Origami Life

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.

 

Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

Action Question:

  • Am I ALIVE or am I just here?
  • If I was an origami shape, what would I be?

Related Wisdom:

“If I’m not saying ‘Hell Yeah!’ to something, then I say no.” — Derek Sivers

“Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me.”Carol Burnett

“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.”Marcus Aurelius

“To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funny bone.”  — Reba McEntire

On The Rise: A Mantra for a Meaningful Life

Pssst. Here’s a Link to the Audio Version

On The Rise

Up before the morning rays,

coffee in hand,

salutations and praise,

gratitude for another day — 

On The Rise.

 

Mind right,

path is straight —›

Action this day says

small steps lead to big change —

On The Rise.

 

Shoulders of giants, 

the less you’ll mistake

failure is bad

when it stops you in place —

On The Rise.

 

Better together,

words, wit and stone

cherish your tribe

you get what you sow —

On The Rise.

 

Mastery in momentum,

habit is a verb

how you do the small

defines it all —

On The Rise.

 

Focus in to begin

Think sideways to win,

Rome was built one moment at a time

Thoughts are your direction —

On The Rise.

 

Master of all,

jack nothin’ agrees.

Master of few,

one, two, then three.

Priority of mind is a renaissance life — 

On The Rise.

 

Reflect on the good,

learn from the rest

checkin daily, monthly at best 

what gets measured is put to the test —

On The Rise.

 

Rest is equally important,

but the easiest to neglect.

Investment in health

is a long-young road of success —

On The Rise.

 

Are you living or just doing?

Are you challenging and pursing?

Are you asking? Are you improving?

Questions are lightning rods to achievement —

On The Rise. On The Rise.

 

Etch this in heart, mind and soul,

sing, share and wear it,

make it better, make it your own

Life is about creating — 

On The Rise, On The Rise, On The Rise.

 

#KeepPursuing — Josh Waggoner, Feb 7th 2017

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I’m Taking a Learning Vacation — You Should Too

“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

Jan 18th

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 numbI 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.


Jan 19th

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.
  • Redesign renaissancemanlife.com      (Jan 28th: check!)
  • Start a Mastermind circle organization: Avants.
  • Learn about money, selling, online business
  • Find new clients, and have fun doing it.
  • Connect with interesting people in my city (Chattanooga) and online. Be a part of something bigger

 

Set sail on the S. S. Learning Vacation. Are you on board?

Tell me what you think in the comments below

related wisdom

Life is not waiting for the storm to pass, its dancing in the rain.

— Vivian Greene

You should never view your challenges as a disadvantage. Instead, it’s important for you to understand that your experience facing and overcoming adversity is actually one of your biggest advantages.

— Michelle Obama

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Honesty is Your Greatest Asset

‘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.

Elon Musk, Tony Robbins, Maria Popova, Tim Ferriss, Seth Godin, Sophia Amorosa, Pat Flynn… are some that come to mind.

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

DONATE = LOVE

 

 

Q: So Tell me, how you are you?

(answer in the comment below if inspired to do so)

How to Be Who You Want to Be

When you see the world as a stage, you can Play the role of who you want to be.

Who you are is defined by each action you take.

Detach yourself from traits that you dislike.
Act on the traits you desire.

Think not ‘I am frustrated’ or ‘I am tired’ but rather ‘I am playing the character frustration’, ‘I am playing the role of tired’.

Frustration, fatigue, overwhelm… my emotions are identities attached to me, not aspects of who I am.
Little angel’s and devil’s on my shoulders.

You can even detach yourself from your fear.
Your fear is not you, your fear is a part of you.
It’s a hat we all wear, and it’s up to us whether to take it off or not.

Who we are is what we do with the circumstances we’ve been given+

I am not my past or my current circumstances.
I am what I do and represent from this moment forward.

I Am ME.

#KeepPursuing — Josh Waggoner.

‘Brevity is the soul of wit.’  Email me (josh@renaissancemanlife.com) your thoughts on this post. Can you reduce the essential idea further?

Renaissance Life, How to Be Brilliant

related wisdom

Negative emotions like loneliness, envy, and guilt have an important role to play in a happy life; they’re big, flashing signs that something needs to change.

— Gretchen Rubin

Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.

— Marcus Aurelius

Priority of Mind Leads to Mastery

You gotta commit

In everything you do and love, make sure you commit.

From all facets of your life. Friends, Family, Love, Community, Mind, Body, Spirit..

From the few outlets you have decided to pursue,  out of the many you could have done.

Commit.

You are not your job, but you are the priorities you uphold.

And most importantly,

commit to being you +

To who you are and what you stand for.

We master time by mastering priority, And through priority we begin to master life +

But if committing to your current life seems overwhelming —

Then commit to this dayDo what you can to make it a well lived one, and deal with tomorrow tomorrow.

Tomorrow is tomorrow. Today is today. Make it a good one. 

Put some Elbow Grease’ on it — Josh Waggoner

related wisdom

“The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.” — Vince Lombardi

 

“Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.” — Napoleon Hill

 

“Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential.” — Winston Churchill

 

 

Defining Success & Failure

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?

related wisdom

“Failure is the key to success; each mistake teaches us something.” — Morihei Ueshiba

 

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.” — J. K. Rowling

 

“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

“Failures, repeated failures, are finger posts on the road to achievement. One fails forward toward success.” — C. S. Lewis

I used to Skate.. Reclaiming Wonder

Q: How often do you get rabbit-holed into your daily routines and forget to actually have fun and enjoy your day?

When was the last time you did something silly?

Silly, Playful, Goofy, Childlike — Just for kicks and giggles — for no reason at all except to have fun.

A friend of mine would call this whimsy

— The act of playing, wonder, and seeking adventure >

 

When I was a kid, I grew up in a big neighborhood, filled with herds of kids around my age.

Naturally, shenanigans occurred.

When I was a kid

I remember those endless days fondly, as you probably do about your own childhood.

Bikes + hills + skateboards + basketball + pirates + trees + explosions + ding-dong-ditch + hot-wheels + games + dirt == awesome.

Wait.

When I was a kid?’

Why can’t I still be a kid?

Isn’t wonder, curiosity and happiness what we are all searching for?

Taking on responsibilities of adulthood shouldn’t mean the death of our childhood.

When we lose our wonder, we fall into a sleep-like daze, lacking what makes us enthusiastic about living.

We can do taxes and still have a good time.

We can still be responsible, hard working adults, and strive for excellence while having the heart of our inner child at the same time.

I don’t have to be stressed for the sake of stress, nor worried for things outside of my control.

I can live responsibly without losing wonder.

I hear the phrase, “well, I’m XX years old, it’s time for me to die now.” * all the time.

* paraphrasing a bit there 😛

Grow up, just don’t grow dull. +

I’ve gone through quite a few setbacks recently, and perhaps you’ve gone through even harder things.

However, if you’re still breathing, you’re still ALIVE. If you’re still alive, you can still live with wonder and curiosity, despite any setbacks you may have.

 

Action Step — 

Find an outlet to keep your childlike wonder ALIVE. Something playful, and silly.

We need wonder to have a wonderful life +

#KeepPursuingJosh Waggoner, RenaissanceLife: Ethos

 

related wisdom

Book: Play it Away, by Charlie Hoehn

“In every real man a child is hidden that wants to play.” — Friedrich Nietzsche

 

“I like nonsense; it wakes up the brain cells.” — Dr. Seuss

 

“Wisdom begins in wonder.” — Socrates

Smarty Pants – 4 – yes, no, or not right now

Being Brilliant is knowing when to say yes, no, or not right now+

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.

However, I can tell you what not to do. 
Don’t make indecision your answer. Don’t say maybe, or whatever, or I don’t care.

Remove Maybe and Whatever from your vocabulary.

If a yes and a no had a baby, it would be a maybe. 
A maybe is letting someone else make the decision for you. They’re pushing who they are – good or bad – onto who you are.

Indecision is the answer you don’t want

because it takes you away from the path you want (even if you are unsure of where that may be)

I made a bad decision of picking where I went to college. I didn’t know what I wanted so I let someone else choose for me.
Good or bad (honestly both), I am where I am because of that.

Even if you’re not sure what you should do, a yes or a no will get you somewhere else, whether that’s somewhere important is determined by if you listen to your true self or not.

For every decision, you must make, remember to pause and respond with yes, no, or not right now.

#KeepPursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

‘Brevity is the soul of wit.’  Email me your thoughts on this post. Can you reduce the essential idea further?

related wisdom

“Maybe! Maybe! Maybe if your aunt had a beard, she’d be your uncle.” — Alvah Bessie

 

“A wise man makes his own decisions, an ignorant man follows the public opinion.” — Grantland Rice

 

“Saying ‘yes’ to one thing means saying ‘no’ to another. That’s why decisions can be hard sometimes.” — Sean Covey

 

“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

What’s my Next Step?

Growth happens

with one action at a time.

All we must do is focus in on our next move.

Plant the seeds of your future today.

 

Q —

What’s the next step I can do today,

that will help me reach my goal?

 

#KeepPursuing — Josh Waggoner

‘Brevity is the soul of wit.’  Email me (josh@renaissancemanlife.com) your thoughts on this post. Can you reduce the essential idea further?

related wisdom

“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” — Dale Carnegie

“Action expresses priorities.” — Mahatma Gandhi

“Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.” — Thomas Jefferson