Moving Day

Today was a great day.
It’s 10 pm and I’m laying on an air mattress in my new apartment. We (family) spent the majority of the day moving me in, laughing and really enjoy the moment of the day. (We also hilarious moved a big A bookshelf up multiple flights of stairs because it would fit in the elevator whew!)

This is the first time I’ve had a place without having roommates. My purchases have always been around tech and learning (booooks) and the rest I’ve leaned on others. You don’t realize what you don’t have until after you start looking for your own place. (Oh right, I️ don’t have silverware… Oh right, I️ need a dining table). I don’t have everything, but that’s okay — I’m loving it. (All a part of the process.)

Last year, I️ had quite a few setbacks financially. It felt like I️ was getting roundhouse kicked in the teeth every week. I’m not 100% but I’m in a much better place than I️ was. 

As I’m laying here reflecting in silence on the day, I️ know that this was a good decision. We face many setbacks, but there’s always a way up from them. Be strong, lean on others, don’t be afraid to ask.

I️ going to make a vow to myself to focus more on improving my health (gut, physical, emotional, mental), friendships, wealth, love, creativity, and spirituality a little every day.

Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner

Related Wisdom:

Earl Nightingale“Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don’t wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future. Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it’s at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savored.”

Hippocrates: “Healing is a matter of time, but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity.”

Henry David Thoreau: “Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.”

Jim Rohn: “Learning is the beginning of wealth. Learning is the beginning of health. Learning is the beginning of spirituality. Searching and learning is where the miracle process all begins.”

Me Me Me! Over Here!

In a world of Me Me Me, what if I did the opposite?

What if I️ lifted other people up instead of me?

Of course, I want Renaissance Life to be huge. I want to create a massive tribe of friends pursuing mastery and living life to the fullest. But is pushing out one more social media post really going to do it for me? 

Binge reading Ryan Holiday’s blog has shown me how timeless our work can be. I’m reading his thoughts from over a decade ago, and yet there they are — fresh as the day they were conceived. What stands out most to me is not the insights (although there are a bunch of them) but the connections he made along the way. And the same goes for us.

My writing is important, but it’s the connections I make that matter.

That’s why I’ve started interviewing Creatives Like Me on the blog.
I want to create deep and lasting bonds with likeminded humans.
I want to surround myself with charismatic and energetic people who are striving to make the world a better place.

Action Steps: Focus on the we culture, not the me culture. Focus on lifting others first.

Who knows what kind of friends we’ll have if we do?

Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

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Related Wisdom:

“What tribes are, is a very simple concept that goes back 50 million years. It’s about leading and connecting people and ideas. And it’s something that people have wanted forever.” — Seth Godin

“Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.” — Steve Jobs

CHALLENGE: What Would You Change If You Were Going to Die Next Week?

Time is a fickle friend.

Used properly we can increase our abundance — skills, ideas, friendships, wealth, experiences — through the power of compound interest.
Used poorly we can haphazardly give our time to things we don’t care about, and even worse we give our time without actually intentionally deciding to do so.

And Death feels like a far off event that happens when you’re old and grey.
But really it could happen any moment.

We can plan our world for tomorrow but die today.
That’s why brushes with death can powerful motivators. You hear stories about people completely rewriting their story after almost dying in a car accident, or from a health scare.
Moments like these can be a lightning rod to what really matters to you.

Death Becomes Me
So what would you change if you were going to die next week? What would you change?
Would you change anything?

Would your relationships be different?
Would you do the same work?
Would you have the same hobbies?

I want to live my life to the fullest every moment, because if I don’t that means I’ve been living my life with a glass half full.

You are going to die, so  why not be ALIVE while you can?
I’m not talking about reckless abandon (and three sheets into the wind)
I’m talking about intentionality. What would your life look like if you did everything to the upmost?

Extraordinary.

My actions will be fearless. Why wait? What would I wait for? How could I possibly be scared of trivial things like failing or standing out when it’s up against.
My wealth will be in the number of people I️ impact, not the number of zero’s in my bank account.
My friendships will be based on quality and care.
More confident, present,  and.. happy.

Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

Are You Phoning It In?

Plot Twist: There is an actual limit to how much we can do at one time. 

I️’ve always been late to this party. (Mostly because I️’m in permanent denial) ‘Wait, you mean I️ can’t do everything all at once?!’

Right now, Somewhere in time and space, an economics class is talking about opportunity costs. (Pour one out for all the economic homies) The term describes the idea that choosing one opportunity prevents you from choosing others. And it’s true, there’s only so much time, energy and work you can give in a day. If you want to master basketball, you’re not going to have the necessary time you need to master guitar too. (Well.. you can try but you’ll be a jack of all trades master of nada)

I’ve been experimenting with where my line in the sand is when it comes to how much and how many pursuits I️ can have at once. (Because I’m crazy) What I’ve learned is I️ can be quite resilient with the amount and variety of things I️ can hold in my head.. however (like everyone and their mamma) I am limited by the 24-hour cycle. But more importantly, doing too much at once gives me the opposite of want.
More more more doesn’t give you peace of mind, happiness, creative space — it sandblasts away all of those and leaves you as a shell of a human. (aka about as interesting as a broomstick in a vacuum cleaner world) And it’s just not a great way to live. On the worst days you feel rushed, overwhelmed and like you’re making zero progress in a million things.

Whenever I️ fall into the fallacy of  ‘I can do everything all at once’ my life becomes a nightmare and I️ need to re-evaluate. (before I implode) Life isn’t about how much you do, it’s about how much you give to what matters to you.

 

How do we know what matters most to us?

Look at everything in your life and ask yourself, ‘Am I️ phoning this in?’
‘Is this important to me or just distracting me from what’s important?’

If it’s not important — if it’s a distraction from what you really want — why are you doing it? Because it’s easier to do more than do less.

Choosing less is HARD (Believe me I️ know more than anyone)
It’s something I️ need to work on. It’s just hard for me to say no to opportunities when my previous year was so difficult and rot with no’s. 

But more won’t bring me a meaning life filled with Renaissance, friendships and purpose.

Action Step: Choose What’s Important to You; Learn to say no to everything else.

Action Question: Am I phoning this in? 

Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

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Related Wisdom:

“Most people don’t know why they’re doing what they’re doing. They imitate others, go with the flow, and follow paths without making their own.”

“Don’t be on your deathbed someday, having squandered your one chance at life, full of regret because you pursed little distractions instead of big dreams.”

“Just pay close attention to what excites you and what drains you. Pay close attention to when you’re begin the real you and when you’re trying to impress an invisible jury.”

“If you’re not saying “HELL YEAH!” About something, say “no”.

Derek Sivers, Anything You Want


RenaissanceLife.com

After going under the name Renaissance Man Life for the last year and a half,
I am officially the proud owner of RenaissanceLife.com

I’ve been agonizing over not having it for a long time now. I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent on hover.com, name.com — and every other domain registrar on the planet — looking for a domain close to it. (TheRenaissance.co? RenaissanceLife.blog? RenaissanceJosh.com? Close but no cigar-scented candle) 

I hoped I would get RenaissanceLife.com, but the seller wanted $10,000 for it. (That’s a lot of donuts.) After a year of negotiating it down from who owned it (sitting on it like a troll under a bridge), I couldn’t be happier.

For me, Renaissance Life is an investment in myself. A commit to keep pursuing and pushing my abilities. It’s a promise and affirmation saying I can and will build the RL into a media company focused on helping us reach mastery and create an extraordinary life.

Names are important.

Any idea I have that I think has potential, I immediately come up with a name for it. Names give your ideas a grasp of reality. With a name, you are own step closer. You have edges you can grab hold of, climb up and plant your flag on.

Consider my flag planted.

What are you planting your flag on?

Why Renaissance Life? What does it mean?

Renaissance means rebirth.

From the combination of the French verb /renaître — ‘to revive’ and the noun
/naissance/ — meaning birth comes a word that lives near and dear to me.

The historic Renaissance was a time of innovation and human potential from the revitalization of Roman and Greek classics. To put simply: It was an age of discovery, creativity and pursuit of excellence.

Today we face a new renaissance — The Renaissance of Ourselves.

Your renaissance life begins the moment you decide you want to recreate yourself and grow into a better person. Modern life changes at break-neck speeds, so too, must we. We must become more resilient, adaptable and creative to be who we want to be, to do what we want to do. Dreams of a lifetime don’t happen with wishes. We must create them happen.

Maybe for you that means doing something you fear. Starting a restaurant, building an app, running a marathon. Or maybe it means a rebirth from a past failure. A bad break up, lost friends, a poor career.

By choosing to live a Renaissance Life, you’re choosing to believe that you can and will turn your trails into triumphs, and learn how to become a master at what you do, despite setbacks, pain, and fear.

My greatest moments of pain and failure have become the most defining moments of my life. Isn’t that crazy (stupid) to consider? I would never wish bad on anyone, but through my own troublesome experiences I come to appreciate more, desire to be more and to life my life to the upmost.

We all go through dark moments in our life:

Injury, health issues, financial meltdowns, friendships, frustrations, body issues, brokenness, bad decisions (to name some of mine).

Ultimately, what matters is what we do about them in the aftermath.

Do I give up? Or do I find a better way?

Your Renaissance has unlimited potential. Choosing the pursuit of better is how you begin.

Welcome to the Renaissance.

Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

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Related Wisdom:

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” — George Eliot

“Life isn’t about finding yourself, Life is about creating yourself.” — George Bernard Shaw

Motivation of Champions

Where does your motivation come from? 

I know that because you are reading this, you must desire change in your life. You want to be different and create a meaningful life for yourself and your loved ones, but you just quite haven’t figured out how yet. How do I motivate myself to do the things I want to do, but just can’t seem to get myself to do them.

When I think about the people who do, versus those who don’t, they have intrinsically linked their desires and values to their actions.

They don’t just talk about things but do them.

In my mind a champion is not someone who wins, a champion is who does. They have already decided they are gonna win in their mind, and then they go out and do the best they can do.

Despite whatever comes their way, setbacks, failure, fear — they are going to do something anyway.

Where does this motivation come from?

It’s early, not even 6 AM yet, you get out of bed, put on your shoes and head to the gym.

That’s Motivation.

It’s soo early, the suns still asleep and so should you, you swat your alarm clock and go back to bed. Rinse, repeat. It’s 7:49 so you know you can’t prolong it any longer. You roll out of bed and head to work.

1. Motivation is a Skill.

The first insight on the motivation of champions is understanding that — like most things in —motivation is a skill. We aren’t born with the champions value to motivate ourselves to pursue, that must be learned and forged from experience.

2. Know what you want.

Motivation comes from a goal driven mind. If you don’t see the end in mind, how can you possible get to your destination?

3. Set yourself up for a win.

Small nuances in habits can dramatically increase your chances of success. 

For example, If you want to start getting up at 6 am to write, don’t just go to bed whenever you want — Set a get-ready-for-bed alarm for 30 + 60 mins before —

Put your alarm clock across the room or better yet in your bathroom. You have to get up and walk to it, rather than just leaning over and slapping it. By setting your phone alarm next to the sink, you’re in arms reach of splashing a little cold water in your face to wake up your senses.

That’s the key — Champions do the hard things, by making the small things easy. Always always always keep your values in arms reach.

In my office, My guitar is out in the open and ready to for me to play. I can just go over and grab it and start working on a song.

I keep some version of a notebook or notecards with me at all times, so If I have a writing idea I can jot it down and revisit it later.

By keeping your habits and tools within arms reach, your success will also be in arms reach, ready to be grabbed.

4. Adopt the Do It Anyway Mindset.

 What most successful champions won’t tell you is that the work itself sucks. It’s hard to start a business or blog every day or write a book or work on your health and fitness.
The best things in life are difficult and downright painful. But the reward for doing them far out places the anguish of not doing them. Don’t become the person who does nothing for their dreams. (You know the ones) The way they talk, their dreams are the most important thing to them, but they haven’t done a single thing to make them happen. When things feel hard — Do it anyway. When you’re tired, lonely, unmotivated, lazy, embarrassed, scared, and all manner of difficult feelings — Do It Anyway.

There’s no reward like the one when you don’t feel like working towards your dreams but you do it anyway. You feel good.
Once you have that, nothing can stop you.

Inspiration +

Ryan Holiday, 2007 The Business of Running: “I lace up my shoes each night because it’s precisely the opposite of what my body tells me it wants–that’s my motivation.”

The Lie of ‘You Are Not Good Enough’

One of the biggest battles you will face pursuing a Renaissance Life is mediocrity.

Every so often I will have a strong feeling of being mediocre. It comes in waves, a feeling of less than. ‘Am I good enough to do this?’  ‘What if I don’t have it in me to be like the influencers I follow?’ ‘How can I possibly compete with the Tim Ferriss’s and Seth Godin’s of the world?’

But then I catch myself because I’m ‘comparing my inner life to their outer life’.

They have been in similar shoes I’m in. They have faced and overcome their own challenges to get where they are. 
They put in the work. They have forged determination and made it happen, with skill, belief and a little luck.

Stop comparing yourself to others, instead start comparing yourself to who you want to be. Strive to be the best you, and live up to it. The more we care, the better off we are. Never give in to mediocrity, or to the lie that you are not good enough to make your goals happen.

You are not made to live a mediocre life. You were made for an extraordinary life.

So go out and make your life extraordinary.

Our mentors battled mediocrity and ultimately become who they set out to be. And so can you and I.

Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

Inspiration +

Ryan Holiday: What its Like to Chase While Others Are Resting

 

Related Wisdom +

“You were designed for accomplishment, engineered for success, and endowed with the seeds of greatness.” — Zig Ziglar

“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” — Charles R. Swindoll

“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.” — Willie Nelson

Gunpoint

I think I was just held up at gunpoint.

(Wait. What did you just say?)

I was doing my morning walk, had my headphones on with The James Altucher Show playing, and a beat up car creeps up to me.

I didn’t hear them at first, and when I did I was thinking to myself, ‘ok, pass me car’. I was really engrossed in Jim Kwik’s story about speed reading.

But the car kept hovering near me.

 Then I heard “give me your headphones and phone.”

“What?” I said. “Just take those headphones and phone and put them in the car.”

….

I looked at the driver, then and his front passenger. Looked at his left hand, he was holding something at his side in an unnatural way. I glanced into the back, a lady was apologizing and sympathizing. The car smelled of smoke and grime.

I looked back to the driver and said,

“No.”

The lady kept apologizing, I kept looking at them, and then they just drove off.

Your life is worth more than a pair of headphones and an iPhone, but after the year I’ve had — setback after setback, pain, health problems, frustrations, financial problems, and more — I guess nothing phases me anymore.

My instincts are crazy.

More on my setbacks and how to turn your worst circumstances into your greatest opportunities soon.

 

Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

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