Show Not Tell

Sometimes I find myself talk talk talking about all these ideas I have but never actually pulling out the running shoes and going for it.

Ideas are great and all, but if you don’t do them (or give them to someone else who might want to do them), what good are they??

In life, those who make their dreams happen are the ones who say F it, I’m just gonna to do it, despite the fear, despite everything telling them “you can’t”, despite the circumstances and environment.

I love ideas. I love coming up with ideas for other people’s businesses and pursuits. But when it comes to sharing my ideas, nobody cares.

Nobody cares about your ideas, they only care about your results.

(And whether or not the results are worth it to them to try it for themselves.)

The only way to change someone’s mind is to show not tell.

Live by your actions instead of your thoughtful wishes.

The classic example is a doctor who tells you how to be healthy, but smokes cigarettes and looks like they had one too many chicken sandwiches. 

100 great ideas is worth nothing compared to a good idea that’s be executed.

Remember, always show not tell.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursing,
— Josh Waggoner

Go Small To Be Great

“No one can grow if he does not accept his smallness.” — Pope Francis

I️ vividly remember the first time I️ went to a larger city and felt how small and insignificant my life was to the world outside my microcosm.

I️ had been to other large cities before, but for some reason this particular trip to Atlanta made me feel small.

When you grow up in a small no-name town, you have your family, your friends, your school and all the little shops, tv shows, restaurants and hangout places like the movie theater and that’s I­t­. We would drive to see distant family. We would go down to Florida on vacation, but the scope of life ­never really hit me until this trip to ATL. Either I️ wasn’t very aware as a kid, or I️ was busy focused on sports, games, and legos to notice. (Probably both.)

You see, when you’re young, you feel as though you are the center of the universe, which makes sense. You are experiencing things through your own eyes and other senses so of course everything feels U-centered. But i­t­ wasn’t till the hustle and bustle of a random ATL trip that I️ became aware of how big the world is.

I️ remember thinking something like:

“Right this very second, there are millions and millions of people out there in the world living there lives while I’m here living mine in this hotel. AT THE SAME TIME.

This thought didn’t just come to me — IT SMACKED ME IN THE FACE. I­t­ was like FOMO plus Panic plus Unimaginable Vastness all stacked into one eye-opening sandwich.

There were other ancillary thoughts* as well:

Adults are just people who have been here longer than me on a different timeline, and are all just figuring things out as they go.’

‘You can go anywhere and do anything, but you can’t be and do all of I­t­ at once.’

‘I️ am not the center of the universe, and neither is anyone else.’

(*Give or take. I’m definitely misremembering and boosting my vocabulary since then.)

Going small is the best thing you can give yourself. It counterintuitively shows you how to appreciate big things even more.

What’s $10,000 dollars worth to someone who’s born into money? a cheap weekend.

But what’s 10,000 dollars worth to someone who started with nothing, waiting on tables for $2 an hour and eventually built up their wealth through effort? EVERYTHING.

What’s a new pair of jeans to the average person with a closet stuffed with clothing? Just another obstacle to climb over to get to the underwear.

But what’s a new pair of jeans to a minimalist? Precious.

What’s a 100 email subscribers to an influential leader you follow? Usually a rounding error.

But what’s a 100 email subscribers to someone just starting out? Pure excitement that people care and validation of there ideas.

No matter how big your dream is, or how great you want to be, it’s better to start small and stay in obscurity as much as possible while you can.

Going small is where creativity and your best life is born.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
And wherever you are, keep smiling 🙂
— Josh Waggoner

Non-stop Effort

When you find something you love to do, go after I­t­ with everything you’ve got. It’s not about what you don’t have — money, time, energy, connections — it’s about what you do have — effort. Opportunities and resources are directly related to how much effort you put in. Sure, in everything we do, there is a sprinkle of luck that is involved. The right time, right place and resonance with others, but waiting for the right time is a waste of effort. Unless you are a highly accurate futurist, the “right time” only exists in hindsight. Everything else is educated guesses. 

Even if you’re down on your luck, trapped in a hole you dug yourself, lost in the desert known as “what do I️ do with my life?” or roughly translated from Spanish as “how did I️ get here??!”, you still have effort.

Effort is how we can overcome any setback or obstacles we will face in life.

Doing instead of wishing.
Trying instead of dreaming.
Leaping instead of fearing.

Wishing for change is like wishing for bagels — nothing changes and there are no bagels.

If you want a bagel, you have to go out there and get one yourself.

The more non-stop your effort is, the quicker feedback you’ll have on what’s working and what’s not working.

Non-stop effort gives you the experience and practice you need to reach mastery.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
And wherever you are, keep smiling 🙂
— Josh Waggoner

Related Insights

Blog post inspired by: Reinvent Yourself by James Altucher

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

“You are your greatest asset. Put your time, effort and money into training, grooming, and encouraging your greatest asset.” — Tom Hopkins

“Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.” Franklin D. Roosevelt

Big Picture

It’s good every so often to step back and see where you are going.

Does what you’re focusing on align with your vision of your life?

Do you current daily actions align with your long term goals?

Are you saying yes to things that matter to you and saying no things that don’t?

The life you want doesn’t happen completely by chance. Spend your time and energy on opportunities and that move you a little further in the right direction.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursing,

— Josh Waggoner


Knowledge by itself is seldom important if you don’t use I­t­ or share I­t­. 

A book can be both a spark of information that reforms how you live, and or a square-shaped thing you keep on your shelf.

There’s also such a thing as too much knowledge for your own good. I won’t name names, but I was listening to a podcast interview, where the guest was the most well-versed person I’ve ever heard. Maybe I­t­ was the way they were speaking, or perhaps because this person was super young, talking like you just wrote the Declaration of Independence isn’t interesting. Just because you can speak eloquently, doesn’t mean you are eloquent. Talking like you are a college essay isn’t all that impressive if there’s no substance behind your words. Knowing too much for your own good comes across as show boating. I’m sure we’ve all been guilty of this sometime or another, trying to look good by talking big. But It’s the down to earth insightful speech that resonates with us and changes the way we think about the world.

 ”The most effective way to do it, is to do I­t­.” — Amelia Earhart

 ”Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” — MLK

 “If you’re going through hell, keep going. “ — Churchill 

“Whatever you are, be a good one.” — Abraham Lincoln 

Simple phrases with words we all probably use on any given day, but packed with power insights into what life is really about.

You don’t have to act great, in order to be great.

You don’t have to knowledge in order to be wise. 

The most impressive think to me is simplicity. How much can you take away the fluff and still have something meaningful? That’s impact.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing, 

— Josh Waggoner

How to Handle an Overwhelming Amount of Todos

Overwhelm is like the mental version of feeling rushed.

You’re late for work, you hit every red light, every road block, get behind every bus and physically feel like your heart is being strung out like a piece of gum.

Feeling overwhelmed is the exact same. You’re stressed yourself to the point of paralysis by the shear amount of things you have to do and the dwindlingly puny amount of time you have to do I­t­. It’s the equivalent of trying to pack your entire wardrobe into a carry-on tote bag for a flight. Ain’t gonna happen.

Having too much crammed into your day, on a perfect day, can be stressful. Having too much crammed into your day when even a tiny thing goes awry is a h*llscape. (Can you tell this comes from personal experience? 🙂 When you have too much to do, it’s easy to drain your mental energy thinking about everything, instead of doing something to check things off your list.

Overwhelm is like a combination of analysis paralysis and a panic attacks, all rolled into one ugly burrito.


Forget about all that you have to do. Write them down if you must, but fold, hide or burn the page after your done.

Fix your mind on one task that you have to do.

What’s one thing on your list that would make you feel great if you completed I­t­ today?

Write that one task down and start doing I­t­. Focus only on that one thing and forget everything else. One red light at a time. One small step towards completion.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

Dr. Pain

I️ went to a pain specialist recently about my chronic neck pain. We talked a lot about my story and how I️ got to were I️ am today. One of the big takeaways I️ got out of the visit was the question: “What’s keeping your body from healing?”

After working my muscles and posture for an hour, my neck felt great. The pain didn’t vanish, but the posture of my head neck and shoulders fell into a thoughtful alignment. Before I️ came in, I️ was actually holding myself up from keeping my body from slouching over, like I­t­ wanted to do. After I️ left, no effort was required. Gravity did all the work. But, unfortunately, by the end of the day, my neck discomfort was back to it’s old self. (hello old friend)

The real problem isn’t my neck, it’s my lifestyle. Everything I️ do for work involves being on a computer, and the majority of activities I️ do involve looking down. Reading, writing, piano, hiking, cooking, drawing…

The first thing you need to do when facing down the barrel of a health problem is 

Accept the Challenge.

As much as I️ would love to take the pain and stress that comes along with I­t­, I️ can’t. 

Most of the time pain isn’t out to get you — I­t­ just happens. Maybe it’s your fault, maybe it’s some one else’s. Pain doesn’t care. Pain just wants you to either give in or become better.

Sometimes unfair things happen, big bad wolf problems that we all think ‘that will never happen to me’ until I­t­ does.

Sometimes we put ourselves in harmful situations — for good, or recklessly — and get hurt.

And often times the pain is our body’s way of telling us to pay attention to something we are neglecting.

Are you listening to what your pain is telling you?

That goes for mental pain too. If you’re in a constant state of negativity or fatigue or anger, or undesired stress, or rush hour, or fear, or thousands of other negative pressures, something in your life is not aligning to who you are, your core values and what you envision for your life.

Again, what is your pain telling you?

I️ do believe you were put on this earth to be let pain rule over you. Pain is an opportunity to thrive, all you have to do is shift your perspective from pain to gain, and take on the challenge.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner


Think of something big you want to accomplish in life.

Create a successful business, write a well acclaimed book, go to mars, learn 5 languages… 

Whatever I­t­ is you’ve set your mind on,  there’s you, your goals, and a bunch of unknown, terrifying, exhilarating, rock bottom, uncomfortable things standing in between of where you are and where you want to go.

Big picture goals are like a large realistic painting you view at a distance. When you get closer, you realize the picture was made from dabs of different colors and strokes of movement. Mistakes, creative epiphanies, techniques and layer and layers of work and expression are what turns stretched canvas and some tubes of paste into a masterpiece that resonates through time.

It’s the same with our big goals in life. It’s hard to see how a BIG goal is made when you’re starting at ground zero looking up at this looming mountain, lacking a Sherpa to guide the way. You want to get to the top, but how?


Doing even just a tiny amount of consistent and deliberate work dedicated to accomplishing your goal will accumulate up over time.

1% doesn’t just add up, it multiplies. The more consistent and good you get at something you love, the more you’ll want to do it.

What’s one small thing you can do today — right now — to get you one step closer to your goal?

Start with 1%, Stick with at least 1%, and one day you’ll be in the top 1%.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner

Find Your Thing

I­t­ would have been an ordinary day, except on this day, a humble flight of stairs became the catalyst for a life altering decision.

What separated this particular day’s walk up some steps from any other day, I’m not sure. Perhaps I­t­ was a particularly stressful day at work or at home. Or maybe I­t­ had been awhile since he actually took the steps instead of an elevator. Fat, newly 40, and fearful of dying prematurely of a heart attack, Rich Roll decided to make a major change.

You’ve probably heard Rich’s story before, becoming vegan, teaching his body to get back to running, swimming and moving again. “Two years later, 50 pounds lighter, and fueled by nothing but plants, he surprised the triathlon & ultra communities by not only becoming the first vegan to complete the 320-mile über-endurance event, but by finishing in the top 10 males (3rd fastest American) with the 2nd fastest swim split — all despite having never previously completed even a half-ironman distance triathlon.”

Rich chose health. 
Specifically, he chose plant-based food and ultra endurance.

Now he’s gone well beyond his origin story. He’s a bestselling author, speaker, and his podcast The Rich Roll podcast is a top rank podcast that features high performing guests from all types of industries.

This is just one example of choosing a pursuit, working towards mastery and finding success, and eventually branching to other areas they are also interested in.

What’s Your Thing?

I’ve been struggling to identify whether or not i­t­ is better to focus on one thing at a time versus focusing on many things?

For me, it’s less about choosing specificity over multi-disciplinary, and more about finding a better way to become a multi-disciplinary.

Is it better to focus on one thing, get really good at it, and build upon that skill with other skills that interest me?

No matter how you slice it, there’s only so much time you can give to your craft/crafts in a day. And don’t forget about time with family, friends, sleeping, eating, and possibly even working if your pursuit is not your job.

Time for writing takes away time you could be practicing guitar, or work on your acting skills… etc. With that being said, priority is essential to progress

And there’s also a meta layer of all this of me wanting to make Renaissance Life relevant and appealing to people like me. Renaissance is about creativity, mastery and the art of changing and reinventing your life, but is that too broad for people to connect with?

Is my audience not well defined enough yet, or does my marketing need some work? (Probably a little bit of both)

I don’t have an any of these questions answer yet.

The best I can come up with right now is one idea and a question:

Build a strong foundation of meta-skills that help improve your performance in all areas (sales, marketing, writing, connecting, etc).

Stick with 1 to 3 things your working on, but create a regularly scheduled assessment of your progress.  The last thing we want to do is spend all of our time juggling a thousand things and never making traction on any of them

What are you willing to give up? Or put another way, if you know the general direction you want to go, what are things that are distracting you that you need to say no to?

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner


Bitterness is like acid.

I­t­ eats away at everything inside you and can leave you not only miserable, but too exhausted to do anything about your misery.

The tricky part about bitterness is it’s not a black and white emotion. I­t­’s a master of disguise and usually wears the mask of another emotion.

Sometimes you feel sad, maybe from how someone treats you, but it’s not until deep reflection and honesty with yourself that you uncover it’s really bitterness with a groucho marx disguise.

With bitterness comes the feeling of wishing an outcome in your life had turned out differently, and ‘if only it could have happened this way’ ‘if only I­t­ could of happened that way’.

The hardest thing about people and the best thing about people is the fact that none of them are you. Everyone is unique, and that’s a great thing. But with uniqueness comes the friction of everyone looking out for themselves first and their tribe second. Maybe you believe someone ignores you or treats you unfairly, but as far as you know, they don’t even know that they did.

The problem with bitterness is that the person feeling bitter is going to be the one who suffers the most damage. Or in other words, if I  feel bitterness towards someone, I’m the one who suffers, not them.

It’s such an easy emotion to keep down too.

The good thing about bitterness is I­t­ can point out things in your life you would like to change. (If you can learn to be aware of it’s existence)

Finding yourself bitter about your friends fit figure or work life or wealth leads you directly towards what you want to improve about yourself.

It also doesn’t have to be something you have to fix about yourself.

When you identify yourself being bitter, replace I­t­ with gratitude of who you are and your unique set of skills and experiences. Having an emotion doesn’t mean you are that emotion.

I like to think of emotions as clothing you can put on and take off. Feeling angry doesn’t necessarily mean your an anger person, you’re just wearing your angry coat. You can just as easily take off your angry coat as you can put on your happy coat. 


Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner