Tell Better Stories

“The marble not yet carved can hold the form of every thought the greatest artist has.”


Today is a new day. It might not feel like much and you might not feel like a new person, but it is—and you are.

Yes, you have your memories—everything that’s happened up until you read this, the good and the bad. But does that matter?

In a way, memories are just stories. Real, imaginary, somewhat fuzzy stories we’ve experienced. Some stories are currently defining us. Our current and past tastes in music. Our fashion sense. Our past work and vacation experience. Take your stories from high school or college, for example. Even just mentioning the words might bring a flood of stories to mind from your own experiences during those periods of your life.

Memories are just stories.

Some of the stories in our past are currently holding us back. These are the ones we need to rewrite if we have even a slight hope of doing something more with our lives.

It’s difficult to live in the moment if you are allowing your past mistakes to haunt you.*

But luckily mistakes are also just flavors of memory and stories. Why not tell better stories? Why not turn a mistake into a humorous, insightful lesson you can remind yourself and tell others going forward?

Think about people you admire and the stories they tell. Aren’t some of the most hilarious, laugh out loud stories you heard from them moments where they experience dips or failure or stupidity, and weave it into this fun and insightful narrative.)

Take some time to think about your stories and what stories you tell yourself.

What are stories you loop in your head over and over again but aren’t actually helpful?

How can you tell them differently?

Sit down and write out the new spin on each story. Say it aloud. Tell a friend.

This isn’t about falsely creating a better past. This is about finding the good from the tragic and telling a better story so that we can live a better today and have a better tomorrow.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1104

Join the Renaissance:

NewslettersConsiderations | Practices |  Bookaholics

SubscribeRenaissance Life on Apple Podcast | Renaissance Life on Spotify

*Sometimes this is from trauma, like PTSD flashbacks from war. In cases like these, rewriting stories needs to be more than a thought exercise. Talk to a therapist. Etc.

Plantin’ Seeds

Big Redwood Trees
Photo by Josh Carter

If you want to grow a giant redwood, you need to make sure the seeds are ok, nurture the sapling, and work out what might potentially stop it from growing all the way along. Anything that breaks it at any point stops that growth.

Elon Musk

One observation I’ve been appreciating recently is the nuanced, yet powerful force of planting seeds. Our future is built on our past decisions, specifically, all the big and tiny things we agree (or not) during each day.

Everything we do, from how we sit, how we communicate to ourselves, how we eat, to what we read, has a butterflying effect into our future. We are who we are today because of echos from our past, and the echoes from our parents past and beyond.

On the surface, there’s rarely immediacy to planting seeds. They take time, attention, water and sunlight that we could be using elsewhere. And we can’t eat them right away. If we tried, they would be as nutritiously effect to what we are trying to grow.

A conversation here, a habit there… A week goes by and there’s not much to show for it. Progress was made, but it’s often too subtle for us to notice. This is one of the big reasons why most people don’t plant seeds. Growing is slow work. ‘I can’t invest or focus on my future problems, because all of my immediate problems are right now’ — this is something I’ve said others and told myself before.

But immediacy doesn’t equate to priority.

What separates those that do, versus those that don’t is prioritize the future today. A creator creates every day — even if it sucks, because eventually they know their investment will pay off.

Invest in the right things, and the ‘immediate’ things will fade away.

Today is always the best day to do something for tomorrow. Why do tomorrow what you can do today?

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner

Daily Blog #650

Join the Renaissance:


If you enjoyed this blog post, consider becoming a patron.

SubscribeRenaissance Life on Apple Podcast | Renaissance Life on Spotify

Future You 2.0

What would you the future you want you to do?

What would he or she wish you would do right now?

Worry more?
Watch more tv?
Eat another round of donuts?

We see our future as some far off event but really it’s happening right now.

What we do today determines who we will be tomorrow.

In a weird, mind exploding time travel movie way, we are all time travelers.

The best way to begin answering the question above is asking if you could go back in time to your past self, what would you change.

You can do that right now with your ideal future you.

From this long-term perspective, some things aren’t worth your time and some are.

Imagine what you look like in 5, 10, even 20 Years. What would a habit of working out do to your body and longevity? What would saving and investing do for your financial freedom? What would taking challenges — even though fear — do to all the place you will go because of it? What would cherishing friendships do to your happiness and peace of mind?

Your future is written in the stone of what you do each day. So what are you going to do?

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

Related Insights

“The difference between an amateur and a professional is in their habits. An amateur has amateur habits. A professional has professional habits. We can never free ourselves from habit. But we can replace bad habits with good ones.” —  Steven Pressfield, The War of Art, Do the Work

“Our character is basically a composite of our habits. Because they are consistent, often unconscious patterns, they constantly, daily, express our character.”Stephen Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Winning is habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.” — Vince Lombardiwas an American football player, coach, and executive in the National Football League.