Pursue Excellence in Obscurity

Don’t concern yourself with The numbers.

Follower counts. Shares. Likes. Comments. Reviews. etc

Yes, each number is a person. However, a number doesn’t represent impact.

And yes, ‘what gets measured gets managed’. But we live that phrase by ‘what gets obsessively-looked-at-every-ten-minutes gets overwhelming’.

The fact is, whatever you are pursuing is most likely a long term goal. And success we see online is viewed without the in-between. We don’t see the rise, the grit, and pain and struggle to make something happen. We just see the success story, which, for some, can be discouraging (myself included).

Don’t fall into this temptation.

Overnight success isn’t a singular event.
It’s the accumulation of daily effort and persistence getting there +

Therefore let’s

Pursue excellence in obscurity.

Be bold, take risks, be weird, and make (beautiful) mistakes.

Once there’s a spotlight on you, your failures will become ten-fold, and it will become difficult to try new things with the fear of failing publicly on your back.

Those with greater attention and capital than us will have some things made in the shade, (such as flexibility and freedom. i.e. Free from worry about too little money) but they have given up their obscurity for the barrage of the anonymous. 

If you ask them, they will tell you there’s a price for attention. The price is worth the freedom, but there’s still a price.

Enjoy the obscurity.
Because if you are pursuing excellence, you won’t have it for long.

#KeepPursing, — Josh Waggoner

related wisdom

“Excellence is a continuous process and not an accident.” — A. P. J. Abdul Kalam


“The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential… these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.” — Confucius


“Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.” —Steve Jobs

I Made a Mistake, Now What?

Antidote: #0007: What to Do with Mistakes

It’s okay if you make a bad decision. 

No one can fault us for being human.

We all make thousands of decisions a day, and some of them are bound to be mistakes.

Our decisions, and therefore our mistakes, make us who we are.

Mistakes, as stupid as they are, make us better.
And when we are better, the world can become better.

Actually this isn’t quite true. Mistakes we act on make us better.

A mistake squirreled away and ignored weighs us down. We become better versions of ourselves when we do something about them going forward. 

And forget about perfection.

Perfection is for the birds. (And not part of the Renaissance Ethos)

There’s always room to make amends.
There’s always room to reach out, or be reached out to.
If you’re still breathing, there’s room.

If it feels too late. If amends have been made but the opportunity is gone, and the bridge is burned — at least make amends to yourself.

Make amends to yourself.

Mistakes need to be learned from, and then let go, into space.
Carrying around a mistake will be a stone in your gut.
They will fester and burden your new decisions.

If you believe in God, He forgives you. He know’s you, in and out.

If you don’t, forgiveness is at your fingertips. It’s waiting to unburden you.

Bad decision want to control all of your future decisions. They say, ‘look at what you did, you don’t desire anything good.’
This is a lie. 
Bad decision’s fear good ones, because They know it means They’ll be erased.

Release your mistakes.
You don’t need permission to.
But if you want it, I’ll give you permission.
Be free of your mistakes.

Go make the world a better place.

— Josh Waggoner,  Renaissance Life: Antidotes, Cures for the common strife.

related wisdom 

“To help yourself, you must be yourself. Be the best that you can be. When you make a mistake, learn from it, pick yourself up and move on.” — Dave Pelzer


“Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.” — Edmund Burke


“Even a mistake may turn out to be the one thing necessary to a worthwhile achievement.” — Henry Ford


“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” — Albert Einstein

CHALLENGE: Give Daily Compliments

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

CHALLENGE: Give a compliment every day.

Build the habit of handing out compliments on a daily basis.

One small compliment goes a long way.

Every time someone gives me a compliment,
I feel much more encouraged afterward.

Compliments  (whether I’m receiving them or giving them), no matter how small, lift my spirits and can have a lasting effect my entire day.

Giving away compliments is like giving a small piece of happiness and good to someone +

…Or we could just walk on by, say nothing, or comment only in our head.

Putting a little light into the world is a choice we have to make every day +

Will you take on the CHALLENGE?

Challenge Accepted

— Josh Waggoner

Challenges are better with friends! Share this with an amigo.

related wisdom

“It’s always the compliments from people you love that mean so much.” — Maria Bamford


“I guess other people’s compliments motivate you.” — Benjamin Stockham

The Secret Sauce to Becoming Brilliant

Here’s the secret —

You’re already brilliant —
or at least brilliant enough to do what you want.

You don’t have to be an expert in something to start something.

(In fact, that’s not how it works at all.)

Not starting because you feel as though you’re not good enough or have the skills needed is only fear holding you back and getting in the way.

Skill isn’t holding you back. Fear is.
A part of you doesn’t want you to stand out, be brilliant or dream big.
Don’t let it.

I’ve said it before — heck sauce I’ll probably be saying it my entire life —

If you feel uncomfortable about doing something,
it’s time to do it.

#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

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” — Neale Donald Walsch

Smarty Pants 5 – Be Deliberate

Be deliberate about your yes’s, no’s, and not right now’s +

If you don’t, they’ll creep up on ya, and you might not know what you’ve said yes and no to.

Saying yes to things that don’t align with your mission is saying no to your mission. (As does saying yes to everything)

Remember that we are the ones who get to say ‘yes’, ‘no’, or ‘not right now’. What we commit to is our choice and responsibility, not someone else’s.

Make three columns  on paper or in an note app and list out your yes’s / no’s & not right now’s. Be sure to align them to your goals and life mission. Every time you choose, add it to the list, or cross off things that no longer align to you.

Each Choice we make sets us up for who we’re going to be+

Align your yes’s no’s and not right now’s to that.

Give each decision some thought, don’t immediately say yes or no without giving any thought to whether it aligns to who you want to be and what you want to spend your time doing.
However, we must not sit on it either; (that’s leaning towards a maybe and indecision) I’m saying we need to be deliberate.

Yes’s, no’s and not right now’s make us who we are.

Your days will reflect your answers.


— Josh Waggoner

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

related wisdom

“Take time to deliberate; but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in.”  —Andrew Jackson


“Learn to say ‘no’ to the good so you can say ‘yes’ to the best.” — John C. Maxwell

#tinyReview: Draplin’s Pretty Much Everything

verdict: ⚡️

If you are a creative, designer, andor entrepreneur,
pick this up and let Draplin inspire you.
His work is electric.

Thank you Draplin, for your can-do, old school attitude. You’re one of the funniest

guys I (don’t) know.

Link to Pretty Much Everything Book

If you’re a bookaholic like me, check out my favorite books here!

Crunch Time: Have An End Date in Mind

Having infinite time

to work on a project is completely detrimental to finishing it –

Have an end date in mind+

Starting a project or goal with no deadline will make it difficult, if not impossible, to complete. 

Though it may be a priority to you, 
it doesn’t have priority of competition.

It’s best to practice setting an end date to every project or goal.

I work better under pressure.
my work improves under pressure —

I don’t have time to lollygag around.. but if I do, I still have to crunch to meet the deadline.

When your deadline should be (if you have the power to make it yourself) can be determined by how much focus and time you have to give.

I can set an extreme deadline — such as ‘finish X in one weekend’ — but I need to be ready to focus exclusively on it.

Keep the end date as concise as possible. A sharp deadline creates an intensity unlike any other, taking you to that next level of efficiency.

Write out your goal, set an end date.
“I will finish my book in 4 months, write 5 crappy pages for it everyday”
“I will become more proficient in photography in 6 months”
“I will save enough to go on a european adventure in 6 months”

“In will gain 10lbs of muscle in 3 months” or “I will lose 20 lbs in 6 months”
— You get the idea. But don’t just say ‘in 6 months’, actually write out the date, depending on when you start.

related wisdom

“A goal is a dream with a deadline.” — Napoleon Hill


“Deadlines refine the mind. They remove variables like exotic materials and processes that take too long. The closer the deadline, the more likely you’ll start thinking waaay outside the box.” — Adam Savage

Smarty Pants – 4 – yes, no, or not right now

Being Brilliant is knowing when to say yes, no, or not right now+

I can’t tell you what you should say yes, no, or not right now to.
I can’t tell you because the answer is tailored to you.
Your answer depends on who you are, and who you want to be.
Your answer is up to you to decide, not me.

Others can give you advice (and is a smart thing to ask for), but you have to make the call.

I can’t tell you to take the job, or date the hottie, or make the purchase. I can give you advice, but it’s up to you to whether to take it or not.

This is about making decisions – BIG or small – branches in your path of life.

Unless you can see into the future, you’re not going to know if it’s the right decision until way later. Hindsight’s 20/20.

However, I can tell you what not to do. 
Don’t make indecision your answer. Don’t say maybe, or whatever, or I don’t care.

Remove Maybe and Whatever from your vocabulary.

If a yes and a no had a baby, it would be a maybe. 
A maybe is letting someone else make the decision for you. They’re pushing who they are – good or bad – onto who you are.

Indecision is the answer you don’t want

because it takes you away from the path you want (even if you are unsure of where that may be)

I made a bad decision of picking where I went to college. I didn’t know what I wanted so I let someone else choose for me.
Good or bad (honestly both), I am where I am because of that.

Even if you’re not sure what you should do, a yes or a no will get you somewhere else, whether that’s somewhere important is determined by if you listen to your true self or not.

For every decision, you must make, remember to pause and respond with yes, no, or not right now.


— Josh Waggoner

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

related wisdom

“Maybe! Maybe! Maybe if your aunt had a beard, she’d be your uncle.” — Alvah Bessie


“A wise man makes his own decisions, an ignorant man follows the public opinion.” — Grantland Rice


“Saying ‘yes’ to one thing means saying ‘no’ to another. That’s why decisions can be hard sometimes.” — Sean Covey


“Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the furthest thing from it. Because cynics don’t learn anything. Because cynicism is a self-imposed blindness: a rejection of the world because we are afraid it will hurt us or disappoint us. Cynics always say ‘no.’ But saying ‘yes’ begins things. Saying ‘yes’ is how things grow.  — Stephen Colbert

Why Your Work Matters

You work hard.

You’ve been working hard for a long time now —
but sometimes it might not feel like all of your effort has paid off.

Struggle, pain, frustration, time, up-hill battles, treading water, incremental improvements, grit, resistance..

Here’s the thing —

If your effort impacts even one person for the better,
you’ve done your job well +

Each time I hear from someone who was moved by my writing, I know my time has been well spent. This helps keep me persisting, and improving. 

One person impacted — big or small — makes it all worth it +

One person changed reframes the struggle we go through.

Remember that.
Work towards that if you’re not.

Put some Elbow Grease on it +
— Josh Waggoner

related wisdom

“Help others achieve their dreams and you will achieve yours.” — Les Brown

Who Am I Helping?

Before you start,

before you put out your newest post or product or service,

ask yourself ‘Who Am I helping?’

Our output is cyclical.

Meaning, what we do can enable and initiate other’s work.

If your output is not helping anyone — or even yourself — then you’ve missed the point of creating (of IDEATION)

We are enablers

The magic of IDEATION is we have the opportunity to enable change and embetterment each time we release something into the wild +

We must create to improve and to make more beautiful or useful, rather than create for fame or financial gain.

Will my blog post today help someone? Will connecting with this person enable opportunities for us? Will this photo bring good into the world?

What are you working on? Who are you helping?

Go Create Something Brilliant — Josh Waggoner

“If you want your life to get better, sometimes the best thing you can do is to help improve somebody else’s life.” — Joel Osteen