Seeing in 4K

The more I learn about the skills I want to master, the more hot garage my previous work becomes. This sounds like a negative, but I mean it in a positive sense. By seeing what great work looks like, I can learn to elevate my skills to match through practice.

If you’re any type of an artist, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Look at any of your art from ten, five, even one year ago and you might feel slightly appalled at the quality. That’s good — it means you are improving.

I equate this into seeing in higher and higher resolution.

First, you start out in black and white boob-tube. You kind of have an idea of what good work looks like, but you know you are not there yet. You have the basic outline of what you want to make, but you don’t know how to make it.

Then, you move to color. You read a book or take a classy. Or you just start fumbling around. You don’t know how to make it, but you are trying anyway. You take a step. Next, standard definition. You think your work is good. Others around you might think it’s good too. In fact, it is good… for just starting out. You stay in standard land for a while. You start with a 4:3 aspect ratio, but the more you work, the wider your view is getting.

Finally, one day you start seeing your work in High Def (aka HD). You have a greater understand of what you are doing and what you are capable of. You vision matches your work. Everything you did before HD looks a little bit weird and off. You can clearly see the seams of your abilities.

Somewhere in the middle of seeing in HD you come to realize that the resolution increase never ends. There’s always a next level. 4K. 8K. 16K… And just like resolution in real life, the quality is certainly noticeable, but it’s also subtle. Anyone who doesn’t do what you do might not even notice, or they might notice and prefer it, but they don’t have the vocabulary or ability to see what it is they are seeing.

Mastery is the constant act of seeing just beyond your abilities and figuring how to do it. Taste, talent and work.

Work is what get’s us there.

“The most important possible thing you can do is do a lot of work.”

This quote is from a fantastic interview by Ira Glass.

I’ll close with a film by storytelling Daniel Sax that illustrates Glass’s insights:

Film by Daniel Sax

I included the film last because it’s impossible to follow that up with better words.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner

Daily Blog #623

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Related:

The Annoying Gap Between Theory…and Practice – This American Life

The Taste Gap: Ira Glass on the Secret of Creative Success, Animated in Living Typography – Brain Pickings

The Bleeding Heart of an Amateur

I think you have to be a little bit of an idiot with everything you are trying to learn.
Otherwise, you know too much and things can get daunting / overwhelming very quickly.

The original meaning of the french word naiveté (which I always forget how to spell) was being “innocent or natural”. Another way I would interpret ‘innocent’ or ‘natural’ would be ‘childlike’.

When you approach learning with a childlike quality, you are more likely to look past how difficult the journey to mastery will actually be. On the road to mastery, here ‘ther be many dragons. The iconic photojournalist Alfred Eisenstaedt) had a saying, “Once the amateur’s naive approach and humble willingness to learn fades away, the creative spirit of good photography dies with it. Every professional should remain always in his heart an amateur.” (He also said “keep it simple.” 🙂

We all need a little amateur’s naive spirit on our path towards learning. Too much and we might fall off a cliff’s edge we didn’t see coming, too little and we might be too smart for our own good to start.

“I have observed that the world has suffered far less from ignorance than from pretensions to knowledge. It is not skeptics or explorers but fanatics and ideologues who menace decency and progress.”

Daniel Boorstin, American Historian

An amateurs naivetè can give you superpowers:

  • The ability to ask dumb questions without knowing or caring that they are dumb.
  • Endless curiosity — the ability to ask a million questions and only stop because it’s bedtime.
  • Endless imagination — When everything is unknown, everything is possible.
  • Fearless — the ability to start things, without the fear that starting new things usually brings.
  • The ability to fail towards success — sometimes without even knowing your ‘failing’.
  • And the ability to look stupid and not care.

If you can tackle any endeavor with an amateurs heart AND the wisdom to be aware of and avoid pitfalls, you just might become one the best at what you love to do.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner

Daily Blog #622

Join the Renaissance:

IG@Renaissance.Life

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Live It Out

We all have people in our lives that talk more than the walk.
They know everything about a subject, but don’t actually live it out themselves. Or their list of things they want to do runs laps around their list of things they actually do. In short, they are really good at doing everything BUT what they say.

Did I say people?
I really meant us. We do this too, more that we would care to admit. In fact, we do it so much we don’t even notice it anymore that we are doing it. Instead, we just see what everyone else is saying and not doing, versus what we are saying and not doing ourselves. (Harsh josh, but true…)

I can see three fundamental reasons behind this:

  1. Fear — We want to do it, but we are terrified of trying, failing, succeeding and / or looking bad.
  2. Belief — We don’t think we can because we don’t have enough time, resources, abilities, motivation, trust in ourselves etc.
  3. Uncertainty — We want to do everything, so we end up doing nothing because we aren’t sure what’s best and what will give us the most bang for our buck.

Luckily daily habits addresses all three of these reasons.

Daily habits give you a practice, something to work at and improve each day. If todays practice sucks, no problem. Tomorrow’s practice will be even better. If I can focus only on today’s work, the fear and uncertainty is small and the belief in myself grows and accumulates each day. There is no tomorrow, just today. There is no uncertainty, just the task in front of me. And the fear is smaller, because it’s down to a single action. I just need to do this one thing, that’s it and I’ll be better for it, even if I fail or look bad today.

Daily habits give you a practice, something to work at and improve each day.

My impetus [driving force] for writing at RenaissanceLife every day (and ultimately discovering the power of daily habits,) was that I was fed up.

I was fed up with wanting to write but not have the time. I was fed up with wanting to be more, but not being more. I was sick of just saying what I wanted to be, rather than actually being it.

Instead of having to say ‘I want to be a writer’, I am able to say ‘I am a writer’.

And it wasn’t just writing. It was music and exercising and art, and all the other little things that have been found to elevate our lives in little ways, such as making our bed, flossing, walking every day, solitude and community. All the things we never have time for.

Or at least, all the things we never think we have time for.

Like magic, once you start your daily habit, time for it appears.

You could also equate it to money. Say you decide to invest one hundred dollars a month in a retirement fund. At first you might think that’s impossible, because you need every dime to live on and can’t afford to lose the hundred dollars. But if you did it anyway, you’re spending adjusts. You still pay for everything you need (gas, bills, food, etc) but you subtly don’t spend the extra hundred dollars on things you want. It’s so subtle you don’t even notice you didn’t buy an extra shirt the other day, or you watched Netflix instead of buying a movie on iTunes. You’re finances adjust to the new reality.

It’s the same with doing something daily. You adjust your day to fit your practice. Whether that means getting up early, staying up late, doing it during lunch time, or just not spending time elsewhere, your life adjusts. Just like how deadlines are a good idea for projects because they give us a window of time to work in or otherwise we would work or procrastinate ad infinite, so too does our day give us time to work on our practice. It might mean that we are doing it at 11 pm at night on a hectic day, but we still find a space to fit it in somehow.

Life adjusts to change

Combine that with the power of streaks and accountability, and there always seems to be time for our practice.

Every day I ask:

How can I challenge myself today?
How can I get uncomfortable today?
How can I improve today?

Have I written a book yet? Have I recorded an album yet?
Nope. But I’m working on it every day. I’m working towards those goals.

And that’s the real secret of daily habits.

Daily habits give you a reason to wake up early and pursue something meaningful

It gives you something meaningful to work towards and wake up for. Even if your life is crap, you have your practice, you have a vision of your life you are working towards every single (josh d*mn) day. And you become the kind of person who doesn’t just talk.

How many can say that?

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner

Daily Blog #574

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IG@Renaissance.Life

If you enjoyed this blog post, consider becoming a patron.

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Why Do It?

If no one read my writing, listened to my songs or podcasts, would I still do them?

110%

Just getting by is not enough for me. Excellence is the only way for me — that’s who I’ve decided to be.

I must create and challenge myself. otherwise I think I would go crazy.

I create because I love the journey, and the progress of learning something for the first time and experiencing growth in each step you take.

If you are not saying 110%, then you should probably say no. 

And if you aren’t loving what you’re doing (or doing something you meh on in order to build up to doing something you love), then you should definitely say no.

Stay BOLD, Keep pursuing,

And wherever you are on your journey, keep smiling 🙂

 — Josh Waggoner

Beginner’s Body

Beginner’s body is the disconnection between what you’re mind says you can do and what your body is capable of doing.

Drawing is a great example. If you don’t know how to draw and you sit down and try to draw a landscape or from your imagination, most of the time you’ll be disappointed because you can only manage to draw stick figures.ww

When we think, ‘I can run a triathlon’ and then go do it — without a day of training (unless you count MarioKart) — but our bodies say ‘what the h🌋ll you think you’re doing?

At this stage, our skills aren’t aligned with our mind. Beginners bod can be really discouraging especially when we are trying to learn something new. We think we should be great immediately (like the movies) and when we’re not we tend to give up before we get going.

However, the beginner’s body is just a part of the learning process. In fact, I think successful people are envious of you. To see the world with a fresh set of eyes without the weight of success. Of course, you’re going to suck at the beginning. That’s why they call it the beginning. 

Fear not: Keep going — despite the suckitude — you will grow out of your beginner’s bod. If you really want to master a skill you have to learn to be okay with failing at the start. What could possibly stop someone who decides to never give up?

Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

Related Wisdom:

“Never give up. Today is hard, tomorrow will be worse, but the day after tomorrow will be sunshine.”Jack Ma, Alibaba

“Don’t quit. Never give up trying to build the world you can see, even if others can’t see it. Listen to your drum and your drum only. It’s the one that makes the sweetest sound.” Simon Sinek, Start With Why, Leaders Eat Last, Find Your Why

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”  — Winston Churchill

Priority of Mind Leads to Mastery

You gotta commit

In everything you do and love, make sure you commit.

From all facets of your life. Friends, Family, Love, Community, Mind, Body, Spirit..

From the few outlets you have decided to pursue,  out of the many you could have done.

Commit.

You are not your job, but you are the priorities you uphold.

And most importantly,

commit to being you +

To who you are and what you stand for.

We master time by mastering priority, And through priority we begin to master life +

But if committing to your current life seems overwhelming —

Then commit to this dayDo what you can to make it a well lived one, and deal with tomorrow tomorrow.

Tomorrow is tomorrow. Today is today. Make it a good one. 

Put some Elbow Grease’ on it — Josh Waggoner

related wisdom

“The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.” — Vince Lombardi

 

“Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.” — Napoleon Hill

 

“Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential.” — Winston Churchill

 

 

Introducing Renaissance Ethos — A Path To Excellence, And Living Well

My mission in life

is to be a Renaissance Man

Mastery in multiple crafts (for me that’s music, design, coding, finances, entrepreneurship, fashion, wellness.. etc)

And pursing excellence in all that I do. (ha sounds easy right?)

My mission has led me to start the Renaissance Life, an extraordinary life of meaning and worthwhile.

The Renaissance Ethos,

is a focus on the spirit of a Renaissance Life.

It’s a series to help define and clarify what an extraordinary life is and what it takes to create it.

 

Excellence and Growth is the core of the Renaissance spirit.

However,  pursing an extraordinary life will not be easy (all great things aren’t),

we will be faced with many challenges and questions, such as

What is excellence? And how do we achieve excellence in all that we do?

How do we become our best selves — living towards our greatest potential, in the time we have been given?

But that’s okay, because we are in this together. We are a community.

We all have something we want to accomplish, or obstacles we must to face in our lives,

The Renaissance Life is about finding clarity, and meaning, so we can focus on what’s truly important — 

living

and impacting others.

Together we will start a movement — a new Renaissance — of change, and growth in our lives,  in the lives around us, and ultimately, the world.

Welcome to the Renaissance.

#KeepPursuing,

Josh Waggoner

You’ll notice there are no ads on the site. I HATE it when Blogs and Websites bomb you with Ads. It’s distracting and can be quite f-ugly. But… let’s face it, blogs cost money and time. Instead, I’m hoping that through your Donations, and by using Affiliate Recommendations (things I ACTUALLY use and are beneficial), Renaissance Life can thrive. Every donation will mean the world to me. Thank you.

Introducing — Time Mastery

Mastery begins with Focused Attention.

Productivity is a learned skill. We can be master’s of our time, and therefore, masters of our destiny.

 

In my pursuit of excellence, mastery and a Renaissance Life (A life well-lived; our best selves) time has become increasingly precious and conflicting to me.

Precious meaning I am fully aware that we only have so much of it (the clock is literally ticking) and to be all that I want to be I need to utilize it the fullest. 

Conflicting because, with only so many hours in a day, there’s only so much we can do. opportunity cost is a real (stupid) thing.

When you want to be a master in multiple crafts, and to do so brilliantly (and with gusto!), you must also be a master of time and productivity.

So how do we maximize our input & output, while still thriving in other important areas of life (Love, Friendships, Fun)?

How do we work smarter, so we have time for what’s truly important?

What’s are the most important things we can do to create the greatest impact?

What do the most productive people do? And how do they do so much with the same amount of time everyone has?

 

thus, Time Mastery

an Renaissance Life series focused on productivity and efficiency in all aspects of our lives.

Putting in the time (pun intended!) so we can focus on living.

 

#KeepPursing,

Josh Waggoner

You’ll notice there are no ads on the site. I HATE it when Blogs and Websites bomb you with Ads. It’s distracting and can be quite f-ugly. But… let’s face it, blogs cost money and time. Instead, I’m hoping that through your Donations, and by using AffiliateRecommendations (things I ACTUALLY use and are beneficial), Renaissance Life can thrive. Every donation will mean the world to me. Thank you.

Wisdom of the Ages (An Introduction)

“Knowledge is the food of the soul.” – Plato –

There is a force that exists in the world that has gone by many names.

It’s pure knowledge —

It’s insight and understanding —

It’s an accumulation of thought and experience — most of which has existed before we we’re even born.

It lives, it breathes.

I call it The Wisdom of the Ages.

And we can use it to pursue excellence and develop mastery.

In this day and age of the internet and our globally connected lives, we all have the power of The Wisdom of the Ages within our grasp — literally. Pull out your phone and with a few mindful taps, you can be plugged into knowledge from the smartest minds on the planet — whether they live today, or died centuries ago — and whether you know them personally or not. 

The insights you’re searching for, most likely already exists. It’s the wisdom of every life that came before you. Not all of it is truth, mind you, but it’s up to us to separate the wheat from the chaff. The best way to use this wisdom to our advantage is to study and apply it to our own life – keeping what works, removing what doesn’t. Experimenting our way to our own strategy, by learning from the best.

What is learning but gaining and sharpening useful information to apply to our own life?

What is teaching but distilling what you have learned, experienced and have been taught yourself? to greenhorns. to the misinformed. to the unknowledged.

To teach, you must learn, and to learn you, must be open to new realities.

“Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t.” – Bill Nye – 

The Wisdom of the Ages is in our hands. It’s up to us to take advantage of its power, use it to improve our life and the lives around us, and give back by adding value to its supply. 

You’ve know about The Wisdom of the Ages your entire life – now it has a name. And names have power.

The question that remains is, “How do we start to take advantage of this power?”

The first step is curiosity