Life on the edge: Are you uncomfortable enough?

Brilliance is born outside your comfort zone.

Doing the same things* you’ve been doing has gotten you where you are, but to take steps towards brilliance you must step further and further into your fear and the unknown.

*you know, those same old things

Life on the edge is where creativity and magic happens.

However, it’s the furthest away from being comfortable you can get.

Comfortable is staying at your job even though you hate it.

Comfortable is a nice warm bed that’s hard to get out of.

Comfortable is opting out of networking events because you don’t feel like it, or don’t like them.

Comfortable is not asking, not writing your book, not starting your business, not failing, not traveling, not asking that person out on a date, not leaving your house, not joining that race, and not doing X because of fear of Y.

If we’re not careful, comfortable is where we go to die.

We must learn to be comfortable with the uncomfortable if we ever want to make true impact and stride.

Learn to be comfortable in what makes you uncomfortable +

Uncomfortable, as in anything you know that’s probably good for you, but you find terrifying to do.

We all have similar, yet unique things that we find uncomfortable. What’s uncomfortable for me, might be easy for you, and vice versa. But the most universally uncomfortable things is anything to do with us standing out.

Isn’t it ironic that we want to stand out, but fear standing out.


Your task is to find what makes you uncomfortable and linger on them. Inhabit them. Learn to be comfortably* uncomfortable.

*to make up a word

What’s uncomfortable to us doesn’t usually go away, but it does lose it’s effect on us when we learn to sit with it. For example, you may always be scared of public speaking, but if you do it anyway, you’ll have control over your fear, vs it having control over you.

Being Comfortably Uncomfortable is about being in control of your fear instead it being in control of you.

Ask Yourself:

Q: What makes me uncomfortable?

Q: What am I not doing simple because I am sacred to do it and scared to stand out?


#KeepPursuing — Josh Waggoner | Renaissance Man | Updated: Jan 21st, 2017

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

Renaissance Life, How to Be Brilliant

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related wisdom 

The further you get away from yourself, the more challenging it is. Not to be in your comfort zone is great fun.

— Benedict Cumberbatch

Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.

— Brian Tracy

How to Love Each Day: Do One Thing You Enjoy

VIBRANT002: How to Love Each Day — Do One Thing You Enjoy

Do you feel tired all the time?

Stressed? Discouraged? Frustrated? Overwhelmed?

If you’re not feeling VIBRANT the majority of the time then something’s off with your lifestyle.


Times of stress, challenge, and difficulty are a part of life, but that doesn’t mean we should live in a perpetual state of discouragement or flight-or-fight mode!

Feeling lackluster could be a host of different things, and it’s not something easy to find (believe me I know). What I do know is that adding more joy to your day will help, even in the smallest of ways.

Small wins can make your day. Even if everything is a suck-fest, at least you can look back and say, ‘At least I did something I love’.

Start Loving your day by doing something that gives you energy. (and I don’t mean coffee :P)


Love listening or playing music?  Make sure you do every day.

Enjoy dancing? Well… Dance Baby*!

*Dirty Dancing Reference Duuuh

Does having a conversation with someone gets you jazzed? Then by all means.

Joy isn’t a state. It’s a habit. 

Find small nudges that gives you energy and push you towards a positive mindset.

Brighten your day by doing at least one thing you love each day.

Reclaim your energy, fuel your life +

— Josh Waggoner


disclaimer: I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on tv. If you want medical advice, find a doctor. V I B R A N T is my way of focusing on energy, and striving for a thriving, happy life.

related wisdom

Where there is love there is life.

— Mahatma Gandhi

Find a place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.

— Joseph Campbell

Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.

— Helen Keller

How to Be Who You Want to Be

When you see the world as a stage, you can Play the role of who you want to be.

Who you are is defined by each action you take.

Detach yourself from traits that you dislike.
Act on the traits you desire.

Think not ‘I am frustrated’ or ‘I am tired’ but rather ‘I am playing the character frustration’, ‘I am playing the role of tired’.

Frustration, fatigue, overwhelm… my emotions are identities attached to me, not aspects of who I am.
Little angel’s and devil’s on my shoulders.

You can even detach yourself from your fear.
Your fear is not you, your fear is a part of you.
It’s a hat we all wear, and it’s up to us whether to take it off or not.

Who we are is what we do with the circumstances we’ve been given+

I am not my past or my current circumstances.
I am what I do and represent from this moment forward.

I Am ME.

#KeepPursuing — Josh Waggoner.

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

Renaissance Life, How to Be Brilliant

related wisdom

Negative emotions like loneliness, envy, and guilt have an important role to play in a happy life; they’re big, flashing signs that something needs to change.

— Gretchen Rubin

Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.

— Marcus Aurelius

The Setbacks We Face

There will be times in your life where everything around you will feel like its failing apart.

Where you plans are tossed out of the window and run over by a semi-truck. Where an setback you face will make you want to rip your flannel onesie off and scream!

And believe it or not, this is a good thing.

Setbacks are how we can grow into better versions of our selves if used correctly.

So what can you do?


1. focus on being You

As in, who you are today and who you want to be tomorrow.

This won’t get rid of the challenges you face — everything that stands in your way will still be there — but it will give you clarity on how resolve your problems.

Clarity is an antidote to difficulty.

When we spotlight  the problem, the answer jumps out at us.

We still have to do the work, but now we know how to do it better +

Clarity gives us the drive and motivation to get back up and keep pursuing our dreams.


I won’t lie,

setbacks aren’t easy (They usually kick us in the teeth while we’re sleeping)

but having focus on what’ important to us will help us stand our ground and push through.

Why you do what you do,

gives you resolve to keep going —

even when everything seems to have suddenly caught fire around you.

Keep going. You know you can.

When things feel daunting and overwhelming, take it one task at a time.

Remember, doing just a little is better than doing nothing.

Nothing gets you nothing.

Something at least gets you something.

— Josh Waggoner,  Renaissance Life: Antidotes, Cures for the Common Strife | Updated on Feb 6th, 2017

related wisdom

“The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.” ― Marcus Aurelius


“We have to embrace obstacles to reach the next stage of joy.” — Goldie Hawn


“All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me… You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.” — Walt Disney


Priority of Mind Leads to Mastery

You gotta commit

In everything you do and love, make sure you commit.

From all facets of your life. Friends, Family, Love, Community, Mind, Body, Spirit..

From the few outlets you have decided to pursue,  out of the many you could have done.


You are not your job, but you are the priorities you uphold.

And most importantly,

commit to being you +

To who you are and what you stand for.

We master time by mastering priority, And through priority we begin to master life +

But if committing to your current life seems overwhelming —

Then commit to this dayDo what you can to make it a well lived one, and deal with tomorrow tomorrow.

Tomorrow is tomorrow. Today is today. Make it a good one. 

Put some Elbow Grease’ on it — Josh Waggoner

related wisdom

“The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.” — Vince Lombardi


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


“Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential.” — Winston Churchill



What do I do when I miss a deadline?

When You miss Your deadline 

Focus on priority.

We master time by mastering priority +


It’s not the end of humanity if you miss your deadline.

The first action we need to take is figure out why we missed it.

Was it because our deadline was too extreme?

Sometimes the project / goal ends up bigger and more difficult than we realized starting out.

Adjust the deadline accordingly. Use this knowledge for related future projects.

Or maybe we didn’t take it seriously enough?

A project / goal that’s not a priority of mind can easily fall to the wayside if we’re not careful

  • Stretched too thin
  • Not blocking off time for it
  • Maybe it’s not even important to us

Ask yourself, ‘Is this a priority to me?’

If so attack it with gusto! and even postpone other projects / goals until it’s complete.

If it’s not (and you can) consider dropping it for something that is a priority for you.

Just make sure you’re stopping because it doesn’t align to who you are, rather than because it’s getting difficult.

The second step is being accountable.

If we’re accountable to someone else for this project, let them know what happened and what you’re going to do about it. 

If the project is our own, even more of a reason to take responsibility for our actions / inactions.

The only way our projects /goals will become reality is if we work towards them. We have to make them happen.

Missing a deadline will happen all the time, and that’s okay.

As long as we know that we can reevaluate and try again, there’s not much that can stop us from making it happen.

The key to reinvigorating a project is knowing why it’s important to us in the first place,

and reminding ourselves every day.

A project or goal must be a priority of mind for it reach completion.

What are you finishing?

— Josh Waggoner

Introducing VIBRANT — Fuel for an optimal Life

VIBRANT001: Fuel For An Optimal Life

Health & Wellness has been a large part of my journey towards The Renaissance Life.

I started my goal of becoming a Renaissance Man about 5 years ago with the desire to improve my health.

Like the majority of people my age, I didn’t grow up with or around a healthy lifestyle.

It’s funny to say, but the idea that food had anything to do with your physique or how you felt never crossed my mind once growing up.

(Show’s ya how little I knew ha)

The idea that food affects how you feel was oblivious to me growing up

Now on my pursuit of excellence and mastery, If I don’t concern myself with health, I won’t have the energy and enthusiasm needed to make big things happen.

The fact of the matter is, HEALTH affects every part of your life. Every single part.


VIBRANT is the new blog series from Renaissance Life dedicated to the health & wellness facet of our lives.

The goal is to reclaim our energy, so we can go out and make our world a better place.

And make health actually fun!

Questions we’ll face on our journey

What does it look like to be healthy?

wXo losing the tastes we love, breaking the bank, or spending all our time cooking / thinking about food and exercise.

There’s so much fluff out in the Food and Exercise world. What’s actually beneficial to us? And what are the essential ingredients to a VIBRANT life? (Food puns forever 😛)

How do we gain the energy we need, so we can do what we do optimally and with GUSTO?

How do we become VIBRANT?

Improving or energy for ourselves, our loved ones, and friends, so that we can be a better role for each.

And anything inbetween.


Welcome to VIBRANT. 

Are you ready to reclaim your energy, and fuel your life?

— Josh Waggoner

related wisdom

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” — Virginia Woolf


“Food should be fun.” — Thomas Keller


“Your diet is a bank account. Good food choices are good investments.” — Bethenny Frankel

Defining Success & Failure

We are often told to define what success looks like to us.

I think this is an important habit to cultivate. Otherwise, you’ll end up never satisfied with where you are. Undefined success doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll like where and what type of success you end up at.

Defining Success is an essential part to actually achieving success in the first place.

However, no one tells us to define what failure looks like to us.

Failure is just as important as success, because failure determines our ability to achieve.

Our relationship with failure determines our success

Failure — in some fashion — is inevitable (unfortunately), so if we are bad at failing, then we’ll be hardpressed to keep going and stay consistent.

Of course failure is far from easy. I know all too well the feelings failure can leave behind in it’s wake. A rock in your stomach. Cold shivers streaking across your back, like claw marks. The feeling of worthlessness

Failure isn’t fun (understatement of a lifetime), but we can have a healthy relationship with it by defining what it means to us.

Healthy success is success aligned with what we cherish and find meaningful.

Healthy failure is seeing failure as a temporary setback, rather than an endstate.

Failure only stops us when we let it control our next actions. (inaction, hesitation, or playing it safe)

We can overcome failure by learning, pressing forward, and changing tactics.

See it as a necessary step on your way towards your own version of success.

Failure loses its weight when it’s just another todo we have to check off.

#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

“Failure is the key to success; each mistake teaches us something.” — Morihei Ueshiba


“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.” — J. K. Rowling


“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson


“Failures, repeated failures, are finger posts on the road to achievement. One fails forward toward success.” — C. S. Lewis

I used to Skate.. Reclaiming Wonder

Q: How often do you get rabbit-holed into your daily routines and forget to actually have fun and enjoy your day?

When was the last time you did something silly?

Silly, Playful, Goofy, Childlike — Just for kicks and giggles — for no reason at all except to have fun.

A friend of mine would call this whimsy

— The act of playing, wonder, and seeking adventure >


When I was a kid, I grew up in a big neighborhood, filled with herds of kids around my age.

Naturally, shenanigans occurred.

When I was a kid

I remember those endless days fondly, as you probably do about your own childhood.

Bikes + hills + skateboards + basketball + pirates + trees + explosions + ding-dong-ditch + hot-wheels + games + dirt == awesome.


When I was a kid?’

Why can’t I still be a kid?

Isn’t wonder, curiosity and happiness what we are all searching for?

Taking on responsibilities of adulthood shouldn’t mean the death of our childhood.

When we lose our wonder, we fall into a sleep-like daze, lacking what makes us enthusiastic about living.

We can do taxes and still have a good time.

We can still be responsible, hard working adults, and strive for excellence while having the heart of our inner child at the same time.

I don’t have to be stressed for the sake of stress, nor worried for things outside of my control.

I can live responsibly without losing wonder.

I hear the phrase, “well, I’m XX years old, it’s time for me to die now.” * all the time.

* paraphrasing a bit there 😛

Grow up, just don’t grow dull. +

I’ve gone through quite a few setbacks recently, and perhaps you’ve gone through even harder things.

However, if you’re still breathing, you’re still ALIVE. If you’re still alive, you can still live with wonder and curiosity, despite any setbacks you may have.


Action Step — 

Find an outlet to keep your childlike wonder ALIVE. Something playful, and silly.

We need wonder to have a wonderful life +

#KeepPursuingJosh Waggoner, RenaissanceLife: Ethos


related wisdom

Book: Play it Away, by Charlie Hoehn

“In every real man a child is hidden that wants to play.” — Friedrich Nietzsche


“I like nonsense; it wakes up the brain cells.” — Dr. Seuss


“Wisdom begins in wonder.” — Socrates