Initiative

“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

The only thing that separates those who are successful and those aren’t yet is the willingness to act on their ideas. (Well, that and a lot of good luck.)

Initiative is —

  • Listening to your gut.
  • Figuring out how even when you are unsure where to start.
  • Pursuing your dream, instead of being idle
  • Not only having ambition but putting it into practice.

Initiative is putting your ambition into practice.

It’s tasing your hand in class or speaking up when the opportunity strikes. 

Initiative is seeking opportunities versus waiting for an opportunity to magically come to us. If you don’t ask- if you don’t try- if you don’t act- if you don’t speak out- then who will?

Everyone will tell you how you should live your life. But it’s up to each of us to choose who we want to be and what we want to do.

If there’s an idea you feel driven to try — Go for it.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #884

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All In

“Energy and persistence conquer all things.”

Benjamin Franklin

How often do we neglect what we really want to do — our goals and big dreams — for little day to day tasks and needs?

We want to be more healthy and active, but we don’t.

We want to write that novel, but we haven’t.

We want to work on our business ideas, but we aren’t. 

At least not as well as we could be.

I think I’ve been avoiding my most important task recently, and instead have been playing whack-a-mole with little things I want to do instead. (And things that others want me to do.) 

I often blame my lack of time for not doing what I want to do, but my lack of time is because of me. I’m spending it elsewhere. I’m doing other things. Some of them great, but not all of them are being used where they should be. I’m prioritizing easy over hard and uncomfortable things. I’m prioritizing familiar over challenging. 

It’s hard to sit down and create something. You’ve gotta be all in during those moments. You’ve got to be **on**. It’s easier to clean the house, or watch a movie, or go out for drinks. The worst thing can happen at a movie is we pick the wrong movie and it’s not good, or we eat too much popcorn. Oh well… But there’s high stakes when it comes to creativity. Or, at least it feels like there are. We post online we’re going to train for a marathon — and don’t. We write a novel — and it sucks or worse, nobody reads it. We work on our business ideas and we fail.

But do we fail? What is failure? Rejection? Financial loss? Loss of Reputation? Where does failure begin and end?

As long as we’re still living and breathing, failure is an arbitrary division. A milestone among many. In some cases, even being dead creativity lives on. What matters is that we keep pursing. We wake up, fail and try again. 

Because big dreams are bigger than small failures. 

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #817

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Just Start Already

The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are: Hard work, Stick-to-itiveness, and Common sense.

Thomas A. Edison

Creating something and putting your work out into the world is one of the scariest things you can do. (It’s up there routine dental checkups, or having kids.)

That is, until you do it. Once you start, the fear subsides. Every time you act, the fear diminishes a little more. It’s always there, but it doesn’t have the same sting it once did before you started.

You write and then you hit publish.
You draw and then you share your work online.
You record, edit and then upload.

Create. Edit. Share. Repeat. (Or some days just create and share.)

At the beginning, nobody cares. (Well, your mom cares. Hi mom!) Your work either falls flat, does okay or hits a cultural thread that lifts it to unbelievable heights.

Most of the time our work does okay.

And at any point of the creative process, we have the temptation to give up.

The weather is gloomy or hot, we get sick, we didn’t sleep well, a Marvel movie comes out, something better is happening, and so many other distractions can very easily derail us from creating anything today. And not creating today is a slippery slope. (You take one day off, and suddenly three years slips by and you haven’t made anything.)

This is why I’m so committed to daily habits. When you decide to do a daily habit, there are no days off. (Sticky Weather or sick days be damned. No excuses.) Good or bad, at the end of the day, I make myself sit down, write and hit publish. Otherwise, I’d miss a day. (And there’s nothing worse than missing a day when you have a daily habit.)

On bad days, It might sound awful to you to put out work and ideas that sucks and your not proud to put your name behind, bit it’s actually a secret to a lot of creative’s success.

Creativity is less about what you did on any particular day, and more about your whole spectrum of work.

Waiting for the inspiration to create or for a great idea to show up doesn’t work.
great work to shop.

Consistency and practicing your ability to create-on-demand does.

One secret to creative success is creating more and creating often — you cultivate a lot of okay work, but you’ll also make more great work than you would otherwise have.

Some of your work will shine above the others and that’s the point. (Side-note: if we stopped after shipping one great piece, we’d likely turn into one of those one-hit wonder creatives.) The process of continuous flow of creativity gives us moments of brilliant ideas (and some decent ideas.) Arbitrarily, for every great creative work you shop, you might go through nine crappy or just-okay ideas.

I would argue that one great idea is worth as many mediocre ideas it takes. Because one great idea can change your world (and quite possibly, change The World).

But nothing happens if you don’t start.

When it comes to creativity, starting is everything, because without starting, there’s nothing — just a bunch of ideas in our head.

Once you realize that, and how quick life goes by, the fear of inaction outweighs the fear of doing something new, potentially embarrassing, and likely to fail. Because if we don’t try — if we don’t even test out the waters — we automatically fail before we even get going.

When in doubt —
When hesitant, or fearful —
When others tell you that you shouldn’t or can’t —
When you tell yourself that you shouldn’t or can’t because of X Y and Z —

Just start already.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner

Daily Blog #634

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Do first; How second

“Your best chance to grow us to do something you don’t know how to do.”

Michael Bierut

‘How’ is also wears many disguises:

‘How’ trips early and it trips often.

“I’d love to be a photographer, but I don’t know how.”

“I don’t know enough yet. I’ll start when _.”

“I’d love to, but I don’t have a lot of time between the full time job and my other blah blah.”

“I know how, but I don’t have enough money, y z…” (False illusions of how.)

And the many faces of fear, of course.

I’ve battled ‘how’ over the years myself. I’ll apply to that job when I’m better at what I do. I’ll write a novel when I know how to build characters and great dialogue. On and on it goes — I’ve let not knowing ‘how’ dictate my life. I’ve come to the conclusion that knowing ‘how’ is just a distraction (and a justification not to start). The people that know ‘how’ are the ones who’ve already done the work themselves. Knowing how comes from doing.

‘How is a bi-product of action’. Do something enough and you’ll figure out how soon enough.

Sure, if you want to scuba-dive, it might be smart to learn how first before you try. But in exceptions like these you already have your ‘how’ — a guide. An experienced instructor will show you the ropes, and in ya go. Sometimes the how is part of the doing. The scuba-diver instructor isn’t just going to teach you on land and that’s that. No, he / she will expect you to try it after the lesson. You are learning by doing.

“For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.”

Aristotle

Doing is another form of learning. It’s learning on wheels. You’re moving and learning as you go— slow and unsteady but moving nonetheless.

There will be trial and error, but there’s always trail and error — that’s part of the journey.

“The best way to learn a thing was to do it, he had found; sails or scrolls, it made no matter.”

George R.R. Martin

How comes from joy. When you enjoy doing something, how (and how to do it better) will come the more you do it.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner

Daily Blog #625

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