Force of Nature

Change is a lot like a storm.

Sometimes, I­t­ can catch you off guard if you aren’t looking, we’re rain sweeps in and lightning strikes.  A little preparation and you could have probably seen I­t­ coming, but alas, preparing for a storm that’s already above you doesn’t do much good. You could equate this to the ‘sh*t happens’ category. The death of a loved one, broken bones, or sudden opportunity.

Other times, storms roll in from the distance. You can feel the drop in temperature, and see something is about to occur. These, in my opinion, are the most powerful storms. (At least, in this analogy to change in life anyway) Where you are faced with a decision, in fact, have made a decision in your heart, and are just waiting for your mind and body to catch up.

Storms like these are how you create massive growth in your life.

A storm is a storm. I­t­ could be seen as a force for evil or good, but that depends on the personification we give I­t­. Pain and setback can either lead to suffering or opportunity — it’s our choice. Possibilities and decisions can do the same, complacency or opportunity. Again our choice. 

The worst storms can wash clean our expectations and assumptions of what ouïr life should be. The storms we make ourselves can bring fresh water to the earth and ripple across our lives and the lives of others.

How many lives have been positively changed because of a small decision to create good in the world.

You can be a force of change too, if you choose to be.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

IG: @Renaissance.Life

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White Noise

What is the most important part of your day?

Is it your morning? Your time at work? With family and friends?

I’ve written about how negative space — the space between the things we’re doing — is equally as important as our important tasks of the day.

Another way of describing it is white noise. You would think that if we cram thousands of things into every second of our day we would get more accomplished and be further in our pursuits, but the opposite is the case. The more space we give to rest, rejuvenate and recovering ourselves, the more creative, impactful and energetic we will be

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

Saboteur = 1

There’s a question I read in Present Over Perfect that I’ve been thinking about recently in my own life:

“What do you need to burn down in your life, to make space for a new way of living?”

Commitments, expectations, roles, thoughts, habits, actions that go against who you want to be.

How are you holding yourself back from the life you dream of?

Bitterness? Grudges? Anxiety? Debt? Laziness? Negativity?

Burn them down. Do what you need to do to stop self-sabotaging yourself. 

Don’t let problems from your past control your future.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

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“With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.” — Eleanor Roosevelt

“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” — Albert Einstein

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” — Marcel Proust

Bubbling Resolve

Don’t hesitate.

I️ feel a change coming in my life. A calm before the storm.

How can I️ be ready, yet feel not feel ready at the same time?
Fear, creativity, anxiety, challenge, confidence, workaholicism, boldness are all bundled up, fighting each other for dominance.

I’m not trying to be poetic here, just trying to describe the song being repeated in my mind.

Resolve is bubbling up to the surface, gaining speed, getting louder.

I­t­ says:

“Start living and acting like whoever the hell you want to be.”

Love painting, but hate accounting? Then why are you an accountant? Safe doesn’t mean ALIVE. “When given a choice, take both.” — Peter Diamandis

Last year, I️ gave away all of my time so that I️ could survive. To eat, pay rent, and live, which didn’t give me much time to create and make things for myself. I️ continued to try, but its hard to focus on creativity when you worry about money. But after I️ got my work in better shape, I️ still wasn’t creating, not enough anyway. Even though most of my time was taken up, I️ started a daily blogging challenge. I️ squeezed I­t­ out with the little free time I️ had at night.  This is day 114. But it’s not enough, I️ want to do more, and do it better.

I️ want to be all that I️ can be, no exceptions.
I️ want to create: to sing, speak, write, design, act, connect, dance, instruct, paint, move, build and live a life true to my creative self.

That’s who I️ am. That’s how I️ resolve to live.
Perhaps you want the same.

If so, know this:

You don’t have to be ready to start, you just have to be TRUE.

Be the truest person in the room.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

IG: @Renaissance.Life

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“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” — Walt Disney

“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

“To make our way, we must have firm resolve, persistence, tenacity. We must gear ourselves to work hard all the way. We can never let up.” — Ralph Bunche

Seen and Heard

When you’re with someone, strive to make every day feel romantic in some way, not just one day out of the year. (That’s true romance gents)

No. I️ don’t mean chocolate and flowers, or cheap thrills. I️ mean genuine love and care. I­f this were an Avatar movie, I’d tell you to ‘see them’ and give your partner (not a fan of that word) your most valuable resources: time and attention.

The same goes for all relationships: we all just want to be seen and heard.

What is a romantic relationship but really understanding and seeing each other for who you are and loving I­t­ all, sick days and all. What is a friendship but having someone’s back, and knowing they’ve got yours. What is a true fan but someone who has seen and heard your work and cares enough to give their time and attention to you.

If you genuinely give that to people, they will reciprocate tenfold. Life can be a take and take, a give and take, or a give and give kind of place. It’s up to each of us to choose.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

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“The minute I heard my first love story, I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was. Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere. They’re in each other all along.” — Rumi

“Music in the soul can be heard by the universe.” — Lao Tzu

“There is only one happiness in this life, to love and be loved.” — George Sand

Boundaries

Gabriella and I recently discussed the idea of becoming Life Coaches, so I removed my stubborn shades I was wearing and asked her to help tame my chaos. (which sounds ironic, but coaching isn’t about having a perfect life and pushing that life onto others; Coaching is helping others ask the right questions that will help them come to the answers they already know.)

Lucky me, I have an incredible companion who was willing to help. 

I had priority of mind, but no structure. I had the big goals, but they were pulling me underwater, drowning me.

She divided each of my priorities into there own sections, labeling them from A to J (Important goals desired)

I was only allowed to focus on two letters a day. (Three at most if I was feeling perky) (Attention Limitation)

With each section, there’s a square of block you can fill in once you’ve completed something within that priorities domain (such as write book.) (Progress Dopamine)

I was to report back each night on what I did and my progress to her. (Accountability)

Each priority was something I was already doing, but I was usually trying to do all of them every day (cue insanity). This was less about me starting the day with a city-wide todo list, and more like todos popping up and me giving into the tangents making things harder to finish.

The goal in mind was to be ahead of my creativity, rather than flying by the seat of my pants each day.

When you find your why(s), you should go after them with all that you have and then some. However, dreams can easily become nightmares without the properly defined boundaries to stay in.

Boundaries aren’t restrictions on your art, rather how you create the freedom you seek. They narrow your focus, enabling you to flourish within them. Freedom comes from less, not more.

Think of Netflix as an analogy.
If you have a small get together and say, ‘hey let’s watch something!’ 

Two hours later…

You’ve spent more time scrolling through the catalog than watching a josh darn movie. Rather, If you had said, ‘Let’s watch a Wes Anderson movie!’ maybe you would be enjoying The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou right now,? Instead of losing your mind.

Less is better.

Boundaries give you fewer options and small circles to master. 
Once you master those, then you can elevate your freedom by redefining your focus into bigger and bigger circles.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursing,

— Josh Waggoner

What’s On Your Complain List?

By blaming everyone and everything for our setbacks, we end up with only one reason left — Ourselves.

More than likely, you are getting in your own way of your happiness and achievement.

I am the sum of my actions and inactions up until this point in time.

Sure, plans go pear-shaped, circumstances can hit us from all sides.
I could complain about so many things — the government, the market, my health, pain, no jobs, taxes, the weather, money (or lack thereof), my age, my problems, other peoples problems — but is that going to do me any good. (Negativity may feel better in the moment, but negativity bleeds into hopelessness quickly, like spilled ink on a page)

Take notice of those you come into contact with who complain often and compare it to how their life looks. Isn’t it interesting that the people who complain the most are the ones who do the least about it? They are standing in a life reflects their complaints. When you focus your energy on the negative things you can’t control, you default to a helpless state.  They’ve complained themselves into a no-fly zone for their dreams. 

Action Step: 
List out your complaints — everything you say or tell yourself in your head.
Take a day on it. See if you can spot anything that sounds like a complaint.

Finished?

Now proceed to never say anything on that list again. 
And if you do, go do twenty burpees. (Or something equivalently dreadful.)

Words have power — they draw the edges on what you think is possible in the world. When we complain we give those negative words and feels our power to change. It’s not what your complaining about that’s the issue. In fact, you are probably correct: times are tough, taxes are high, education sucks, the weather needs to stop being weird. It’s just that the act of complaining is as bad for us as the reason we want to complain, and doing so won’t fix our problems. Instead, complaining will just highlight our problems, even more, making it difficult to focus on possible solutions. The more we complain, the more reason we have to complain (to infinity).

There was a moment when fatigue weighed on me and my energy was so drained, all I wanted to do was talk/tell (cough* complain cough* cough) everyone around me. But then I read The Magic of Thinking Big and realized the power words can have over us. The more I complained about being tired, the more tired I became. The complaining didn’t cause the fatigue, but it sure made it a helluva lot heavy on my spirit. And that’s what complaining does: It puts a heavy chain around your neck.

Complaining will it make things worse because people don’t like to spend time with Debbie Downers, or Negative Nancy’s. 

Birds of a feather flock together. 
And Debbies of the weather complain together.

Focus your energy on what you can control about your circumstances going forward, and rise up to the new possibilities that come from being optimistic about life.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

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You Are Capable — Life Principle #25

When life is hitting me hard at all sides, it’s difficult to see the big picture when you’re focused so heavily on the problem in front of you.

How am I️ supposed to focus on the long term, when the short term is slapping me in the face?!

You are as only as wise and creative as much as you want to be. Deciding to be wise doesn’t make you wise, but I­t­ puts you on a path of learning how. Change is a matter of mind and matter.

Your capacity to change and starts with the belief that you can, and from that belief the decision to act.

Life Principle #25: You Are Capable

As much as we hold ourselves back, we also have the power to create massive change in our lives.

You are capable of changing your life.

No matter if you’re feeling stuck, have hit rock bottom, or if everyone tells you it’s impossible.

Whatever you are going through, you are capable. 

And the more you believe I­t­, the more capable you become.

Capacity is bending with the flow and handling whatever comes you’re way.

Capacity is a belief that you can figure I­t­ out, and if you don’t know how, believing you are capable of asking for help.

Make the decisions today, to be the person you want to be.

Full and capable to take on any challenge and opportunity and create an extraordinary life.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursing,

— Josh Waggoner 

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“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” — Nelson Mandela

If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in the dark with a mosquito. – Unknown

Discipline is the refining fire by which talent becomes ability. – Roy L. Smith

Decide Who You Want to Be — Life Principle #24

Labels give us power.

We label ourselves with our work, our hobbies, our brands.

But what do you do when other people label things for you? What do you do when you find yourself in a place where your life is labeled by other peoples hopes and dreams?

You decide to change.

Life Principle #24: Decide and Commit to Who You Want to Be

Decisions are the foundations of making change happen. 

What areas in your life are you seeking change?

When you want to create a change, something new and exciting, you first have to make a decision. Decide on the change, commit to I­t­ 100%, will I­t­ into existence.

Life can either happen to you, or you can choose what you want your life to be. Again, a decision.

Choose Creativity.
Choose Freedom.
Choose Differences.

Decide who you want to be, then go make I­t­ happen.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

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“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.”Arnold Schwarzenegger

“I don’t want other people to decide who I am. I want to decide that for myself.”Emma Watson

“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward.” — Amelia Earhart

Being Sick Is The Worst

Caught the flu last night. I️ think I️ got I­t­ from stress mostly. 
Last week at work was enormously stressful. 

This post is going to be a short and sweet one:

Treat your body right, and I­t­ will treat you right.

Our liveliness, energy, our ability to be creative, to think, and imagine new ideas all relates back to eating clean foods and moving your body.

Our health radiates outward into every aspect of our lives.

No one wants to be on a broken elevator.
No one wants to be in a burning building.

Yet, every day we eat whatever we want whenever we want, we work ourselves to death just to pay the rent, and we view exercises as an afterthought.

Focus on your health, and you will see more abundance in your life you won’t even know what to do with I­t­.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

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“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” — Hippocrates