Choose What You Want to Be Great at.

Taking on more than you can handle starts with good intentions.

We want to experience everything. We want to go everywhere and soak up the world.

We want to be a doctor and an artist and entrepreneur and a great parent, a polyglot, and have an excellent serve in tennis.

So we do. We learn three languages at once. We binge-travel Europe in a week. We work and study ourselves from morning to well into the night. And we play tennis in between our painting lessons on the weekends.

Or at least we try…

There are the work meetings we have to attend, the eternal laundry we have to do, and the kid’s after-school activities. Traffic.

And, unfortunately, by trying to do everything, we end up doing nothing.

By trying to do everything, we end up doing nothing.

Or eventually, run out of steam. By packing everything in, we lose out on the experience of each goal.

I say this knowing I’m the biggest culprit of all.

In fact writing, this blog probably won’t change that fact either. Tomorrow I’ll still want to be a Musician, Best-selling Writer, Functional ND, Podcaster, Entrepreneur, and Artist.

How do we know when we are doing too much?

Too many things all at once?

You know you’re doing too much when things start to wobble.

When you hear a comment from a friend or family member that you’re never around anymore, or that you’re always distracted.

Or when 6 PM rolls around and you’ve barely scratched the surface on your TODOs.

Or when you’re always late. ALWAYS. Because you don’t have enough time between your activities.

Wobbly moments are subtle and hard to spot.

In fact, we often don’t spot them until after something has broken.

Luckily, we almost always have a chance to recover and change.

To put on the breaks and take a moment to decide whether we like where we are going or not.

Doing too much, isn’t the bad guy. The only finger we can point to is our limited amount of time, but even that’s not really a bad guy per se. Even if we all lived to a 1000 years old we would still want more time.

Time is the spice of life.

It shows us how important each day is, and also how pressing it is to spend it well.

Sometimes we have to choose one thing over another. But in that choice is not loss, but an opportunity to double down and invest in what we love.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1724

Join the Renaissance:

NewslettersConsiderations | Practices | Bookaholics

Subscribe: Renaissance Life on Apple Podcast| Renaissance Life on Spotify

Perspective

It’s good every so often to step back and see where you are going.

Does what you’re focusing on aligning with your vision of your life?

Do your current daily actions align with your long-term goals?

Are you saying yes to things that matter to you and saying no to things that don’t?

Where are your yes’s and no’s coming from? What emotions? What source?

The life you want doesn’t happen completely by chance. Spend your time and energy on opportunities that move you a little further in the right direction.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1724

Join the Renaissance:

NewslettersConsiderations | Practices | Bookaholics

Subscribe: Renaissance Life on Apple Podcast| Renaissance Life on Spotify

Playing it safe doesn’t work.

When has putting one foot in, and one foot out worked out in the end?

I get it. I catch myself doing it too. I’ve been burned out, injured, broke, overwhelmed, exhausted, and in several other bad places in my life. I don’t want to end up in those places again but playing it safe only leads to a mediocre life.

The idea that I might die without putting my writing, music, art, and creativity out into the world terrifies me much more than taking risks.

Don’t die with your ideas still only in your head.

This is my worst-case scenario. (That and losing my hands in a freak accident… which is an odd fear I have)

The question I have is how do you tell the difference between playing it safe and making smart choices?

Usually playing I­t­ safe situations aren’t black and white. They live in the grey zones where we might not even know we are playing I­t­ safe and holding ourselves back.

Risk mitigation, and knowing when to say yes or no is smart. But it’s easy to trick ourselves into not taking action when in actuality we are scared out of our pants.

Fear is the difference.

Gut check your intuition: does pursuing this goal or creative endeavor align with who you are? Are you terrified of embarrassment, or failure? Then say YES.

Playing I­t­ safe is:

Giving into fear of failure, embarrassment, or disbelief, even just a little bit.

Staying at a job you hate because of the benefits.

Never starting your idea because you ‘don’t know enough’.

Doing what others tell you to do without thinking about whether it’s right for you.

Is not asking that person out on a date.

Not asking for help or advice because you don’t want to look weak.

There are so many things that can keep our potential down, but the biggest one of all is ourselves. The moment you break free of your chains that you locked yourself up in is the moment where life becomes too precious to give into fear.

Life is too important to give into fear.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1723

Join the Renaissance:

NewslettersConsiderations | Practices | Bookaholics

Subscribe: Renaissance Life on Apple Podcast| Renaissance Life on Spotify

Self-Competition

Don’t compare your current performance to your past performance.

Trying to compare yourself to who you were before, your “glory days”, is not going to motivate you to be who you want to be, but rather a reminder of who you’re not.

We know this intuitively, but it’s difficult to practice.

Aim for better performance with your current self.

Focus on what traits matter to you, energy, care, intention, connection, and quality, and break them down into actionable steps in your life.

Focus on where you want to be. Would my future self be happy I did this?

What do you want to do in this life? Who do you want to be?

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1722

Join the Renaissance:

NewslettersConsiderations | Practices | Bookaholics

Subscribe: Renaissance Life on Apple Podcast | Renaissance Life on Spotify

A Better Creative Vocabulary

For the longest time, I mistakenly thought that if I learned music through notation and lessons instead of by ear, I would lose my grip on my ability to think differently.

I was wrong of course.

Learning the rules doesn’t hinder your creativity, it expands your vocabulary.

When you learn the fundamentals, you have a greater understanding of how the game is played.

You can be just as unique and think out of the box as before, but now with more tools in your tool belt and the knowledge to know what each tool does well.

But you must also be willing to play beyond the garden walls’ of music rules.

I think it’s good to start out learning something new through the medium of play.

Forgot the rules, tinker around and have fun making things. Use play as a way to spark love and true interest in a craft.

Then go back to the basics. All work and no fun make a lot of people who have taken piano lessons but don’t know one thing about pianos.

And when you have that curiosity, that spark and desire to master a craft, focus on the fundamentals, and learn the vocabulary to create anything you want, with the skill to back it up too.

Curiosity and imagination create the desire for mastery.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1721

Join the Renaissance:

NewslettersConsiderations | Practices | Bookaholics

Subscribe: Renaissance Life on Apple Podcast | Renaissance Life on Spotify

Connected Through Pain and Experience

Sometimes just letting it all out on the table and talking through things with a friend or loved one is life’s best medicine.

We often feel alone in our experiences (of pain, failure, remorse, etc.) but loneliness evaporates as soon as we speak out about our experiences.

The act of speaking to someone who cares and is listening lightens the load on each person. To love and be loved.

Our experiences are touching stones of connecting and inspiring others.

Perhaps the worst things that happen to you and how you got through them can be shining beacons of hope for those going through similar things.

Perhaps we can pull ourselves off the cliffs of our darkest moments by recognizing that how we handle problems can have a positive influence on others, and having a positive impact is the reason why we have to keep persevering through the dips.

You can be an example of negative change or positive change to everyone in your life. Which will you choose?

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1720

Join the Renaissance:

NewslettersConsiderations | Practices | Bookaholics

Subscribe: Renaissance Life on Apple Podcast | Renaissance Life on Spotify

Gotta Have Spunk

Where does that innate rebellious fire inside the downtrodden and lowly come from?

Is it in the water? Is it born? Or do hard circumstances build the spirit within?

And if it is hardship that creates spunk and resilience and creativity, why do some people buckle under struggle, while others thrive?

If I had to guess, I would say the fire within is already there and needs a spark of something we experience that lights us up and wakes us to new possibilities.

Maybe a parent gets sick or a friend dies in a random accident, which shows us how fragile life is.

Maybe someone that looks a lot like us shows us what life can be with a little effort and thinking differently.

Maybe a teacher believes in us.

Maybe someone shows us how NOT to live.

Or maybe we find out the hard way, through injury, failure, ruin and the like.

Whatever the case: There is a fire that burns inside each of us. A fire made of creativity and ideas and originality and heart. All it takes is a match to let it loose.

Feed it right and nothing can stop you. You’ll blaze with energy and capacity.

And in so doing, become an example for the next kid, looking for something different from life.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1719

Join the Renaissance:

NewslettersConsiderations | Practices | Bookaholics

Subscribe: Renaissance Life on Apple Podcast | Renaissance Life on Spotify

Reframe The Problem

I was reviewing one of my notebooks from last year and I came across this open-ended question to myself:

How can I help make this a good thing?

I’m not sure what I was referring to in that moment, but it’s a good question to ask yourself in turbulent times.

Whether it’s weakness, pain, frustration, stress, overwhelm… you name it, there is likely a way to make something good out of it.

Weakness can be your superpower if you let it.

I don’t think I would be so adamant about health and wellness if I had not injured my neck years ago.

It’s often our weaknesses and failures that guide us along the way rather than our strengths or successes.

Failure can become success. Weakness can become strength.

It just depends on where you stop the story and how you think about the life story you want to create.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1718

Join the Renaissance:

NewslettersConsiderations | Practices | Bookaholics

Subscribe: Renaissance Life on Apple Podcast | Renaissance Life on Spotify

Inner Strength

“You have power over your mind, not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” — Marcus Aurelius

Our mind is an environment we live in.

The things we think about influence what we do.

Just as much—if not more—as our external environments affect how we think.

If your mind is not in the right head space, meaning if you’re dwelling on the past, on things out of your control or negative events, you’ve set yourself up to lose before you even start*. No bueno.

(* And losing is the opposite of a good time.)

We can’t control all aspects of what goes on in our lives, but we can structure them for our benefit.

We can chose where we work, live, and spend our free time. We can chose who we spend time with, what we do for fun, what we decorate our homes with. We can structure our lives to remind us of our purpose and what brings us the most joy.

But say we can’t do those things. Say everything in our lives is completely out of control. Well, at the very least we can control our mindset. How we think, react, and view the world. Whether we react in the way we want to or not is practice and training.

Every day is an opportunity to train and hone our minds.

I can’t silence my mind, but I can turn down the volume of what brings me trouble and anxiety by training my mind through my actions, my breathing, and the way I treat myself on the instead (and on the out).

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1717

Join the Renaissance:

NewslettersConsiderations | Practices | Bookaholics

Subscribe: Renaissance Life on Apple Podcast | Renaissance Life on Spotify

Keep Going

There’s really only one thing that separates those who succeed in improving a skill and those that fail— they keep doing it.

Guitar, surfing, coding, skating, dancing, running, drawing… you name it.

Talent, luck, and connection are meaningful, but consistency is king.

Skill only takes you halfway (and maybe halfway for you is extraordinary compared to others less talented and fortunate), but drive takes you to your ultimate potential.

Everyone else just stops. They fade away from it. They don’t show up one day and eventually, it becomes something they did.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1716

Join the Renaissance:

NewslettersConsiderations | Practices | Bookaholics

Subscribe: Renaissance Life on Apple Podcast | Renaissance Life on Spotify