Work on Yourself

“There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time.”

Malcolm X

It’s quite easy to see the flaws in other people. You have a friend that would be killing it… if only they would put in a little more effort. Or you have a parent who would be so much better off if they would stop worrying all the time about everything. Or you strike up a conversation with a randoe person and notice exactly the things they could improve.

It’s harder to see the flaws in ourselves.

We don’t see ourselves from the outside perspective. We don’t know what we don’t know. What’s easy for you to solve might be difficult for me, because we’ve experienced life in different ways through different experiences.

Although, I think people growing up today with social media might have a better sense of it, but not in a good way. Everything is styled and curated. If something’s wrong, they notice. But they don’t use it to try to improve themselves (or learn to accept their flaws as a part of what makes them who they are). Instead, we see waves of self-loathing and anxiety.

It’s alright to be flawed. No one is flawless, even the people that tell/show us they are. We all have things we are great at and things we need to work on.

One insight I found help on my journey is to think about yourself as a work in progress. If you don’t like something about yourself, then change it. If you want to be better, then be better. You are a blank canvas waiting to be painted and repainted. You can change. And you can change your mind over time too.

And if you want to help others, begin by helping yourself. Take the lead. Live the example first. Don’t just shout advice like you have a clue what you are talking about when you don’t. Give advice on what you do know, or examples of who does.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #823

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Related:

Book: Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends on It by Kamal Ravikant

B for Effort

“The journey is never ending. There’s always gonna be growth, improvement, adversity; you just gotta take it all in and do what’s right, continue to grow, continue to live in the moment.”

Antonio Brown

Yesterday’s blog about comparing your work to others brings up a horrifying almond milk-curdling question:

What if my work is crap?

This is a reality we all must often face on our creative journeys. We live in a hyper-connected world. The internet levels the playing field, which increases the competition. You are a few taps away from a painting, song, business idea, film, photo and more that makes your work look like a baked potato. Now, my goal as a writer is not to beat out all the worlds competition. I want to improve my ability to tell a good story as well as get my ideas across clearly that you and others like us can use and find helpful in their lives. But competition is great because it’s a pressure cooker — it puts us in an environment where we have to improve.

When faced with our work not as good as we want it to be, we are left with two choices:

Give up or get better.

Giving up is easy. But has consequences beyond the obvious once you can think of. Mainly, you have to live with the fact that you didn’t try or didn’t give it your all. That’s a powerfully negative mental rock that you have to carry. (Only to be resolved through strengthening your mind and refusing to give up next time.)

Getting better is hard. But if we want to become masters at what we do, we must face the hard things, plateau, try again, fail, try again and keeping fighting for our dreams.

Will we become the best in the world? Possibly. The potential is always there if we are willing to put in the time and work necessary to do the extraordinary. But even if we don’t, we become better versions of ourselves in the process. Even if you only get to the top 10%, 20% of your craft, that’s infinitely better than giving up your dreams, doing nothing, and not even getting a participation trophy.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner

Daily Blog #666 👹


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How to Become Your Best Self

At the age of 25, Jim Rohn was down on his luck without a penny in his pocket. (Hmm… sounds familiar…) He was a hard worker, went to work early and stayed late. But no matter how hard he worked, he was still a broke joke. He didn’t know it at the time, but he was focusing his efforts on the wrong things. His life began to change when his mentor guided him with the phrase, “Learn to work harder on yourself than you do on your job”. The Art of Exceptional Living

By striving for your best-self, you are living within the boundaries of the question, “How can I become more valuable?”

Life isn’t about what you do for money. I can become a great barista, (I’ll be the guy who can paint butterflies in lattes) but that shouldn’t completely define me as a person. If you think it does, you need to consider that maybe (just maybe) you are bigger than your job.

You are multifaceted and complex being.
Being a barista is part of who you have decided to be. If that doesn’t resonate with you anymore, perhaps its time to try something else.

And if you want to do and be multiple things — you’re allowed. Despite what society tells you. You can pursue all that you love, not all at once, but you are capable of stepping into something new (for work or fun) at any moment in your life. Colleges were originally created to make well-rounded citizens. The Renaissance Life is about enabling others to be all they can be and creating a community around pursuing life and mastery.

Life is about all the things that you do that make you into who you are. 
Just as Aristotle said so long ago, “Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”

When you focus your time and energy improving yourself, you are creating your best-self life.

No one will improve you for you. You have to do that yourself.
I can show you how to play an instrument, but you are the one who has to pick it up and practice.

For the next odd sum of days, I’m going to be posting about the principles of living a Renaissance Life. To stay up to when the next post goes out, sign up for the newsletter here.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

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Related Insights

“Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.” — Jim Rohn

“Learning is the beginning of wealth. Learning is the beginning of health. Learning is the beginning of spirituality. Searching and learning is where the miracle process all begins.” — Jim Rohn

“You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight.” — Jim Rohn