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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Becoming too Comfortable

When I’m feeling sick (like today) I normally avoid anything unhealthy and double down on healthy things—rest, sunlight, veggies, supplements, water, etc.

I know that’s weird.

A lot of people when they’re ill instead try to comfort themselves with immediate pleasures—ice cream, tv, comfort foods, etc.

I don’t blame them, I would reach for the ice cream too (and did most of my life) but now I know too much.

The more I nurture myself now, the quicker I’ll recover and that delaying gratification may not always give me what I want, but it goes give me what I need.

Comfort isn’t a bad thing. But more often than not it leads us down a path of complacency instead of strength.

The trick is to always be asking yourself why. What’s my goal here?

Why do I want to do X?

What’s the why behind the desire?

And once you uncover the why, you can determine whether it’s still worth your time or not.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing — Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1464 (draft 2)

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The Stories We Tell

“The marble not yet carved can hold the form of every thought the greatest artist has.” — Michelangelo

Today is a new day.

It might not feel like much and you might not feel like a new person, but it is—and you are.

Yes, you have your memories—everything that’s happened up until you read this, the good and the bad. But does that really matter?

Memories, in a way, are just stories. Real, imaginary, somewhat fuzzy stories we’ve experienced. Some stories are currently defining us. Our current and past tastes in music. Our fashion sense. Our past work and vacation experience. Take your stories from high school or college, for example. Even just mentioning the words might bring a flood of stories to mind from your own experiences during those periods of your life.

Some of the stories in our past are currently holding us back. These are the ones we need to rewrite if we have even a slight hope of doing something more with our lives.

It’s difficult to live in the moment if you are allowing your past mistakes to haunt you. (Sometimes this is from trauma, like PTSD flashbacks from war. In cases like these, rewriting stories needs to be more than a thought exercise. Talk to a therapist. etc.)

But luckily mistakes are also just flavors of memory and stories. Why not tell better stories? Why not turn a mistake into a humorous, insightful lesson you can remind yourself and tell others going forward?

Think about people you admire and the stories they tell. Aren’t some of the most hilarious, laugh-out-loud stories you heard from them moments where they experience dips or failure or stupidity, and weave it into this fun and insightful narrative.)

Take some time to think about your stories and what stories you tell yourself.

What are stories you loop in your head over and over again but aren’t helpful?

How can you tell them differently?

Sit down and write out the new spin on each story. Say it aloud. Tell a friend.

This isn’t about falsely creating a better past. This is about finding the good from the tragic and telling a better story so that we can live a better today and have a better tomorrow.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing — Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1463 (draft 2)

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Busyness vs. Effectiveness

There’s a fine line between busyness and effectiveness.

Busyness is doing tasks that look like work.

Effectiveness is about working with progress and a result in mind.

One keeps you where you are and the other gets you where you want to be. The problem is busyness is a trickster and often disguises itself as effective.

“Work expands to fill the time available for its completion.”

This classic quote (now Parkinson’s Law) by C. Northcote Parkinson is a great example of how busyness creeps into our days.

Does checking and answering email ten times a day help us or distract us from the deep work we need to do?

Well.. not really, most of the emails we get are spam or other people trying to sell us things.

Busyness makes sense to me. It takes hard work and focus to make high-quality things. Busy work is a welcomed distraction for our subconscious (or consciousness) to delay—even just ever so slightly—the work we need/want/expect to do.

Often busyness is a sign that we need to take a break. Not a scroll-on-Reddit, watch 3 YouTube videos, pound some coffee kind of break. I mean something nourishing that wakes us up and gets us in the right mind space.

Waggoner | Daily Blog #1462

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Tinkering Around

One of the first toys I remember playing with as a kid was legos. I’m a 90’s baby, and I assumed that LEGOs was invented around then. But the LEGO group has been around for awhile. It was established in 1932 by Ole Kirk Kristiansen in a Danish carpentry workshop.

The original name for the LEGO brick was Automatic Binding Bricks (1951). The bricks where iterated and refined into what we know them as today. Kristiansen’s toy business had many ups and downs. Fires, economic upheaval from a post World War—not to mention WWII and the fallout from it as well. But despite it all, Kristiansen kept creating and tinkering.

One of the best things about lego sets is you can break the rules and build whatever you want. There’s instructions, sure, but those are just guidelines. You don’t have to use them. Growing up, I would usually building by the instructions first (achievement unlocked) and then I would tear it to pieces and then build things from my imagination.

It’s easy to go through life living by an instruction manual. We live by the expectations of the people around us. Family. School. Society. We conform without necessarily thinking about what we are signing up for.

Sometimes this works really well. Instructions by themselves are bad. It’s nice to know exactly how to fix a tire or how to learn illustrator or how to start an online business. The problem is it’s easy to follow instructions blindly, without completely thinking things through or experiencing things yourself.

And when it comes to creativity, there is no instruction manual. So if you are used to living your life through step-by-step directions, stepping out and doing something creative might sound daunting.

A part of being a creative is thinking differently and getting your hands in the mud. Book smart only gets you so far. Hands-on practice and experimentation unlocks a new level of creative ability. There’s knowing something from reading or hearing about it, and then there’s knowing something from hard-earned discovery and tinkering.

How to Learn by Tinkering:

• Don’t always follow the instructions.

• Play first.

• Try it the wrong way.

• Make your own rules (add limitations).

• Approach the world with childlike curiosity.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing — Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1461

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