Opportunistic (Draft 2)

One habit I find really hard to stick to is mobility work. (Working on your muscle fascia to restore range of motion and release daily tension.) You would think rubbing your feet and the rest of your body with a foam roller and some squishy mobility balls would be enjoyable and easy, but for the life of me, I have trouble sticking it consistently.

I think one reason why (among not having established a good habit yet) is my equipment is hard to get to in my physical space. “Hard” is a relative word. Put differently, if my toys are not within easy reach, I can easily forget to use them.

In sight, in mind.

Sometimes we have trouble starting or sticking to a habit because we have to go out of our way (aka our normal day-to-day routine) to take action and do it. It’s like we have to do twice the work. First, we have to find our running shoes and figure out where we put our gym shorts and recharge our dead phones and re-sign into Spotify and fill up our car with gas and yatta-yatta to finally get to the gym or to the park to run. Or, we put away our tools and necessities of the habit we are trying to cultivate and then proceed to completely forget about its existence. We buy new kitchen gear that gets lost and used in the back of our cabinets. We skip a day of journaling because we can’t find a pen.

These things are tiny and make us sound lazy, but that’s not really the issue. The problem is we set ourselves up to fail before we even start.

The easier it is to access a good habit, the more likely we will do it. At least that’s what I’ve discovered in my own life. I am 100% more likely to work out if I’ve got my weights, bands, and shoes out in the open and ready to go. The same goes for practicing guitar. When my guitar is on a stand, I’m much more likely to reach out and grab it and take a “quick” guitar break, versus if it was stuck in a guitar case somewhere under a bed somewhere. And if there’s no ice cream in the house, well, I can’t eat any, right? (Or at least I’m less likely to door dash it).

It’s not that we are lazy, rather most of us are lacking in time and motivation to start. No wonder you have trouble sticking to a good habit when you have to go through a ten-step process before you can start! (I’m breaking a sweat just thinking about it).

Surround yourself with good habits over bad.

Make it as simple as possible to work on your goals.

Organize your equipment or habit ahead of time to make it easier with the moment strikes.

That goes for me too. I need to have mobility gear like foam rollers and lacrosse balls and align bands lying around in plain sight.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing — Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1297

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Opportunistic

In sight, in mind.

The easier it is to access a good habit, the more likely we will do it. At least that’s what I’ve discovered in my own life. I am 100% more likely to work out if I’ve got my weights, bands, and shoes out in the open and ready to go. The same goes for practicing guitar. When my guitar is on a stand, I’m much more likely to reach out and grab it and take a “quick” guitar break, versus if was stuck in a guitar case somewhere under something. And if there’s no ice cream in the house, well, I can’t eat any, right? (Or at least I’m less likely to).

It’s not that we are lazy, rather most of us are lacking in time and motivation to start. No wonder you have trouble sticking to a good habit when you have to go through a ten-step process before you can start! (I’m breaking a sweat just thinking about it).

Surround yourself with good habits over bad. Make it as simple as possible to work on your goals.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing — Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1296

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Current Reads

“The reading of all good books is like a conversation with the finest minds of past centuries.”

Rene Descartes

If you like reading as much as I do, I’ve put together a page to highlight what I’m currently reading, what I recently read, and what’s up next. You can find it here, or up in the navigation. I’m also halfway through an ultimate Renaissance Life Bookshelf page to highlight all the books I would recommend if you are interested in being a Renaissance Human. I had something like this before, many moons ago, but it got lost in the digital couch cushions when I switched over to a new website, so I’m starting from scratch.

Book notes and book-related video reviews are something I’d like to experiment with. It takes an enormous amount of effort to suck out the marrow (gross) of a book and distill it down to its essence. I take a copious amount of notes anyway, now I just need to streamline my process. Time is always a big factor (particularly since I do this blog/podcast in my free time versus full time. (If you have any suggestions feel free to leave a comment or shoot me an email).

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing — Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1295

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Time-Block Planner Update

Well, even after only 5 days, I can already say that using  Cal Newport’s Time-Block Planner is a game-changer for me.

The first thing I noticed right off the bat was how little time I have, or—more precisely—how little time I’m giving to the important things that matter to me. For lack of a better word, I need to do so serious life redecorating.

But even with that, the planner also makes my time feel proactive versus reactive. Sure, things come up and I have to cross and rearrange things, but ultimately where I spend my time is a choice.

Choices that grow bad habits, distant friends, and unfinished business.

OrChoices that build good habits, good friends, and finished goals.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing — Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1294

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Committed, not Overcommitted.

Saying “yes” to everything only works when the opportunities are coming linearly or concurrently at a pace you can handle. But when you start saying yes to everything, all at once, then it’s only a matter of time before you break from stretching yourself too thin.

But what do you do if you are already overcommitted? How do you back down from the ledge?

There’s two options: little by little, or all at once.

The “all at once” option is the easiest, but potentially the most damaging. Because saying yes is a contract. It’s a firm handshake binding you to commit to what you agreed to. Backing out can bruise your reputation. But if you are burnt out and so overcommitted it’s starting to not only effect your happiness but your health, then dropping everything might be worth the damage. And if you are burnt out, you might not have a choice. Unless you want to stay a char broiled piece of leftover meat the rest of your life. Never say yes to something you don’t feel you should do. And if you have to back out then, back out, but do whatever is necessary to make amends and stick the landing.

The little by little is harder, because it requires you to followthrough with that you said yes to—even if you don’t want to. But in so doing, you show that you can be reliable and finish what you start. Day by day, you work your way towards a clear calendar. Of course, this only works if you stop saying yes to anything else. Continuously saying yes to more and more only keeps the overcommitted problem-train chugging along.

Committed gets you where you want to go; Overcommitted keeps you stuck in the mud.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing — Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1292

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Fed Up

Have you ever walked up a couple of flights of steps and felt completely winded? Where you think to yourself, “dang, I’m so out of shape”. Or how about you go to a local mixer and—once again—you stand awkwardly in the corner pretending to eat so you don’t have to talk to anyone. Or maybe you have a dream to learn how to cook, but for the life of you, you can’t freak’n get yourself to start.

There’s a lot that can hold us back. Bu being fed up isn’t one of them. Being “Fed up” with your life (or an aspect of your life) is a catalyst for change. It reminds me of the moment just before water boils. The water is starting to bubble and thrash. Something needs to give and then it does—water heats and turns to steam. (And is ready for the pasta noodles!)

In these moments Change isn’t inevitable. The other option is we can keep on doing what we are doing and complain eternally about it. But what does that get us? Not the change we seek. Instead, lean into the moment. Get mad. Mad enough to finally start exercising, or working the nerve to connect with new people or to learn how to cook.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing — Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1291

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What is a ‘Yes’?

“It is very important to know who you are. To make decisions. To show who you are.”

Malala Yousafzai, Activist

I’ve been learning some Solidity lately, which is a C++, Javascript type language for making smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain. Once you start dipping your toes into the cryptocurrency shallow pool, you quickly start getting into some deep philosophical questions, like “What is money really?” and “What is value?”

Money is a transaction of value. It’s a collective idea that drives economic systems. Why do we want colorful paper in our slim wallets or digits on a website held by an entity humanity calls “banks”. Food, clothing, shelter, nice things, sure. But really money is time. When you have enough to sustain the lifestyle you want, you have the freedom and flexibility to pursue what you find meaningful and fulfilling. That depends heavily on your environment and the kind of lifestyle you can (want) to afford.

If you think about it, decisions are a type of currency too.

Every ‘yes’ given to someone or some task is a value transaction. A ‘yes’ is a time commitment to something you or who you are saying yes to values. That could be saying yes to a job you love (or yes to a job you hate or are reluctant about). That could be saying yes to a new project or to a coffee date or business event. Each ‘yes’ takes time to do. The amount time varies, but there’s a cost to every yes.

Decisions are a type of currency.

Sometimes the cost is worth it because of what you get out of it. For example, putting in consistent time for exercising pays dividends on your health, happiness, and energy. But if you backtrack, or flake after saying yes, then you get slapped with a ‘ convenience fee’ on your reputation.

No’s are like savings or investment accounts for your time. Every ‘no’ leaves you more time down the road for ‘yes’. This could be saving for better yeses, or temptations of mediocre ‘yeses’.

This is why it’s vital to be intentional about our decisions. Making bad calls inevitably happens, but the more we are intentional about our time, the more valuable our time can be.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing — Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1290

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Intentional Time

“You can go slow. Allow your dreams and goals to change, but live an intentional life.”

Kumail Nanjiani, Comedian, actor, screenwriter, co-writer of The Big Sick

My dad recently surprise gifted me Cal Newport’s Time-Block Planner. The book is a whole lot nicer than it appears on Amazon and features a soft cover with an embossed grid on a deep-blue background and nice thick paper (I shouldn’t be surprised by the quality—it’s printed by Penguin Business / Penguin Random House.)

The Time-Block system is built around ”managing time instead of tasks” and originates all the way back to Benjamin Franklin. The idea is to be more intentional about your time by assigning (and reassigning if things change) blocks of time each day. This helps us not only focus on the important things we want to focus on but also highlight what’s eating our time.

I’d like to get a better handle on where I spend my time—not just productively but meaningfully.

My daily habits system has been super impactful on my life, and in the long run, will pay off through compounded effort. But I’d like to get better at spending my time wisely and finishing larger goals.

This year has been a very reactionary year for me, with the company I was working for closing due to the pandemic, scrambling to get some freelance clients, cultivating new and relevant skills, and other personal problems going on in my life. Things feel busy and crammed and it’s no Bueno.

I’m hoping that this is a good start to a clean slate of living intentionally and crafting the kind of lifestyle I want to live.

I’ll keep you updated on my progress and what I think of the Time-Block Planner as I start using it consistently.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1289

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“Authentic”

How can a bootleg live song or something through together in a bedroom feel more high quality compared to a polished studio song?

Because it’s not really about quality or place, it’s about authenticity.

Authenticity is a word that gets thrown around a lot, but it essentially means being true to yourself and letting who you are and your story speaks from a real place within.

Of course, we can be authentically terrible at our craft. Being an authentically bad artist doesn’t really bring home the turkey bacon.

And trying to capture authentic works for authenticity’s sake defeats the purpose of being authentic.

But when authentic work is paired with exceptional quality, magic happens.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1288

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What Works for You

One different aspect about any creative endeavor is there is no one way of doing things. What works for you might not work for me. That’s also one of the wonderful things about creativity—figuring things out is part of the process.

This is wonderful because we get to forge our own path. …But also terrifying because we get to forge our own path.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t “adapt what is useful” as Bruce Lee once said, and use the stories and playbooks of other creatives and graft them to your own creative ideas. Just because we are doing something new doesn’t mean we can use the tools and resources that already exist and have been successful for others.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1287

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