Surround Yourself With Brilliant People

Brilliance isn’t born,

it’s something we create and learn.

The best way to be remarkable at something — anything — is to learn from someone who already knows it and has mastered it.

That’s why ‘they’ tell you you’re the accumulation of the people you surround yourself with.

If you want to be brilliant, Surround yourself with brilliant people.

We can also learn from masters remotely.

Who’s great at X and what can I learn from them?

The best photographers, musicians, writers, bloggers, entrepreneurs, designers, creators, athletes, …?

What can I learn from their work, strategies, way of thinking, talks, videos, courses, art, habits, clients, character traits, goals & dreams ..?

Our own brilliance is a combination of all the remarkable people we spend time with and those that have come before us who made waves in the status quo.

And from that combination we find our own style. Our own take.

Our uniqueness. 


— Josh Waggoner

related wisdom:

“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” —Eleanor Roosevelt


CHALLENGE: Find Models of Excellence

What’s life without a little challenge?   – boring! That’s what.

Question:  How do we make ourselves better?

Challenge: Find Models of Excellence

Our challenge this week is to find models of excellence we can adapt to our life, so that we can align ourselves towards who we want to be, faster than we could alone.

In each area you want to grow and be brilliant at, find someone who is extraordinary in that area — or has the trait that you desire and emulate them. Multiple areas means multiple models.

It’s been said,

‘The way of excellence starts by copying the excellence around you.’

We start with emulationcopying — adopting traits and ways of thinking / doing from people who are excelling at them.

If someone is succeed at something you want to succeed at, then finding what makes them great and applying it to your own life will help make you great.


What does practicing your favorite City and Colour (insert your favorite band here) song,  but model your mind towards their particular brand of excellence?

What does reading do, but opening your mind in the way the writer thinks?

What does a child do, but emulate the world around them (such as their parents)?


“People seldom improve when they have no other model but themselves to copy” — Oliver Goldsmith

The goal isn’t to be a copycat, but to use someone else’s model of excellence as the foundations of your own.

Because we are all unique, copying will eventually turn into something original.

Originality is building on what has come before, and breathing life into it through your own way of seeing.

Ask yourself:

  • Which areas do I want to be excellent at, and who are the people already succeeding?
  • Who can I model whose great at ____________?
  • How can I model ______ ?

What traits do they have? What problems did they overcome? What does their day to day look like? Who did they model? 


Who are your models of excellence? Challenge Accepted

#KeepPursuing #ChallengeAccepted

Josh Waggoner




To be brilliant

and therefore, be anything else we desire — 

We must adopt models.

A model is a particular way of thinking and seeing. Systems in place to act upon.

It can be something you create, or something you adapt from someone else.

In fact, people we look up to are models (role models).

Ideally, you have a model for each area you want to be brilliant at,

and to do that, you find models of excellence to test and make into your own.

A model is something you work towards every day — something you continuously iterate and improve —

but it’s worth it because it works for you.

Meaning, you don’t have to start from scratch, you have a framework to build upon.


And if (when) I fail miserably  some days, that’s okay because it’s not one and done —

models are daily practices towards brilliance (and success).



Challenge Accepted: Find Models of Excellence

“In order to grow we must be open to new ideas.. new ways of doing things.. new ways of thinking.” — George Raveling


“If you can’t find a good role model, be one.” — Gale Anne Hurd


“Each person must live their life as a model for others.”  — Rosa Parks



Josh Waggoner

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