Knowing too much

“We think too much and feel too little.”

Charlie Chaplin

Excessive knowledge can be a problem if it keeps us from acting on intuitive decisions. Knowledge is a balance. Just like how we can die from not enough water and too much water, we can just as easily know too much about things (work, life, circumstances etc) than knowing too little. (Although it’s easier to die from lack of water than too much.)

Not enough knowledge keeps us where we are because of ignorance, too much knowledge keeps us where we are because of fear, uncertainty and anxieties over whether or not we are making the right call.

When we are feeling stuck, it’s good to pause and go with what our guts are telling us to do and just let ourselves go for it, despite the doubt. Another approach is pretend as if you were giving advice to a close friend on what to do. In my experience, I’ve found it’s better to follow your intuition and possibly be wrong than to do nothing (or do what someone inexperienced is telling you) and be mentally second (let’s be honest third) guessing yourself.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #751


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Trajectory

What we do inevitably creates who we are. And who we are motivates what we do. Ad infinite.

The direction changes when we interject new experiences and decide to prioritize one thing over another. This is good, because it gives us control over our lives by giving us the chance to replace bad habits we dislike with good habits we want.

Eating sugary desserts after dinner trains you into wanting dessert every night. Sugar is an addictive substance (which doesn’t help) but it’s also the process — the ritual — that we eventually pavlovian-ly condition ourselves into the habit. Do we like the sugar or do we just enjoy the process and the relief from stress and monotony that goes along with? The same can happen with healthy things too: eat spinach (raw or properly cooked) enough times and you’ll start to crave it soon.

Negative experiences can often be good for us too (as long as they don’t kill us in the process.) Experiences something that figuratively smacks us in the face and has the chance to set a new course for our lives. It also highlights what’s in our control and what isn’t. An injury can show you how vulnerable you are and precious life really is. It also can show you the negative space — the space within the space. Meaning, you don’t know how much you rely on something (be it your back, your left toe, a loved one, a friend) until you don’t have it anymore.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #745


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You Know More than You Think

It’s easy to forget how much you know about a skill or thing you love and do, until you talk to someone who isn’t in your industry and doesn’t do what you do.

Age tends to be a good example. Simple tasks on a computer like browsing the web or search for a file is an entire foreign language to my grandparents (my mom’s parents). They didn’t grow up around technology and never learned it, so the web is something they don’t know.

There are thing that we know, skills and passions we enjoy that others (who don’t) know nothing about.

Sometimes we feel as though we don’t know enough yet, or aren’t good enough at what we do yet, which leads us to being hard or negative on ourselves, or even passing on opportunities we want to say yes but don’t feel qualified… yet.

But in true, you know more than you think. The problem is we are so close to what we know, and experience it every day, that we don’t realize how different we are from what’s deemed ‘normal’. It’s normal for us, and normal for the circles we are in, but for everyone else they have no idea how to do the things you do. It’s not until we compare where we are to how far we’ve come, do we see the progress we’ve made.

There might be people better than us (where we are right now), but that doesn’t mean our work and efforts are hot garbage. Knowing that there are others better at typography, or product photography, or songwriting or whatever highlights that they are more levels to the game.

And if there are more levels, that means there’s room for us to progress and strive to get better at what we do.

Surround yourself with people who want you to succeed and be better, and who you want to see succeed too. Remember the old phrase, a ‘rising tide raises all boats’.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #743


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Today

“Each day is a little life: every waking and rising a little birth, every fresh morning a little youth, every going to rest and sleep a little death.”

Arthur Schopenhauer

Whenever I’m in doubt, or stuck in my head (likely looping the mistakes in my past), I eventually come to one conclusion on how to make forward progress and momentum:

Just shut up and do something about it. It’s easy to given to hopeless thoughts, thinking that you’ll always be stuck where you are right now. But that’s not true. Where you are is just one option, in a sea of many. We have the power to make small changes in the present and change it if we decide too. If you don’t like it — a bad habit, a poor track record, a bruised reputation, a broken body, a mediocre job, etc — decide to change it, and then go do it.

Today is the day. Our chance to start over. To try again. To completely get it our all. Tomorrow doesn’t matter. Yesterday is not worth dwelling on.

By focusing all our efforts and enthusiasm in this moment, we can put a dent in the change we want to see in ourselves, our lives and the world.

Not everyone will make the effort. But you can.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #737


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Prioritize The Good Stuff

“Action expresses priorities.”

Mahatma Gandhi

Our priorities are not what we want to do. For better or worse, our priorities are what we are doing.

There’s a lot of ways your reality can mismatch your priorities. Perhaps you are prioritizing watching Youtube over honing your skills. Or maybe you are prioritizing pizza over health. It’s less that Youtube and a slice of heaven is bad, per se.

The problem is that we are putting the unessential above the essential, and fleeting moments of happiness over the joy of pursuing what we love and dream of doing.

F that.

Prioritize what you care about. Prioritize what you dream of being. Start living your life the way you idealize. Even if it’s just a little bit.

Do what matters first. Then take a Youtube break second.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #728


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Fuel Your Creativity

“Food is fuel and not a solution to anything other than giving your body nutrients. I love chocolate like the next girl, but it’s not going to change my situation.”

Gabrielle Reece

What do you think of when you hear the word ‘nutrition’? You’re likely thinking of food. Perhaps a plate of overcooked broccoli, or a morning protein smoothie. There’s also another type of nutrients I think quite a lot about, and that’s creative nutrition.

Creative nutrition is the fuel that energizes your work.

What are the micro-nutrients — the vitamins, minerals, water, etc. — that will fuel and grow our creativity?

Or in other words, what are the inputs that increases our skills and output?

Am I only creatively ‘eating’ chocolate and candy? Am I getting the nutrients I need in order to thrive creatively?

Just like our grandmother’s used to say, “Garbage in, garbage out”. Quality in quality out. Life is rarely this black and white, but it does simplify an insightful idea: The more quality of inputs we consume and surround ourselves with, the more likely we will be influenced and changed by those high quality inputs. If ‘we are the sum of the five people we spend the most time with’, then it also makes since that we are also the sum of the inputs we spend the most time on.

Our inputs will be different depending on our craft, but they will have a similar taste to them. If you are pursuing filmmaking, then you watching the classics, watching your favorite directors as well as viewing their work with a directors eye will influence you and spark your own ideas.

But great ideas can come from anywhere, not just in the category of creativity you fall in.

Surround yourself with all types of great work.

Follow your curiosity. Read great books on history, math and anatomy. Watch top rated TED talks and take notes. Find high-quality podcasts with interesting conversations and perspectives.

Ideas spark other ideas, no matter the origin.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #726


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Subtle Maneuvers

“Time is short, my strength is limited, the office is a horror, the apartment is noisy, and if a pleasant, straightforward life is not possible then one must try to wriggle through by subtle maneuvers”

Franz Kafka, Novelist

Before I starting writing everyday, there were all types of reasons (excuses) I would tell — no, convince — myself why I couldn’t. I was essentially working two full jobs, spending my 9 to 5 working at a startup and working another business in the evening. I was too tired. I didn’t feel like it. I didn’t have any good ideas. And yet it was still bothering me. I was troubled by the fact that I was doing everything I needed to do, but none the things I wanted to do.

The American novelist Steven Pressfield calls this Resistance. In his book, The War of Art, Resistance is described as the force that will stop us with any means necessary to keep things exactly the way they are. It’s the voice in our heads telling us our work isn’t good enough and that we should even bother with it in the first place. It’s the fear that keeps us from putting our work out there. And it’s the force we must overcome to pursue a creative life.

Everything that can get in the way of your creative work, will get in the way.

There will never be enough time we need. Nor space. Or perhaps you have all the time and space but no ideas.

It doesn’t matter.

No energy? No support? Are you surrounded by negativity and doubt? Is your job keeping you from your dreams? Are you friends and family? No inspiration?

Again, it doesn’t matter. Once you establish a daily habit, you know you’ll do it no matter what. Even if we have to subtle piece it together throughout the day. Or sit down and write while everyone in the house is still sleeping.

A daily habit detoxes us from excuses.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #721


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There’s no there there.

“I’m probably wouldn’t do anything differently if I had to do it again. Every little thing that happens to you, good and bad, becomes a little piece of the puzzle of who you become. Every successful person you read about – Warren Buffett, Bill Gates – they all say pretty much the same thing. ‘Do what you love.’ I know I did.”

David Foster

Are you doing great work today?

Is that work something you love doing and would do it anyway, even if you never got a single dime or follow?

Are you trying to one-up the work you did yesterday?

Are you trying to help others and make an impact?

Are you genuine?

Are you prioritizing self-care, family and community?

Then you are exactly where you need to be. Keep doing it. Otherwise, make small adjustments to make sure you are aiming for the right things in life.

There will never be a moment that we ‘make it’, because there will always be questions (from ourselves and from other people) like so, ‘what’s next’?

‘What’s next’ is what this life is about.

It’s letting go of things you didn’t like in the past, be that work or pain or setbacks, and always living in the moment. The future is today, we just haven’t realized it yet. Everything we do today, adds up to what we do (or not d0) tomorrow.

There’s always another mountain to climb. The goal is less about climbing the mountain the quickest, farthest and highest anyone’s ever been, or being the first to do it. The goal is to enjoy the hike. Up, down and on to the next. There’s joy and meaning to be had at each step. Because even when it’s most difficult, and you’re hungry and parched and tired, it’s worth the effort to do what you love, and be who you love. Plus the water tastes that much sweeter. And the food even more satisfying.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #716


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Nothing Endures but Change

“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.”

William Arthur Ward

Unfortunately-fortunately, the change that endures isn’t always the change that we want. Sometimes change means ‘fewer clients’ and periods of financial angst and shower-crying sessions. Sometimes change means some fool not paying attention and slamming into the back of your car while you are running late.

And other times, changes looks like buying a dog, a new season of your favorite show, a new Drake album, dyeing our hair pink or moving to a new city.

Yet, when change enviable knocks on our door, we don’t always know if its good or bad. And as time goes on, change changes on us. (The nerve of it.)

It’s easy to desire change we think benefits us, and hard to accept change we think harms us, but it’s not always so cut and dry.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to turn every negative into a positive. Some moments in our lives really do suck. Health issues that don’t go away… Someone taking advantage of us …
And yet, even when the nonsense stuff happens to us, we still need to find a way to resolve it and move past it.

We can’t always control what happens to us, but we can do the best we can do to seek the change that creates abundance in our lives, and learn to be steadfast when change pushes us around.

When I think back on my life so far, it’s often the short term, immediate pain, setbacks, failures and negative events that have blossomed into long term benefits and drivers. As painful as they may be in the moment, setbacks can change us for the better if we let them. It wasn’t long into my health and renaissance journey that I injured my neck in a bad way. It wasn’t the start of my health journey, but it was the catalyst that made me seek out health and wellness even more.

Change shows us what we have been neglecting. It shows us what’s important and what matters to us.

An injury that changes your trajectory in life.

A critique that drives you to get better.

A failure that forces you to start over.

I don’t wish ill of anyone, but I do hope you experience wonderful change in your life.

Life without change would become stagnant. Change, even the negative kind, can be a force we can use to create a positive impact on our lives.

“Nothing endures but change.”

Heraclitus

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #713


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Connection is Currency

Specialization allows us to go deep. Adam Smith once wrote “It is the great multiplication of the productions of all the different arts, in consequence of the division of labour, which occasions, in a well-governed society, that universal opulence which extends itself to the lowest ranks of the people.”

To summarize in today’s lingo: take a bunch of people who are each really good at one thing, combine them into a big stew we call ‘society’ a you’ve wealthy economy that everyone benefits from, bro.

It was a ‘rising tide lifts all boats’ kind of idea.As we each start to specialize in a narrow but deep skill, everyone combined creates a wealthier society.

This idea hit home during the industrial era, where workers became a gear, contributing to the larger success of the machine. Think of the classic image of a Henry Ford manufacturing line, where each person has a specific role to play.

But is this true in the digital age?

Today, AI rules specialization. Even disciplines like driving, medicine, music, acting and art are slowly being encroached by powerful machines accessing and receiving information at blazing speeds. Eventually, it seems like the only reason you’d want one of us humans to specialize in something is for the cute flaws and imperfections we would create. (I’m exaggerating a bit here; there will *likely* always be a need for some specialization. 🙂

But not all is lost. This is a fantastic opportunity for us to become multi-disciplinary.

Once you start pursuing mastery in multi skills, an interesting thing happens: you come up with new and unique ideas by combining them.

Connection is the new currency. How can we connect one discipline to another to create interesting ideas? Or how can we apply one disciplines way of thinking to another?

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #702


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