Stale Bread

“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.”

Maya Angelou

We all need time to rejuvenate ourselves and find ways to care and have a little ‘me time’.

Take time for yourself. You’re not very useful if you’re massively stressed out. Do you really want to keep trying to push yourself and create when you’re energy tanks are at 60%?

Give your body and mind what it needs. If you get energy from being around other people, then call up some close friends and plan a get-together. Or if you get energized by being alone with yourself, then be alone. Schedule it if you have too.

If you find this selfishly indulgent, or difficult because there’s way too much to do for you to take a break, then consider that you’re priorities are out of alignment.

It’s like oxygen masks on a plane. We must first put our own oxygen on before we can begin to really help others.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #765


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Less Learning; More Doing

I read a lot. Like a lot a lot.

But I might be reading too much lately. Or perhaps another way to put it is I’m not applying enough of what I’m reading.

Jumping from one book to the next without actually taking the time to access it, test its ideas in your own life and internalize the good stuff isn’t doing you any favors. Creativity, entrepreneurship, dreams… these things are made from actionable steps towards something.

It’s easy to get stuck in practice mode: where it looks like your learning and honing your skills, but in reality, you’re not really doing much.

Learning and doing are completely different things. Learning is massively important. Learning enables doing, but it doesn’t equate to doing. We could go our entire lives reading, taking online courses, attending workshops, without really accomplishing anything.

Are you just learning or are you applying what you learn?

Are you avoiding acting on your dreams by learning and ‘waiting until you know more’?

Sometimes (usually all the time) the best lessons are lessons we figure out on the move and acquire through doing.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #764


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Slipping

When we commit to a new habit (whether that’s adding a good habit or replacing a bad one) we need to intentional figure out the motivation behind it.

Habits are rarely easy. What starts as enthusiasm can quickly fade to reluctance from the day-to-day responsibilities and whims.

Plus, our habits don’t exist in isolation. Not only do our habits intermingle with each other, but they also exist within the ebb and flow of our lives.

Motivation creates longevity. If we can see the long term game behind the day to day activities, we can learn to push through the harder days and feelings of reluctance to keep going.

The value of a habit is in the consistency of action over a long period of time. Painting only once and never again isn’t going to fulfill your dreams of hosting a gallery or selling art for a living. Painting every day will make you better over time.

If you love doing something, and you want to get better at it, then keep pursuing it.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #763


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Thanks Given

“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.”

Marcus Tullius Cicero

One habit I’ve picked up recently is daily gratitude. The practice is simple: write down three things you’re grateful for. (Original idea, I know.)

It’s such a small thing, but it really does wonders on your mindset for the day. The biggest benefit is it forces you to pause and think about the good things going on in your life and appreciate them no matter how tiny they may look on paper.

It’s far to easy to dwell only on the negative and things that are “going wrong” in our lives and completely sprint past the good things happening in-between the bad. Even little things, normally unnoticed, like the way sky looks today, or a particular bird you heard chirping this morning, or the ritual of making coffee or tea in the morning.

Good things can come in all sizes (insert crude joke here). And bad things tend to look smaller

If you haven’t started your own daily gratitude practice, I can’t think of any better day than today (Thanksgiving in the states).

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #761


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Attention Attention

Everyone wants to be heard. Whether in person or online, we all want our voice to matter, our ideas to be known. But how?

Speaking louder doesn’t do it. Speaking more doesn’t do it either. When you try to raise your voice (join new social platforms to post your content, comment on everything, speak first, talk over etc), so does everyone else. It’s like a school cafeteria — the volume of the room increases.

In order to be heard, we must do the opposite: listen well.

Listening is your window into engaging conversation and true connections. It’s a sign that you care about what they are saying. By caring about the thoughts and ideas of others, others begin to care about what you have to say too.

You can’t fake listening — it shows in your eyes.

“Listening is active. At its most basic level, it’s about focus, paying attention.”

Simon Sinek

Most people are terrible listeners. They look away or at their phones when you are talking to them. But I’m not here to judge, just highlight. If you can learn to become an excellent listener, then you give the feeling of being heard to those around you.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #757


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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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