The Path

You don’t choose the path, the path chooses you.

You decide which direction to take, but you don’t control what discoveries, wonders, monsters, and misfortunes you find along the way.

If there’s a trick to life, it’s our reactions. The better you are resting well to what life throws in front of you, the more meaningful and worthwhile your life will be.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1114

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You Need A Practice

It took me a long time to realize how very little of life is in our control. We go through life feeling like we are in control—until we aren’t. Something happens that shakes us. A broken arm or health issue that shows us we are not invincible. A random circumstance that knocks the wind out of us. A realization that changes how we think about the world. These are turning points that can either keep us scared or lift us to a new level of understanding.

At its fundamental level, control means having power or influence over something. With just one hand, I could count how many things I have controller over:

  1. My thoughts.
  2. My actions and reactions.
  3. What I prioritize, focus on and/or value.
  4. Where I spend my time (and other resources).

In a way, what’s in our control are all related to one another. Thoughts lead to actions, and actions show what we prioritize our time on. These give us a credible amount of agency over our lives, but at the same time we are are in the midst of things outside of our control—an island in the middle of an untamable sea. But chaos doesn’t mean we are powerless. By focusing and honing what we do control, we can handle any life circumstances that come our way.

One great way to channel what’s in our control is to start a practice. Having a practice grounds you when everything else is up in the air.

Having a practice grounds you when everything else is up in the air.

What practice(s) you do is up to you. It could be something creative, like writing, dance, pottery, painting, drawing, making youtube videos, calligraphy, guitar, etc. It could be something nourishing, like yoga, mediation, cooking, running, swimming, etc.

What matters is making it intentional. And, ideally, it’s something you put into practice daily. But I’m not yo mama. I’m not going to tell you how you should live your life. We each have our own choice here. We could go about life rocking with the ship and whatever wave hits us. Or we could learn how to sail.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #876

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Having A Practice – Steven Pressfield

Own It

The only things we are entitled to are:

  • Our problems
  • Our actions (or put another way, our right to change)
  • And our freedom (of speech, beliefs… at least in the US)

Everything else must be earned.

Let’s start with the last and most important. In the US, we are entitled to freedom, but that doesn’t diminish the effort and resistance from those who have fought for us to have our freedom. People laid down their lives for us, we should do our part to remember and respect that.

I”m a white dude in his late twenties, living in America. This is my baseline — I didn’t choose any of this. Compared to the rest of the world (and the subtle / not-so-subtle persecution other people have to deal with) — I’ve got it made in the shade.

Everything on top of that, any financial, work, relationship, mindset, time-mismanagement, bad habit, setbacks and injuries are mine to own.

To fix my problems, to create a meaningful life, I’ve got to own it.

There’s no way forward but to own it.

That also secondarily includes everyone’s else problems that I surround myself with too. For example, if my good friend is in debt, I’m secondarily also in debt to his / her mindset and choices. Their problems are theirs to own, but by the very nature of being around them makes them effect me too. Just like on an airplane, in case of an emergency, you are supposed to put on your air mask first. The problems of the people around me shouldn’t come before my own.

I have the right to solve my own problems. It’s a responsibility, but also a privilege. We get the opportunity to change our circumstances and tell our own story through our trials and triumphs.

  • Did your parents pay for your college education?
  • Did your parents buy you a car?
  • Is your health not great?
  • Did your startup fail?
  • Are you talking more than your walking?

No one owes us anything. Generosity is a gift, but not assured, either. The choice we continuously have to make in life when setbacks and bad things inevitably happen is either:

A. We don’t accept it, we dwell on it and use it as an excuse to stay stuck where we are, or

B. We own it, and go to work, just like all the greatest people of today and yesterday have done.

Own it and get to work.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner

Daily Blog #589

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A Recipe for Frustration

“Well done is better than well said.”

Benjamin Franklin

“I guess I’m just one of these people who, when I decide I’m going to do something, I just do it.”

Tom Ford

Here’s one surefire way to thrive in life: Let your words align with your actions. Don’t just talk — Act. There’s a countless number of factors that go into creating success (including pure chance), however, there’s likely a reason that one of the largest brands in the world has a slogan that says “just do it”.

This is easier said than do, of course. 😉

Talking about something you want to do makes the desire feel more real, and can potential suck the wind out of your sails. It also opens you potentially being criticized or shot down by people around you. Even when people have the best intentions for you and want to see you succeed, sometimes they can say negative or rational reasons why you shouldn’t do it. When this happens, it can be even harder to act when your dreams and ideas have been riddled with bullet holes of people trying to look out for you. We live and die by what we do. There’s a lot standing in the way of what we say and what we do. Fear. Doubt. Uncertainty. Ego. Expectations. Past assumptions and beliefs. Do we really want to limit ourselves more by throwing other people’s opinions in the mix too?

A excellent recipe for frustration in life is to never do anything you say. When your words don’t align with your actions, no one trusts you, no one believes you — including yourself.

“There is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.”

Morpheus, The Matrix

This is corrosive to the community around you, but even more corrosive to how you think about yourself. Your words become untrustworthy to yourself. You no longer believe you can do what you say, and without that believe in yourself you get stuck in life. Your dreams become wishes. Your words become fiction. You become an arm chair quarterback to your own life.

It’s far better to act before speaking or at the very least make sure that when you speak, you’re going to follow through.

Name anyone you admire and I’m sure their actions speak louder than their words. I find this the greatest form of authenticity. Not only being about to speak your truth and be vulnerable in front of others, but to be able to back up your currency with gold.

The great thing is all action takes is a small step forward, and the dedication to keep going. A small step turns “this is what I want to do” to “this is what I’m doing”.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner

Daily Blog #580

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Updated: 5/30/2019, 8:11PM: Added Morpheus quote 😉

Saboteur = 1

There’s a question I read in Present Over Perfect that I’ve been thinking about recently in my own life:

“What do you need to burn down in your life, to make space for a new way of living?”

Commitments, expectations, roles, thoughts, habits, actions that go against who you want to be.

How are you holding yourself back from the life you dream of?

Bitterness? Grudges? Anxiety? Debt? Laziness? Negativity?

Burn them down. Do what you need to do to stop self-sabotaging yourself. 

Don’t let problems from your past control your future.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

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Related Insights

“With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.” — Eleanor Roosevelt

“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” — Albert Einstein

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” — Marcel Proust