Meanie Me

“First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.”

Epictetus

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.”

Henry David Thoreau

“The enemy is the inner me.”

Nick Miller, New Girl

I think deep down there’s a part of me that wants to fail. (And I imagine I’m not alone in this sentiment.) Of course, I want to succeed. I want to create meaningful work. I want to experience life to the utmost. I want to make enough money to add fuel to my creativity.

But there’s a part of me that doesn’t. Let’s call him Jerry.

Jerry wants things to stay the same. Jerry is lazy and doesn’t care about the future. All he care’s about is immediate pleasures. Jerry wants his gallon of ice cream. Jerry wants me to fail because Jerry (and all the Jerry’s I’ve run across in life) thinks failure is all I’m good for. But Jerry wants what jerry wants, not what I want.

We often push so hard to be who we want to be. We work late hours. We do what others don’t. All for our inner Jerry’s to grab the wheel and crash the car. It’s not Jerry’s fault. Jerry is Jerry. The fault is my own. We let our inner enemy, our resistance, our past failures, and fears drive us, we are taking our hands off the wheel of our dreams and desires.

  • Anger can get you far, but it won’t make you any happier.
  • Fear can motivate, but it usually just diminishes instead.
  • Failure (and the fear of failure) keeps us locked and stuck in place.
  • Envy separates us from what opportunity and good fortune we have within our own circumstances and journey.
  • Worry and apathy keeps us from being alive.
  • Resentment rots.
  • Anxiety is the embodiment of FOMO and convincing ourselves we aren’t good enough.

We are good enough. Maybe we aren’t in an ideal situation we’d like to be, but who really is? We are good enough to use what we have to create something better. And enjoy what we have while also striving for improvement.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #833

Join the Renaissance:

IG@Renaissance.Life

SubscribeRenaissance Life on Apple Podcast | Renaissance Life on Spotify

Breaking Down Your Barriers

I️’ve been thinking a lot recently about how I️ can remove the walls and the unhelpful ways of thinking that are holding me back.

There are so many books, articles and other content out there on the power of belief on making your desired outcomes happen. The Magic of Thinking Big is an incredible book on how our thoughts help determine our reality.

However, saying ‘I️ need to believe in myself’ is like saying I️ need to eat healthy. I️ know I️ need to, but knowing I️ should do something doesn’t mean I️ know how to put that into practice. What are the systems and tools I️ can use when I’m in a state of disbelief in myself and my abilities? How can I️ spot when I’m holding myself back and course correct

I️ don’t think I’m the only one when I️ say, a part of me believes 100% that I️ can make my dreams / passions / side hustles become reality and another part of me believes I️ never will.

I️ believe I️ can be a successful writer, podcaster, musician, designer, speaker, and entrepreneur, but at the same time, I️ overwhelm myself with thoughts that chip away at my ability to my traction.

How can I reset my expectations of what’s possible? 
How can I creatively use problems to achieve self-mastery?

Questions are a great way to gut check and evaluate your life.

3 Questions to ask yourself to reset your possibility meter:

1. Who are you spending your time with?
If we are the sum of the 5 people we spend the most time with, then who are you? Are you surrounded by the ideas, support, positivity, and thinking that aligns with who you want to be?

This includes who you work with and who you’re related to.

2. If you were to die tomorrow, would you be happy with what you focused on, the way you lived, and the impact you made?

3. Where do you spend your daily 24 hours? Time is an investment of your most precious resource available, where are you investing yours?

I­t­ usually comes down to fear.

What fears are holding you back from taking a leap of faith into your dreams?

Creative fears usually boil down to fear of embarrassment, fear of time wasted, fear of failure, and the occasional fear of success.

I’ve going to dive deep into each in future blog posts. Ultimately, we must fight fear with fear. The fear of inaction — of FOMO, missing out of your dreams, must be stronger than the creative fears that might happen if we take a chance and step into our discomfort zones.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

IG: @Renaissance.Life

https://forms.convertkit.com/273691?v=6

Related Insights

“There are no constraints on the human mind, no walls around the human spirit, no barriers to our progress except those we ourselves erect.” — Ronald Reagan

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” — Rumi

“Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures.” — John F. Kennedy

Are you taking your dreams seriously?

People treat you the way you treat yourself.

How you think, talk, emote, dress, eat, and act determines how people respond to you.

When you act like a goob, people are going to treat you like a goob. 

What brought this on? 

I’ve been thinking about / wonder whether or not people (especially people I️ know) take me seriously. Take me serious about what I️ know, what I’m doing, and what I️ want to accomplish.

These thoughtful questions lead me to an even harder question to answer:

Am I️ taking myself seriously?

Am I️ putting in the belief, time, effort, challenge and blood, sweat, commitment and tears necessary to take my goals seriously?

Am I️ taking this blog seriously? Am I️ taking my writing practice, desire to be a fiction and nonfiction author seriously?

Am I️ taking my songs seriously? Do I️ practice my guitar, vocals, piano and song crafting as seriously as someone who is a professional?

Am I️ taking my business seriously enough? My work, relationships, health (and health problems)?

Am I️ taking my life seriously??! We treat death like a far-off event, but in reality, I­t­ could happen to any of us at any moment. If I️ got hit by a bus today, would I️ feel accomplished and satisfied with the life I️ led?

Maybe its just my tween-age angst talking, but I️ don’t think so. I’ve got a lot I️ dream about, and very little precious time to give to make I­t­ happen.

When I️ say being serious, I’m not talking about being the kind of person were you suck all the fun out of everything and beat your head against a wall until everything is perfect. (Fun-suckers)

I️ mean taking my mission and dreams seriously.

I mean talking, thinking, and squeezing out everything I️ got to make my dreams happen, despite the fears and challenges that life brings.

If you’re like me, then it’s time to put down the cookies and make a change.

Your dreams — be that building interplanetary rocket ships, winning the Nobel laureate, or simply starting a blog — don’t work if you only give half *ssed work. You have to give all of yourself to make them happen. 

Grab a piece of paper and write down a commitment to change. Create a promise to yourself that you will keep pursuing your dreams no matter what. Take what you what most out of this life seriously, and go find a way to make I­t­ reality.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner

IG: @Renaissance.Life

https://forms.convertkit.com/273691?v=6

Related Insights

“God will not place a burden on a man’s shoulders knowing that he cannot carry it.”Muhammad Ali

“Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach.” — Tony Robbins

“If your mom asks you to do the dishes, do not pull out your pirate attitude. But if someone tells you you’re not good enough, says your dreams are too lofty, or claims there is no room in showbiz for a dancing violinist – well then, by all means, pull out your eye patch, my friend, and take to the high seas.” — Lindsey Stirling

Life on Fire

Plants need just the right amount of sunlight, just enough water and the right kind of soil to grow. Too much sunlight and they die. No water and they die. But give them what they need and there’s no limit to how much they grow.

I’m not a parent, but I️ bet it’s the same with a baby — … water, dirt, and sunlight 😉  — you don’t feed a baby filet mignon, you give I­t­ what I­t­ needs.

But what we do we give ourselves?
We eat potato chips and fast food and wash I­t­ down with sugar-drinks. We stay up late drinking. We mindlessly consume media, argue about political issues we’re 8 degrees away from, and talk about negative things or things we can’t control.

And we do everything possible except what are heart desires:

Following our dreams, building a legacy, being our weird, undiluted selves, and creating connections with people we care for and love.

Living your life on fire 🔥 requires waking up with just the right amount of input (learning, connections, possibility), the right amount of fuel (whole foods, water, enough sleep, play) and the right amount of action.

That’s how we grow into our own.
The nice thing is we don’t have to do everything at once. We can start with creating one positive change — like drinking a big glass of water upon waking up — and focus all our energy on that until we master I­t­. One change leads to another, and another, until eventually, you wake up to the life of your dreams.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

IG: @Renaissance.Life

https://forms.convertkit.com/273691?v=6

“Have a dream, chase it down, jump over every single hurdle, and run through fire and ice to get there.” — Whitney Wolfe

“There may be a great fire in our hearts, yet no one ever comes to warm himself at it, and the passers-by see only a wisp of smoke.” — Vincent Van Gogh

“A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.” — Colin Powell

Boundaries

Gabriella and I recently discussed the idea of becoming Life Coaches, so I removed my stubborn shades I was wearing and asked her to help tame my chaos. (which sounds ironic, but coaching isn’t about having a perfect life and pushing that life onto others; Coaching is helping others ask the right questions that will help them come to the answers they already know.)

Lucky me, I have an incredible companion who was willing to help. 

I had priority of mind, but no structure. I had the big goals, but they were pulling me underwater, drowning me.

She divided each of my priorities into there own sections, labeling them from A to J (Important goals desired)

I was only allowed to focus on two letters a day. (Three at most if I was feeling perky) (Attention Limitation)

With each section, there’s a square of block you can fill in once you’ve completed something within that priorities domain (such as write book.) (Progress Dopamine)

I was to report back each night on what I did and my progress to her. (Accountability)

Each priority was something I was already doing, but I was usually trying to do all of them every day (cue insanity). This was less about me starting the day with a city-wide todo list, and more like todos popping up and me giving into the tangents making things harder to finish.

The goal in mind was to be ahead of my creativity, rather than flying by the seat of my pants each day.

When you find your why(s), you should go after them with all that you have and then some. However, dreams can easily become nightmares without the properly defined boundaries to stay in.

Boundaries aren’t restrictions on your art, rather how you create the freedom you seek. They narrow your focus, enabling you to flourish within them. Freedom comes from less, not more.

Think of Netflix as an analogy.
If you have a small get together and say, ‘hey let’s watch something!’ 

Two hours later…

You’ve spent more time scrolling through the catalog than watching a josh darn movie. Rather, If you had said, ‘Let’s watch a Wes Anderson movie!’ maybe you would be enjoying The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou right now,? Instead of losing your mind.

Less is better.

Boundaries give you fewer options and small circles to master. 
Once you master those, then you can elevate your freedom by redefining your focus into bigger and bigger circles.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursing,

— Josh Waggoner

Daily Focus on Your Vision

If you’re like me, you have all these big aspirational goals and visions in your head of what you want your life to be.

These goals are clear-cut and motivating on paper. Buuuuut then life happens. Responsibilities, commitments, debt.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t have the freedom and flexibility yet to build a writing cabin in the woods so I can write my novel.

I have to find ways to do it in between two full-time jobs, time spent with loved ones, and a side business.

Things come up. Some of them truly important, others that feel important at the time. Everything and everyone around is vying for your attention and energy. So there your vision of the future sits, in dream status. 

How many dreams of a better tomorrow exist only in people’s heads?

But if you are reading this, I know you have a desire to be more. You want to make change in, not only yourself, but the world.

You here the phrase, ‘life is a marathon, not a sprint’ but that leaves an important piece out:
Life is a marathon where at the finish line, you die. Morbid, I know, but vital. (Pun intended)

We can’t just jog our way through life. 

Sure, we are making progress and doing important things, but are we giving it our all on what’s important to us?

Vision is longterm thinking, but lived on a daily basis.

Vision is not fixed. Your future desires can change and improve as you grow and expand into a better person.

Here’s how:

Write and Read your goals everyday

Keeping your vision in your mind will paint how you see the world. Everything you do will be viewed through the lense of how to make your goals happen. Opportunities and ideas will be abundant.

Hone your vision by honing yourself

Read. A lot. Learn from people if different circumstances and walks of life from you. Study the greats. Craft your vision of your future around what has worked for others before.

Make small, yet bold moves towards that future every day.

We make think on our past experience and have our thoughts towards a better tomorrow, but the vision of what can be happens in the actions of our today. What we do in the present not only defines how we feel about our past going forward, but creates the future we all desire. I’ve said it a million times, and will say it a million more until everyone in the universe hears it — Small action leads to big change. Take bold moves towards your future every opportunity you can today.

Whatever obstacles and pain you’ve faced in the past, your future is determined but what you do in this very moment. You have the opportunity to write your own story.

Remember, dreams don’t just happen, they are made. And ‘future’ ‘vision’ are words that elicit powerful emotions and motivations, but your future lies in your today. Getting things right today and the next today, compounds into a life where your vision is a reality.

Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

Inspiration +

Ryan Holiday, 2007 The Business of Running:

“You run to define yourself, and when you allow a short term challenge to alter your pace and long term strategy, you’ve just been defined by someone else.”