The Head & The Heart

When your mind runs away from you — because of fear or anxiety or frustrations — focus your attention on your body instead of your head.

Move. Go for a run. Do some manual labor or chores. Focus on breaking a sweat.

If your mind is blocking you from action, let your actions be an alternate fuel source.

Because when you focus on your body, you suddenly forget all about what was worrying or consuming you, and you fall into living and feeling the moment. Feel the hammer against the nail as you build. Feel your breath and pulse as you exercise. Let your endorphins put you in a more positive state. Feel the freedom from thought — especially all-consuming, not very useful thought — that physical energy can bring.

And often times the worry or problem will pass. The frustration will fade away. You might not have an answer, but now you have the clarity to be open to one.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh W.

The Unknown

Not knowing is the worst part of any unknown situation.

Not knowing when the next paycheck will come in…

Not knowing what’s wrong with your health (if anything is wrong at all or if its all in your head) and not knowing what you can do about it…

Not knowing if you’ve been accepted, rejected, heard…

Not knowing if you are making the right call…

Answers don’t make the problems easier, but they at least give you a mental breath of fresh air and something to act on. The biggest mistake is letting the unknown control or loom over you.

Here’s what I know:

Movement helps, a lot.

Whenever I’m in doubt, I start listing out things I need to do, and I immediately start going down the list. When you don’t know what you need to do, doing something, anything at all that feels like you are progressing towards what you need to do helps. Motion gives you momentum. The more you act, the more likely you’ll be ready to act on what you need as it comes. Just in time action. Anything beyond that, nothing is certain (to anyone, despite what they may say).

Everything will work out.

It might not work out how you expect, nor work out in your favor, but it will work out. Time tends to iron out all wrinkles eventually. Even a tragedy can be a lesson and a jumping off point for your life to go into a new and impactful direction. So remember, when everything sucks, look for the opportunity hidden in the suck.

Worrying about a problem won’t make it go away.

In fact, worrying makes it worse because you begin to dwell on it to the point of all you can think about what’s wrong or what might happen. Worrying about something also hurts you the most. Stressing yourself out isn’t going to give you any new information or insight into the unknown, it will only put you in a less optimal state to handle what comes your way.

When in doubt, pinky out.

Humor, having the ability to (tastefully) laugh under tremendous pressure will keep you sane. You can still be happy when you don’t know all the answers. Happiness doesn’t equate to knowing everything. Happiness is an internal state. If there’s one thing we can learn to control, even a little, it’s our internal mindset. Your life can be on fire and you can still be happy as a cucumber if you don’t let the fire into your mental house. Calmness, coolheadedness, resilience, these are things we can train and master.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh W.

Seeing Opportunity

I’ve always wanted a Jeep Wrangler. Something about the look, history and ruggedness of a Jeep made me a fan. Years ago, I had the opportunity to purchase a car, so naturally a Jeep was the first thing that popped into my head. And then – what felt like all of a sudden – I would see Jeeps EVERYWHERE! Anywhere I looked, there was a Jeep rolling by.

Actually, you can do this today too. Go out and see how many white cars you can spot today.

What we focus on dramatically increases our awareness of that foci.

This is called the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon.

The question is, how do we take advantage of this?

Intentional Focus.

Opportunity presents itself to everyone. The problem is not everyone notices it when it does. Opportunity is noticeable when we allow ourselves to intentionally focus on it occurring. We are more likely to see an opportunity if our attention is looking for it and therefore we are able to ACT on it. We can use this type of attention many ways A new job. Relationships. A dream-come-true, insights.

Will this phenomenon help us win the lottery? I think not.

However, intentional focus creates openings for us to be more in tune to the opportunities around us.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh W.

Quiet Effortless Action

I have a great tee of an eagle holding a banner that reads, ‘Made With Quiet Excellence’. Quiet excellence is the epitome of how to make dreams happen and how to make positive change happen in our lives.

Talk is fun. Talking to friends and family about dreams and what we want to do even feels good, but talking only gets you so far. Talking doesn’t take what’s in your head and make it reality. In fact it does the opposite. When you start telling people what you want to do, you give away that ideas power. Telling others makes you feel like you’ve already done the work when you haven’t. It also opens you up to criticism and misunderstandings that can lead you to leave your dreams behind.

The other side of the coin are those that brag about what they’ve done. I’ve done this, I’ve done that. I’ve succeed at this, I’ve succeed at that. Look at me, look at me. And although they may have done some amazing things, their inability to stay humble and see the bigger picture leaves them far from the success they could have.

Masters don’t need to brag, they’re seemingly effortless actions already speak loudly.

No, it’s better to take quiet actions.

Only discuss what you are doing or have done, not what you want to do.

Leave the criticisms and distractions behind and make slow, quiet actions that lead to excellence.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh W.


“Simplicity in character, in manners, in style; in all things the supreme excellence is simplicity.”Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“Excellence is not a skill, it’s an attitude.”Ralph Marston

“Do not underestimate the determination of a quiet man.” — Iain Duncan Smith

When Your Unsure of What to Pursue…

What do the lives of those that pursue skills you’re interested in look like? Or in other words, if you look at a master of a particular craft and what their day to day looks like, does it look interesting and exciting to you?

Are they happy? Healthy? Fulfilled?

This is a great question of thought to help you decide whether or not the path you’re on is actually the one you want to and should be on.

Pursuing something, because it ‘sounds cool’ isn’t deep enough. That chain of thought only leads you in circles, or down a path you could careless about.

That’s why love of the pursuit, love of the game (whatever you want to call it) is vital.

We need heart in order to reach depth.

We need purpose in order to reach meaning.

So look at those in your industry that inspire you. Look to those who have been down the path you are desiring to take. Is the journey worth it to you? Are you excited about the work to get there? Does it scare you in a frightening, I need to do this kind of way?

We choose the lives we lead each day. At any moment, we can change our future by changing our minds.

Choose happiness. Choose health. Choose fulfillment.

Everything else is either an added bonus or distraction from a life well-lived.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh W.

Suffering is Optional

I could choose to see my pain from my neck injury as a miserable, dreadful experience that has cheated me out of living…

Or I can choose to let it go, allow the painful lesson to point my life towards a new, more helpful life journey, and use the pain as a tool to care more about myself and others.

I could choose to see my financial problems as hopeless, that I’ll always be minimum wage, not worth anything, and always struggling to stay two steps behind…

Or I can to let the sting of an empty piggybank spark ideas and the desire to execute on them and point my life towards my true passions, and use the money problems as a tool to care more about myself and other.

“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. Say you’re running and you think, ‘Man, this hurts, I can’t take it anymore. The ‘hurt’ part is an unavoidable reality, but whether or not you can stand anymore is up to the runner himself.”

― Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

Whatever you are going through, pain can be useful, but suffering is anything but.

Pain is in the moment.

Suffering is in the mind.

Think your pain is worse, dwell on what your pain has done to you, regret, resent and hate your pain, and you’re only adding coal to the fire. But the moment you stop focusing on what you can’t control, and focus exclusively on what you can, suffering stops.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh W.


Inspired by: Solve For Happy by Mo Gawdat

Winter Coats & Swimsuits

It’s late.

Like past my grandpa-bedtime late.

I’m still buzzing from the day’s festivities of my 28th birthday. Or maybe its the pure nitro-burst of sugar I got from a premium, strawberry cream cheese birthday cake — I’m talking one-hundred percent gluten and cake ingredients here — and not having cake like that in over two years.

Regardless, I’m one part grandpa-cranky, two parts sugar high tonight as I write this.

To me, birthdays are a good excuse to check in with myself, pause and reflect on what I’m doing, where I’m holding myself back, and how both of those things are affecting where I’m going. (I’ll be writing another post specifically about my birthday goals.)

I’ve been feeling… off the last few months (or more). Burdened might be a better word. Chronic Problems — health, finances and overwork — all feeding each other and causing lots of unnecessary stress and unhappiness. I feel like I’ve written about it to death. (If you’ve been reading my posts the last couple weeks you can probably already tell something’s off, with the sorry state most of them have been.

It’s kind of like wearing a coat in the wrong season.

Of course you are going to feel like you’re melt and die into a puddle of goo trying to wear a winter coat in the heat of the summer. But, more often than not, we don’t realize we are wearing a winter coat in the middle of summer. In hindsight, sure. It’s easy to see how much you were a boob you were in the past and how much you’ve grown since then. But in the thick of it, it’s hard to be aware of what’s wrong, only that something /is/ wrong with how you’re doing things. Cue vices or culture or whatever telling you how you should live to be happy.

It’s not until you are aware that you’re wearing a coat, can you begin to take it off. Taking it off, is another action you must do, but first you must be aware of what’s wrong and give yourself an opening to change it.

I have only a vague notion of what to do, about my own personal battles but so far three things are working:

1.Ask for help as much as possible (even when I don’t want to, or feel awkward doing)

2.Less talky, more do-ie. I’ve stopped bugging everyone around me about what I’m /going/ to do (with exceptions, like brainstorming / ideation sessions) and honed in on taking actions, and only discuss what I did, or what I am doing.

3.Sharpen my mind. Half (if not more) of any battle / problem is the mental game of it. Lose in your mind and you’re not stacking the deck against yourself from winning in reality. Tools like mindfulness, reading, running, stoicism, and spiritual ideas are life savers.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh W.

Forward Motion

There’s always a way forward.

Let your unwritten future give you peace of mind and strength.

Whatever that’s wrong and immediately pressing will pass — if you think about your last few years, things that were important in the moment, don’t matter much in the now. The same is true for the struggles you might be facing right now, and the struggles you’ll encounter in the future.

Nothing is written. Anxiety and worry is only in our minds. Everything is moving forward and motioning you to do the same.

Deep Breath.

Be the Change.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh W.

A Moment of Reflection

“It’s very important that we re-learn the art of resting and relaxing. Not only does it help prevent the onset of many illnesses that develop through chronic tension and worrying; it allows us to clear our minds, focus, and find creative solutions to problems.” — Thich Nhat Hanh

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” — Albert Einstein

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”Marcel Proust

Whenever in doubt,

Surround yourself with who you want to be.

Surround yourself with things that make you feel alive.

Our environment, be that things, people, inputs, food, help define not only who we are, but who we can be (our capacity)

Anything that doesn’t lift you up and lift others up too, is only an anchor weighing on your soul.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh W.