Get Active in Your Own Rescue

I love this quote from Marcus Aurelius:

“Get busy with life’s purpose, toss aside empty hopes, get active in your own rescue—if you care for yourself at all—and do it while you can.”

I read it recently in The Daily Stoic. I love it because it sums of own of my life principles so eloquently. Get active in your own rescue.

There have been quite a few quotes I’ve encountered on my journey that rings with a similar tone:

“To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities.”Bruce Lee

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”George Bernard Shaw

“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward.”Amelia Earhart

“Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.”Michael Jordan

My version pales in comparison, but it’s —

You are Your Own Renaissance.

Meaning, change starts with you. No one wants it more than you. Perhaps you’re dealing with problems, perhaps you dislike habits and things about yourself, perhaps you wish your life was different—well no one is going to make that happen for you.

Waiting for someone to change our lives for us won’t get us anywhere.

As much as I wish someone would do it for me, it’s not going to happen. I’m the one who has to get active and take steps to make the change happen. If with (generous) help, I still must be willing to change and stick to that aim.

It’s not about refusing help, or going it alone—it’s about owning up to your life and the kind of person you want to be.

If you care for yourself at all—then to hell with problems, fears, and circumstances—go out and create yourself and make it happen.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #950

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a coffee ☕️ or a new plant. 🌱

Join the Renaissance:

NewslettersConsiderations | Practices |  Bookaholics

SubscribeRenaissance Life on Apple Podcast | Renaissance Life on Spotify

Life Principle #7: Be Your Own Renaissance 

For half of my life, I felt I was living asleep.
I don’t think I was apathetic, at least not completely. I cared about things and loved my life.
But I wasn’t 100% awake. I was sleep living (or awake dreaming). I was letting life happen at me, rather than with me.

The moment I decided to take learning, and pursuing things I love into my own hands, the doors of my mind blew off and I saw what is possible in this life. We are capable of creating our own change.

It was the beginning of my Renaissance journey, and it all started with a decision to become healthy.

I did everything wrong of course. I cooked with the wrong oils. I didn’t eat enough, and probably unintentionally malnourished myself. Basically, I had no idea what I was doing lol. But it doesn’t matter.

What matters is I decided to create myself that day. I took one step towards creating a better life that I dreamed of.

When it comes to decisions, I like to look at life through a binary lens:
Own your life, or let life own you.

Own your life, or let life own you.

Life Principle #7: Be Your Own Renaissance.

When you desire change, no one is going to do it for you. As much as I dreamed of wishing for a fairy godmother to put a briefcase full of money under my bed while I was sleeping, it wasn’t going to come true.

And when we don’t get handed the silver plater we hoped for and we feel disappointed, whose fault it that?

Our own.

Be Your Own Renaissance

If you want to change something about your life, you’ve got to be the one to do it. You are your own renaissance, you make your own change.

Don’t blame the world for your problems, and don’t blame yourself either! Focus forward and change it.

Becoming Your Own Renaissance means taking charge of your fundamental liberties.

It means honing your character to be more positive, capable, resilient, and impactful person.

It means deciding who you spend your time with, and what you spend your time doing.

It means believing that you can be happy and can immediately start creating more happiness in your life.

It means training your mind to develop ideas, solve problems and create financial freedom in your life.

It means being open to experiences, possibilities and new ways of thinking.

It means you can decide your beliefs and values of who you want to be, despite what everyone else tells you.

You have the power to take your life circumstance into your own hands. 

Let me bring out my jazz bongos here for a second and spit some rhymes at you.

Life is perspective. The world feels like it revolves around us because we see through our own eyes, and feel with our own bodies. Happiness, pleasure pain — we can see someone in pain, but until we are in pain ourselves, we won’t truly know how it feels. And the way we see our world determines how we act in it. When you see things as being unchangeable, you live your life through that perspective. You identify with the circumstances. I can’t get fit because I am fat. I can’t start a business, I don’t know enough yet. I can’t learn guitar, I’m too old.

But when you open up your mind to the possibility that you actually get to decide how your life turns out (no matter how old or young you are) all you see is abundance.

I want to be fit, let me figure out how. I want to start a business, okay let me create a website and figure it out. I want to learn guitar, I’ll take lessons. And when things don’t work out, you keep going until you learn how.

I’ll put my jazz bongos away now {:P

Be your own Renaissance, Make your own change.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

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

Related Insights

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” — George Bernard Shaw

“The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.” — Oprah Winfrey

“The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge.” — Bertrand Russell

Let’s Assume I’m Right

My biggest mistakes and faults in life tend to be centered around making assumptions about how things work.

Actually, its more like two assumptions: I️ make an assumption about how things work, then I️ assume that I’m right. Or in other words I’m making false assumptions based on nothing concrete.

  • I can assume someone doesn’t want to hang out or talk to me, but really they’re just busy. (and were assuming you would reach out first
  • If I️ make a mistake at work, it’s usually because I️ made an assumption that bandaids a problem I’m not seeing.
  • With Gabriella, I️ can assume something I’m doing is good, but really it’s annoying the H E double hockey sticks out of her. (Same goes with friends and family)
  • When something negative happens to me I️ assume the worst. (a one-way train to rock bottom)

A great example is first impressions. Sometimes you run into a guy or gal who is a master of bad first impressions. Maybe it’s how they speak, or what they talk about (or their stupid hair). We make assumptions about who they are and that they’re like this all the time. But really they could have had a bad day and came across as negative or boring. (a dinosaur stepped on their kitten, they’re just really hangry or a thousand other reasons). And when you run into them again they usually actually nicer than you thought. (hmm their hair’s nicer today)

Assumptions can cause frictions that lead to bigger problems.

A timely example is false news. It’s easy to make the false assumption that everything you read online and in books is true fact. (even though we’ve all heard the classic phrase ‘don’t trust what you read on the internet’) It’s hard, because you read something that sounds true (why would it not be? there are hundreds of other people who have liked this post…) but really someone is trying to manipulate us. Psychological factors like confirmation bias comes into play too — we want it to be true, so we see only what we want to see.

I’m not saying that all assumptions are bad. (There are two sides to every coin)

However, assumptions can cover up flaws in our way of thinking that lead us to make mistakes. We assume our way is the only way. 

Assumptions are how we perceive the world around us.

The best way we can stop making false assumptions is to make your intentions clear and keep an open dialogue of communication. Talk it out.

The more we can catch ourselves assuming things, and asking whether our assumptions are correct or not, the better our decision making will be.

 

Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

related wisdom:

“Assumptions are the termites of relationships.” — Henry Winkler

“It’s sad that we never get trained to leave assumptions behind.” — Sebastian Thrun

“When you’re surrounded by people who share the same set of assumptions as you, you start to think that’s reality.” — Emily Levine

Are You Phoning It In?

Plot Twist: There is an actual limit to how much we can do at one time. 

I️’ve always been late to this party. (Mostly because I️’m in permanent denial) ‘Wait, you mean I️ can’t do everything all at once?!’

Right now, Somewhere in time and space, an economics class is talking about opportunity costs. (Pour one out for all the economic homies) The term describes the idea that choosing one opportunity prevents you from choosing others. And it’s true, there’s only so much time, energy and work you can give in a day. If you want to master basketball, you’re not going to have the necessary time you need to master guitar too. (Well.. you can try but you’ll be a jack of all trades master of nada)

I’ve been experimenting with where my line in the sand is when it comes to how much and how many pursuits I️ can have at once. (Because I’m crazy) What I’ve learned is I️ can be quite resilient with the amount and variety of things I️ can hold in my head.. however (like everyone and their mamma) I am limited by the 24-hour cycle. But more importantly, doing too much at once gives me the opposite of want.
More more more doesn’t give you peace of mind, happiness, creative space — it sandblasts away all of those and leaves you as a shell of a human. (aka about as interesting as a broomstick in a vacuum cleaner world) And it’s just not a great way to live. On the worst days you feel rushed, overwhelmed and like you’re making zero progress in a million things.

Whenever I️ fall into the fallacy of  ‘I can do everything all at once’ my life becomes a nightmare and I️ need to re-evaluate. (before I implode) Life isn’t about how much you do, it’s about how much you give to what matters to you.

 

How do we know what matters most to us?

Look at everything in your life and ask yourself, ‘Am I️ phoning this in?’
‘Is this important to me or just distracting me from what’s important?’

If it’s not important — if it’s a distraction from what you really want — why are you doing it? Because it’s easier to do more than do less.

Choosing less is HARD (Believe me I️ know more than anyone)
It’s something I️ need to work on. It’s just hard for me to say no to opportunities when my previous year was so difficult and rot with no’s. 

But more won’t bring me a meaning life filled with Renaissance, friendships and purpose.

Action Step: Choose What’s Important to You; Learn to say no to everything else.

Action Question: Am I phoning this in? 

Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

https://forms.convertkit.com/273691?v=6

Related Wisdom:

“Most people don’t know why they’re doing what they’re doing. They imitate others, go with the flow, and follow paths without making their own.”

“Don’t be on your deathbed someday, having squandered your one chance at life, full of regret because you pursed little distractions instead of big dreams.”

“Just pay close attention to what excites you and what drains you. Pay close attention to when you’re begin the real you and when you’re trying to impress an invisible jury.”

“If you’re not saying “HELL YEAH!” About something, say “no”.

Derek Sivers, Anything You Want