A Job to Love

“Don’t let a bad day make you feel like you have a bad life.”

Hustling can only get you so far. No matter how much blood, sweat and pixels you give to something, if your heart’s not in it, you’ll eventually burnout.

The ideal form of work is loving every second of it, even the parts that suck. How can you love something that’s difficult, painful, tedious and occasionally stressful — because it’s fun.

Sometimes we decided we want to separate our passion from money. I think that’s okay, as long as your day job isn’t getting in the way. But to make your passion your living is also a path you can pursue.

Work is play when it’s something you love, even the difficult parts. And it’s yours. It’s something to plant your flag on.

Sometimes we have to go through a lot of turmoil and crap to get to a place where we can make money playing, but when you do it makes the effort even more worth it. Perseverance and determination are key. To do the work we love, we have to give it our everything.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner

Daily Blog #679

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Directed Intent

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”

Steve Jobs

Work is how we make our dreams happen. But not all work is equal.

We can do a whole lotta work for the wrong reasons, and still end up where we started or worse. We can also do a lot of work for the right reason, but for the wrong people.

There’s nothing wrong with giving your time and energy to helping others and making their dreams happen, if they are willing to do the same thing for you.

Work can also be unequal when we are working in circles. the wheels are spinning but the car isn’t going anywhere. There’s effort, but no thought to the method. Work is like a tool, and tools require direction.

We have to point our work towards the reality we want to create. That’s direction. That’s movement. That’s how dreams are made.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner

Daily Blog #676

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Hurry Up and Wait

Yesterday I️ talked about the idea of self-inflicted stress. Stress that we carry around like an orangutan on our back, jonesing for a banana. (…what?) This could be internal stressors we bottle up, such as anger and frustration towards our work or relationships, and this could be external stressors like

comparison (why can’t I️ have what she has?), 

stuff (I️ have too much stuff / I️ don’t have even stuff / I️ don’t have the right stuff), 

Or pursuits (money, happiness, connections, skills).

But usually its all the above, internal stressors, external stressors, twisting around like earbuds in your pocket, eventually forming into one giant life crisis that floors you and feels impossible to untangle.

I️ mentioned that a big self-inflicted stress that I️ carry is being late / hating rushing. I️ HATE rushing. It’s one of my least favorite feeling. (Did I️ say that already?) I️ want to be on time, but I️ fit so much in my day that I️ don’t have a lot of margin in between doing things. (which is an entirely separate topic I️ need to explore…)

I also live on island time 🏝 This is definitely something I️ picked up from my mom. Her parents (my grandparents) were the complete opposite. They would leave a movie before I­t­ was over just to beat the traffic. I️ think she rebelled into the opposite direction, taking her time, not beholden to it, not afraid of showing up late. My dad, on the other hand, is completely opposite from her (Which makes for regularly hilarious entertainment 🍿). He wants to be on time for everything, but when he can’t — usually because of mom — he goes through the 10 stages of grief.

In the army, they have a phrase for this: Hurry up and wait. You’re either 15 minutes early or your late. I️ learned this from gabriella, who, centuries before we met, was in the army. To them, I️ imagine it’s all about being prepared. You want to be where you need to be, at the right time, the right place, with the right structure and gear to be able handle anything.

Which sounds fantastic. I️ want to be in the right time, right place and have everything I️ need to handle anything. That sounds amazing!

Putting that mindset into practice starts with the level of commitment you have on your goal. You can’t be 15 minutes early if you keep hitting snooze. If you are 10 minutes away, you need at least 25 minutes to get there early.

The same is true for entrepreneurship and creativity.

Deadlines are not restriction, they are margins of time that give you (ideally) flexibility and space to be your most creative and effective self. Of course unrealistic deadlines are restriction. They are the equivalent of rushing or cramming. Without structure, work doesn’t get done. Without margin, creativity isn’t at its best. There’s a tight balancing act between island time and chronic panic.

It’s impossible to be creative if you’re not actually in the habit of creating. And it’s hard to be creative with a banana crazy orangutan for a backpack.

How to find this balance all depends on how you want to live. What you do for work, Who you work for, spend time with and surround yourself with, What types of content you consume and what principles and values you hold all add up in a big, and unique way. There is no one way, because there is only one you. I️ can show you how I️ live my life and you can be inspired and challenge by that or not. But trying to be me doesn’t mean that will work for you. Making I­t­ (dreams, passions, experiences etc) work comes from making I­t­ work for you.

The thing to be watchful of is the question: do you feel good about how you act?. When you’re actions don’t align with who you are and your aspirations / intentions / values, then you’re adding stress to the ‘I hate myself’ bucket.

Do you feel good about how you act?

If you do then you’re on the right track. If you don’t it’s time to change how you feel or change how you do things.

Being on time is great, and being late is fine — unless your stressing yourself all the time by carrying around two opposing beliefs: 

I️ should be early, 
I️ am never on time.

Should being the key word here. Our ‘should’s’ are the very core of what our self-inflected stresses are. We should be doing something, but we are not.
we want to be doing something, but we haven’t.  We wish we could, but we are not trying. 

I️ try my best to live my life by the things that I️ do, versus the things that I️ should do.

I️ hardly succeed at it, and easily fall pray to comparing myself to others, but as long as I️ reaching for the goal, I️’m better off than I was.

The more ‘should’s’ you can remove from your life, the greater life you will have.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
And wherever you are, keep smiling 🙂
Josh Waggoner

Feedback: What did you think about today’s blog post? Did it spark any insights for you? Thoughts? Outrage? Email me: josh@renaissancelife.com. Join the Renaissance Email List below for more content on creativity, mastery and life.


Related Insights

“Your best ideas, those eureka moments that turn the world upside down, seldom come when you’re juggling emails, rushing to meet the 5 P.M. deadline or straining to make your voice heard in a high-stress meeting. They come when you’re walking the dog, soaking in the bath or swinging in a hammock.” — Carl Honore

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” — Albert Einstein

“A broad margin of leisure is as beautiful in a man’s life as in a book. Haste makes waste, no less in life than in housekeeping. Keep the time, observe the hours of the universe, not of the cars.” — Henry David Thoreau

Book Pairings

Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin

Play It Away: A Workaholic’s Cure for Anxiety by Charlie Hoehn

It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want to Be by Paul Arden


Show Not Tell

Sometimes I find myself talk talk talking about all these ideas I have but never actually pulling out the running shoes and going for it.

Ideas are great and all, but if you don’t do them (or give them to someone else who might want to do them), what good are they??

In life, those who make their dreams happen are the ones who say F it, I’m just gonna to do it, despite the fear, despite everything telling them “you can’t”, despite the circumstances and environment.

I love ideas. I love coming up with ideas for other people’s businesses and pursuits. But when it comes to sharing my ideas, nobody cares.

Nobody cares about your ideas, they only care about your results.

(And whether or not the results are worth it to them to try it for themselves.)

The only way to change someone’s mind is to show not tell.

Live by your actions instead of your thoughtful wishes.

The classic example is a doctor who tells you how to be healthy, but smokes cigarettes and looks like they had one too many chicken sandwiches. 

100 great ideas is worth nothing compared to a good idea that’s be executed.

Remember, always show not tell.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursing,
— Josh Waggoner

Non-stop Effort

When you find something you love to do, go after I­t­ with everything you’ve got. It’s not about what you don’t have — money, time, energy, connections — it’s about what you do have — effort. Opportunities and resources are directly related to how much effort you put in. Sure, in everything we do, there is a sprinkle of luck that is involved. The right time, right place and resonance with others, but waiting for the right time is a waste of effort. Unless you are a highly accurate futurist, the “right time” only exists in hindsight. Everything else is educated guesses. 

Even if you’re down on your luck, trapped in a hole you dug yourself, lost in the desert known as “what do I️ do with my life?” or roughly translated from Spanish as “how did I️ get here??!”, you still have effort.

Effort is how we can overcome any setback or obstacles we will face in life.

Doing instead of wishing.
Trying instead of dreaming.
Leaping instead of fearing.

Wishing for change is like wishing for bagels — nothing changes and there are no bagels.

If you want a bagel, you have to go out there and get one yourself.

The more non-stop your effort is, the quicker feedback you’ll have on what’s working and what’s not working.

Non-stop effort gives you the experience and practice you need to reach mastery.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
And wherever you are, keep smiling 🙂
— Josh Waggoner


Related Insights

Blog post inspired by: Reinvent Yourself by James Altucher

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

“You are your greatest asset. Put your time, effort and money into training, grooming, and encouraging your greatest asset.” — Tom Hopkins

“Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.” Franklin D. Roosevelt

Don’t Have Time for Fun & Happiness

I caught myself saying this the other day to a friend: 

“Yeah I love to paint but I just don’t have time for it…”


Time is relative to the decisions you say yes (or no ) to. 

Not making time for the things you care about is stupid. And your body and mind knows I­t­ too. Our bodies remember how we felt when we were doing things we love. We all have a time in our lives where we remember being the happiest and alive we’ve ever been. “If only I️ could go back to that…”

Have you had the experience of loving something, like dance or tennis, but for some reason or another you stop doing I­t­? Maybe you get sick, something comes up at work and you derail into only doing things you like and never doing things you love. 

I️ understand you have responsibilities, and things to take care of. But if you forget to do things you love in your daily life, you’ll wake up one day a little duller, a little unhappier and chronically stressed from going all in on “What you have to do”.

You’ve got to make time for work and play. (I’ve learned this the hard way)

Time, like most things in life, is a decision. I­t­ reminds me of breathing. How you spend your time can happen unconsciously or consciously. Defaulting to whatever comes your way (indecision) or deliberately choosing to align what you love to what you do every day.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

And wherever you are, keep smiling 🙂

— Josh Waggoner

IG: @Renaissance.Life


Related Insights

“If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of.” — Bruce Lee

“At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, or a parent.” — Barbara Bush

“Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.” — Rumi

It’s the Little Things

Have you ever noticed on an iOS device, when you turn off airplane mode the little plane on the left upper corner shoooooots off to the right?

Or the fact the clock app’s icon subtlety ticks?

That’s why Apple wins.
They are far from infallible, but when they slow down and refine every little detail of their work, it adds up in a big way.

In our own lives, when you lose sight of the details, because of neglect, hardship or flat out doing too much, we tend to scramble and not do well. 

Your health tanks. You work too much. You forget to rest and play. You lose sight of the big picture. You think, ‘why does everything suck?’.

Maybe it’s because you forgot about the little details your body needs. Are you drinking enough water or another round of coffees?  Are you eating nutritional foods or getting pasta for a third night this week? Are you moving or just going from your work to your kitchen to your bed, rinse repeat?

Personally, this suck-mode comes when I say yes to too many things at once.


You can’t do everything for all people. You do not have enough time, money or energy for that. Choose what you love, stick with those until you reached a level of mastery you can maintain and try new things. 

How many songs, YouTube channels, podcasts, designs, movies, business, and adventures have been lost because someone (you) got distracted by a shiny thing? The stupidest stupid thing about shiny things is there usually gone in a month. Shiny new things tend to lose their shine quickly because even the shiniest shiny thing is still work. Everything you want takes work. That’s why choosing to pursue things you love is so important. Doing things you hate because you thought I­t­ looked fun at the moment only makes you miserable.

Focus on what you love, and work hard to put yourself in a position mental, financially, spiritually, physically and emotionally where you can give your all to those few things.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
And wherever you are, keep smiling 🙂

— Josh Waggoner

IG: @Renaissance.Life


Related Insights

“The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life.” — William Morris

“An exceptional company is the one that gets all the little details right. And the people out on the front line, they know when things are not going right, and they know when things need to be improved. And if you listen to them, you can soon improve all those niggly things which turns an average company into an exceptional company.” — Richard Branson

“A mountain is composed of tiny grains of earth. The ocean is made up of tiny drops of water. Even so, life is but an endless series of little details, actions, speeches, and thoughts. And the consequences whether good or bad of even the least of them are far-reaching.” Swami Sivananda

Life Is Bigger Than Work

If you have only one thing you do that defines who you are, you are thinking too small. You need to expand your scope of whats attainable in this life.

Defining who you are by your career as a designer (or whatever) limits you as a human. You could be the greatest designer in the world, but completely miserable because you haven’t made the time for Love, friendships and other pursuits you love doing.

Choosing to be a multi-disciplinary is more than just choosing to pursue a few things to do at the same time — It’s diversifying your opportunities. 

What happens if you lose your job, or get burned out? Then what would you be?

Balance in life is essential.
All work and no play makes Josh a dull boy. When you define yourself around only one thing, you’re living a 2d life in a 3D world.

Life is bigger than just work.
Life is more than how much money you have.
Life is bigger than how many friends you have.

Your Life is defined by all of you — your thoughts, your actions, where you grew up, what you do, hobbies you enjoy, music you listen to.

Don’t let anyone ever try to put you in a box.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursing,

— Josh Waggoner

IG: @Renaissance.Life