Enjoy the Process

“Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.”

Anais Nin

Creative endeavors are never binary. Both success and failure are subjective. Success and failure are never final — they are just fixed moments in our minds or what our culture deems success or failure.

Is success really a success if you stop? Is failure really a failure if you pick yourself up and keep going?

Live is a series of wins and loses. The key is loving what we do and not let momentary success or failures stop us from improving and being who we want to be. By loving what you do, it doesn’t matter if you’ve had a crappy day or went up to bat (metaphorically) and struck out. The same with having an incredible day and knocking it out of the park. Tomorrow will come and we’ll be back to creating something new.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #749


Join the Renaissance:

IG@Renaissance.Life

If you enjoyed this blog post, consider becoming a patron.

SubscribeRenaissance Life on Apple Podcast | Renaissance Life on Spotify

Be a Spark

“The larger the change, the more people will resist it. Thus, make it seem so tiny and trivial that people don’t even realize it.”

Maxime Lagacé

“Let him that would move the world first move himself.”

Socrates

When you think about it, creative work is very ethereal — particularly digital things. Design, marketing, fashion, music, dance, videos, (dance videos), articles, websites, apps…

Everything online is continuously changing and iterating.

We spend the better part of our day working on things that likely won’t be around in a few years, let alone a century from now. You could see this as a negative. Why work on something that’s not going to last? But I see it as a positive. It’s our chance to try new things and see what sticks. It shows us that we should enjoy it while it last, but also not take work too seriously and let it run over our lives. Future innovation doesn’t happen unless we innovate and push boundaries in the present and do the work now. You can see progress from a bird’s eye perspective, but change happens on the ground.

Some thing we create have the chance to be perennial, but most of what we create won’t even last a day. But everything we are is an accumulation of what we’ve done and where we’ve been.

Ethereal work might not last a century (very little does), but if we can even impact one person in a positive or thought-opening way with our work, then what we do is worth all the time and effort.

Be a spark for other people’s change. We don’t necessarily have to beat people over the head with our ideas and try to force them to chance, we just need to open the door and let their curiosity do the work.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #748


Join the Renaissance:

IG@Renaissance.Life

If you enjoyed this blog post, consider becoming a patron.

SubscribeRenaissance Life on Apple Podcast | Renaissance Life on Spotify

Creative Obstacles

“Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them.”

Albert Einstein

“If you always put limit on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them”

Bruce Lee

Creativity is about giving what you’ve got, not what we wish we had or think we need to create.

Sometimes that means working with the materials and equipment you have on hand.

Or sometimes that means being time-bound, finishing an idea in a day or working on a project every spare 10 minutes you can give.

One thing you learn along the way is there’s no one way to make something. There’s your way, my way, their way — we all approach projects differently. That’s why there’s hundreds of unique songs made with C, D and G chords played in different ways.

Sure, there are more effect ways than others, but effectiveness depends on the goals you have in mind. Are you trying to make something with a low budget? Are you trying to work around a physical limitation? Do you feel stuck in where to take your idea? Use it to your advantage.

The key is to not let finding the ‘right’ way to do something limit you from doing it. There are no limitations in life, only creative workarounds and solutions to hard problems.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #747


Join the Renaissance:

IG@Renaissance.Life

If you enjoyed this blog post, consider becoming a patron.

SubscribeRenaissance Life on Apple Podcast | Renaissance Life on Spotify

Filter

There’s never been more information and ways we can spend our time. There are multiple lifetimes of books, subjects, websites, films, tv shows and music. And (unless there’s an apocalypse) the inputs aren’t going to get any smaller.

But despite the increasing about of things we can do with our time, our amount time remains the same. 168 hours in a week. 24 hours in a day. 16 hours after subtracting sleep (give or take). 8 hours for work. 8 hours for everything else.

Which is why it’s vital for us to prioritize what we do and ultimately not do with our time.

Activity doesn’t mean quality or meaning. We can easily invest a whole lot of time into a whole lot of things that don’t actually add up to something meaningful in our lives.

Now, I’m not telling you to set fire to your tv and cancel your Disney+, Netflix, HBO and Apple TV+ subscription. Enjoyment can be quality well spent. Nor am I saying we should only spend our time working. Live is bigger than just work.

However, if too much input is taking away your time and ability to create and do the things you dream of doing, then it’s perhaps time to take a look at where your hours go and how much bang you’re getting out of them.

The key to having a balance great inputs is for them to improve our lives instead of distract us from living.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #746


Join the Renaissance:

IG@Renaissance.Life

If you enjoyed this blog post, consider becoming a patron.

SubscribeRenaissance Life on Apple Podcast | Renaissance Life on Spotify

Don’t Stop with an Idea: Make it Real

Giving an idea a name is important, but not as important as making it. Ideas are powerful, yet only exist in our imaginations if we don’t put it in action.

There’s a lot that goes into making an idea reality. For starters, not all ideas are created equal. Some have better shots at making it than others. A good idea can be made great with grit and industry, but trying to make a bad idea great is like mistakingly using backing soda instead of baking powder — they sound the same but create a completely different outcome. It’s tricky because a bad idea can often look like a good one in the moment. You think you have a killer idea, but you’re timing is off, or you’re missing information that says otherwise.

Always think about the purpose behind an idea.

Would I use it myself? Do I want to create this because I need it in my life? Would you be regret not making it? That’s often how the best ideas — be it products, books, apps, you name it — come about.

Or is this just simply for the money for the sake of money? The desire to make money to improve the quality of our lives (and creativity) is one thing, but the desire to have money just because we want it won’t fly.

I think the biggest reason our ideas stay just ideas is because of fear. Fear of imperfection. Fear of looking like a fool or looking crazy. Fear of failing. Fear of succeeding and still not being satisfied with ourselves. Fear isn’t the enemy. Wait what? Yes you read that correctly. Fear is only the enemy when we allow ourselves to give into the fear. Otherwise, fear is a motivator. It motivates us to push harder, and it motivates us to hold back and live to fight another day.

The question is, is your idea worth it? Is it worth the fear? Worth the time and chance of difficulty?

If you’ve got the purpose and drive, make it happen.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #742


Join the Renaissance:

IG@Renaissance.Life

If you enjoyed this blog post, consider becoming a patron.

SubscribeRenaissance Life on Apple Podcast | Renaissance Life on Spotify

Naming Ideas

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

William Shakespeare

Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.

Oscar Wilde

When you think of the word ‘apple’, what comes to mind?

Perhaps you are picturing a red fuji or granny smith fruit we call an ‘apple’. Or, if you are tech nerd like me, maybe the first thing that pops in your head is a sleek glass and metal iPhone or MacBook pro made by the company called ‘Apple’, which makes you wonder when that new gadget that’s been rumored to come out soon will be launched.

Naming is likely the first thing humanity did with words. Is a thing really a thing without a name? Likely not, or at least collectively we call it ‘undiscovered’. (You can see this taking shape with our online persona’s we create today on social media and the web. Are you really a person or business if you don’t have an Instagram presence or a website or search results? Crazy. But I digress, that’s a topic for another day.)

When learning a language, we associate a word with a picture of what that word represents. It’s crazy to me that a few simple shapes on a paper or device screen can instantly become an associate of an imaginative idea or idea that exists in reality. This is something you learn early on when studying design, specifically brand design. An brand identity isn’t just a name or logo of a brand, like Nike, Moleskine or Topo Chico, its a feeling, a mission, traits — the whole caboodle.

Think about the brand name ‘Disney’. Before Walt started his dream of an animated studio, ‘Disney’ was just a last name: ‘Hi, I’m Walt Disney’ (albeit a great last name). It’s difficult for me to even grasp what Disney meant before Disney was Disney. It’s like us having the name Jane Chimbee (made that up) and calling our company Chimbee. It means something to us (aka what our PE teacher would call us) but it doesn’t mean anything to the world yet. Disney has a vastly different identity, emotion and motivation than just a last name now.

Give your idea a name.

An name starts as a singular idea, morphs into the passion and purpose and characteristics behind the name and becomes a collective identify in the minds of people everywhere, sometimes even around the globe.

Giving an idea a name is a powerful way to make it more real in our minds.

In the beginning, an idea is just a silly thing that lives inside our imagination / head. It’s potentially quite a long path towards taking an idea and making it something real and tangible, but that starts with giving it a name.

Names aren’t permanent, they are constantly evolving (in words and in meaning), so don’t feel stuck if you aren’t sure if the name you come up with is the right name for your idea. You can always change it later as the idea is honed.

Names give us direction.

Giving ideas names is one of my favorite things to do. (…wow, get a life josh). At the very least, naming infuses a little magic into your idea and makes it a step closer towards something real. Of course, we still have to make the idea real (we aren’t done yet with just a name alone) but its a step in the direction we want. Naming our ideas also helps us define what an idea is, and likely more importantly, what an idea isn’t. For example, I knew that I had a passion for learning many things, but it wasn’t until I learned that a person that is a master of multiple things is called a ‘Renaissance Man’ (Renaissance Human) or ‘Polymath’ that I finally had the ability to express what I wanted and find insights on how to achieve it. By naming an idea, we being to discover what the idea is and means.

Names are one of the first steps towards giving your idea an identity.

“No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.”

Robin Williams

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #741


Join the Renaissance:

IG@Renaissance.Life

If you enjoyed this blog post, consider becoming a patron.

SubscribeRenaissance Life on Apple Podcast | Renaissance Life on Spotify

Creativity is the Medicine for the Soul

“Odd how the creative power at once brings the whole universe to order.”

Virginia Woolf

“Grief can be the garden of compassion. If you keep your heart open through everything, your pain can become your greatest ally in your life’s search for love and wisdom.”

Rumi

Why do we create? To express ourselves, sure. To be somebody. To highlight something important to the world. And yet, creativity goes much deeper than that.

The act of creating doesn’t just work outwardly, it’s also an act that works within us.

Creativity is an outlet of inner work and outer work. By expressing ourselves through our art, we learn and nurture our own selves.

There are moments in our lives where everything feels like a struggle. Moment where we feel stuck in the same old same old we find ourselves in again. Broken bones, childhood trauma’s, disappointment, broken hearts, loneliness, pain, injury, fear, uncertainty, apathy, burnout, brokenness, bitterness, anger… Sometimes life can be overwhelming. Creating is a great way to work through our thoughts and emotions. Because

Creativity is the Medicine for the Soul.

Why else would some of the greatest songs, books, films, poems, dances, and works of art come from sadness and pain. It’s a form of self-therapy* that releases pent-up energy. Creating something — whatever it is for you — is like a pressure valve release on our minds, bodies and souls. The more we create, the more capable we become. Creativity comes from happy places too. Happy moments need creative expressions just as much as the difficult moments do.

Whatever you are feeling, whatever you are going though. Creating something is an excellent tool in the toolkit.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #740

*that being said, always talk to a professional first if you need it.


Join the Renaissance:

IG@Renaissance.Life

If you enjoyed this blog post, consider becoming a patron.

SubscribeRenaissance Life on Apple Podcast | Renaissance Life on Spotify

Limitless Creativity

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

Franklin D. Roosevelt

What would you do if you had unlimited access to time, money and energy? If this was Family Feud, then travel, would likely the first choice.

Most of us go our entire lives living in the same corner pocket of the world. Which makes since. Our family, friends and familiars grounds are there. Our lives are there. And (romanticized) travel can get expensive. We know it’s good for us, but (unless you’ve caught the travel bug) we prioritize our resources elsewhere. That’s likely why if we suddenly had access to enough financial space and opportunity, we would all jump at the chance to spend a few months in France, or take a beach month in Hawaii.

Books can take us to world away, to galaxies unknown. They can change us, open us up to new ideas and realities. The internet can do that too. But it’s not until we use our own two feet to experience the variety and spices from different cultures and ways of living from around the globe that we can ground ourselves into who we are and what we stand for. Of course, after experiencing the world, we find ourselves coming back home or finding a new place to call our home.

The next choice could be spending time with the people we love. (But with unlimited resources you know we would be taking our friends on globetrotting adventures too)

But I think the second thing we would choice to do with unlimited resources is get back to work on our ideas. Or at least, if you are like me, that’s what gets me jazzed in the morning.

If you are reading this, then there’s likely a creative expression, a passion, an art, a creative pursuit burning inside you. It’s a business idea that popped into your head one day. Or a thing you did when you were a kid but stop doing while experiencing the growing pains of life. It’s something that you gravitate towards in your free time, or talk about (with way too much) enthusiasm to your friends. This is your art. This is a piece of who you are.

Unlimited resources would be nice… I sometimes fantasize about getting stuck in a time loop like Phil (Bill Murray) on Groundhog Day. Imagine having unlimited resource to master the piano or read every book in the universe. (Although, in Groundhog day everything resets each day, so notes, artwork, businesses would likely poof back to nothing each day, and we’d be stuck in Punxsutawney.) But having limited resources doesn’t mean we should give up on our creative pursuits. Let go of the things you can’t have, focus on what you’ve got to give. Theodore Roosevelt once spoke “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” All that matters is that we give it our all with what we’ve got.

The goal, for any pursuit, is to not let the unimportant things in life crowd out the important things (whatever that is for you). When we do the best that we can with what we have now, as we keep pursuing and preserving, over time our resources grow. The longer we keep going, the more time, money and energy we can give to what we love, and the more quality we can squeeze out of efforts.

Limitless creativity doesn’t come from unlimited resources. Limited resources comes from working with what we’ve got, and find clever ways to use our ‘limitations’ or constraints to our advantage.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #739


Join the Renaissance:

IG@Renaissance.Life

If you enjoyed this blog post, consider becoming a patron.

SubscribeRenaissance Life on Apple Podcast | Renaissance Life on Spotify

Lonely Ideas

“Ideas can be life-changing. Sometimes all you need to open the door is just one more good idea.”

Jim Rohn

Does an idea really exist if you keep it to yourself? Or better question: is the idea really ours to own?

Creativity isn’t worth much if we keep it to ourselves. Financially, sure. It’s hard to make money off an idea we never make. However, creativity goes beyond the dollar signs. Creating is an essence of who we are as human beings. By reaching inside ourselves and pulling out a unique and personal idea that people can relate to, we can make an impact on someone’s life. And, if we are lucky, put a dent in the universe. But a secret idea is a lonely one.

Sure, ideas need time to get right.
Yes, someone could steal your idea if you share it.
And maybe your idea isn’t a good one.

But too much time and the idea will fizzle. And if we keep it to ourselves, who’s to say someone won’t come up with it and steal it anyway? Luckily, if the worst scenario happens, another bakers dozen of ideas will come by the end of the week.

Here’s the thing: Ideas are the easy part.
We will always have more ideas than we have time to make them happen.

The hard part is making our ideas real.

  • Getting it out of your head and on paper helps.
  • Talking about it to friends gives you feedback is a step in the right direction.
  • Giving it an identity — a name, logo, a personality — make it feel more real.
  • Setting up a website and social media gives you a little validation.

But in order to have the mind-space and impact we are looking for, we’ve got to starting building our idea and building it well.

Just like us, a good idea might have some talent, but in order for it to shine, it needs some work and rework.

The fact that any one of us can take something from our imagination and turn it into reality is amazing to me. We are all capable of making great things if we put our heart and sweat into it.

What are you going to make?

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #738


Join the Renaissance:

IG@Renaissance.Life

If you enjoyed this blog post, consider becoming a patron.

SubscribeRenaissance Life on Apple Podcast | Renaissance Life on Spotify

Permission to Sleep

“I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I’m awake, you know?”

Ernest Hemingway

“Sleep is the Swiss army knife of health. When sleep is deficient, there is sickness and disease. And when sleep is abundant, there is vitality and health.”

Matthew Walker, New York Times bestselling author of Why We Sleep

Its difficult to be creative when you are exhausted and overworked. My work is always at its most mediocre when I’m sleep deprived. The same goes for decision-making. It’s far easier to make careless choices when your mind and body are on the back-burner

All-nighters and weekend warrior sprints might get the work done, but the question is, is the work any good? Could the work have been better if we were well-rested?

I wonder if sleep exists merely because otherwise we would either overwork or indulge ourselves into an early grave. Instead, sleep gives us a required break, a hard reboot that has clear (and some unclear) ramifications if we ignore it.

Sleep is a great way to reset our mindset and emotions too. Sleep washes away feels of frustration and anger. We talk of time healing all wounds but I think perhaps sleep is the one doing the healing work, or at least gets the party started.

When in doubt, go to sleep.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #735


Join the Renaissance:

IG@Renaissance.Life

If you enjoyed this blog post, consider becoming a patron.

SubscribeRenaissance Life on Apple Podcast | Renaissance Life on Spotify