Lessons from Pain

I would never wish pain on anyone, but some of my most painful experiences have been my most life-changing.

How is pain ultimately good for us?

1. Awareness

It allows us to see what’s important by making mistakes and doing things the hard way. It shows us things we are missing or didn’t know.

It opens us up to the shared experience of pain, which allows us to connect and empathize with friends, family, or even strangers who have gone through something similar.

It keeps us humble and gives our ego a check.

It gives us a chance to slow down and take time to access our priorities.

It shows us how to be better and how to live.

2. Meaning

Pain makes us come alive. It burns down our old self and rebuilds something new.

It cuts away the inessential and gets to the heart of what matters to us.

It motivates us to live true to ourselves and follow our passions instead of idly sitting on the sidelines (or following someone else’s passion).

It shows us how valuable and finite our time and health really are.

3. Change

Pain gives us a chance to change ourselves for the better (if we allow ourselves to). It forces us to change…or else.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1240

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Justice League: take 2

I checked out Zack Snyder’s 4-hour rendition of Justice League on HBO Max. I watched it in at least 7 sittings.

I love Whedon’s other work and his master of character and dialogue, but the 2017 version of Justice League I didn’t care much for. It had its moments, but the villain felt flat and everything felt a little rushed (I think its run time was around 2 hours).

I’m glad that Zack Snyder was given the chance to put his stamp on the movie he was envisioning. Everything about Flash was great, and Cyborg story arc was more impactful this time around too (Although I wish he hasn’t so serious all the time. I miss the joke-cracking silly cyborg from the old Teen Titans cartoon.) I’m still not a fan of the darker tone that this version of Superman has (although Henry Cavill is great.)

Overall it’s a fun ride and worth a watch if you’ve got 4 hours to spare 😆.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1239

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Cracking Walnuts

I’ve noticed my writing has been too self-help to my liking. Not that’s there’s anything wrong with self-help—especially if it helps you clarify your thinking and enable you to change. But my ideal form of the Renaissance Life media / personal outlet isn’t just encouraging words, but practical advice and skill development.

I guess the reason I’ve caught the self-help bug lately is that’s what I need myself. For good and bad, last year broke a lot of things in my life. And now I need to find a way to rejuvenate/reinvent myself. It’s an opportunity to reassess and reset my priorities and trajectory.

‘Opportunity’ not out of unrealistic optimism about my current problems, rather, opportunity because that’s the hopeful path forward.

Opportunity keeps us sane, and problems open us to change. Sometimes we are so unaware (or too stubborn) to see what we need to change. We’re like a hard walnut—mistakes, problems, failures crack us open and lead to the good editable stuff.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1238

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Hidden Mistakes

It’s easy to spot other people’s mistakes, but our personal mistakes and shortcomings are just as easy to dismiss or overlook.

Acknowledging mistakes is the first step to overcoming them.

Otherwise, mistakes have a tendency to get bigger and become repeat offenders in the future.

Attack it when it’s small. Learn the easier lessons now so that you can avoid the potentially harder lessons later.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1237

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5+ Years Experience

Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill.“ — Shinichi Suzuki

There’s a lot of great artists out there. Heck—there’s a lot of stellar creative minds in every field. When you find a passion for something, you want to be the best at it (or at least recognized as someone who skilled). But when you are just starting out, or early on your journey, butting up against people who are waaaay better than you can be discouraging. Sometimes motivating, but often discouraging if there’s a huge gap between where you are and where they are.

It’s important (and personally helpful) to note, that they’ve likely got many more years under their belt than you.

It’s like how you can’t compare your inner state with someones’ outer state. Comparing your work to someone who’s been at it for 5, 10+ years is a little silly. Of course their work is amazing! Think of all the time, effort, and experience they’ve accrued. (Note time + effort cultivates skills, not just time alone.)

If our work is even half as good as someone who’s been doing it for over a decade, then we are in a great place.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1236

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It Goes Both Ways

A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out. — Walter Winchell

The best kind of friends is the ones that go out of their way to have your back when needed (even when you don’t realize that what you need). We all go through our ups and downs, good days and bad. The compadres that you want to keep around are the ones who help you when you fail, and cheer you on when you succeed.

That goes both ways too. That’s the kind of friend you want to have and the type of friend you want to be.

It takes effort, but it brings a lifetime of rewards.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1235

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Defining Days

“You always have two choices: your commitment versus your fear.” — Sammy Davis, Jr.

“Wisdom is knowing what to do next; virtue is doing it.” — David Starr Jordan

No one really can predict the future. Sure, as they say, it rhymes with the past. But you never know where you’ll be in a year or five years from now. The further out the hazier it gets.

There’s a lot of things that aren’t in your control. But you’re decisions are. What you do next is.

In many ways, how you define your days define your life.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1234

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Growing Moments

Pain is messy. On one hand, it bleeping hurts! Even the smallest doses of pain, like burning your hand on the stove, can make us want to look up at the sky and curse like a drunk sailor. But on the other hand, pain can be a powerful catalyst for growth.

There’s nothing quite like the direct experience of pain to force us to open our eyes to things we are neglecting or unaware of. For me, I didn’t realize how vital health was until I lost it. When I was growing up, I didn’t know a thing about health. My diet consisted of pop tarts, fast food, and pasta. I grew up in the age of fast food and millions of dollars being pumped into kids’ commercials. Honestly, I’m not sure the world knew how bad fast food would be for us. Our parents, even grandparents gave the same level of trust to McDonald’s as they would to a home-cooked meal. Convenience over quality. I don’t blame my parents—they didn’t know about health either! (I wonder if the food companies had any idea either, at least at the beginning.)

We don’t know what we don’t know.

And without access to insightful information or guardrails to keep us safe, pain and failures become difficult lessons that ultimately allow us to become better and potentially change the course of our lives.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1233

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Overwhelming

When you are overwhelmed, the way forward is not to do more, but do less.

Or, if you can’t reduce what’s on your plate, focus your mind on less at any given time, and remove everything else from your periphery.

Trying to do it all is eventually the same as trying to do nothing.

There’s no shame in feeling overwhelmed. It’s in the nature of being one person, with limited time and resources.

But don’t let it keep you from moving forward.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1232

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It should have been obvious but…

It’s usually only in retrospect we uncover truth about ourselves.

That’s why it’s important to establish guiding principles and sticking to them.

One decision can make a big impact on your life, but it’s usually the accumulation and compounding of little day-to-day decisions that determine your reality.

This idea is worth more when we look forward versus dealing on past mistakes we can’t rewrite. Dwelling is a decision too. So is letting fear get the better of you. Better to sleep it off and keep moving forward.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1231

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