Big Rocks

Little things add up to big things. Creating daily habits (like meditation, writing, skating, etc) can be super helpful and rewarding, short-term and long-term.

And adding a solid self-care can be uplifting on a day-to-day basis.

But no amount of mediation is going to make you feel less stressed if you don’t take care of the big things in life—nutrition, sleep, finances, relationships, and purpose. Don’t get me wrong—it will help—but it’s not a panacea.

Don’t neglect the actual issue(s) with fun distractions and distant goals.

Take care of the core things first.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing — Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1353

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STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing — Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1354

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Connecting Skills

Becoming a multidisciplinary is far from easy, but it’s always interesting.

Everything you learn becomes a skill in your creative toolkit.

Any discipline has its nooks and crannies to explore and master over a lifetime. What’s special about studying multiple disciplines is how they converge.

The best ideas come from the convergence and connection of multiple skills.

Your goal shouldn’t be just to learn a bunch of disparate things because they are interesting, rather, your goal should be to *connect* different skills in novel ways.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing — Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1353

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Life School

A large portion of our lives is spent in school and the classroom. We wake up early and jump from one class to the next in a well-rounded charcuterie board of knowledge. College is much the same. We have to choose a major, but half the courses we take are general classes with the means of giving us a balanced education.

What I find fascinating is we study multiple academic (‘core’) subjects at school—English, Maths, Science, Language, History, Art, etc.—but in our careers, we only focus on one thing.

In school we focus on many things, but in our careers we focus on one thing.

Perhaps that’s because we can’t literally do two things at once without task switching, so choosing one job is the natural option. Or maybe it’s because mastering one industry is difficult enough and attempting to be a professional in many industries is borderline insane.

But is that really true?

Are we truly focused on one thing or are we just telling ourselves that we are?

If you are an employee at a company, you likely not only have the main skill you were hired for—UX Designer for example—you also have to focus on good communication skills, time management, EQ, presentations, and negotiation (just to name a few). And if you are an entrepreneur or work at a startup, you likely have 7+ jobs on a day-to-day basis, and constantly have to switch things up and wear different hats.

And if you want to get technical, even your main skill (i.e. UX Design) has layers and layers of sub-skills you could master.

You could argue that your communication skills are just as important as your design skills.

Not only should we be learning and pushing ourselves in our main skill, but we should also be growing in our other skills too, using a ‘school’ like format. A personal life school that helps you become a well-balanced person.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing — Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1352

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Shift Your Perspective

Your story so far is your story. Life-changing events, heartbreak, career failures, and success, experiences, trauma…

It doesn’t matter whether you like it or not. It’s your story—so why not own it instead?

Can you change what happened? No. Can you change how it paints your reality? Yes.

Because the narrative we tell ourselves says a lot about what we will do in the future and what we think is possible for us.

Play a hero, and you’ll become a hero. See the worst in everything and you’ll become a negative person.

Own your story, good and bad.

This doesn’t diminish the pain you’ve experienced. It only lifts its weight from your shoulders and gives you a story to tell others. Perhaps even a story that will help others in their own journey.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing — Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1351

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Continuous Effort

“Genius is often only the power of making continuous efforts. The line between failure and success is so fine that we scarcely know when we pass it—so fine that we are often on the line and do not know it. How many a person has thrown up their hands at a time when a little more effort, a little more patience, would have achieved success. As the tide goes clear out—so it comes clear in.” — Elbert Hubbard

Success is often about making good decisions at the right time (or finding a little luck). Yet, sometimes all we need is just a little bit more effort.

The difference between someone who fails and someone who succeeds is perseverance. Because what is success but a continuous effort towards a goal and the willingness to continue after you fail again and again.

That being said, it’s worth looking at what we are trying to succeed in. Just because we can succeed at something doesn’t mean we should. Succeeding at something that doesn’t mean much to us isn’t worth the countless hours we sweat to make it happen.

“A little more effort, a little more patience” towards the right things.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing — Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1350

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Start with Low Steaks


More often than not, we are our own worst enemy. We hold ourselves back by building things up in our minds. Big expectations. We think we can’t do something, so we don’t.

But as FDR said in his first inauguration, “the only thing we have to fear is…fear itself.”

Fear—and other things that are fear-in-disguise—hold us back.

That’s where low stakes come in. When the stakes are lower, it’s much easier to put your toes in the water. For example, it’s much easier to find a new job when you currently have a job, than it is when you don’t have a job and you are stressed about paying for essential needs.

High stakes, high pressure. Perhaps the goal is a high-stakes dream, but we don’t start there.

We start just a little beyond our comfort zone. A half step in the right direction. Then another. Is a half-step what we are wanting? No, but at least it’s better than nothing. Doing nothing is letting fear when.

Low steaks show us that ‘hey, this isn’t so bad after all.’

Make the first step easy. Show yourself how good it can feel to do good for yourself and your aspirations.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing — Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1349

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Unmasking Complexity

Our life is the sum total of all the decisions we make every day, and those decisions are determined by our priorities.

Myles Munroe

In character, in manner, in style, in all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Complexity is simply a tapestry of simpler components and space. The “tapestry” gives it structure and meaning, Whether that’s a t-shirt quilt, DNA sequence, or a complex cloud computing architecture.

For example, a (good/bad) habit is a consistent collection of actions over time. We can start (or end) any habit today, but it doesn’t become a full note until we build it up over time (on average 66 days). One day of piano lessons isn’t much to brag about, but what about 10 weeks of piano?

When you are overwhelmed, breaking something down into its smallest components and prioritizing them by importance is incredibly helpful. It’s a simple idea, but you’d be surprised how often we forget to do it.

A problem that feels too big is likely too big. We need to break it down into a smaller set of problems.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing — Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1348

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Habit Graveyard

“Our daily decisions and habits have a huge impact upon both our levels of happiness and success.”

Shawn Achor

Many things that define who we were—experiences we had growing up, habits we had in college, things we valued last year—have a surprising (yet not-so-surprising) hold on who we are.

Our past identities (good and bad) reflect on who we are today. (And the same goes for our current selves reflecting on our future selves.) I enjoy basketball today because I played it growing up (and have a lot of fond memories tied to friends and family around it). But I rarely play nowadays (even though I’ve been trying to get some pickup games going here recently). That’s just one sliver of who I am/was, but that’s part of my story—a small layer of cookie dough in the ice cream that describes my life.

But enjoying basketball in my past doesn’t mean that I have to be that person today. (This is a silly example, but you get where I’m going here).

We may be where we are because of our past decisions and circumstances, but we aren’t defined by them. We define our lives by the decisions (wise or poor) that we make today.

The same goes for our habits.

A habit is only as good as it’s useful to you today and in the future. It’s okay to let habits die if they are no longer serving you.

At the end of the day, a habit should bring joy or progress towards what you value. Don’t let things you used to do or wished you would have done haunt you and keep you from doing what you can do right now.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing — Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1347

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Waiting for Rock Bottom

Change matches the pace of our willingness to act on it.

When we are unwilling to change (or feel that we can’t) we often wait until everything implodes in our life before we final force ourselves to change (in the ways we knew we needed to).

We could have changed at any moment, but we needed to hit rock bottom first. Out of tears. End of the line. No other options. Sometimes this is necessary, but not always.

It’s like the choice to change is overwhelming while we are going through difficult moments in our lives. But rock bottom leaves us only one path: forward.

Wouldn’t it be easier to notice what’s wrong and adapt In real-time instead of waiting until everything is in pieces?

It’s easier to change when you have no choice.

That’s why when you need to change something about your life, it’s better to convince yourself there’s no other option but to change.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing — Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1346

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When skills get in the way

Sometimes what you currently know, can hold you back from what you could know. Meaning, it’s easy to hold onto something that worked for you in the past but is no longer serving you now.

This means, to create something new, we have to let go of what’s holding us back.

But first, we must realize we are actually holding ourselves back.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing — Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1345

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