Appetizing Portions

There’s a thought-provoking quote (that you’ve likely heard) by Desmond Tutu that goes,

“There is only one way to eat an elephant, a bite at a time.”

I don’t know why you’d want to eat an elephant… but that’s not the point.

Huge things, be it global problems, problems in our lives, or ideas and dreams we want to build, are all made up of smaller things.

What is a staircase but a series of steps?

What is a book but a layer of ideas turned into words turned into pages turned into chapters and encapsulated in a central theme? “Purple Cow.” “Leaders Eat Last.” “Big Magic.”

What is a computer but decades of innovation layered with design, manufacturing, physics, chemistry, and lots of love and hard work?

Each piece is it’s own and simultaneously adds up to something more.

Any problem that’s too big hasn’t been broken down into smaller pieces yet.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by a problem and then be unable to handle it, but if you break it down into its smallest components and eat a bite of it, one at a time, then it’s just a matter of time.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1121

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Get it Done

“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.”

Bruce Lee

Ideas last longer when you work on them before you talk to them.

It’s not that your ideas will get stolen.
It’s not that sharing your ideas with others is bad.

It’s because talking about an idea before do it takes away its momentum. You lose the drive to act upon it because talking about it feels like you’ve already done it.

There’s a great insight from Marcus Aurelius that hits on this idea nicely, “Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.”

Your idea is awesome! Now go work on it some. Test it out with customers. Make the first draft and then discuss it with friends and colleagues.

I’m saying this to myself as much as I am to you, my friend. I’ve had countless ideas in the past that I never did because I lost the motivation and momentum after talking about it but never put it into action.

No more. Now I do my best to only discuss what I’m actively working on, and save the discussion of ideas I haven’t started until I’ve put pen to paper, so to speak.

In my mind, the best ideas are the ones that get done.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #923

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Half Measures

“The simple act of paying attention can take you a long way.”

Keanu Reeves

Whether you are aiming for a multi-disciplinary life or focusing your efforts on one thing instead, one thing is for sure—giving only a partial amount of attention and energy won’t work.

Another way of describing it is like “dipping a toe in the water”, or “dabbling”.

The question you must ask yourself is “Am I being careful/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 (to make up a word that’s a mouthful—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. 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.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #916

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Timing Important Decisions

I’m adopting a new decision policy with potential opportunites.

When opportunities arise, instead of immediately blurt out an answer each time someone pitches me on a project or idea,  I’ll say something equivalent to:

“This sounds interesting! I have a policy to never make decisions on the spot when it comes to projects like this. Give me 24 hours — same time tomorrow — and I’ll reach out with a response. I say this with every opportunity.”

Adding a buffer of space gives you time to mediate on whether or not the idea aligns with the life that you want to have / create.

Every decision I’ve made on the spot has a ‘UGH!’ moment attached to it afterward. Things I didn’t consider. Even with great decisions I can usually think of 3+ things I wish I had clarified instead of assumed (or not even thought about). Maybe you, my reader, are better at making decision on the fly than I am.

Even so, I think it’s good to pause and look at all the angles of what saying ‘Yes’ means.

Opportunities are abundant. But if we say yes to things we don’t honestly care about (or care enough about), opportunities can easily become burdens.

Not only does a 24 decision making policy give you time to let the opportunity stew, it also gives you a deadline to decide. In 24 hours, you either have to say Yes, or No.

And if they refuse to give you the 24 hours to decide, then it’s a good sign it’s probably not a great fit for you in the first place.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

Related Insights

“It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.” — Tony Robbins

“There is no decision that we can make that doesn’t come with some sort of balance or sacrifice.” — Simon Sinek

“Think 100 times before you take a decision, But once that decision is taken, stand by it as one man.” — Muhammad Ali Jinnah

Start Collecting Great Ideas

Ideas spark other ideas.

I don’t believe ideas are built in isolation —

they are inspired and mismashed by other ideas — they are build on the backs of everything that has come before us.

My ideas come from my experiences, knowledge, connections, and the input I surround myself with.

To have great ideas, we need to surround ourselves with great input +

Action Step — Start Collecting Great Ideas —

witty ideas, innovative ideas, ideas that make you laugh, cry — all them feels!

Ah-ha ideas, beautiful ideas, world-changing, life-simplifying, problem solving, niche-changing ones..

Remember,

Great ideas come from you — based on your accumulated experiences, 

built by the input you surround yourself with.

 

Go Create Something — Josh Waggoner

related wisdom

“Your competition is not other people but the time you kill, the ill will you create, the knowledge you neglect to learn, the connections you fail to build, the health you sacrifice along the path, your inability to generate ideas, the people around you who don’t support and love your efforts, and whatever god you curse for your bad luck.”  — James Altucher