Repotting

“Plant and your spouse plants with you; weed and you weed alone.” — Jean-Jacques Rousseau

“My fake plants died because I did not pretend to water them.” — Mitch Hedberg

I was never really a plant guy until I met Gabriella (now my fiancée). I thought indoor plants were pleasing, but I doubt even one thought crossed my mind about buying a plant for myself. That’s one of the subtle ways having a significant other can change you. You start picking up some of their interests and tastes, and vice versa. That’s why when you look at a couple who have been together for a long time look and wear almost identical clothing.

We pick up the habits, idiosyncrasies, style, speech, likes, and dislikes and characters of the people around us. This happens whether or not we are trying too.

If your older brother likes Led Zeppelin, you’ll (eventually) like Led Zeppelin too.

If your friends like to drink often, if you want to hang out with them, you’ll likely drink often too.

If your parents have anger problems, you’ll likely have problems too.

These aren’t 100% definitive statements. Just because you’re significant other likes Metal bands doesn’t *always* mean you will. We all have our own things that are uniquely ours. But when you are surrounded by something, the natural inclination is to be pulled by that something. Good or bad. Parents that worry about everything is a gravitational force that pulls on your own perspectives. Just as parents that are smart with money will subtly change how you handle your own money.

There will be times in your life when you find yourself in situations or habits and mannerisms you don’t like about yourself. For example, maybe you want to eat more healthy foods and exercise more frequently, but you’ve got in the bad habit of eating whatever garbage you have laying around the house or the bad habit of getting off work and vegging out in front of the TV until 1 AM.

When you find yourself in circumstances or bad habits you don’t like, it’s time to repot yourself.

Repot? No, I don’t mean buy more weed. (Hey-o!)

I mean repot like you do for plants.

There comes a time in a plant’s life where they’ve grown too big for their pot. Their root system becomes crowded and can start to degrade and eventually die because it doesn’t have the room to get to the nutrients it needs. Sometimes plants need to be repotted because their in the wrong pot too. Poor or old soil is another reason why a plant may need to be repotted, which can also lead to damaging the plant. (Welcome to my new plant-based blog, where I only write blog posts about plants.) So you need to dig up the plant, break up its root ball to give it more breathing room to grow, and plant it in a new, slightly larger pot.

We need the same thing.

If you keep doing the same thing over and over again, you’re gonna eventually get stuck.

There will be times you get in a rut or when your habits—which started out helpful—are now actually harmful and holding you back. It’s good to break the routine every so often and try new things. 

No, I’m not telling you to dye your hair pink, move across the country, or break up with your friends. (Do that if you want, but don’t say you got the idea from me!) Rather, I suggesting to try something you normally don’t do or even actively dislike doing.

Break things up. If you dislike reading (or think you are bad at it) then try reading every day for a week. If all you do is read, try having a conversation with friends over the phone. Try talking to one new person on social media a week. If all you do is lay around and watch YouTube or TicTok, try banning the apps for a week. You can also go back to them next week if you must. Disrupt your routine. Repot yourself. 

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #914

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Break The Pattern

Patterns, Routines, Habits… Call it what you want, there are systems in our lives that we live out as we go about our day. Some patterns are good and lead us to where we want to go — happier, healthier, more financially free, more creative etc. Some patterns are bad and keep us stuck reliving our past or keep our car barreling towards a cliff.

These systems are ingrained in our mental makeup. It’s hard for people to quit smoking because they like it. They know its probably killing them (or at least ruining their teeth) but they do it anyway because it feels good, and that feeling outweighs the long-term side effects. It’s much easier to ignore problems when there’s an eventual-maybe-not-right-now major downside sometime in the near future. (My pithiness is on point tonight! :P) 

And smoking is just one, easy go-to example. There are a lot of other patterns that we may be doing that are holding us back and we don’t even know it yet.

The question is, how can we break the bad patterns?

Start with developing your self-awareness.
It’s hard to change things when you don’t know if you’re doing something detrimental to yourself and your goals. And if you don’t know what is bad vs. good for you, start with asking yourself who you want to be.

Who do you want to be in 6 months? What positive traits, habits, and lifestyles do you want to create?

For me, I want to increase my confidence, energy (or liveliness!), boldness, risk aversion, and ability to enjoy challenges (despite fear, failure or embarrassments that may occur). I want to work less and smarter while making more money to spend on learning and creating. I want to master finances and know where every penny goes. I want to prep food, while still eating as healthy as possible, and earn my way to zero debt.

Change Your Mental State

Positive mindsets and perspectives lead to positive outcomes. I’ve yet to meet anyone who was incredibly self-defeating and incredibly lucky at the same time. I don’t know if Luck with a capital L is a real thing, but I do know that the more you push positive thoughts towards yourself, the more capable you will become. And the more capable you are, the luckier you’ll be.

Affirmations is a fantastically silly way to start. Silly, because it sounds very woo-woo, born on a full moon kind of outlook. Fantastic because it works. A great primer on the positive benefits of affirmations is the book Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It by Naval Ravikant. Think of a phrase you want to be more of and repeat it over and over in your head. Write it down in the morning and the evening. Embody the phrase. Feel it in your moon bones. 
“I am confident. I am confident…”
“I will enjoy challenges. I will enjoy challenges…”

Change Your Physical State

Are you hangry? When’s the last time you ate something good for you?
Are you thirsty? How much water have you had today?
Are you tired/anxious/achy? Move your body!

Change your physical state can dramatically increase your mood and mental state. Our physical state directly affects how you think. If your life and work are stressing you out, your not going to be in the best state to do positive habits, or work on your dreams. Sometimes, a few rounds of pushups and a nice walk outside is all we need to increase our happiness. Do some burpees, dance like no one is watching, splash some cold water in the face — do what you need to do to break the bad patterns.

Our path in life is determined by the patterns we choose (or let happen to us). Anxious daily habits create an anxious life. We don’t get fat by eating one fry 🍟, we get fat by eating one fry mindlessly every day. Once you realize that you are on your way to a better you.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

IG: @Renaissance.Life

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Related Insights

Book: Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It

“Change your thoughts and you change your world.” — Norman Vincent Peale

“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” — George Bernard Shaw

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” — Mahatma Gandhi

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.

Small Ways to Reset

Falling off the treadmill is inevitable. Someone’s bound to bring in a box of donuts 🍩 to work. You’ll inevitably miss a day of writing (insert your own pursuit here) because you were sick or traveling. But jumping off the boat doesn’t mean you should say in the water. In fact, getting into the habit of reinforcing your passion and reason why you are making habits and going after goals in the first place is key to achieving them.

I used to have a binge mindset. Dang, I ate a cookie… oh well might as well eat 100 more. I told myself I wasn’t going to watch TV today… oh well, guess I’ll watch THE ENTIRE CATALOG on Netflix. But just because I mes up shouldn’t give me permission to go crazy. What if I messed up every day this week? What would that do to my health or long-term progress? If I binged watch shows an entire week I would end up being a vegetable, unable to do anything my heart desires.

Missteps are a part of the learning progress. Mastery comes to those who fail and yet keep going anyway. 

When you catch yourself doing bad habits that don’t build your long-term dreams, here are small, practical ways you can reset yourself:

MOVE: Reset your physical state by going for a run, swim, sprint (name your poison). It doesn’t have to be long, even 5 minutes of moving can reset your mental state.

Cold exposure: Reset your physical state splashing water on your face. (Or more hardcore: take a cold shower or ice bath)

Check yourself: Are you hungry? When’s the last time you took a mental break? Take time to rejuvenate yourself.

Small actions: Doing a small incremental action can reset your mind to do the bigger tasks. Win small to win big. 

Change your location: Moving your body to another place (think coffee shops, outside etc) can shift your mindset as well. 

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

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