Now Prevents Never

If you are waiting until you are good enough, it’s too late.

The perfect moment you’re waiting for isn’t real. There’s never a perfect moment to start or stop, to say yes or no.

The only thing separating you from working towards your dreams is yourself. Everything outside of that is a reflection of how you are handling your internal world.

Waiting for perfection is blocking you from the progress you could be making by going after things now.

Work with what you have now.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing — Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1474

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Making Sense of Overwhelm

Water is a great analogy for feeling overwhelmed.

When we are overwhelmed by things in our life, it’s as if we are standing under a raging waterfall.

Every problem is flowing over ud at the same time. The pressure is demanding all your effort just to stay where you are. Your senses are overloaded. It’s difficult to focus and act on a problem individually because each problem supersedes one another. Mentally, you’re not looking atindividual problems, you’re problems have morphed into a single monster.

But once we understand that we are under a waterfall, we can be aware and allow ourselves to step out from underneath it.

Step out.

The biggest issue is that you spending all of your energy focused on all that’s wrong.

Problems are easier when you’ve honed in on one and given all of your strength to solve that one.

I find it’s always better to break it down to the smallest components and focus on taking action on one issue you’re facing first and succeeding, versus trying to handle them all at once and floundering.

What’s a small thing you can focus on right now at least to get things flowing in the right direction?

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing — Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1473

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20 Minutes > 0 Minutes

“Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another.”

Walter Elliott

One of the hardest things to do for any habit is to keep going.

A habit is a collection of small actions done consistently that happens automatically. It doesn’t take much to derail a habit though. Inconsistency kills habits.

No matter how much we may want it, if we don’t continuously work on our habits, they’ll eventually be replaced by something else (something easier and more convenient).

This is especially true when it comes to creative habits. Making stuff takes intentional work.

Sitting down to code your side hustle app, taking time to write a few pages of your novel, grabbing your iPad, and spending an hour drawing—these things may sound simple, but they are not easy.

Consistency is what it takes to succeed.

There’s a natural ebb and flow when it comes to the quality of our daily habits. But the key is to keep going and strive for high quality.

Maybe today that means only 20 minutes of work. Well, that’s still 20 minutes more than nothing (if you decided to skip today). 20 minutes might not seem like a lot (and perhaps it’s not from a granular perspective). But 2o minutes adds up when looked over a long period.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing — Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1472

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Advice Best Taken

“If the CEO does not follow the cultural norms of the company then the cultural norms won’t happen.” — Stephane Kasriel, CEO of Upwork, on the Distributed Podcast

Why do we take the advice of some, but dismiss the advice of others?

I wonder if part of the answer is tone. If someone is giving me advice and their tone says “you’re dumb, why are you (not) doing XYZ…”, I’m likely not going to take them up on it. The same is true if the advice is unsolicited or un-actionable. Even if the advice is sound if all I’m getting is negative criticism I’m not going to listen.

I think the biggest contributing factor in whether or not advice is taken is if the advice-giver has or is living out what they are saying. In essence —

Is this person following their own advice or not?

If not, then proceed to throw it in the trash. Or at least follow their resources and see if the advice is sound and backed up by someone else.

Have they “been there done that” or are they living vicariously through “do as I say not as I do”.

I can’t count how many times I’ve seen people give great advice (to me or people around me), but because they don’t eat their own dog food, it’s not followed. And then, you hear the exact same advice from someone who lives it out— typically someone in the public sphere, an author, YouTuber, entrepreneur… — and suddenly the advice is the best idea you’ve ever heard.

The same holds true for giving advice. If you want to be able to help others and give advice that’s taken, you’ve got to listen and act on your own advice. “You should put 20% of your monthly income into an investment fund, like a ROTH IRA or Index fund” “You should spend your time more wisely” “You should focus on email marketing to gain more sales” Okay. Cool. Are you doing it yourself? If not, then you better start.

Of course most of the time we don’t need advice, rather we just need someone who will listen to us.

Follow your own recommendations

The same holds true in art and work.

Talking about doing something is not the same as doing it.

As much as I love coming up with ideas, if they are never executed, then they don’t matter.

Impressing people and inspiring people are two completely different things.

If you want to be creative, find your true fans, and make a living doing it, you’ve got to create.

To take it back to middle school English class (I still suck at grammar):

’Creative’ is a noun.

‘Create’ is a verb.

To be a creative, you must create.

And share it with the world.

As Author Jeff Goins discovered on his journey of becoming a writer, “You are a writer. You just need to write”.

To be, you must do. (Wow, so Shakespearean-Yoda of you Josh)

Related:

The phrase, “Eating Your Own Dog Food”

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing — Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1471 (draft #2)

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Happy Place

Moments of stress and anxiety are easier to deal with when you take a step back and take your mind off of the sting of the immediate problem(s) and instead re-focus on things you love.

Or in other words—take a break.

If we’re all business all the time our minds won’t have the rest needed for strong problem-solving.

Create, Explore, Learn. Dance. Practice yoga. Paint. Sketch. Read Go for a hike.

Do something good for your mind to get you out of your mind. Find your happy place.

In a counterintuitive way, by not focusing on our problems, we can begin to think and open up space for opportunities to solve them.

Sometimes, that simply means taking a nap.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing — Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1470 (draft #2)

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Start then Stick

The people who win are the ones who get started and the ones who are consistent.

Get up and take a small action towards winning.

We don’t need more information.

We don’t need more resources.

We don’t need more expertise.

We likely won’t be great at the beginning, but that comes with consistency—continuously taking small actions and learning from the results of those actions.

We just need to start and stick.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing — Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1469 (draft #2)

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The Daily Practice of the highly Successful and Happy

“Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.” —Zig Ziglar

Study any highly successful and/or happy person and you’ll notice they all have some form of reflection and gratitude practice.

Oprah. Thich Nhat Hanh. Venus and Serena.

Gratefulness for what they have, sure. But also for their journey and the trials and victories they’ve been through.

Gratitude exists outside of income. You can be dirt poor and still be grateful for the people and life you live. Same if you’re the richest dude around.

Do you have to be grateful for everything? No—that’s not what gratitude is about. There’s room to reach for something better and still be grateful for what we’ve got. The key is remembering what’s important.

Success starts with gratitude.

Does gratitude create success and wealth? Possibly. At the very least it opens you up to an abundant mindset.

Gratitude focuses your attention on what you have instead of what you lack. It’s bending your mind toward the positive aspects of your life rather than the negative. The less weighed down you are by negativity, the more capable you are of reaching your goals.

The simplest way I’ve found to add a gratitude practice to my day is the 5-minute Journal created by Alex Ikonn: The Five Minute Journal: A Happier You in 5 Minutes a Day: Intelligent Change: 9780991846207: Amazon.com: Books

Each morning you simply record three things you are grateful for. It can be big or small — For example, I’m grateful for time with my fiancée, I’m grateful for my job, I’m grateful for this cup of coffee this morning. And in the evenings you write about three amazing things that happened today. (I had a day off from work, I spent time with friends and family all day, I worked on things I love.)

You would think that small acts like these would add up to much in the grand scheme of things, but really how we focus on the little things reflects how we handle the big things.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing — Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1468

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The Power of Gratitude: http://www.oprah.com/oprahs-lifeclass/what-oprah-knows-about-the-power-of-gratitude-video

Charge Your Day With Gratitude: https://www.goalcast.com/2017/07/27/7-oprah-winfrey-quotes-to-charge-your-day-with-gratitude/

“Learn to be thankful for what you already have, while you pursue all that you want.” —Jim Rohn

“When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around .” —Willie Nelson

Letting Our Past Get in the Way of Our Present

It’s easy to build up something in our mind and make it feel like it’s impossible to do it.

Like wishing we had something today that we had (or had more of) in the past—exercise routine, long stretches of free time, better friendships.

Or another example, building up the idea of something—a business idea, a celebrity, an outcome—that it becomes so big we don’t do it or get let down by its lack of imagination in reality.

But pining over things we used to have or used to be doesn’t get us anywhere today.

It’s better to start where you are.

And work small.

A Small start is not embarrassing or less than.

If you can’t be what you were in the past, then be something better today and in the future.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing — Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1467

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Better with Attempt then Nothing at All.

We don’t always win, but we grow stronger from trying. Slap that on a bumper sticker and call it a day.

The difficult part is not letting failure get to you and consume your thought., And failure is great at doing just that.

Here’s a great example: looking for a job.

Have you ever had the soul-crushing experience of trying to find a job and yet only getting rejection emails or worse—silence?

The problem is we are comparing something personal to us— our lives / careers — with something that’s more objective to companies—find a great culture fit, ideally someone with skill and manners. What’s directly personal to you is lost and abstracted behind dozens or even hundreds of resume’s to read from mostly complete strangers in the hiring managers inbox. (No wonder word of mouth usually is the method of choice for hiring.) They are just doing their job. And maybe you don’t hit the mark (right now).

It’s hard not to feel down and low self-worth when day after day you are met with rejection. And yet failure is part of the process.

Rejection is part of creativity. Put yourself and your work out there and eventually it will meet criticism, bad reviews, or (again) worse — silence.

Some critiques are worth listening to. If it pushes us to do better and try harder, then it’s worth the immediate sting. And un-constructive critiques should be thrown out and set on fire.

Inaction from fear doesn’t change anything. Inaction just keeps us exactly where we are — usually, somewhere we don’t want to be.

Trying something new every day does.

‘Okay, that photo didn’t work out so well, what can I try next?’.

As long as we keep getting up, we never actually fail. Even going through the worst failure doesn’t stop the world from spinning. Another day always comes. Another chance to try again.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing — Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1466 (draft 2)

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Reframe the Problem

Imagine your problems as opponents.

There’s opportunity in competition. There are weak spots in opposition.

Where is the problem the weakest?

Test it.

If I wrote fortune cookies 🥠, this would be the perfect moment to say something like “A brick wall is easier to knock down with a sledgehammer” or “if you can’t make the wall budge, go around”.

The idea is to reframe and mold the problem into something that you can get a grip on and handle.

An unsolved problem is a tangled web of overwhelm and half-understood ideas. It’s difficult to know where to start tackling the problem.

Instead, break the problem into an actionable to-do list. Do this, then this. Or, if this then that.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing — Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1465 (draft 2)

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