– Bad + Good

It’s good to pause every so often and look at the whole playing field of your good habits and bad habits you currently have. Our bad habits are often hampering or subtracting our good habits, leaving us feeling like they aren’t helping us, or that we aren’t making any progress.

For example, having a good habit of doing great work at your job, but having a bad habit of mis-communicating or even not communicating what you are doing and why. Nothing kills a project like forgetting to stay in touch with the client and updating them on your progress.

Again—But This Time with Style!

We have learned how to do a lot of things. We must try to relearn why.

Flora Lewis

One important aspect of learning is relearning. As you go about improving in a skill, it’s good to go back and refresh yourself on the fundamentals.

When you started, you were a different person than you are now. But as you improve, you gain clarity and strength in your skills.

Things might have seemed new, challenging, and perhaps even a little hard to fully grasp. You’ve changed. You’ve improved, however so slightly that may be. Relearning allows you to go deeper. Relearning the fundamentals allows you to solidify your foundational knowledge and go beyond your current level of skill.

By re-approaching the basics—or what you (think you) know—you can compare your more developed mind and skill to where you started with a different perspective.

Perspective is everything, and will improve your skills even more. Of course you don’t want to let your relearning distract you from taking action.

The goal is to remind yourself

• where you started and how much you’ve learned.

• see what gaps you’ve been overlooking.

• why you decided to learn it in the first place.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1843

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True Impact

Sweeping grand gestures are great, but it’s the little things that add up to create real change.

What’s more special: one person giving a million dollars to charity, or a million people giving twenty-five dollars to charity? The solo millionaire couldn’t possibly keep up with the mass amount of goodwill.

Sometimes I feel really small. I’m just one random person out there trying to figure out life. I struggle with work and money and balancing my time with what matters. I think a lot of people think this way. They think, ‘how could I possibly make a difference? I can barely do X … or I can’t even do Y, how could I possibly help?’

I’m not so sure having X or doing Y matters. What matters is you’re going through things and life, and other people are experiencing things like you too. Sharing your experiences and truth could have a massive impact on someone’s life. One little act is nothing much to look at. Nice, cute, but not very substantial. But one act every day for years? Multiple little gestures every single day over a lifetime? That is true impact.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1842

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Both

The things we are most passionate about tend to be the things we spend the least time doing.

What kind of bs is that?

To end up doing everything except what you want to do, and to live a life without doing what makes you feel alive.

But How? you ask. How do we pursue our hearts while still making ends meat (or ‘ends veggies’ for all you vegans out there)?

By doing both.

By providing for yourself and yours the essentials of living, while providing your soul and sanity the essentials for being ALIVE.

Learn, work, master, connect, market, share, contribute, pour until you flip the tables and no longer need both in order to live.

Will it be hard? Absolutely.

Possible? Of course.

Worth it? Every ounce.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1841

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Out of Love

To be good at what you do, you’ve gotta do it for the love of it.

Money, fame, power, connections… these are all just side effects — possibly even distractions — to your creative work.

Not that these things are bad, they aren’t — if you know how to use them.

I say this knowing first hand how difficult it is to start something when you don’t money. Money is a creative lubricate, but it won’t make you a better painter or writer or even marketer.

You are not stuck if you don’t have things like money or connections. You just need to think of clever ways around them.

How would you do it with little to know money?

Who can I get to know that I admire who has a lot of connections?

Everything you think you need to start, you don’t need. It’ll help you jump the line, but if you don’t have the skills to back it up it won’t matter.

Work hard. Hone your skills every day.

Create because you can’t not do it.

The side effects will come.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1840

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Bloom Where You Are

“Bloom where you are planted”

is an insightful quote credited to Saint Francis de Sales, Bishop of Geneva, 1567-1622. (At least that’s what the internet tells me.)

I interpret it as, no matter where you are — in location or life — give it all you’ve got with what you have to work with. Or as Theodore Roosevelt once wrote in his Autobiography, “do what you can, with what you have, where you are”.

It’s a good quote, but I think we can refine it:

Bloom where you are.

Wherever you go, whatever you do, whoever you want to be — do it well. Even if where you are sucks. Don’t stop. Work harder than you ever have before. Work smarter than you did yesterday. Go above hundred percent. Go beyond what you think is possible. Because that will lead you to a life that blooms.

Let’s look at the opposite: Have you ever smelled a farm? Plants need manure to grow. Vegetables and fruits — the things that are great for us — literally need good crap to grow.

If you hate where you are, change it.

If you don’t like your habits, start better ones.

If you feel overwhelmed by the bad, pour all your energy into the good. Don’t give the bad the time of day.

It sounds too simple. Like a bumber sticker you would make fun of. But it’s advice that I’ve found true. Being good at what you want means doing it — every day. Or as much as you can.

It doesn’t matter what gear you have or doesn’t have.

It doesn’t matter if you know enough yet or are not an expert.

It doesn’t matter if you suck right now.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t have the time or money.

It doesn’t matter if you are not there yet:

Bloom baby Bloom.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1839

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Creative Juice

Great art comes from a place of community and inspiration, not isolation.

Isolation — keeping yourself apart from others — gives you the space *to create*, but it doesn’t give you creative juice. Creative sparks come from all around us. Nature. Work that inspires you, Songs you sing and hear. Books you read.

Past and present all swirl around into a spark of insight.

I crave isolation. I crave having more time and space to sit (or stand) with myself and work on all the ideas running through my head. But if I stopped reading, if I stopped listening to music and podcasts. And, more broadly, if I stopped observing the world around me, and instead only focused on output — cranking out my own stuff — my ideas would dry up quickly.

Art is a two way street. It influences both ways. It connects, at least in passing. Your art has the potential to influence thousands of others, and mine has that same potential too. If your work speaks to me, then sprinkles of its influence can be seen in my work.

Influence begets influence begets influence. On and on.

And at each turn, we make each other better.

That’s why consuming great work might just be as important as creating your own work.

You need both. Learning and doing. Otherwise, you are just always consuming, or always focusing on yourself.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1838

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Practice Everyday

Daily habits give you a practice, something to work at and improve each day. If todays practice sucks, no problem. Tomorrow’s practice will be even better. If I can focus only on today’s work, the fear and uncertainty is small and the belief in myself grows and accumulates each day. There is no tomorrow, just today. There is no uncertainty, just the task in front of me. And the fear is smaller, because it’s down to a single action. I just need to do this one thing, that’s it and I’ll be better for it, even if I fail or look bad today.

Daily habits give you a practice, something to work at and improve each day.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1837

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Creative Space

We need space to create.

Cramming your life full of activity and todos leaves yourself unavailable for creativity (or at least the creative potential you could generate).

My best work comes from a place of stillness, where there’s nothing required of me to do, except what is in front of me. Sometimes that nothing space needs to be scheduled and placed in the midst of a hectic day. But from adding in that space breathed new life to your creativity.

In order to create — whatever that means to you — we must be available and open for business. Ideas come from anywhere and everywhere, so we need to be tuned in to that channel and have the space available to express it.

Often, that means having time to just mess around and play.

How we express our ideas is based on what we want to do and who we are. For you, that might mean writing or dancing. For another, that might mean rapping or giving a speech. There’s no right way, of course. That would be too easy.

‘But I don’t have any good ideas’

Are you open to them?

Are you giving enough time and space to listen to them?

Take more breaks. Schedule create time. Consider the spaces with the spaces of your life.

Give your art what it needs to thrive, and it will give back in return.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1836

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Means to Mastery

Daily habits are a means to an end.

They help keep our skills sharp and stay sharp.

When you do something daily, you take away ‘I used to do X’ because there’s no ‘used to’ left, just ‘I do X’.

We all at some point wish we could get better now. We wait on doing what we love as if we are expecting a Will Smith genie to pop up out of our coffee mugs and grant us mastery.

10 Minutes is 100% better than 0 minutes. Would 30 minutes be better? Sure. Absolutely. But if you can only give 10 minutes because your time is limited, give 10. Even if you are only putting in 10 minutes on a particular skill, as long as its a focused and deliberate practice, 10 minutes will add up over time. That’s the power of daily habits.

Daily habits make the long term goals happen.

While we are ‘waiting’ for an opportunity to present itself, we are taking initiate and spending a little bit of time each day on what matters most to us.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1836

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