Mind Games

Getting your head right is the first step towards achievement.

It’s impossible to succeed if you don’t believe that you can.

Study the mind. Study yourself. Learn what you want out of this life, and don’t let yourself hold you back from it.

Happiness, satisfaction, fulfillment, and success are all a state of mind.

Not to say all you need is yourself, but without trust, self-love, kindness, and belief in yourself, how do you expect to help others?

Belief unlocks the door.

So watch how you talk to yourself. Pay close attention to the words you use.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing — Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1407 (draft #2)

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Late Night Ramblings

You don’t know what you don’t know.

That’s why we have to seek it out.

What fuels your actions?

Fame? Curiosity? Desperation?

Different fuels burn cleaner and burn longer.

A person pursuing a passion, say opera singing, will go much further faster if she is fueled by curiosity rather than acclaim.

The fuels that burn with smoke—anger, jealousy, or fear may get you where you want to go, but what remains of yourself (and your life) once you get there?

Also, where is that fuel taking you? Are you making meaningful decisions or are you defaulting to the choices in front of you?

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing — Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1406

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Remove The Variables That Lead to Failure.

Failure is inevitable.

But that doesn’t mean failure is assured. Knowing that failure is a possibility is much different than thinking you will likely fail.

I find it helpful to think of failure in percentages. There’s a 10% chance of failure (or flipped—there’s a 90% chance of success.

There’s an 80% chance this isn’t going to work because of X Y Z reasons.

This is a much easier problem to solve than the normal ”pass/fail“ mindset of failure or success. When we can identify the possible factors why we might fail, we can then go about canceling those variables from the equation.

Accuracy isn’t the point here, the key is to guess the likelihood of failure and narrowing that gap by addressing the potential obstacles beforehand.

It’s choosing where you want to go, eliminating potential roadblocks you see and preparing for what you are going to do if other obstacles block your path.

Because even a 1% more likelihood of success is better than 0% more.

How can you stack the deck (ethically anyway) in your favor so that the likelihood* of success is inevitable?

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing — Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1405

*plus a sprinkle of Chance and Fortune.

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Slowing Down

Energy creates energy.

Work creates more work.

But if you’re overworked, slowing down is how you can start to feel good again. Sometimes it feels like you have to work yourself out of a situation, digging yourself further in before you can get out. But really we just need to set out of the hole and get a clearer perspective.

If you’re overworked, more work won’t cure you. Especially if you’re saying yes to things that don’t bring you joy or energy.

If you must work, then work differently. Doing the same thing over and over without break or maintenance would dull any blade.

Slow things down.

Find the path forward that you want to take, versus the path you think you must take.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing — Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1404

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One Thing at a Time.

Everything requests time from us.

Things we want to do.

Things we don’t.

It’s easy to take on too many things at once—projects, todos, goals, even priorities.

But that doesn’t change the amount of things we can personally do at once—one.

Switching from project to project takes a little bit of our time too.

The more projects we try to do at the same time, the more split our time becomes. So the question is, what truly matters to you?

What’s one of the few things you want to do in your life right now?

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing — Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1403

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Overstimulated

One thing you’ll battle as a multidisciplinary is too many inputs (TMI 😜) vying for your time and energy. Heck—everyone alive in the modern age is bombarded with knowledge and information nowadays, not just Renaissance types.

Put aside all the ads, opinions, and information you don’t care about, even the knowledge we look for can be TMI and overstimulating at times.

On any given day, there are dozens of books, hundreds of videos, emails, articles I want to consume, and thousands of decisions I could take, but just because I have the options doesn’t mean I should try doing them all (especially all at once.)

Just because we can doesn’t mean we should.

I always feel particularly overstimulated on days (like today) when I haven’t slept well or when I’m not at my best. Noticing this feeling is the first step to counteracting it. When you notice something is off, you can lighten your load for the day (as much as you can allow) and reduce the pressure of the daily fire hose of information.

Minimalism is a good practice to follow to reduce overwhelm. The last thing you want to do when you are overwhelm is go shopping, or watch 15 shows on Netflix, or stress about all the important things you should be doing today but can’t quite muster up the energy to do.

Filtering is Key.

Quality over distraction. Less options. Remove any visible reminders of todo or potentially todos in your immediate environment. Limit access to your phone or computer (only the essential current needs.)

One Thing at a Time.

Do what you need to get everything else out of your head so you can focus on what’s in front of. Prioritize your tasks, but focus only on the immediate priority. Pretend like nothing else exists during this time you’ve allocated.

Remember What’s Important.

Make sure you actually have to do the things you think you have to do. Is this required of me? Is this task mine? Is this my responsibility? Or am I adding unnecessary items on my todo list?

Find Calm Environments.

When you are overstimulated, the last thing you want to do is be around a bunch of loud noises and activity. Find a patch of nature. Go somewhere quiet. Or just close your eyes and listen to an ocean waves sounds on YouTube.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing — Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1402 (draft #2)

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Staying in Tune

I started playing guitar in middle school. “Playing” is a generous way to put it. I owned a guitar and would mess around. I picked up a few things from a friend and my grandfather. But I was just a guy who owned a cheap guitar. I even took a lesson… once. Maybe twice.

It wasn’t until high school, where I started really falling in love with playing piano when my interest in guitar became more than a passing fancy. I still didn’t really know any of the theory, but I trained up my hand dexterity, ears, and overall feel for the guitar to come up with interesting rhythms and tunes.

One thing about guitars is they never stay in tune. The newer the strings, the more quickly they’ll un-tune themselves. Tuning is a ritual you always need to be cognizant of and constantly check on. Otherwise, the sound will be off and the strings won’t work well together sonically.

It’s also worth noting that there’s more than one way to tune a guitar. Standard Tuning (EADGBE) is just one among of many.

I find this

Tuning is a great metaphor for a lot of things in our lives.

Ambition. Learning new skills. Competition. Priority. Interest. Relationships. Love. Values. Work. Even this blog.

Each aspect of our lives has a certain frequency that works for us. Sometimes we are in tune and sometimes we are out of tune.

For example, when we are learning a new skill, we start with a mountain of enthusiasm and energy. We see people who have mastered a craft and want to be good at it too. As we begin our journey, and time goes on, our enthusiasm waxes and wanes from excitement to boredom, or from having fun to overworked.

The same is true for love. In the beginning, everything is butterflies. But as time goes on, things go from learning about each other to growing and experiencing life together.

And, like everything else, things can get out of tune if you aren’t checking in on it or being intentional about what you are doing.

We stop learning a new skill because we get distracted by another one, or our goal—our reason for learning—gets unclear and out of tune. Our relationships become repetitive. Our drive to compete diminishes because of losing or lack of motivation.

But just like a guitar, all we need to do is retune.

We do that through genuine intention, action, and care.

Retuning is a continuous thing. Taking one shower doesn’t keep you clean forever. It’s a lifetime thing. The same goes for anything worth having.

You must constantly periodically return to yourself. Your values. your vision. your priorities.

Reaffirm what’s important to you.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing — Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1401 (draft #2)

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A Little Me Time

I tend to be an over-giver.

If someone I love needs something, I’ll do what I can to help (even if I’m not in a place to do so.)

I’m not a “yes man.” I can easily say no to things that don’t align with my core values. And I also have a visceral feeling of time, and how precious every second is, so I try to say yes to only important things and no to everything else.

But if a friend needs someone to talk to, I’m there. If someone I love needs my help, I’ll do what I can—and then some.

But sometimes comes back to bite me. Because If I give too much and forget to give to myself, I’ll start to prune up (so to speak.)

If you’re like me, it’s easy to forget your needs and instead focus on the needs of others. 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

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 hard 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.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing — Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1400 (draft #2)

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The Right Things

How do you know if you are spending your time wisely or not?

Is it better to spend your time working on your side hustle or playing board games with friends? Or is it better to study for your next exam (or dream job) or spend time at the gym?

All the above? There are no easy answers here.

First, we can separate entertainment and purpose-driven work. There’s nothing wrong with loving movies or tv. But if these things take priority over our lives (meaning priority over what matters to us, or priority over changing our life for the better) then we are probably not spending our time well. A movie watched with friends creates different feelings and experiences than a movie watched alone.

For example, if all I do is play video games and nothing else, what does that ultimately get me in life? Or on the flip side— if all I do is work and think about money, what does that ultimately get me in life? There’s a balance to everything. Most of us live in the middle, spending half our day working and spend the rest of our day hanging out with friends and family, taking time off, usually entertaining ourselves, and doing what’s necessary (eating, sleeping, etc.) Actually, scratch that—most of us are living ten lives at once and try to do it all. But is that really bringing us joy?

I do know that seeking out wisdom is great advice. And seeking out friends and connections with people who mutually want to see each other thrive and be happy. If we keep working on those two, then we’ll gain more insights and clarity on what decisions we should make, based on our interests, goals, and skills.

I also know that if you know what you’re calling is, but you don’t work on it every day, then you are likely wasting your time on things that don’t matter.

Ultimately, we all have 24 hours in a day and so many years to spend. And that means we decide to choose what to do with it.

Where we spend our time tells ourselves (and the world) what we deem valuable.

What makes you feel alive?
What makes you feel accomplished?
What makes you feel like you’ve had an impact?
What would you do if you never had to work another day in your life?
Who is worth sharing your time with (where sharing is mutual)?
What thoughts/emotions/actions are worth your precious time?

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing — Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1399 (draft #2)

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Priority is

Time-based. Things that take more of your time naturally take greater priority. The more time you give something, the more you “feed” its priority. (The reverse is true as well—the less time you give something, the less priority it holds.)

If you want to prioritize something in your life, give it more of your time on a consistent (ideally daily) basis.

Priority is also quality-based. Brainpower is staying power. The more attention and intention you give something, the greater priority it will have in your life. Naturally, attention and intention also require time, so time-based and quality-based priorities go hand in hand.

Priority requires action.
Priority requires initiation.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing — Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1398

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