I want to get to the end of my life and be like a piece of origami paper.
Worn, folded, and forged from a thousand lives lived.
A lifetime of learning, pursuit, and adventure. A life of meaning and worth. A life filled with friendships, creativity and boldness.
Otherwise what was I living for?
Sometimes we have to take a good hard look and ask ourselves, ‘Am I ALIVE or am I just existing?’
Complacency is insidious. It creeps into our lives through comfort and success.
I’m not telling you to throw out your blankets and sleep on a pile of hard candy. I’m saying make sure what you give your time to — what you do on a day-to-day basis — aligns with the vision of the life you want to have. And if you don’t have a vision for your life there’s no better time like the present. It’s hard to see the macro when you’re living in the micro, but our lives are the sum each day we have on this earth. What does your day look like? If you’re going through setbacks — keep going. If you fear something — do it. If you’re experiencing pain or failure — Reset your mind, body, and focus. Start living for the extraordinary.
“All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me… You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.” — Walt Disney
I could feel the stress flowing down my back,
like a waterfall too powerful to sit under without breaking you eventually.
I was zapped, emotionally and physically. And doing my damnedest to not tear up because of my current set of obstacles.
There’s was a physical heaviness weighing down my mind. Pessimistic thoughts were attacking me at all angles. It took all of my effort to not let the negative thoughts take control of the driver’s seat, but their barrage was paralyzing me. When things get bad, my mind cops by going numb — I refuse to let it.
The difficultly of finding new clients and work, plus the lack of physical energy to do so and the pain of an old injury was doing a number on me. A one, two, three knockout of setbacks that were feeding each other.
I didn’t want ‘tired, broke, and empty’ to be the title of my autobiography.
Something has to change!, I screamed within.
My mind is more clear than it’s been for months.
I’m not making enough, but that shouldn’t stop me from creating and pursuing what’s important to me.
I’m still tired, but I feel good.
My neck hurts, but I can help it by moving more.
Why the sudden change? What gives Josh?!
I’ve decided to focus on the possibilities and benefits of my setbacks, instead of dwelling on the downsides.
I’ve decided to choose health first.
I’ve decided to take a learning vacation.
And I’ve the liberty of taking a vacation from myself. I’m free.
I’ve let myself out of the cage that I helped build.
Because believe it or not, I was holding the key.
Just as you might be with your own cage.
Often times, the only thing holding you back from opportunity is yourself.
We get in our own way.
Q: How are you holding yourself back?
FEAR of Failure? ha no problem. I’m on vacation, you can’t scare me.
Feeling Stressed? not anymore. Vacation baby!
Feeling Stuck? you’ve got plenty of time to unstuck yourself now!
Okay okay, sure — I’m basically tricking myself — I’m still working. Still looking for clients. Still connecting, writing, design and a bucket-load of other things.
But my mindset has completely changed.
I’m looking up instead of looking down.
I’m not looking at the problems, I’m looking around them.
The only thing that’s changed is my perspective.
I’m still doing the work. I’m not slothing around. I’m not just doing whatever the wind tells me. But there’s a massive difference in my mindset.
Now that I’m out of my own way, I can do what I do, but better and more effectively.
My Learning Vacation Itinerary
Hone my design & developer skills.
Mastery the Art of the Interviewing for my podcasts.
‘Honest is the best policy’ is one of those phrases you hear over and over again until it loses it’s meaning entirely. Once a phrase ends up on a coffee mug and a dog sweater, it’s becomes background ascetics rather than practical advice.
However, if you take a moment to let the idea sink in, it can become one of your greatest assets.
By living with honesty — being honest with yourself, and being open to sharing that with others — your impact and life can improve dramatically. Here’s why:
being real gets you furthest in life.
Recently, I’ve been wondering why I follow / admire certain people and what sets them apart from the majority.
If they have anything in common, it’s their ability to be true to themselves and unafraid to show their failures and faults as well as their successes. (Or more aptly Put, they feel the fear, yet do it anyway).
Standouts are not only honest to the world, but honest with themselves.
How does one standout? Why do I want to consume everything this person does?
How do they inspire me and how can I do the same to inspire others?
By being true to yourself and open — good and bad. Struggles and all.
They stand out because they are more them, then you are yourself.
Vulnerability is Relatability*
(*to coin up a word 🙂
And being relatable is the key to connecting with others.
How can you expect to get anywhere without the people — your audience, your tribe, your friends — that push you there?
How can you expect to know yourself, if you’re not honest with yourself?
And its not that your not honest with yourself necessarily. But are you being 100% you everywhere you go? Or are you picking and choosing what to show or hide depending on the situation?
Honesty is how you stand out, and differentiate, because Being honest means being you.
You become something more when you become more yourself +
#KeepPursuing — Josh Waggoner, Renaissance Man | Dec 5, 2016 Updated: Jan 20th, 2017
We are often told to define what success looks like to us.
I think this is an important habit to cultivate. Otherwise, you’ll end up never satisfied with where you are. Undefined success doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll like where and what type of success you end up at.
Defining Success is an essential part to actually achieving success in the first place.
However, no one tells us to define what failure looks like to us.
Failure is just as important as success, because failure determines our ability to achieve.
Our relationship with failure determines our success
Failure — in some fashion — is inevitable (unfortunately), so if we are bad at failing, then we’ll be hardpressed to keep going and stay consistent.
Of course failure is far from easy. I know all too well the feelings failure can leave behind in it’s wake. A rock in your stomach. Cold shivers streaking across your back, like claw marks. The feeling of worthlessness.
Failure isn’t fun (understatement of a lifetime), but we can have a healthy relationship with it by defining what it means to us.
Healthy success is success aligned with what we cherish and find meaningful.
Healthy failure is seeing failure as a temporary setback, rather than an endstate.
Failure only stops us when we let it control our next actions. (inaction, hesitation, or playing it safe)
We can overcome failure by learning, pressing forward, and changing tactics.
See it as a necessary step on your way towards your own version of success.
Failure loses its weight when it’s just another todo we have to check off.
#KeepPursuing — Josh Waggoner
‘Brevity is the soul of wit.’ Email me your thoughts on this post. Can you reduce the essential idea further?
I can’t tell you what you should say yes, no, or not right now to. I can’t tell you because the answer is tailored to you. Your answer depends on who you are, and who you want to be. Your answer is up to you to decide, not me.
Others can give you advice (and is a smart thing to ask for), but you have to make the call.
I can’t tell you to take the job, or date the hottie, or make the purchase. I can give you advice, but it’s up to you to whether to take it or not.
This is about making decisions – BIG or small – branches in your path of life.
Unless you can see into the future, you’re not going to know if it’s the right decision until way later. Hindsight’s 20/20.
“Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the furthest thing from it. Because cynics don’t learn anything. Because cynicism is a self-imposed blindness: a rejection of the world because we are afraid it will hurt us or disappoint us. Cynics always say ‘no.’ But saying ‘yes’ begins things. Saying ‘yes’ is how things grow. — Stephen Colbert