive substance (which doesn’t help) but it’s also the process — the ritual — that we eventually pavlovian-ly condition ourselves into the habit. Do we like the sugar or do we just enjoy the process and the relief from stress and monotony that goes along with? The same can happen with healthy things too: eat spinach (raw or properly cooked) enough times and you’ll start to crave it soon.

Negative experiences can often be good for us too (as long as they don’t kill us in the process.) Experiences something that figuratively smacks us in the face and has the chance to set a new course for our lives. It also highlights what’s in our control and what isn’t. An injury can show you how vulnerable you are and precious life really is. It also can show you the negative space — the space within the space. Meaning, you don’t know how much you rely on something (be it your back, your left toe, a loved one, a friend) until you don’t have it anymore.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #745


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Coloring book

Like a coloring book, life gives us an outline. Our circumstances and decisions build the outline of what our life looks like. We don’t choose where we are born. We don’t choose our family. We don’t choose our culture.

But it’s our perspectives, emotions and thoughts that determine the colors of what our drawing looks like. We choose what we say. We choose what we do with what we’ve got.

Anger and entitlement paints it red.
Bitterness and pain can paint it black.
Humility and learning to let things go, blue and yellow.

A poorly drawn outline can become beautiful with thoughtful colors. (Happy trees.)

Sometimes red is part of our story. Sometimes red leads us to blue. I don’t think it matters whether we want to color outside the lines or inside instead. What we need to look out for is when our drawing is all one color and out of balance.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #744


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