Pep Talk

Think of today as the accumulation of all of your days that have come before.

Today is fresh and new, but sometimes we aren’t. There’s a lot of mess and experiences and life curves that sums who we are and where we are in this moment.

And if we don’t like what we see, it is our choice going forward to make it better. Massive change won’t likely happen immediately, but it will start to add up today and the next as we work towards a better place for ourselves and our loved ones. It took a while to get here, so it makes sense it might take awhile to get there.

Nothing is set in stone, but a bad attitude or outlook on life can make it that way.

Setbacks happen. Failure happens. Things usually don’t go expected or how we planned, but that’s okay. We are better off in the long run and in the grand scheme of things.

Ultimately, it’s up to us to stand up from the mud, dust ourselves off and do something about it.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner

Daily Blog #645

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You Already Know

Many people will tell you that you can’t. For a lot of reasons. Some of them will make a lot of since. Reasons why not are easy. Doubt doesn’t quit.

But when you look within, what does your intuition say?

Sometimes the simplest answer is the one you already know.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner

Daily Blog #644

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Solitude

There’s a random quote from Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) in the Tron: Legacy sequel where he, Quorra (Olivia Wilde) and his son Sam (Garrett Hedlund) are riding on some crazy sky train and he ends a discussion with the Zen phrase: “The old man’s gonna knock on the sky, listen to the sound.”

I’m driving down to Atlanta today to ‘knock on the sky’ and get some distance away from my normal, and give myself some time to think and clarify my goals as well as problems that have been biting me in the @ss this year.

It’s a little dramatic to drive an hour and a half (plus the same time back) to be alone with myself, but I find that I have the best ideas and ability to think when I switch locations and disrupt the flow of my normal habits and routines at home.

I find it good to regularly spend some time in solitude to check in with myself and assess how I’m doing, what I like and what I dislike about what I’m doing, and find key takeaways that I can immediately take action on.

There’s also some big projects I’ve been dipping my toes into, and big ideas I want to do that need some strategy and thought.

I’m not expecting to completely change my life in a day, or get everything done I want done, but I do want to set the foundation for how I can make my days align with my priorities.

I’m not sure If I’ll report back immediately on this blog, but you’ll likely see pieces of things in the following posts.

I”ll likely just end up buying a notebook I don’t need from Ponce Market, and eat good food, but if all else fails, at least I’ll have that to look forward to 🙂

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner

Daily Blog #643

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Tell Your Story

“The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can.”

Neil Gaiman

Right this very second, you and I are living our lives. It’s easy to forget that in all the todo’s, traffic and hubbub we go through each day. No matter where you are in life right now, you are living your story.

And we want to hear about it. Because our story might be similar. Your ups and downs might help me face my ups and downs. Your successes might help inspire me to create success for my own. Your story matters.

Talking about your life — your ideas, your dreams, what you’ve been through, what you are going through — is a fantastic way to add creativity to your life. Whatever the medium, Be it painting, video, writing or music.

Your story is one of the most powerful ways to start creating and connecting with others. It’s real and honest. It draws us in and leads us closer to where we need to go.

Whenever in doubt, tell your story.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner

Daily Blog #642

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Consequences

There are always consequences to the decisions we make, however small.

That’s why it’s vital for us to consider our actions and be able to make sure — with the information we have to go on — that our decisions align with our priorities. Particularly, around decisions that involve time commitments.

Time is our most essential resource. Even small decisions can lead to huge time sinks if we are not intentional in what we say yes to. Without thinking, we can quickly go down a life path we never intended to go. Small decisions can also add up to a great outcome as well.

With decisions, there are outcomes we be mostly sure about, outcomes that are unknown and outcomes that are unknown to us, but known to others wiser or more experienced.

What we do today determines what kind of life we will have tomorrow.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner

Daily Blog #640

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Dear Present Self

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”

Steve Jobs

We live linearly in time, but we don’t have to think linearly. As a though experiment, flip time on its head. Five years from now, what would your future self wish your present self would do?

That’s what makes you special — you have the power — today — to change your future looks like. Each decision, each input and output, each failure, success, pursuit and setback builds up. We all have a dream of the kind of future we want to cultivate (well, let’s be honest, we want that future dream to happen now, sooner the better). What we don’t realize is we have the power to make that happen, by investing in today.

What would your future self want you to do today?

Or the opposite question: What would your future self not want you to do today?

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner

Daily Blog #633

Related:

BrainPickings: The Art of Waiting: “Time is a river which sweeps me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger which destroys me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire which consumes me, but I am the fire.” — Jorge Luis Borges

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Not There Yet

“Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody expects of you. Never excuse yourself.”

Henry Ward Beecher

High standards are not healthy.

However, they might be necessary to create the success you are looking for in your creative work / life.

Like most things in life, standards require balance. Perhaps too much makes us brittle and leads us to a breaking point… eventually. That beginning said, I’ve never seen any one half-*ss there way to success.

I try to find a healthy balance by combining high standards for myself with awareness of my progress.

High standards is the critical self-eye showing you that your work still needs improvement. “I’m good, but I’m not there yet.” Awareness of process is a self-pat on the back of how far you come. “Today was good, tomorrow will be even better”.

This way, we are positively looking forward and growing, without constantly focusing on the negative or what’s wrong with our work. Every time we give it you’re all, progress is made. It sounds exhausting, but really it’s exhilarating. Every new day is a chance to improve a little bit and learn something new I didn’t know before. That adds up after a while (and quicker than you think).

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner

Daily Blog #632

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Make Yourself

“We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future.”

George Bernard Shaw 

‘Nurture’ is where you are starting. We grow up in the values, culture, beliefs, quirks, bad habits and faults of our parents and community. Nurture swirls around us — good and bad — before we even know what hit us. (Even before we are born our genes give us traits from our parents and they parents and on.)

I’m not sure when ’Nurture’ ends and ‘Nature’ begins. Likely they run in parallel and we are just to young (usually) to be aware of it.

‘Nature’ is what you make out of what you’ve got. You might not have been born wealthy, but if you want to be good with money now, what are you doing to do about it? (Or if you were born wealthy, what are you going to do with it / despite not needing it? ) You might not have grown up eating healthy, but now you know (or you’re on the precipice of knowing) how valuable it is. Are you going to keep eating crap every day or are you going to do the work and give yourself better health? You might have grown up slow in a small town, which has its benefits and downsides. But if you are after something bigger, what are you going to do about it?

What are we going to do about it?

I’m using my own experiences here as examples. I certain didn’t grow up poor, but my parents weren’t wealthy. I lived off mostly pop tarts, Eggos, pasta, bread and fast food (which I honestly look fondly on ). I grew up in a small town on the edge of Georgia.

Okay. But that doesn’t give me excuses to be bad at finance or eat crap today.

We make ourselves every day by the actions we take and don’t take.

If we want to be better, it’s up to us to make it happen. Others can help, but we have to initiate.

If there’s something you don’t like about yourself, what you are doing or your life, that’s on you.

Nurture sets the stage. The rest is up to us.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner

Daily Blog #631

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Excuses Excuses

“All life demands struggle. Those who have everything given to them become lazy, selfish, and insensitive to the real values of life. The very striving and hard work that we so constantly try to avoid is the major building block in the person we are today.”

Pope Paul VI

There’s always a great excuse not to do something.

I can give one-thousand justifications why I can’t, why something didn’t work out, why something didn’t go the way I expected to. However, at the end of the day, the only questions that matter are:

Did I put the work in?
Am I doing what I said I’m doing?
Am I doing what I want to do?

If not, I’ve got some work to do.

Kevin Hart once said, “Everybody wants to be famous, but nobody wants to do the work. I live by that. You grind hard so you can play hard. At the end of the day, you put all the work in, and eventually it’ll pay off. It could be in a year, it could be in 30 years. Eventually, your hard work will pay off.”

Let’s suppose that hard work doesn’t pay off. You put all this work in to make your business, art, band, acting — whatever — happen and years go by without results. When you put in the hard work, at least you know you gave it your all. You were too early, or too late or the fit wasn’t right. That’s okay. Nothing done well is without its takeaways. Hard work doesn’t leave you with nothing. Now you have developed more and better skills, you’ve connected with more people, you learned and grown from your experience. And now you can take those experiences with you to the next thing. The key is never losing your enthusiasm.

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”

Winston Churchill

There’s a lot of excuse that can stop us from achieving our dreams. Tell me, what do you want more — excuses or your dreams?

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner

Daily Blog #630

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Not Enough Time

“Clarity affords focus.”

Thomas Leonard

The last two weeks have blown by.

I’ve enjoyed them but I can’t help feeling anxious about how little time I have to work on the things I need to work on.

This — too much to do, not enough time — is a great sign that my priorities are out of alignment and I’m saying yes too much. Or, more likely, my priorities are too fuzzy.

I’ll have to carve out some time this week for self-reflection.

It’s difficult to realize the vision of your dreams and desires without having a clear definition of where you want to be. Without clarity, every shiny distraction that crosses your desk will get in the way of what you want.

Clarity gives you understanding when to say yes and when to say no.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner

Daily Blog #629

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