Life on the edge: Are you uncomfortable enough?

Brilliance is born outside your comfort zone.

Doing the same things* you’ve been doing has gotten you where you are, but to take steps towards brilliance you must step further and further into your fear and the unknown.

*you know, those same old things

Life on the edge is where creativity and magic happens.

However, it’s the furthest away from being comfortable you can get.

Comfortable is staying at your job even though you hate it.

Comfortable is a nice warm bed that’s hard to get out of.

Comfortable is opting out of networking events because you don’t feel like it, or don’t like them.

Comfortable is not asking, not writing your book, not starting your business, not failing, not traveling, not asking that person out on a date, not leaving your house, not joining that race, and not doing X because of fear of Y.

If we’re not careful, comfortable is where we go to die.

We must learn to be comfortable with the uncomfortable if we ever want to make true impact and stride.

Learn to be comfortable in what makes you uncomfortable +

Uncomfortable, as in anything you know that’s probably good for you, but you find terrifying to do.

We all have similar, yet unique things that we find uncomfortable. What’s uncomfortable for me, might be easy for you, and vice versa. But the most universally uncomfortable things is anything to do with us standing out.

Isn’t it ironic that we want to stand out, but fear standing out.


Your task is to find what makes you uncomfortable and linger on them. Inhabit them. Learn to be comfortably* uncomfortable.

*to make up a word

What’s uncomfortable to us doesn’t usually go away, but it does lose it’s effect on us when we learn to sit with it. For example, you may always be scared of public speaking, but if you do it anyway, you’ll have control over your fear, vs it having control over you.

Being Comfortably Uncomfortable is about being in control of your fear instead it being in control of you.

Ask Yourself:

Q: What makes me uncomfortable?

Q: What am I not doing simple because I am sacred to do it and scared to stand out?


#KeepPursuing — Josh Waggoner | Renaissance Man | Updated: Jan 21st, 2017

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

Renaissance Life, How to Be Brilliant

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related wisdom 

The further you get away from yourself, the more challenging it is. Not to be in your comfort zone is great fun.

— Benedict Cumberbatch

Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.

— Brian Tracy

The Secret Sauce to Becoming Brilliant

Here’s the secret —

You’re already brilliant —
or at least brilliant enough to do what you want.

You don’t have to be an expert in something to start something.

(In fact, that’s not how it works at all.)

Not starting because you feel as though you’re not good enough or have the skills needed is only fear holding you back and getting in the way.

Skill isn’t holding you back. Fear is.
A part of you doesn’t want you to stand out, be brilliant or dream big.
Don’t let it.

I’ve said it before — heck sauce I’ll probably be saying it my entire life —

If you feel uncomfortable about doing something,
it’s time to do it.

#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

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” — Neale Donald Walsch

Smarty Pants – 4 – yes, no, or not right now

Being Brilliant is knowing when to say yes, no, or not right now+

I can’t tell you what you should say yes, no, or not right now to.
I can’t tell you because the answer is tailored to you.
Your answer depends on who you are, and who you want to be.
Your answer is up to you to decide, not me.

Others can give you advice (and is a smart thing to ask for), but you have to make the call.

I can’t tell you to take the job, or date the hottie, or make the purchase. I can give you advice, but it’s up to you to whether to take it or not.

This is about making decisions – BIG or small – branches in your path of life.

Unless you can see into the future, you’re not going to know if it’s the right decision until way later. Hindsight’s 20/20.

However, I can tell you what not to do. 
Don’t make indecision your answer. Don’t say maybe, or whatever, or I don’t care.

Remove Maybe and Whatever from your vocabulary.

If a yes and a no had a baby, it would be a maybe. 
A maybe is letting someone else make the decision for you. They’re pushing who they are – good or bad – onto who you are.

Indecision is the answer you don’t want

because it takes you away from the path you want (even if you are unsure of where that may be)

I made a bad decision of picking where I went to college. I didn’t know what I wanted so I let someone else choose for me.
Good or bad (honestly both), I am where I am because of that.

Even if you’re not sure what you should do, a yes or a no will get you somewhere else, whether that’s somewhere important is determined by if you listen to your true self or not.

For every decision, you must make, remember to pause and respond with yes, no, or not right now.


— Josh Waggoner

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

related wisdom

“Maybe! Maybe! Maybe if your aunt had a beard, she’d be your uncle.” — Alvah Bessie


“A wise man makes his own decisions, an ignorant man follows the public opinion.” — Grantland Rice


“Saying ‘yes’ to one thing means saying ‘no’ to another. That’s why decisions can be hard sometimes.” — Sean Covey


“Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the furthest thing from it. Because cynics don’t learn anything. Because cynicism is a self-imposed blindness: a rejection of the world because we are afraid it will hurt us or disappoint us. Cynics always say ‘no.’ But saying ‘yes’ begins things. Saying ‘yes’ is how things grow.  — Stephen Colbert

The Art of Being Capable

My greatest goal for wanting to be brilliant 

is the ability to create whatever idea I dream up.

To have, talk about, design, and execute an idea into fruition.

When you’re brilliant,

you are capable of trying any idea you can dream up.

The idea might end up not working, but that’s okay — there’s always other ideas.

Capability. My friends, Capability.


So how do we go about being more capable?

We must deliberately practice the art of being capable.

We dream up an idea.

We talk and get feedback on it.

We design it.

We build it and refine it.

Then we repeat.



“Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.” — Lou Holtz



Josh Waggoner

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


To be brilliant

and therefore, be anything else we desire — 

We must adopt models.

A model is a particular way of thinking and seeing. Systems in place to act upon.

It can be something you create, or something you adapt from someone else.

In fact, people we look up to are models (role models).

Ideally, you have a model for each area you want to be brilliant at,

and to do that, you find models of excellence to test and make into your own.

A model is something you work towards every day — something you continuously iterate and improve —

but it’s worth it because it works for you.

Meaning, you don’t have to start from scratch, you have a framework to build upon.


And if (when) I fail miserably  some days, that’s okay because it’s not one and done —

models are daily practices towards brilliance (and success).



Challenge Accepted: Find Models of Excellence

“In order to grow we must be open to new ideas.. new ways of doing things.. new ways of thinking.” — George Raveling


“If you can’t find a good role model, be one.” — Gale Anne Hurd


“Each person must live their life as a model for others.”  — Rosa Parks



Josh Waggoner

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


Oh, I Forgot to Mention..

Being Brilliant for brilliance sake isn’t the goal.

The goal is to become brilliant, so that we are capable of doing brilliant things —

for our benefit, AND (more importantly) the benefit of others.


related wisdom:

“We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.” — Winston Churchill

The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill



Josh Waggoner

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