How to Succeed (..Eventually)

The first time we try — we could get lucky —

but we’ll probably fail.

The second time we’ll probably fail again. — We’ve gone further than most do.

Failure is not an end state, it’s a stepping stone to success +

Failing isn’t fun. doesn’t feel good.

But it’s how we learn. It’s how we get better.

‘It’s a rite of passage.” Failure shows us what works and what doesn’t and — believe it or not — it’s how we succeed. Maybe not today, but eventually. Soon.

Persistence is what leads us to ‘success‘ —

whatever that means to you — and separates us from those who haven’t yet.

And if we keep going, even in failure after failure, we will make it happen.

we will become what we’ve always wanted to be.

Action Step Persist. Keep at it. Make it happen

Add more of what’s working, Remove what’s not.

Mantra — Failure is a stepping stone. I can succeed with persistence.


— Josh Waggoner

‘Brevity is the soul of wit.’  Email me your thoughts on this post. Can you reduce the essential idea further?

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related wisdom

“Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.” — Winston Churchill

“Failure isn’t a badge of shame. It is a rite of passage.” — Tony Hseih, Zappos

Negative Space

Negative space is where the magic happens.

It’s the space between the space —

where idea and opportunity meet.

The negative space between our work is where creativity flourishes

Solitude, downtime, waiting,

breaks, free-time, recess,

vacation, boredom, no-service,

sleep, exercise, walking,

traffic, showers, physical labor —

It goes by a lot of names. Some with a negative connotation. 

Done right, negative space allows our mind to wander ————

and spark some truly brilliant ideas.

Try not to occupy every second of your day with input.

Leave room for space and see what happens.

#KeepPursuing — Josh Waggoner

‘Brevity is the soul of wit.’  Email me your thoughts on this post. Can you reduce the essential idea further?

Challenge: Start Journaling

What’s life without a little challenge? ——— Boring that’s what!

Challenge: Start Journaling

There are times of joy, and moments of pain that I wish I could look back on and see where I was in that moment. What were the thoughts and feelings I had during? How did I anaylsis back then?

Why Journal?

Journaling is the window into the past — be that ourselves or someone else’s mind — therapy for the present, and clarity for the future +

Everyone I read says you should journal — but beyond writing for this blog I haven’t.

I didn’t make the time. Now I am. Simple as that.

If you want to improve your perspective on life and clarify issues, start writing in a journal. 

Many of our greatest minds of the past and present journal


  • Ronald Reagan
  • Benjamin Franklin
  • Virginia Woolf
  • Marilyn Monroe
  • Charles Darwin
  • You
  • Marcus Aurelius 
  • Leonardo Da Vinci
  • Thomas Jefferson 
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Winston Churchill 
  • Anne Frank

This is but a few, out of many how keep a journal.

Benefits of Journaling

  • Clarity of thought and purpose
  • History of your state — mind, emotions — at a point in time
  • Mindfulness, Presence
  • Achieving goals
  • Reduced Anxiety


Our Challenge this week is to start journaling every day.

Start with writing just one sentence. That’s it.

If you feel up for more keep going.


Challenge Accepted

Josh Waggoner

Challenges are better with friends. Please share this post.

 related wisdom

10 Journaling Tips to help you heal, grow and thrive

Famous Writers on keeping a diary

Why do we read diaries?


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To be brilliant,

and therefore do brilliant things —

We must ask great questions.


“A prudent question is one-half of wisdom.” — Sir Francis Bacon


Thousands of questions and decisions surround us every day. Big and small.

We are all looking for answers.

Who am I? What’s my why? How do we improve? Can I make ___ better? What’s most important?…

What should I do today? How do I make new friends? What should I eat? 

The best way to find great answers is to ask great questions + 

Asking questions illuminates who we are and what we do. It shines a light on our inner world and gives us a view where we fit in the external world.

Action Step — Great questions lead to great answers. Ask great questions every day.

Ask at least one a day.

Keep a list of questions.

Periodically review them.

When you feel compelled to, answer and re-answer them.

Ask others to give you their answers too.

#KeepPursuing  Josh Waggoner

‘Brevity is the soul of wit.’  Email me your thoughts on this post. Can you reduce the essential idea further?

related wisdom

“I’m always looking, and I’m always asking questions.” — Anne Rice

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”  — Albert Einstein


Consistent action —

is one of the (if not the) most important aspects of Mastering any skill +

To be brilliant,

We need to be deliberate about practicing and doing so on a daily basis.

deliberate — meaning we have to find the most impactful thing of the skill to learn — what’s going to get us to brilliance more efficiently.

For guitar, it’s learning scales.

For language, it’s learning the most frequently used words. (or if possible, immersion).

For programming, it’s problem solving and puzzles.

And then we keep practicing at an uncomfortable level — always just past our current skill level.

Practice Every day — Even if all you have to give is five minutes.

Five minutes is better than no minutes.

5 min a day = 35 min / wk

2 hrs / mo — 

28 hrs / yr —

140 hrs / 5 yrs —

700 hrs  / 10 yrs —  And that’s just Five minutes!

Small Consistent Actions Lead to Big Change +

This is the Renaissance Way


#KeepPursuingJosh Waggoner

‘Brevity is the soul of wit.’  Email me ( your thoughts on this post. Can you reduce the essential idea further?

Nothing Like the Present

Why do it later

when you can

do it now?


Don’t just talk about what you’re going to do — go do it.

Action First.

There’s nothing like executing an idea as soon as you have it. Or planning a day when you’re going to do it.

Later never comes.

Later prolongs the inevitable success you WOULD have
if you started creating today +

Put some elbow grease on it’

#KeepPursing — Josh Waggoner

related wisdom

“Action this day.” — Winston Churchill


“Action is the foundational key to all success.” — Pablo Picasso


“Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.” — Napoleon Hill


“One day, you will wake up and there won’t be any more time to do the things you’ve always wanted. Do it now.” — Paulo Coelho



Start Collecting Great Ideas

Ideas spark other ideas.

I don’t believe ideas are built in isolation —

they are inspired and mismashed by other ideas — they are build on the backs of everything that has come before us.

My ideas come from my experiences, knowledge, connections, and the input I surround myself with.

To have great ideas, we need to surround ourselves with great input +

Action Step — Start Collecting Great Ideas —

witty ideas, innovative ideas, ideas that make you laugh, cry — all them feels!

Ah-ha ideas, beautiful ideas, world-changing, life-simplifying, problem solving, niche-changing ones..


Great ideas come from you — based on your accumulated experiences, 

built by the input you surround yourself with.


Go Create Something — Josh Waggoner

related wisdom

“Your competition is not other people but the time you kill, the ill will you create, the knowledge you neglect to learn, the connections you fail to build, the health you sacrifice along the path, your inability to generate ideas, the people around you who don’t support and love your efforts, and whatever god you curse for your bad luck.”  — James Altucher



What’s my Next Step?

Growth happens

with one action at a time.

All we must do is focus in on our next move.

Plant the seeds of your future today.


Q —

What’s the next step I can do today,

that will help me reach my goal?


#KeepPursuing — Josh Waggoner

‘Brevity is the soul of wit.’  Email me ( your thoughts on this post. Can you reduce the essential idea further?

related wisdom

“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” — Dale Carnegie

“Action expresses priorities.” — Mahatma Gandhi

“Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.” — Thomas Jefferson


I’ve always had this fantasy

of going away — off on an adventure — with the purpose of growth & mastery.

To return as a better me. The best version of me. Which I would describe as

Someone who is brilliant and insightful +

Someone well-connected and excellence at communication +

Someone strong and VIBRANT; Fun to be around +

Someone who experiences fear, yet defeats it back every time +

Someone reliable and successful +

Someone who does rather than says.

Excellence. Mastery. Capable.

You could say this fantasy is what Joseph Campbell calls,

the Hero’s Journey —

‘When a hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural, to be reborn and come back with wisdom and knowledge for their fellow humans’

I’m all for adventure, (I mean, I’ve even created an adventure clothing brand for Josh sakes!) but real growth — the hero’s journey — happes within our every day.

Real Growth happens within each day, in our normal lives +

Real Growth is in the trenches +


The true hero’s journey is being able to face your own life — with its challenges, problems, fears and trials — and to grow into your own, day in and day out.

Real Growth is how we spend each day — it’s the incremental steps towards excellence +

I believe adventure adds to our lives, but our training needs to be integrated into our every, normal day.

Think of it like this —

Say you go off on an adventure into the woods. Without being able to use your phone, at first you feel anxious about it. ‘what if someone needs to get a hold of me?’ ‘I might miss something important’… After a while, this feeling goes away, and not having to be always on feels fantastic!

But when you come back to civilization, everyone is using there phone — multiple times a day. Leaning down and scrolling, even when you’re trying to talking to them!

You can resist it at first, but eventually you’ll be drawn back to it, looking down at your phone, scrolling just the same.

I’m not dogging phones. I use mine all the time, for connecting and my businesses. 

But we need to be able to live without them.

To experience nature and live with technology in a moderate, non-obsessive, healthy way — without FOMO. We must practice this technological mindset without our normal lives, for it to have an effect.

It has to be integrated, not detached.


Remember real growth is made by how we spend each day.

Excellence, Mastery, and Capability come with consistent action every day, integrated within our lives.


#KeepPursing, Josh Waggoner

Support the ad-free blog by signing up for the Renaissance Life Patreon!

related wisdom

“Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.” —Napoleon Hill


“If you want to grow a giant redwood, you need to make sure the seeds are ok, nurture the sapling, and work out what might potentially stop it from growing all the way along. Anything that breaks it at any point stops that growth.”  —Elon Musk


“All growth depends upon activity. There is no development physically or intellectually without effort, and effort means work.” — Calvin Coolidge


“Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that but simply growth, We are happy when we are growing.” — William Butler Yeats


Recommends: My Top Health & Wellness Items For Optimal Performance (2016)

Walking (free!)

Walking can do wonders to help clear your head, and get you in the right mindset to really rock your day! And it’s free to boot!

Headspace ($6.24 — $12.95 depending)

Headspace is a guided mindfulness app. I’ve been using it for about two years now consistently, and I have nothing but praise for it!

Here’s a link to the app

And the headspace website if you want to do some research.

Athletic Greens

Athletic Greens is a nutrition powder which you add to a glass of water (and it actually tastes good!)

I’ve been using Athletic Greens for over a year now, and it’s probably one of the most impactful health and wellness products I subscribe to. There’s a big difference in my energy levels depending on whether I take Athletic Greens or not.

The main blurb you that’s good to know is

‘Athletic Greens is the energy drink that is actually healthy! Made from whole food sourced ingredients in their natural form. You get up to 12 servings of fruits and vegetables in just one serving!’

Some of my favorite pseudo-mentors online use Athletic Greens too.  (Tim Ferriss, Pat Flynn..)

Check it out here (There website looks a little spammy to me, but it’s legit.)

Bulletproof Coffee and addition ($18+)

I’ve been using bulletproof coffee for about three years now, and it’s probably my most impactful mental enhancing product I use. I feel much more clear-headed and focused when I drink bulletproof.

and additions

collagen protein — Makes my skin soft and clear, and keep my hair healthly.

Brain Octane (mct oil)  or XCT Oil

My favorite making a mocha — cocoa butter & cocoa powder

Reading & Writing (varies)

Reading and writing are a part of my daily morning routine. It helps wake up my mind and get my thoughts right. There’s nothing like writing (and doodling!) to clarify ideas and who you are.

Personally I prefer the tactile feel of paper and pen.

Supplements I Currently Use (varies)

Unfair Advantage (Mental Performance and focus)

Anti Aging

Vitamin D3

Onnit Shroom TECH Sport (Energy Boost)

Blue Ice Royal Butter Oil / Fermented Cod Liver Oil (Improved Testosterone, Energy, Skin)

Magnesium (at night)

Clitep Nootropic Stack (Mental Performance)

And Activated Charcoal Capsules, whenever I have an upset stomach / eat something questionable.

Kettlebells (varies)

Great full-body exercise equipment. Be careful with this one, definitely learn the ropes before jumping in — done wrong and you can easily injure yourself.

Eat Real Food — As Much As Possible (varies)

There is a HUGE difference in my overall well being when I eat real food, versus eating crap. I not saying that you can never have pizza and gelato again.

Here’s how I learned:

Foodist: Using Real Food and Real Science to Lose Weight Without Dieting by Darya Pino Rose  

The Wild Diet by Abel James

Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual by Michael Pollan

Oddities (varies)

And here are a few odd products I use. They may look / seem strange, but after trying them out, I’ve noticed benefits from them all, and now they are a part of my daily routine.

HeartMath Emwave — ability to control moods, focus and reaction to stress

Powerlung — Increase Lung Capacity and Oxygen Intake

Sleep Induction Mat — Improve Quality of sleep

Mobility Balls — Yoga Tune Up balls for aches and pains

Soma Water Pitcher Plant Based Filter —  You can taste the clean.

Some of these links are affiliate links — meaning I get a small percentage of the sale if you decide to try something out. I don’t recommend anything that I haven’t tried and seen a benefit on. If you do decide to buy something through these links, thank you for your support!

#KeepPursing — Josh Waggoner

PS! What are your favorite Health and Wellness Products you use or have tried? Let me know in the comments or via email: