A Little Extra Oomph

What are you willing to give up in order to gain what you dream?

Some people give up their sleep so they can go to night school, or work on their business in the evenings.

Some push aside their fears and possibly embarrass themselves so that they can keep stepping up on stage, or so they can pursue their dreams in illustration.

In order to have an extraordinary life, we need to put in extra work.

Extra work meanings working smart and efficiently, not working ourselves into the ground. No energy equals no extra. That won’t do.

Giving extra effort doesn’t mean giving up our essential needs.

We have to be smart about what thoughts we allow rent in our minds.

Thoughts that others tell us.

Thoughts we tell ourselves.

For Example, what does looping a negative thought do to us? Thoughts like “I’m bad at writing / I’m bad at money” or looping a past mistake “I wish someone had helped me make a better decision about school…”.

Quantitatively, I’m not sure. But, intuitively I know I feel more tired and drained on days when I’m stuck in my head, looping an unhelpful thought, or overwhelming myself with a mental checklist.

We have to be smart about what we eat and handle our bodies.

Leaning over a laptop all day with poor posture without a break is only contributing to our back-aching-life, not our extraordinary one.

Ask yourself: How is this helping me?

How is this ice cream helping me? Sure it super tasty, but is it helping me accomplish my goals? Is it giving me energy? Or is it stressing my body out of nutrition and adding a new pant size to my wardrobe?

To be extra, we have to act, think, value, and live in the ways that get us where we want to be.

Giving extra effort means getting rid of the nonessentials, so we focus on the essentials.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1087

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Same Same

“The only normal people are the ones you don’t know very well.”

Alfred Adler

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about travel recently (I’m guessing a lot of us are these days). Part of me feels like I’ve seen so little of the world. And the other part of me is grateful for the handful of adventures I’ve had the opportunity to take.

A few years ago I went on a trip across the world to visit Thailand and do some island hopping. My friend Marco had cooked up the trip because at the time he was thinking about starting a co-working business and he wanted to scope out a few places with decent wifi and cheap living.

At the time, I was feeling a little burn out at my software development job, so I jumped at the chance to take a breather, explore, and work from somewhere other than my at-home desk.

Our environment influences us more than we think. I think most of us intuitively know that the people we surround ourselves with, and the content we consume have a big impact on who we are and the life we lead, but our surroundings are just as influential. 

Or maybe we know, but we get so used to it that we take it for granted. 

Take the American South, for example. I grew up in Georgia (about an hour and change away from Atlanta) and a lot of folks in the south have a southern accent. Accents aren’t really something you think about until you run into someone or visit another place where everyone has a different way of speaking. 

People move at different speeds in different places too.

There’s nothing quite like the energy of a New Yorker. Personally, I love their straightforward, get sh*t done, we can handle anything style of living. Energy is something else I think about often. I’d like to surround myself with people who are bursting at the seams with creative and enthusiastic energy. Enthusiasm can move mountains.

There was an expression that you would hear often from native Thailanders (Thai?), typically when you asked the question, “How’s it going?”

They’d say: “Same same.”

To them, tourists like me where how they make a living. I was on my adventure on the other side of the globe—but the folks living they’re where just going about their day to day lives. Mopeds, Elephants, Jungles—everything around them was their *normal*. My unordinary was their ordinary

This is true for all of us. It’s so easy to take for granted things we have in our daily lives (like going out to restaurants).

A gratitude practice is a good way to remind yourself to open your eyes to the little (and big) influences surrounding you. The characteristics of the places we live—The weather, sounds, smells, walkability, nature, choice and so much more —subtle influence our minds and how we create (and why we create it). These are all good things to think about if you’re trying to add more creativity in your life.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1055

P.S. If you enjoyed this article, consider buying me a coffee ☕️.

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That Little Extra

“The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.”

Jimmy Johnson

It’s that last 10% effort that makes all the difference no matter the project. Most of the others stop at 90% and say something like “eh, good enough” and don’t give it the full attention and energy they could have given.

Sometimes good enough is exactly what you need to do. Good enough should be the goal when you feel stuck or paralyzed (for whatever reason) and can’t quite find the motivation to start or progress. In this type of mental state, even 1% is better than 0%.

But when you are at “Good enough” and you are looking for that next level of work that will create an impact, good enough won’t cut it. 90% might be “A for effort” but it’s not going to change your life or anyone else’s for that matter.

Excellence requires a little bit more—a little extra past what you thought was possible.

You could stop at 90%, but what would 100% look like? What would 150% look like?

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #984

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Life Principle #12: Cherish Others

You won’t get far in life without a solid group of friends pushing you to be better and more capable. (You won’t have as much fun either!)

You won’t get far by treating everyone around you like they are beneath you.

And you won’t get far by ignoring everyone that’s not in your group.

A Renaissance Life is a life of cherishing others.

Life Principle: Cherish Others

People want to be seen and heard more than anything in the world. Cherishing others means caring about the well-being and success of the people around you. 

How do you cherish others?

Reach out first. Healthy relationships are nourished by reaching out to those you cherish, in small intentional ways that show you care.

Be Generous. Relationships are a two-way street. You both have to be giving something in order to get something out of the friendship, and Generosity is a great way of doing that. No one in the history of ever has thought generosity is a bad character trait for a friend. Who wants to be surrounded by people who don’t give two shakes of a shake weight about you? Go out of your way to be generous.

Genuinely want them to succeed. Have you ever known someone who supports what you do, yet secret wishes you would fail? Some friend indeed. Don’t be them! Life is abundant, great friendships genuinely desire for each party to succeed in their pursuits. 

Love the mundane. A great relationship is someone you can do absolutely nothing with and still have a great time. Painting a wall? Waiting in line? Walking through an airport? Each can be a laugh out loud moment with the right group.

Be there — especially when I­t­ counts. You have to put yourself first, but cherishing others is being there when it counts. If someone asks you to help them when they are in need — and you can — do it. 

And last but not least. Listen. Cherishing others is about listening to what they say. Listen to their hopes and fears. Listen to their problems, and encourage them to believe in themselves. 


Q: When was the last time you had a deep, heart to heart conversation with someone?
Call up a friend and talk about your hopes and dreams for the year. Where you want to go, who you want to be. Leave small talk for the birds.

Q: When was the last time you went out and meet new people?
Find a group or event around a topic you love and want to master. Become a strong character in that community.

Q: Who are the people you hang out with the most?
I strongly believe that we are the sum of the people we hang out with the most. Sit down and list out who you spend your time with. Are these the people that will push you higher towards your dreams (and vice versa)? Or are they holding you back? Surround yourself with greatness to become great. Surround yourself with positivity to be more positive. Surround yourself with hope to be hopeful.

In the end, cherishing others might be the best way to cherish yourself.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner


Related Insights

“A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself.” — Jim Morrison

“Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.” —  Oprah Winfrey

“Friends… they cherish one another’s hopes. They are kind to one another’s dreams.” — Henry David Thoreau

“One of the most beautiful qualities of true friendship is to understand and to be understood.” — Lucius Annaeus Seneca

“Stay positive and happy. Work hard and don’t give up hope. Be open to criticism and keep learning. Surround yourself with happy, warm and genuine people.” —  Tena Desae

“If you want to become healthy, you have to surround yourself with a group of people that are getting healthy, and you have to be connected to a community that is doing what you want to do.” — Henry Cloud

Origami Life

I want to get to the end of my life and be like a piece of origami paper.

Worn, folded, and forged from a thousand lives lived.

A lifetime of learning, pursuit, and adventure. A life of meaning and worth. A life filled with friendships, creativity and boldness.

Otherwise what was I living for?

Sometimes we have to take a good hard look and ask ourselves, ‘Am I ALIVE or am I just existing?’

Complacency is insidious. It creeps into our lives through comfort and success.

I’m not telling you to throw out your blankets and sleep on a pile of hard candy. I’m saying make sure what you give your time to — what you do on a day-to-day basis — aligns with the vision of the life you want to have. And if you don’t have a vision for your life there’s no better time like the present. It’s hard to see the macro when you’re living in the micro, but our lives are the sum each day we have on this earth. What does your day look like? If you’re going through setbacks — keep going. If you fear something — do it. If you’re experiencing pain or failure — Reset your mind, body, and focus. Start living for the extraordinary.


Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

Action Question:

  • Am I ALIVE or am I just here?
  • If I was an origami shape, what would I be?

Related Wisdom:

“If I’m not saying ‘Hell Yeah!’ to something, then I say no.” — Derek Sivers

“Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me.”Carol Burnett

“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.”Marcus Aurelius

“To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funny bone.”  — Reba McEntire

Other Words For Brilliance

















A Renaissance Man (or Renaissance Woman).

All hitting on the same idea — Brilliance.

I want to be brilliant.

We have the same goal in mind, If you’re pursuing one of these (or one like it). 



Josh Waggoner

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

Not Not Brilliant

We won’t become brilliant because we think we’re brilliant. (‘Man, I am sooooo amazing’ :P)

We’ll become brilliant by knowing we are not brilliant, and doing everything we can to change that. 

Its not the goal itself. It’s the improvements the goal requires of us to make it happen.

The mission leads to the outcome.

The outcome itself doesn’t necessarily matter, rather the actions we must take which  aligns us to achieving it. 

Take strides toward your mission, and you will be on your way to becoming not not brilliant.  



 “They can because they think they can.” — Virgil

 “The thing always happens that you really believe in; and the belief in a thing makes it happen.” — Frank Loyd Wright

xoxo Josh Waggoner

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

Input Equals Output =>

Your output is determined by your input.

Meaning, what you consume affects what you produce.

When you take in negativity, or worry, or gossip, or stupidity, or anger… (consciously or not)

you push out the same sentiments (aware of it or not).

The same holds true for positivity, and brilliance, and excellence…

Extraordinary output, needs quality input. 

That’s why they say you should surround yourself with smarter people than you.
Or why they say you are the combination (Voltron style) of your closest friends.


xoxo Josh Waggoner

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

Let’s Be Brilliant

Why —

I can safely say,

we all want to live an amazing life.

To have impact and meaning.

To be extraordinary. (I’ve never heard anyone say, ‘gee, I wish I was ordinary.’ :P)

To die with a smile on our faces – no regrets.

I want to help millions of people.

And my main life mission is to be a Renaissance Man, master of multiple crafts.

The question left is how do we become brilliant?

Brilliant is a journey.

We’ll have to live, each day with awareness – the goal in mind.

We’ll have to discover and rediscover the Wisdom of the Ages.

We’ll have to experiment and test what works and what doesn’t.

We’ll have to unlock the keys of brilliance, and in doing so, the keys to success.

A worthwhile life requires us to be brilliant. So let’s push each other towards that goal.

Let’s be Brilliant.


“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” — Henry David Thoreau

xoxo Josh Waggoner

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