Do Something Meaningful

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”

Benjamin Franklin

What does a typical day look like for you?.

What is the first thing you do when you wake up? (Do you leap out of bed, or reluctantly crawl out?)

Do you go to school? Perhaps you go to your day job? (Where is your focus?)

Who do you spend the most time with?

(We usually spend more time with the people we work with than the people we choose as friends)

What do you do after work? (TV? Go out for drinks?)

Show me someone’s routines, and I’ll show you how far they get in life.

How we embrace each day can show us how in tune we are in life.

Dreams are easy to think up, but hard to make real. But that doesn’t mean our dreams are impossible.

It’s easier to be negative than pursue a life of positivity and abundance.

I’ve been in a rut the last couple of weeks, I’m sure the quality and length of my daily writings have reflected that.

I️ wake up feeling like I’m not where I️ want to be yet. (You could argue that’s a good thing. The feeling of dissatisfaction is used as a driving force to want to change.) I’m not writing enough. I’m not honing my music and songwriting skills enough… I’m not dividing my time appropriately… on and on ad infinity.

The question is, what is my next move?

What do I️ need to do to unstuck myself?

‘Do something worth writing’

Writing skills not there yet? Keep writing.

Podcasting not there yet? Keep podcasting.

Music not there yet? Keep practicing.

Keep experimenting and being curious about the world.

Do I­t­ for yourself and for others like you.

If you are only doing things for yourself, your scope of life isn’t big enough yet.

We don’t reach mastery in a single day. We arrive at mastery with daily actions.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1638

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Surrounded Yourself with Great Influence

“Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

I wouldn’t be who I am if it weren’t for good books and other work from smart and creative people out there in the world (and from the past).

It’s been said time and again that you are the sum of the people you surround yourself with the most.

It’s also true that you are the sum of what you read, watch, listen to, and experience.

It’s truly inspiring—and a little frightening when you think about it—how one book, one podcast, or one video can change your life.

There is (and has been) a lot of chaos in the world, but there’s also a huge amount of people doing incredible and impactful work.

We can be that too (perhaps you already are) if we take up the call. It doesn’t have to be big.

Small changes and details are often what makes the most impact. But it does require us to seek it out and initiate it.

But first, we have to be willing to see our faults and change ourselves.

This leads us back to good inputs.

If you want to have influence, you have to first learn to be influenced by people doing great things.

We must dive deep. Whatever it is you want to be good at. We must go beyond the latest best sellers or hot trends and find the principles that guide creativity and community.

We need to study the greats—people much wiser and smarter than ourselves.

We need to learn how to think, and truly think for ourselves, versus repeating what we hear and learn.

We need to learn the fundamentals of the universe—philosophy, math, music, physics, statistics, nature—and find interesting ways to combine them.

And we need to seek out deep conversations and friendships. Liking someone’s photo is nice, but reaching out and making friends is impactful both ways.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1637

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Reframing Complaints

It’s nice to blow off some steam now and then with friends or family and complain about all the little things that are bothering me in my life.

But if I catch myself complaining all the time, I know I’ve got a problem that needs to be addressed.

Complaining is just laziness in disguise.

If there’s something I can do about the thing I’m complaining about, I just need to shut up and do it.

And if it’s something out of my control—truly out of my control—then I need to let it go.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1636

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Focus is a Super Power

Focus is like a sharp blade.

The more things we focus on, the blunter our focus gets.

Imagine how impactful and effective your actions would be if you were to focus all your creativity on one thing.

This is something I often struggle with because I am interested in so many things.

Being a multidisciplinary doesn’t mean I can focus on as many things as I want. The goal isn’t to learn everything, but rather to master a handful of things.

Focusing all of my time and energy on just one thing feels (for me personally) like cutting bell peppers with my blade and nothing else. I’d get really good at cutting and eating peppers, but I sure would be bored out of my mind.

A healthy balance of creative pursuits is the best answer I have at the moment. Taking on a handful of key interests and ideas, but also not doing too many at the same time. Trying to do all things is a fine way of doing nothing.

It’s okay to put things on hiatus or even sunset projects if they aren’t providing enough value or joy in your life.

Focus is a superpower.

Being able to work on a singular goal for long periods of time. But also focusing by deciding what to focus on (and what not to focus on).

There is such a thing as working on too many ideas at once.

If you have a problem finishing ideas, then you’re likely bouncing around too many ideas.

Prioritizing what matters to you helps.

But if everything is a priority, then nothing is.

The more things we focus on in a day, the less time and energy we have to give.

I learning that I need to be okay with taking ideas off the table and putting them in a “not right now” box. How else can we prioritize what truly matters to us?

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing — Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1635

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Prioritizing The Right Things

There are a lot of ways our reality can mismatch our priorities.

Perhaps we are prioritizing watching TV over honing your skills.

Or maybe we are prioritizing pizza over health. It’s less than TV and a slice of heaven is bad, per se.

Our priorities are not what we want to do.

Our priorities are what we are currently doing.

The problem is that we are putting the unessential above the essential, and fleeting moments of happiness over the joy of pursuing what we love and dream of doing.

No thanks.

Prioritize what you care about. Prioritize what you dream of being.

Do what matters first.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing — Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1634

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Experience vs. Knowledge

Have you caught yourself eating a snack when really what your body wanted was water?

These mixed signals crisscross our lives in so many ways.

We often reach for the convenient option—or better yet tasty option—when in reality, we need something satisfying and deeper.

Take knowledge for example.

Sometimes more knowledge isn’t the answer.

Another book…

Another course…

Another (half-finished) idea…

Sometimes instead of knowledge, what we are truly craving is more experience.

If we know what we need to do, then we just need to go out and do it.

And even if we don’t know, what better way than getting our hands greasy and doing the work?

Experience is earned through hard work.

Butt in seat—get to work.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing — Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1633

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Where does this take me?

It’s easy to mistake motion for progress.

Simply taking action doesn’t add up to a whole lot if you don’t have a goal in mind or if you are acting on the wrong things.

Where are you directing your effort *towards*?

Displaced effort often looks like doing too many things at once. Even if they are things we want to do, the more we spread ourselves around, the less potent our effort is.

Misplaced efforts aren’t necessarily wasted efforts. There’s always a lesson or two in our failures and incorrect decisions if we humble ourselves enough to see it.

Just because we’ve spent all this time going in a certain direction doesn’t mean we can change course if we decide to. It’s only wasted time if we continue doing something we don’t want to do rather than taking a bold step toward a new direction.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing — Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1632

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Multi-focusing

Giving only a partial about of your attention and energy won’t work.

This is mildly ironic coming from a guy who subscribes to the multidisciplinary life.

But my goal isn’t to be a “jack of all trades”, or a “dabbler”.

Being a dabbler is useful when you want to try a bunch of things and figure out what you like. But mastery takes focus and effort.

Dabbling also brings up emotions of fear and uncertainty.

The question we must ask ourselves is

“Am I being careful and cautious, or am I making decisions based on fear?”

There’s no room for timidness when pursuing your dreams, only tenacity.

Dabbling is fine for trying out new interests, perhaps. But when you know what you want to do, only giving a half-measured effort won’t bring the results you are looking for.

Whatever you are going after in this life, you have to go all in.

How can you go all-in when you are going after multiple things? By going all-in on what’s in front of you and making sure the task at hand has the most priority.

There’s multitasking and then there’s something I call multi-focusing (which is a mouthful I know. Saying it is like a hamster eating carrots).

If multitasking is attempting to do multiple things at once, multi-focusing is giving all your focus on one thing, and one thing well, and when you are ready, switching to the next thing and, again, giving all your focus to it now.

While your consciousness is focused on what’s in front of you, your subconscious is still mulling over the previous focus, coming up with new ideas, inspirations, and connections.

You are splitting your time, but not your attention.

That could mean juggling a couple of skills at once, or even focusing all-in on one skill for 5+ years, then focusing on another for the next 5.

Your attention is at 100%. This allows you to learn multiple skills, or achieve multiple goals at the same time.

Not as quickly if you would focus on one thing, but still quicker than your average joe/jane.

The key to success in anything in life is to give it you’re all.

Whether that’s one thing or a few things.

There are no rules here, only results.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing — Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1631

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5 Lessons for Building an Idea

1. The people you surround yourself with is a massive factor in your success.

Who you surround yourself with matters.

When it comes to business and all creative endeavors, there will be ‘good’ people and ‘bad’ people.

Bad people will tell you every reason why your idea won’t work, but won’t have an alternative solution.

Surrounding yourself with these types of people can create doubt in what you are doing and stifle your progress.

They may even want to see you succeed, but the way they can talk to you drains you from wanting to try.

Good people will challenge your assumptions and push you forwards forward.

They can rip your idea apart, by giving you alternative solutions to try and different perspectives to think about, all in the name of making your ideas better.

They believe in you, despite the potential negatives.

Communities enable individuals to succeed. When you surround yourselves with like-minded individuals fighting for their dreams, you naturally want to help each other become better.

2. You need people to talk to openly

Starting a business is hard on the easiest days. Without help to open up about problems you are facing and pressures you are feeling, you’ll eventually implode.

Or at the very least you’ll feel isolated. ‘I feel so alone’ ‘I feel like no one is helping me’ ‘I’m so stressed out’’.

Take a break. Find someone to talk to, be it a therapist or someone else in your community who is trying to build their own dreams.

Hard work makes a difference, but shouldn’t come at the expense of your mental wellbeing.

No one gets anything accomplished if you stress yourself into oblivion.

3. It doesn’t take much money to start

Don’t get me wrong, money can help. A lot. Especially when it comes to peace of mind and wellbeing. But it doesn’t take much to validate your ideas.

Anyone with the will and a couple of hundred bucks can set up a website and get making.

Money isn’t a barrier, it’s an amplifier.

There are exceptions, of course, but exceptions aren’t great excuses to not try.

You can be flat broke and still be creative and innovative. In fact, you’ll probably be more innovative because you’ll have to think differently and come up with interesting solutions to your problems, beyond just throwing piles of money at them.

The question to ask yourself is, “Is money what’s really holding me back, or is it fear?”

Sometimes it might be in fact money, but often it’s the latter.

4. Your idea doesn’t have to stay the same

Or in other words, you can change your mind about it.

Actually, you need to be open to changing your idea.

Because ideas aren’t fixed. They morph and grow based on the market, the information you have, and who you are. All good things.

But if our idea needs to grow, yet our mind is fixed and made up about it, then we’ll likely get nowhere. Everything changes, eventually. So must we and our ideas.

And last but not least,

5. Give First

The biggest lesson of them all.

Give first means to help others without expectations of anything in return.

Helping shouldn’t be about what you get out of it. You might naturally benefit from helping others, but that shouldn’t be the reason why you do it. It’s the same as donating to charity.

You should just be giving to charity just so you can get a tax write-off. If you do, you’re missing the entire point (and benefit) of giving.

Giving First feels good. That’s the reward. To see others succeed and to be grateful that you made a small invisible contribution to make it happen.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing — Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1630

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Show, Not Tell

Do you remember the practice of show & tell in grade school?

Essentially, the activity was (still is?) to bring in something to share with the class and then talk about it.

I’m guessing it helps kids practice their public speaking skills and also gives the class a chance to get to know each other.

What I find most interesting about it is the practice’s name and subsequently order:

It’s show, then tell.

Not tell them show.

Well, maybe for show and tell, the order doesn’t matter, but when it comes to ideas, the order matters a great deal.

Talking about an idea is great, but it has some serious downsides if we talk without having something to show to back it up.

As powerful as an idea can be, by itself it’s just an imaginary thing we keep in our heads or scribble down on a napkin.

I’m torn about sharing ideas.

On one hand, you get to share part of who you are and what you dream about doing. And you have the potential to connect with others who have similar dreams as you.

But, on the other hand, sharing ideas fizzles your moment. By sharing an idea, we feel as though we have already created it, and therefore never actually do it.

It also leaves you vulnerable for someone to steal your idea for their own.

As you can see, there’s a fine line for us to walk as creatives and entrepreneurs. We want to get our ideas out there — but not too early.

It depends on what we are trying to do. Are we trying to build interest around an idea? Or test its validity? Or assemble a team to help build it? Is it something we dream about building (but haven’t yet)? Or is it simply a novel idea we want to exist in the world?

It depends on your intentions. If you want to give ideas away, then sharing them with friends, clients or potential customers is a great idea.)

At a certain point of relative success, (where you have a large following of people who know you and enjoy your work) sharing is beneficial.

Your audience becomes a great way to validate ideas. You take a poll and receive valuable insights.

Here’s my rule of thumb —

Share what you are doing, not what you want to do.

If you haven’t started yet, then don’t share until you start.

Of course, this doesn’t assure someone else won’t do the idea before you do. A secret idea never executed is even less beneficial than a shared idea stolen.

Show us what you can do. Then tell.

It’s always better to be a person of action than be someone who only talks.

Ideas are fun. But ideas that are *made* are life-changing.

Show, then tell.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing — Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1629

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