Happiness Can Meet You Where YouAre

The joy of figuring things out.

The passion from creating meaningful things.

The enjoyment of consistent routine.

The thrill of experimenting.

The peace of making something with your hands.

And the happiness of sharing your work with others.

To create a meaningful life, focus on the pursuit, not the wins and losses. Money enables, but it shouldn’t be the end-all.

If we can align what we do with what love, then our failures and adversities become less disappointing and difficult. Not to mention that our successes become satisfying and humble stepping stones to further success.

Success isn’t necessary for happiness. Happiness can be created at any moment.

Even in the darkest periods, there’s a certain joy we can spark from the act of doing.

Are You Getting What You Need?

It’s hard to give when you’ve got nothing left.

If you’re like me, it’s easy to forget your needs and instead focus on the needs of others. (Humblebrag?) And it’s always easy to pour your energy into things that don’t fulfill you.

It’s not necessarily the giving that’s the problem, but the lack of receiving. Giving can be just as energizing as receiving. But if you aren’t giving yourself the time and space you need to refuel, then giving starts to become a problem.

Whether you’re giving energy to others or giving it to unrewarding things, sooner or later, too much and you’ll soon burn out.

Give time for what you need.

We all need rest, clean food, movement, solitude, fun and nourishing community.

Without it, we turn into pale imitations of who we want to be.

It’s worth repeating—It’s difficult to give when you’ve got nothing left.

Do what you need to do to thrive so that you can help others at a whole new level of strength and enthusiasm.


Extraordinary results require extraordinary effort.

Effort in the right direction.

What’s right?

Saying yes to things that align with your purpose and goals. Saying yes to your gut/intuition.

And then giving it your full focus.

Extraordinary is extra-ordinary. It’s doing what others won’t. It’s finding your edge—the thing(s) that make you stand out and be unique.

Back It Up With Action

“Fake it till you make it” can convince others (and yourself) that you’ve got the skills.

But it only works if you back it up with real skills.

It’s like using credit. It let you buy something in advance, but you better back it up when the bill comes due, otherwise, you’ll pay interest.

Sometimes we need to fake ourselves out to leap into the unknown. Once we leap though, we better put in the hard work necessary to make it happen.

Otherwise, we’re just faking it, which doesn’t last for long.

Greatness is Built

We don’t need to be great already to learn to be great.

Consistent effort goes a long way towards greatness.

I don’t care what your genes say, or how much talent you have or don’t have. Mastering a skill requires effort and persistence. If you practice those and are willing to put in the time, greatness is inevitable.

Daily habits and continuously challenging ourselves leads to mastery.

Make It Easy

In sight, in mind.

The easier it is to access a good habit, the more likely we will do it. At least that’s what I’ve discovered in my own life. I am 100% more likely to workout if I’ve got my weights, bands and shoes out in the open and ready to go. The same goes for practicing guitar. When my guitar is on a stand, I’m much more likely to reach out and grab it and take a “quick” guitar break, versus if was stuck in a guitar case somewhere under something. And if there’s no ice cream in the house, well, I can’t eat any, right? (Or at least I’m less likely too).

It’s not that we are lazy, rather most of us are lacking in time and motivation to start. No wonder you have trouble sticking to a good habit when you have to go through a ten step process before you can start! (I’m breaking a sweat just thinking about it).

Surround yourself with good habits over bad. Make it as simple as possible to work on your goals.

When You Have A Lot of Ideas

One of the joys of being a designer is taking an idea and making it a reality. Turning a simple sketch or (random) product name into an actual tangible thing. Or at least taking it a step closer.

The thing I have to be careful about is not getting too attached to whatever random ideas pop into my head each day.

Ideas are currency. But only with focus and effort. With the time and resources I have, I can only say yes to so many ideas. There’s a mental energy cost as well as a financial one.

Saying yes to too many ideas short-shrifts all the other ones.

So if I design a cool brand or product, but don’t have the time to give to make it real, who’s really getting value from that?

Guarding our time is essential for finding success in our projects.

Not to say that we should be walking on eggshells when it comes to our ideas. If you have a strong idea, test it out! Validate its worth. Build a paper prototype. Share it and see what people think.

If you can get one idea to pop, then you can leverage that success to fuel other ideas.

Join the Renaissance:

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1893

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Follow Your Fears

Whenever I’m feeling nervous about something, I know it’s a good sign that I need to be doing it. Fear is an excellent weather bell for what we should be doing. Not necessarily physical fears (like wrestling with a bear), but rather social fears or internal fears—things that make you nervous.

Singing, for example. It’s something I’ve been learning for the past couple of years. It feels natural to sing and play guitar by myself, or with friends. But I know I’m still in the beginning stages, so I always feel a little discomfort in the pit of my stomach and my heart starts fluttering when I sing for others. The idea of performing makes my heart flutter, which is a good sign I should be doing it.

If something is easy, it means we aren’t challenging ourselves enough.

The difficulty isn’t what we want. Rather, challenge is what takes us to that next level.

Hard, not for hard sake. Hard because we want to feel uncomfortable. Well, we don’t want to be uncomfortable, but that’s where improvement and growth build from.

Discomfort is how we grow. When we step out of our cozy slippers and step into a new and unfamiliar place, we push ourselves to grow.

There are many ways we can challenge ourselves. We can challenge ourselves by doing more. By doing less. By doing something different. By doing something that scares us. By doing something unfamiliar. By mimicking others.

But not talking. Or worrying. Or worrying about worrying.

We must push ourselves to fail. Again, not intentionally, but because dancing on the edge between failure and success is where the magic is.

Failure is just another word for latent success. It all depends on what we do with that failure—give up or keep at it.

Join the Renaissance:

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1892

NewslettersConsiderations | Practices | Bookaholics

Subscribe: Renaissance Life on Apple Podcast| Renaissance Life on Spotify

In Case of Stress…

Stress needs a release valve.

Bottling up stress, day after day, with no outlet, wreaks havoc on our minds and physical well-being.

Exercise (any type of movement really) is a great way to relieve stress. It might seem obvious, but obvious answers are usually the most straightforward and effective methods of action.

Mediation or moving meditations like Yoga is another go-to for me. Especially when anxiety is tagging along with stress.

I’ve heard vlogging (i.e. talking to a camera) is therapeutic, even if you don’t end up sharing it. But this isn’t something I have explored (yet).

Doing something fun (and completely unrelated to what’s stressing you out) is also a great release. Sometimes all we need is simply a break.

Remove the Barriers

If you feel called to do something, then removing the barriers stopping you should be one of your biggest priorities.

If money is the problem, mastering money is part of the solution. Read every insightful book on money you can get your hands on. Apply what you learn. Live below your means, while also increasing your means.

You might find that money was a problem but was masking the real barrier (such as fear). That’s good. Now you know. Now you can master this one as well. Keep going down the list until there are zero barriers/excuses left.