Lethargy

There’s a hazy amount of sluggishness that hits me when I watch too much tv back to back (I’ll use tv as shorthand for both tv shows and film).

There was a couple of days last week I found myself on a binge. The first day I had a great reason (I was feeling the side effects of getting a COVID vaccine). The second day (after work) I didn’t have a great excuse. I was just feeling lethargic.

Don’t get me wrong, I love films. I love the craft of it, the storytelling, and the acting. I think the problem is more in the binging. Too much of a good thing, you know? Even if you’re chowing down on documentaries and foreign thinkers—too much is too much.

I’m not a channel surfer guy, and the closest thing to reality tv I watch is a vlog or 3. I really only binge when I’m under the weather. But even so, there are side effects that remain after a few days. Side eying my iPad. Mentally trying to think of a reason to pull up a new episode. I resist, but the feeling is there, which I find interesting.

Too much of anything sours into a bad thing, because it ultimately distracts us from living and enjoying more rewarding things.

There’s exercising. And being with friends. And walking your pet. And making something meaningful. And learning something new. And reading a book. And hiking. And making your own films. And so many things beyond another ten episodes.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1252

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Self-help Aisle

Why do we gravitate towards self-help books? Most of them are relatively similar—except for the occasional extraordinary writing—and touch upon typical ideas.

So why do we (myself included) pick up another one when a new, well-designed cover hits the (digital) shelves?

Because they give us little boosts of inspiration to be better today, to be more than yesterday.

Because sometimes it’s not the message, but who’s telling the story and how the story is being crafted. One person’s experience might feel un-relatable, while another one hit home.

For me, it’s about what gets the job done. If I’m looking for a book that helps me improve my finances, then the book that teaches and inspires me to action is the one that means the most. That might be a different book for someone else going through different experiences. But the key is the willingness to change and finding someone whose work is a catalyst for that change.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1251

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Free Wisdom

There are many fundamental things we can do to improve our lives for free.

Practice is free.

Awareness is free.

Listening is free.

Breathing, walking, exercising, communication, water…

It doesn’t cost a lot to be a good friend either.

Being limited on resources sucks, but it isn’t the end of the line. In fact, some of the most innovative ideas have come from limitations.

And then when you take into account the number of books accessible for a relatively inexpensive amount, the options are limitless.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1250

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Observation is Free

If I won the lottery, I’d be investing a lot of it in learning. There are a ton of great premium ($$$) online courses I’d love to take. Companies, Colleges, individuals. Music, Design, Engineering, Film, you name it. If you had the cash, you could take a UX course from MIT and a music production course from Berkeley, and an animation course from the School of Motion all at the same time.

Pretty amazing time we live in!

Of course, there are also plenty of things at our disposal that doesn’t require us to pay to play.

Khan Academy, EdX, not to mention YouTube.

Practice is free, of course.

Some of the best minds have been forged by observation and figuring out how things work on their own.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1249

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Taking a Leap

“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.” — Henry David Thoreau

We’ve all heard the (at this point cliche) phrase about following your friends off a bridge if they decided to jump. This is essentially your parents telling you not to do dumb sh✨t at 4 AM when you and all your friends are bored.

This is mostly good advice. Just because someone else is telling you to do something doesn’t mean you should.

But let’s look at a more subtle version of this idea. What do you do when everyone around you telling you to do or be something, but you know it’s not right for you? What do you do when you know you need to jump to grow but everyone wants you to stay the same?

Sometimes when everyone tells you to play it safe, what you really need to do is take a leap of faith.

The smartest people I know (and follow) are nonconformist. They see the world differently. They figure out what they want and what they stand for and figure out how to make it happen. They don’t let fear control their lives.

They’re not dumb either. They figure out how to leap but also try to minimize risk if they failure (and they know that failure is a possibility.)

The question is, who do you want to be—someone who wished, or someone who tried?

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1248

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Good Intentions

“Early in life I learned, just through observation, that right always wins out over wrong. If a person has good intentions in his heart and wants to do the right thing, then there are certain ways that any obstacle can be overcome.” — Monte Irvin

With limited information, resources, and insight, not every decision we make will be a good decision (… obviously).

There’s a lot of luck involved in every decision.

Not all bad decisions lead to bad outcomes (and not all good decisions lead to good outcomes either).

But an accumulation of bad decisions or good decisions adds up, eventually. The check comes due, so to speak.

Making smarter decisions is important, but don’t let a bad outcome dissuade you from your goal. Set a direction. Have honest and good intentions. And do your best to get there.

Good Intentions for who?

Whose to gain from your good intentions? Just you? Made you should rethink that strategy.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1247

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Onward

“We know what we are, but know not what we may be.” — William Shakespeare

Goals don’t always succeed.

The question is, what do you do after you miss the mark? What do you do in the rubble of failure?

The hard thing would be to keep going. To re-write and re-assess the goal and go after it (or a version of it) from a different angle.

The Equally hard option is to let it go. To write down the good that came of it, and the lessons you learned from the bad. And put down the “baton” and pick up another.

Both of these are better than dwelling in past mistakes.

Moving forward is how we lift ourselves out of a bad hand. We can’t rewrite the past, but we can rewrite our future. Starting now.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1246

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Be The Good

Our emotions, thoughts, and experiences change how we see the world around us. When your thoughts are negative, your world feels negative.

I didn’t sleep well yesterday so I wasn’t in the best mood. When you’re in a bad mood, everyone feels like they are pushing against you. (Obviously, if everyone is in a bad mood, clearly it’s you that’s the problem.)

But the same is true for good emotions and thoughts too.

Optimism rubs off on people. Even the most prickly person can have a hard time not being affected by the glow of charisma and hopefulness.

It’s not about only being positive and making light of bad situations. Optimism isn’t about ignoring reality. An optimist sees what everyone else sees. They are just viewing the world through a bright lens.

It’s about not letting the bad circumstances win.

There’s the event—what happens—and then there’s how we perceive it. Our perception changes everything. But that’s hard to see when you’re in a bad or negative mood. (Because a negative lens only shows you a negative view.)

If something negative happens to you—say you lose your job, or find out someone is trying to tarnish your reputation—then feeling the emotion is natural. Anger. Negativity. Sadness. Loneliness. Despair. But all these things cut both ways. Giving into poisonous emotions too long and you’ll only hurt yourself.

Who’s benefiting from our anger or despair? No us, certainly.

Anger can get you far, but it can’t make you happy.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1245

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Almost Perfect

One of the hardest “no”s is when we are dealing with an almost perfect “yes”.

This type of yes looking amazing on paper, but for some unknown reason, our gut is telling us we need to pass on it.

Sometimes it’s a perfect yes but for a past version of ourselves. Something our past self would have loved but isn’t right (or worth it) for our current self.

Other times we need to say no to our immediate desires so we can yes to our more fulfilling long-term needs.

Even if it’s nine times out of ten, it’s better to go with your intuition than against it.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1244

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Learning is a Superpower

“Anything that is worth teaching can be presented in many different ways. These multiple ways can make use of our multiple intelligences.” — Howard Gardner

Learning and teaching are about the same thing — making connections. Transferring knowledge from one source to another.

There’s an old 90s show I vaguely remember (can’t think of the title) where the main character gets into a super-powered chemical accident and suddenly develops weird abilities, one of which she can read an entire book by touching it (or something like that).

I think about this super-learning ability often. (That and learning-time-loop montages like in Groundhogs day or Palm Springs.)

Learning is a superpower. And until we can download knowledge directly into our brain like Total Recall, Teaching is also an incredible skill to cultivate.

Knowing something doesn’t mean you can teach it (or write about it).

Knowing, teaching, and writing are all three separate skills. Of course, if you can learn all three you’ll be a powerhouse of understanding.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1243

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