Bad Habits x 2

“Your net worth to the world is usually determined by what remains after your bad habits are subtracted from your good ones.”

Benjamin Franklin

Bad habits define us as much (if not more than) our good habits.

They also double-dip: we get the downsides of doing them plus the negative effect of not doing the good alternatives instead.

For example, eating junky food not only has the downsides of upping your sweatpants from a large to a double xl, it also reduces your energy and abilities by not giving you the nutrients you need. The downsides of the bad and the lack of upsides from the good.

Same goods for all habits. A good habit provides benefits that lead to more opportunities for benefits—a bad habit produces side effects while taking away the benefits you would have received from doing the better opposite.

This can stack up in all sorts of unfortunate or fortunate ways.

This is the underlying pattern of why having money gives you more opportunities to create more money. And why your environment and the people you surround yourself with is so important to your overall wellbeing and success.

The key is replacing all of your bad habits with good ones before your bad habits take your lunch AND eat it too.

Make a list of all your habits. Big, small, conscious, subconscious—whatever you can think of.

Then, mark the ones you think are negatively impacting you. It’s okay if you aren’t one hundred percent sure.

Start with a win. What’s a low hanging fruit you can easily pick and feel good about?

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #936

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You Are What You Want to Be

“What I have is a malevolent curiosity. That’s what drives my need to write and what probably leads me to look at things a little askew. I do tend to take a different perspective from most people.”

David Bowie

What makes you you?

Is it your likes and dislikes? Is it your culture or your heritage? Is it where you go to school or what you do for a living? What about your taste in podcasts or your ironic mug collection? Is it your fashion style (or lack thereof)? 

There’s a lot that goes into making a person. Sure, you’ve got your blood, muscles, and bones, but there’s a lot that we naturally absorb as we live our lives. We absorb what’s around us and either accept, ignore, or reject everything in millions of ways. 

Music plays a large part in our foundational makeup. We identify who we are by the music we are interested in. Lack of music defines us too. Every so often I’ll run into someone who doesn’t like music, or at the very least doesn’t listen to it. To me, this is baffling (This emoji sums my reaction up nicely: 😧) — how can someone not like music?! But it’s true, and that’s a piece of what makes them who they are. 

I wouldn’t say that I grew up in a musical household per-sé. My first concert was likely a Christian pop or rock band like the Newsboys or Audio Adrenaline… I definitely got my taste in the 60s, 70s music from my parents. Creedence, Thin Lizzy, The Bee Gees, and AC/DC — from my dad. Prince, Tears for Fears, The Beatles, Michael… — from my mom.

Friends and other people I looked up are a huge influence on my taste in music. One key influence was from my friend Jake Lemons. (Hey Jake 👋) Being a killer guitarist, he’s the one who lit the spark for my interest in learning to play music (him and my grandfather). He’s also the one that helped me find Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, and Ozzy — the kind of people who take music to a whole new level. (Def Leppard: Pour Some Sugar On Me — Jimi Hendrix: “…Hold my beer”)

It’s funny how a single person, a small moment, or a passing conversation can have a massive impact on your trajectory in life.

A spark is the best analogy I can think of at the moment. Influences are like little threads that lead us down a path towards who we are. One second we are seeing in low-resolution standard definition, and the next second we are seeing in 1080p. We’re not quite at 8k HDR yet, but if we keep searching we’ll get there before we know it. 

And at the heart of it all— music tastes, personality, dreams, etc— is discovery. I discovered who I was by taking an interest in things. 

Or put another way —

You are what you want to be.

Curiosity makes us who we are. *Deciding* to do, like, or be a certain person makes us who we are. Allowing ourselves to be influenced by the people around us makes us who we are. Most of the time this isn’t a conscious decision we make. Rather, something we just do and notice (or not) afterward. Oh, wow. It looks like I just ate the weight of a triceratops in ice cream — again.

Invisible scripts run a lot of our lives. But not if we decide to do something about it. If there’s something you don’t like about yourself, or how your life looks, you can change it. Depending on what it is, it might not be easy — but it’s possible. You have the power to own your life. And it starts with seeking it out.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #935

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Creative Clutter

“Simplicity is not the absence of clutter, that’s a consequence of simplicity. Simplicity is somehow essentially describing the purpose and place of an object and product. The absence of clutter is just a clutter-free product. That’s not simple.”

Jonathan Ive

Clutter is in the eye of the beholder. One person’s organization is another person’s junk. What matters, of course, is what works best for each of us. Different places can inspire/offer different ideas.

What makes you feel the most creative in your environment?

Is it having everything exactly in its right place?
Is it having everything stacked in piles?
Is it having a thread-bare room with nothing in it except the task at hand?

For me, I feel the most creative when my tools are easily accessible, within reach and ready to go.

Personally, nothing kills a moment of inspiration more than a guitar closed off in its case. Paper needs to be ready. Pens, notecards, post-its, and other supplies are all on stand-by. Instruments are out and plugged in. When an idea strikes, all I want to do is flip a switch and start creating. It may sound silly, but it’s true. Anything between the idea/feeling and the act of creating is friction that could lead to reluctance or inaction.

Am I just being lazy? Perhaps. I think of it more as being ridiculously practical. Do what works for you. Your home, your office, your desk, your garage—whatever you have access to—this is something you can change and control.

You want to set up your environment for success. If you find yourself unmotivated to work on your art, then there’s something behind the scenes causing that feeling.

The things that we surround ourselves with can either enable or distract us from our calling.

Think of it like putting a plate of cookies in front of you and then telling yourself not to eat them. You’re either going to be thinking about cookies all day (and wasting time and energy) or you’re going to be eating cookies even though that wasn’t what you wanted. Neither of which— cookies, no cookies— was the work you were hoping to do.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #928

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a coffee ☕️ or a new plant. 🌱

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Mise En Place Life

Mise en Place — Is a french culinary term for ‘putting in place‘ or ‘everything in it’s place‘.

I see it as structure and order in the hectic world of a kitchen.

When there’s millions of variables that could affect the outcome of a dish and service, a lot of things could go wrong (and will) if you’re not careful.

Things can get messy (literally), but if you have a system in place —

You can stay calm and clearhead even in chaos. 

And you can have more control over the outcome.

A system allows us to stay calm, controlled, and clear, 

even when everything around us are anything but.

 

This sounds like life, doesn’t it?

What if we tried adapting mise en place to our life as well?  

How we think and all that we do?

 

I don’t know about you,

but I’m always looking for greater clarity and organization to keep my mind thriving at an optimal level. This is the Renaissance Way.

If our output is determined by our input,

then our environments are considerable parts of that input.

What and Who we surround ourselves with affects our thinking.

Our mind itself is an environment we live in.

What and How we thinking affects our output just as much as — if not more than — our external environments. 

We can’t control all aspects of our external environment, but we can structure them for our benefit. 

And best of all we can control our mind. How we think and react. How we see.

“You have power over your mind, not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” — Marcus Aurelius

So what can we do?

Action Step — Create structure in your life around what most important to you

First we must decide what’s important to us. What kind of life do you want to live?

Next, Take stock of what you have. Get rid of anything that you don’t love, or is not beneficial to your life.

Create a space for everything you do. So that when you’re using it, it’s in front of you, but when you’re not, it’s put away.

What does the structure of your days look like? What gives you energy and what drains you?

Think about who you surround yourself with, what kind of input you take in, and the environments you frequent. What aligns to the life you want? What doesn’t? What needs to be added? What needs to be diminished or removed?

And finally, don’t think of your life in sections. Work, Home, Family, Friends, Skills, Hobbies, Play — it’s all the same — your life. Your inputs and outputs. Each part of life affects the others.

 

l’espirt droit, l’espirt tranquille

— mind right, mind at ease.

It’s when I don’t have to think about things or any pesky todo’s that I’m at my most creative and effective.

I think that’s why calendars were created — to help clarify the chaos.

Not as an act to tame the chaos life can throw at us, rather to solidify our most important tasks around everything else.

But if your calendar / mind / life looks like a coffee shop bulletin (aka a la clutter) then you’re missing the point. Structure is for our benefit. To put our minds at ease.

Structure isn’t a creative block, it’s a starting point for us to hold onto. A prompt for our creativity to flourish. 

 

Remember,

Systems allow us to stay calm, controlled and clear.

What and Who we surround ourselves with affects our thinking and output.

We may not always be able to control our environment, but we can structure aspects of it for our benefit.

And we can at the very least learn to control our mind.

If life seems like pure chaos, adopt the mise en place mindset by creating structure around what’s most important to you.

‘esprit droit’

 

How will you structure your life?

#KeepPursuing,

Josh Waggoner

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“Out of clutter find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” — Albert Einstein