Life Principle #4: Input == Output

When I was growing up, the thought that food had any connection to how you felt was nowhere in the stratosphere of my brain.

I don’t think my parents — and probably their parents — didn’t understand it either. 

I’m sure someone out there knew that eating Eggos for breakfast every day before school would put you in a catatonic grumpy food craving rollercoaster all day, but I didn’t.

Side tangent: perhaps people who are apathetic just need a little more spinach and a little less breaded macaroni? 

My parents meant well, they just didn’t know. I think there was an inherent trust in food brands and government food opinions.

Honey Nut Cheerios, Coke a cola, McDonalds, Pizza Hut. They were helping you save a buck, right?

Another side tangent: perhaps food business didn’t know the effects of eating their products on your health either. Bottom line, not your bottom size.

It wasn’t until way after high school that I began to unlock the power of healthy eating. I started gradually. I didn’t immediately start eating all organic, making smoothies or avoiding restaurants depending on what kind of oils they cooked with. In fact, I started terribly! I probably did everything wrong in the book. But over time my understanding and intuition grew. And oddly enough, my allergies went away. I stopped getting sick ALL the time. I slept better. I felt better and didn’t feel so much like a walking zombie all the time. 

If there is anything you could point to that kick-started my journey towards pursuing a Renaissance Life it was health.

Renaissance Life Principle #4: Input == Output

In a way, the old adage “you are what you eat” is true. What you eat determines how you feel. It determines your strength, energy, liveliness, quickness. 

Your input equals your output.

And it doesn’t stop with food. Everything you consume, be that what you watch, read, listen to, surround yourself with and do directly effects how you think, believe, feel and see the world. 

Imagine it like someone who buys a dog. If you look at dog owners, slowly but surely the dog and her owner begins to look and act exactly the same. Does the dog change the owner or the owner change the dog? 

Both.

Not only does inputs determine our outputs, outputs reinforce what we input.

That’s why an outsider looking in might make fun of someone who only shops at Wholefoods and eats gluten-free, sugar-free cookies, and why that same wholefoods patron might make fun of the person who’s eating at Applebee’s.

The more you surround yourself with people, activities, and things you love, the more in love with your life you will be.

The higher quality of input you have, the higher quality of output.

Putting it into practice

Spend a day living normally, but writing down everything you do, see, eat, listen to, watch and surround yourself with.

Do the people you hang out with talk about ideas or just gossip about people?

When’s the last time you read a book that challenged you?

Becoming smarter, more creative, capable, ALIVE begins with doing and surrounding yourself with inputs that ARE smarter, more creative, capable and energetic.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursing,

— Josh Waggoner

https://forms.convertkit.com/317372?v=6

Related Insights

“Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.”— Oprah Winfrey

“If you want to become healthy, you have to surround yourself with a group of people that are getting healthy, and you have to be connected to a community that is doing what you want to do.” — Henry Cloud

“Be yourself, but always your better self.” — Karl G. Maeser

Making Time for the Most Important Things

How do I motivate myself to do the important things when I don’t feel motivated?

“I’ve noticed that my motivation to start my own freedom business is always at an all-time high when I’m at work, sitting at my desk, with the realization staring me in the face that I do not want to spend the rest of my life sitting in a cubicle all day every day… I feel a burning desire to take immediate action towards a freedom business. The only problem is that I’m at work so I can’t! When I’m finally on my own time and can focus on learning and creating the motivation is still there but not nearly of the same caliber.

Have any of you experienced a similar situation? If so, do you have any tips or tricks to channel, on command, that same level of motivation that I feel when I’m face to face with the reality of what my life will continue to be if I don’t take action now?”

 

Dear Creative Like Me,

I usually find myself in the same situations after work. A burning desire to work my pursuits — to write, learn, connect, code, design, write songs and build successful business — but also the need to rest.

Such a paradox —When I finally have time for what my soul is pining to do, I feel unmotivated to do them. (Heck!) Even more so recently since my energy hasn’t been great, and my three-headed demon.

The need of rest is good, but after resting, it’s easy for me to slide into mindlessness, which is the enemy.

Rest is equally important as effort, but mindlessness is the enemy to creativity.

I know I need to spend time creating and pursuing my goals, but I feel exhausted, obligated to other things and others, and reluctant to do so. (Even though I know doing so would create a better reality for me!) ‘Maybe Tomorrow’, I think. (But you know what they say about tomorrow.)

So what’s an motivated unmotivated creative to do?

One solution I’ve found is to

first re-energize yourself.

  • Go for a walk
  • Mediate
  • Talk to a friend / loved one
  • Read
  • Workout
  • or do something you enjoy that’s restful yet mindful

and second, sit down and

Start with purpose and intention.

It doesn’t have to be the best thing you’ve ever done, it just has to be something.

You just have to start and stick with it for as long as your able.

Oddly enough that lazy, tired feeling I have fades away once I start and keep pushing through. I think this idea goes along well with one of Dale Carnegie’s strategies for removing worry and despair by ‘losing yourself in doing.”

Taking action consumes your mind and leaves no space for exhaustion. 

My feeling of reluctance and fatigue doesn’t completely go away, but I become more comfortable with it, each day I do it. I think that’s how most people find their success, they learn to thrive in un-comfort. They make the uncomfortable, comfortable and do so continuously.

Personal success comes to those with the largest comfort zone.

 

Keep Pursuing,

Josh Waggoner, Renaissance Man.  April 18th 10AM EST, Chattanooga TN

If this article helped, let me know in the comments below, or via email: josh@renaissanceamanlife.com.

Dear Creative Like Me, If you are struggling with something and want some advice, email me your thoughts, and you question might be featured on the RL.

 

related wisdom

 

The secret of being miserable is to have leisure to bother about whether you are happy or not. The cure for it is occupation.

— George Bernard Shaw

People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.

— Zig Ziglar

Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence – that will enable you to attain the success you seek.

— Mario Andretti

illuminate <

To be brilliant,

and therefore do brilliant things —

We must ask great questions.

 

“A prudent question is one-half of wisdom.” — Sir Francis Bacon

 

Thousands of questions and decisions surround us every day. Big and small.

We are all looking for answers.

Who am I? What’s my why? How do we improve? Can I make ___ better? What’s most important?…

What should I do today? How do I make new friends? What should I eat? 

The best way to find great answers is to ask great questions + 

Asking questions illuminates who we are and what we do. It shines a light on our inner world and gives us a view where we fit in the external world.

Action Step — Great questions lead to great answers. Ask great questions every day.

Ask at least one a day.

Keep a list of questions.

Periodically review them.

When you feel compelled to, answer and re-answer them.

Ask others to give you their answers too.

#KeepPursuing  Josh Waggoner

‘Brevity is the soul of wit.’  Email me your thoughts on this post. Can you reduce the essential idea further?

related wisdom

“I’m always looking, and I’m always asking questions.” — Anne Rice

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”  — Albert Einstein

Consistency

Consistent action —

is one of the (if not the) most important aspects of Mastering any skill +

To be brilliant,

We need to be deliberate about practicing and doing so on a daily basis.

deliberate — meaning we have to find the most impactful thing of the skill to learn — what’s going to get us to brilliance more efficiently.

For guitar, it’s learning scales.

For language, it’s learning the most frequently used words. (or if possible, immersion).

For programming, it’s problem solving and puzzles.

And then we keep practicing at an uncomfortable level — always just past our current skill level.

Practice Every day — Even if all you have to give is five minutes.

Five minutes is better than no minutes.

5 min a day = 35 min / wk

2 hrs / mo — 

28 hrs / yr —

140 hrs / 5 yrs —

700 hrs  / 10 yrs —  And that’s just Five minutes!

Small Consistent Actions Lead to Big Change +

This is the Renaissance Way

 

#KeepPursuingJosh Waggoner

‘Brevity is the soul of wit.’  Email me (josh@renaissancemanlife.com) your thoughts on this post. Can you reduce the essential idea further?

Introducing Elbow Grease — Put a Little Elbow Grease on it

I love having a great idea (arrogant much josh?)—

or the thrill of goal setting, visioneering, and dreaming.. but —

An idea is only as good as its execution.

Having an idea is not enough, we must also act on creating it.

Head in the clouds feet on the ground.

 

Elbow Grease is a new RenaissanceLife series focused on

The Art of Grit — the blood, sweat, and tears needed to making things happen.

To take a dream and make it reality.

From something we say, to something we do.

And the hard work and grit it takes to do so. (For Grit is necessary if you want to build an empire.)

 

How do we make an idea more than just an idea?

How do we make our dreams reality?

How do we follow through on what we say?

How do we thrive in failure?

How do we be resilient in our work and relentless in our pursuits?

There’s only one way to figure out.

Let’s get to work.

 

related

“Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” — Theodore Roosevelt

#KeepPursuing,

Josh Waggoner

Grit

Grit is what makes us stronger.

It’s what leads us to a thriving life.

 — doing the legwork.

— Taking the necessary steps to get there. (you know… there)

— To be who we want to be.

Hustle, Heart, Effort, Grind, Action..

You can’t climb a mountain by just dreaming about it —

or half *ssed, or only doing it once.

Achievement takes more than one-and-done. It’s takes grit.

But there’s also one more component: Rest

Without grit there are no gains. Without rest there is no rejuvenation.

Habit both and you’ll truly thrive.

Related:

“Hustle it’s the most important word. Ever.” — Gary Vaynerchuk

 

“If you have no time to rest, it’s exactly the right time.” — Mark Twain

 

#KeepPursing,

Josh Waggoner

‘Brevity is the soul of wit.’  Email me (josh@renaissancemanlife.com) your thoughts on this post. Can you reduce the essential idea further?

The Problem with Self-help and a Solution to Fix It.

Knowledge is Power When it’s Applied.

Reading A self-help book (or any learning medium / book) is only useful when we act on it.

We can’t solve our problems if we don’t take the necessary action steps to create an impactful change.

I can read self-help books all day,

but if I don’t try what it’s telling me to do, I ‘m still where I was when I started reading it.

The main problem with self-help books is they focus too much on ‘feel good’ inspiration and not enough emphasis on practicality.

The best guides not only enlighten you to a new way of thinking, but also inspire you to actually take action.

I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve read a book that could be labeled as ‘self-help’, and felt great while reading it, but it ultimately didn’t change my life in the way I wanted it to when I picked it up. (Have you experienced something similar? Let me know in the comments.)

You could argue it’s the author’s fault. You could argue it’s mine. 

Regardless, 

I’m the one that wants to change my life, so I’m the one who has to make that happen. 

No one else will do that for me.

 

A self-help book highlights a problem, and gives us possible solutions. 

It’s up to us to test,  and apply it.

 

We can’t control how authors write books, but

we can control the effectiveness of them, by having the right mindset when learning.

Instead of reading and moving onto the next, and the next

without considering what it’s saying,  it’s relevancy, or how we can apply it,

We can start by considering,

‘ How can I test and apply what this is saying’, each time we sit down to learn.

What are steps I can take right now?

 

#KeepPursing,

Josh Waggoner

Write Your Own Story — The Renaissance Life Model

What’s the model I follow to pursue a Renaissance Life?

Decide who I want to be,

— who I am, what’s important to me, the traits / virtues I want, what I want to do.. all leading towards the best I can be) 

— who I want to be is a decision I make.

Take daily action steps towards being the best me,

— do what I can, stay consistent, and think long term over short term 

— Remember that you make your own change (You Are Your Own Renaissance)

And resolve to pursue excellence and mastery in all that I do,

— even through hard day’s, challenges, pain and obstacles I may face 

Always with the goal of impact in mind.

— On my life, other’s lives, and the world 

 

We can’t control our entire life, but we can shape it by our models of thinking.

To be who we want to be, we must write our own story.

 

related:

“You must learn a new way to think before you can master a new way to be.” — Marianne Williamson

 

“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.” — Marcus Aurelius

 

 

#KeepPursing,

Josh Waggoner

‘Brevity is the soul of wit.’  Email me (josh@renaissancemanlife.com) your thoughts on this post. Can you reduce the essential idea further?

Conquer Your Dreams

Let’s face it —

most of us can’t give 100% of our time and energy

towards our dreams — We have obligations (be that financially and/or socially).

Fine then

We’ll just have to be smarter if we want to conquer our dreams.

(aka we’ll have to be brilliant)

To succeed, We’ll need —

Priority  — We need to make time to make our dreams happen.

Intention — We must know what we want, and what the end goal looks like.

Focus — during the time we make, we need to give 100% focus on the task. No distractions, no interruptions — just focus.

Consistencyas in Daily Action Steps — clearly defined next steps we can take. Small actions allowing us to chip away at dreams.

Small Actions lead to big change.

Steadfast — It’s a long road to overnight success. Perseverance is key.

We must be relentless in our pursuits.

related:

“The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.” — Confucius

 

“If you can dream it you can do it.” — Walt Disney

#KeepPursuing,
xoxo Josh Waggoner

‘Brevity is the soul of wit.’  Email me your thoughts on this post. Can you reduce the essential idea further?