Get Busy Living (Playing I­t­ Safe)

Playing it safe doesn’t work.

When has putting one foot in, one foot out worked out in the end?

I get it. I catch myself doing it too. I’ve been burned out, injured, broke, overwhelmed, exhausted, and a number of other bad places in my life. I don’t want to end up in those places again but playing I­t­self only leads to a mediocre life.

The idea that I might die without putting my writing, music, art, and creativity out into the world terrifies me much more than taking risks.

Don’t die with your ideas still only in your head.

This is my worse case scenario. (That and losing my hands in a freak accident… which is an odd fear I have)

The question I have is how do you tell the difference between playing it safe and making smart choices?

Usually playing I­t­ safe situations aren’t black and white. They live in the grey zones where we might not even know we are playing I­t­ safe and holding ourselves back.

Risk mitigation, and knowing when to say yes or no is smart. But it’s easy to trick yourself into not taking action when in actuality you scared out of your pants.

Fear is the difference. 

Gut check your intuition: Does pursuing this goal or creative endeavor align with who you are? Are you terrified of embarrassment, or failing? Then say YES. 

 

Playing I­t­ safe is:

Giving into fear of failure, embarrassment, or disbelief, even just a little bit. 

Staying at a job you hate because of the benefits.

Never starting your idea because you ‘don’t know enough’.

Doing what others tell you to do without thinking whether its right for you.

Not asking that person out on a date.

Not asking for help or advice because you don’t want to look weak. 

There are so many things that can keep our potential down, but the biggest one of all is ourselves. The moment you break free of your own chains that you locked yourself up in is the moment where life becomes too precious to give into fear.

Your life is too important to give into fear

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

IG: @Renaissance.Life

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

Related Insights

“I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death.”Leonardo da Vinci

“If you want to conquer fear, don’t sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” — Dale Carnegie

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.” — Eleanor Roosevelt

Relentless Pursuit

So much can happen in two months.

It’s hard to wrap my head around it all.

I haven’t posted a blog in a while. I’ve still been writing and interviewing but haven’t created the time to actually do all the little things required to ship it out to the world.

Editing, uploading, linking, photography, posting, social media, connecting.. rinse repeat.

I’ve got the creativity down but not the managing.

I need to learn how to better manage myself and my time effectively so the little things don’t add up to big things.

Now I could stand here and explain (*cough* complain *cough*) why I haven’t made the time for the small things.

Setbacks — My life’s been in turmoil this year with finances, friends, health..

Opportunity — My time and energy are elsewhere with new Pursuits — I got a new full-time job at Pass It Down as the Creative Director. I got a second full-time job as Paul Cummings Online Business Hacker.. (Yes, I am crazy)

But honestly, I wouldn’t change a thing. Setbacks happen, and what we do with forges us into who we are. Opportunities are in arms reach when we say yes more. Knowing how you can apply setbacks and opportunity to what’s important to you is the hard part.

Writing is too important for me to take shortcuts or do anything but take the little things seriously.

You could make the case that the little things in life are the most important things.

The Little Things ARE the Big Things.

Our daily actions add up to our dreams becoming reality. Each day we invest in.. something (whether we realize it about it or not). What are you investing in? The little things act like compound interest. They habitualize. (I love making up words.) They build and build until one day they become BIG.

Q: What important things are you neglecting right now?

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

In the next coming months, I’m going to focus on mastering the Micro-Skills involved in writing, blogging, and podcasting.

Creating doesn’t magically equal success because creating is only a small piece of the work.

You have to have ridiculously good content first, (otherwise, why would anyone want to consume your work?) but you also have to be great at all the skills that surround the pursuit that you love. (Or great at outsourcing what you’re not good at)
 
Writing, Music, Learning, and Connecting are important to me.

When you have something that’s important to you, you can’t just let it slide by. (You can, but that’s the path of most regret)

Do you want to be someone who looks back at a shoulda-coulda-woulda life with remorse? Longing for something more than a job you hate, friends you don’t have, and opportunities you didn’t take?

You have to pursue it with all your might no hesitation.

 

Relentless Pursuit is how we make dreams happen.

 

Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

Making Time for the Most Important Things

How do I motivate myself to do the important things when I don’t feel motivated?

“I’ve noticed that my motivation to start my own freedom business is always at an all-time high when I’m at work, sitting at my desk, with the realization staring me in the face that I do not want to spend the rest of my life sitting in a cubicle all day every day… I feel a burning desire to take immediate action towards a freedom business. The only problem is that I’m at work so I can’t! When I’m finally on my own time and can focus on learning and creating the motivation is still there but not nearly of the same caliber.

Have any of you experienced a similar situation? If so, do you have any tips or tricks to channel, on command, that same level of motivation that I feel when I’m face to face with the reality of what my life will continue to be if I don’t take action now?”

 

Dear Creative Like Me,

I usually find myself in the same situations after work. A burning desire to work my pursuits — to write, learn, connect, code, design, write songs and build successful business — but also the need to rest.

Such a paradox —When I finally have time for what my soul is pining to do, I feel unmotivated to do them. (Heck!) Even more so recently since my energy hasn’t been great, and my three-headed demon.

The need of rest is good, but after resting, it’s easy for me to slide into mindlessness, which is the enemy.

Rest is equally important as effort, but mindlessness is the enemy to creativity.

I know I need to spend time creating and pursuing my goals, but I feel exhausted, obligated to other things and others, and reluctant to do so. (Even though I know doing so would create a better reality for me!) ‘Maybe Tomorrow’, I think. (But you know what they say about tomorrow.)

So what’s an motivated unmotivated creative to do?

One solution I’ve found is to

first re-energize yourself.

  • Go for a walk
  • Mediate
  • Talk to a friend / loved one
  • Read
  • Workout
  • or do something you enjoy that’s restful yet mindful

and second, sit down and

Start with purpose and intention.

It doesn’t have to be the best thing you’ve ever done, it just has to be something.

You just have to start and stick with it for as long as your able.

Oddly enough that lazy, tired feeling I have fades away once I start and keep pushing through. I think this idea goes along well with one of Dale Carnegie’s strategies for removing worry and despair by ‘losing yourself in doing.”

Taking action consumes your mind and leaves no space for exhaustion. 

My feeling of reluctance and fatigue doesn’t completely go away, but I become more comfortable with it, each day I do it. I think that’s how most people find their success, they learn to thrive in un-comfort. They make the uncomfortable, comfortable and do so continuously.

Personal success comes to those with the largest comfort zone.

 

Keep Pursuing,

Josh Waggoner, Renaissance Man.  April 18th 10AM EST, Chattanooga TN

If this article helped, let me know in the comments below, or via email: josh@renaissanceamanlife.com.

Dear Creative Like Me, If you are struggling with something and want some advice, email me your thoughts, and you question might be featured on the RL.

 

related wisdom

 

The secret of being miserable is to have leisure to bother about whether you are happy or not. The cure for it is occupation.

— George Bernard Shaw

People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.

— Zig Ziglar

Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence – that will enable you to attain the success you seek.

— Mario Andretti

We The People: Erwin M. Davis II

 Erwin M. Davis II

Introduction

The Renaissance Life is not a solo endeavor.

Sure, if we wish to create change in our lives and the lives of others, we must be self-reliant and take continuous action with our own hands.

Being an Individualist doesn’t mean being alone.

We are more capable together than we are by our lonesome.

We become our best selves by connecting with others. We are better together.

And thus, a new segment on the RL called We the People: highlighting creatives who are a part of the Renaissance Tribe and represent our Ethos.

I ask you questions, you give us insights from your own life.

Enter Erwin:

CEO & Founder of ERWIN DAVIS INTERNATIONAL

 

 

(bold’s, styling and * by josh :P)

Q. How do you answer the infamous question, 

“So what do you do?”

I normally answer with, “I inspire people to think more effectively about the world we live in”.

 

Q. What are the best lessons your mom and dad have taught you? (Or siblings)

Work hard for what you want and don’t let anyone stop you. Give back and protect your family.

 

Q. What’s your favorite travel experience?

I don’t think it has happened yet. I want to travel to Montana and experience what I believe to be nature in it’s ultimate form.

 

Q. What are some decisions you’ve made that have made you into who you are today?

  • Changing my reading habits.
  • Taking my financial growth into my own hands.
  • And trusting God no matter what.

 

Q. What songs do you sing when you are alone? And what new bands are you digging recently?

Ah man..I don’t really sing. I like to whistle. Khalid* just came on the scene. He’s super relaxed and groove heavy. That’s a lot of my listening lately.

*I second Khalid, Bonny Jean Worland agrees too)

Q. If you could have a dinner party with anyone in the world (or in history) who would you invite?

Cleopatra, John F. Kennedy, Dave Ramsey, and Tony Robbins.

 

Q. What are the most important things you bought in the last few months? (Best money investment. Can be anything, big or small)

Website, business cards, and books. A LOT of books. 

 

Q. What advice would you give to someone pursuing creative work?

Find that place that puts you in the zone and go there every day until the ideas start keeping you up at night. 

 

Q. And what advice would you give someone going through creative struggle right now?

Don’t quit. Keep thinking and listening. It may take 500 mistakes and failures, but it just takes one idea to catch fire. After that, it’s on.

 

Q. What advice would you give to your younger self?

Stay alert. Don’t let anything distract you. Be a disciplined autodidact. 

 

Q. Who inspires you and why?

My parents, Patrick Bet-David, Apple team, Porsche team, and whenever I see someone going through a struggle but is pushing past it. 

 

Q. In one word, how would your best friend describe you?

Driven

 

Q. What’s something challenging you faced recently and how did you handle it?

Figuring out how to run a business has been a huge learning experience. I have a lot of CEOs and bosses to pull ‘how to’s’ from. I handle setbacks as a business owner with strategic problem solving and a mindset of it always coming out successful. 

 

Q. What does success mean to you?

Success to me is being able to inspire thousands of people using my words and actions to do more for the person next to them.*

*Agreed!

 

Q. If someone gave you 10 million dollars, what would you do with it?

5 million to my mom, 2 million to my baby sister, $500,000 to my grandma, and the rest will be split between investing and giving back.*

* That’s very specific ha. Have you thought of this Q before?

 

Q. Are there any quotes / phrases that follow you wherever you go?

“Every day is a challenge. Accept it.” -EMD

“The secret to living is giving.” -Tony Robbins

“Nothing is ever hard unless you say it is. Believe it is easy and it will be.” – My grandma

 

Q. Do you have a mentor? If so describe them and what you’ve learned that’s brought you the most value.

I have about 4 that are CEOs and Presidents that I’ve worked for or with. They keep me on track with putting myself in the best possible position to succeed. 

 

Q. One thing you liked about last year, and one thing you want to improve this year?

Haha, I like that 2016 taught me a laundry list of lessons. I want to improve on every aspect of my brain functionality this year. Making my brain stronger, faster, and healthier is my goal. That will undoubtedly lead to success. 

 

Q. What are some impactful books you’ve read recently and why? 

 

Q. Same Question above, but with Podcasts?

 

Q. Who do you follow that have influence you? (People who have change your perspective, motivated you, or inspired you to take action)

John F. Kennedy, Victor Antonio, Jeffery Gitomer, Patrick Bet-David, Dave Ramsey

 

Q. If there were 5 skills you could master instantly, what would they be and why?

Stock investing, social media marketing, not giving girls handshakes*, golf, swimming.

*Hahahahaha I want to know the story behind that one.

 

 


Thank you Erwin for your advice and words of encouragement.

You can follow him on Instagram: @erwindavisintnl, on twitter @erwindavisintnl

or his site: erwindavisinternational.com

 #StayHonest #KeepPursuing — Josh Waggoner, 3 PM EST, Feb. 13th 2017, Chattanooga TN

EVERYONE HAS A VOICE

If you want to give your story on the Renaissance Life, email me @:  josh@renaissancemanlife.com with the subject: We The People.

Tell me who you are, why your a good fit for the Renaissance Tribe and link your social media’s.

On The Rise: A Mantra for a Meaningful Life

Pssst. Here’s a Link to the Audio Version

On The Rise

Up before the morning rays,

coffee in hand,

salutations and praise,

gratitude for another day — 

On The Rise.

 

Mind right,

path is straight —›

Action this day says

small steps lead to big change —

On The Rise.

 

Shoulders of giants, 

the less you’ll mistake

failure is bad

when it stops you in place —

On The Rise.

 

Better together,

words, wit and stone

cherish your tribe

you get what you sow —

On The Rise.

 

Mastery in momentum,

habit is a verb

how you do the small

defines it all —

On The Rise.

 

Focus in to begin

Think sideways to win,

Rome was built one moment at a time

Thoughts are your direction —

On The Rise.

 

Master of all,

jack nothin’ agrees.

Master of few,

one, two, then three.

Priority of mind is a renaissance life — 

On The Rise.

 

Reflect on the good,

learn from the rest

checkin daily, monthly at best 

what gets measured is put to the test —

On The Rise.

 

Rest is equally important,

but the easiest to neglect.

Investment in health

is a long-young road of success —

On The Rise.

 

Are you living or just doing?

Are you challenging and pursing?

Are you asking? Are you improving?

Questions are lightning rods to achievement —

On The Rise. On The Rise.

 

Etch this in heart, mind and soul,

sing, share and wear it,

make it better, make it your own

Life is about creating — 

On The Rise, On The Rise, On The Rise.

 

#KeepPursuing — Josh Waggoner, Feb 7th 2017

Support the Renaissance: Become a Patron (It’s a Win-Win)

We The People: Bonny Jean Worland

We The People: Bonny Jean Worland

Introduction

“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” — Henry Ford

The Renaissance Life is not a solo endeavor.

Sure, if we wish to create change in our lives and the lives of others, we must be self-reliant and take continuous action with our own hands.

Being an Individualist doesn’t mean being alone.

We are more capable together than we are by our lonesome.

We become our best selves by connecting with others. We are better together.

And thus, a new segment on the RL called We the People: highlighting creatives who are a part of the Renaissance Tribe and represent our Ethos.

I ask you questions, you give us insights from your own life.

Enter Bonny Jean.

 

 

(bold’s and styling by yours truly — Josh Wags 🙂

Q 1. What are the best lessons your mom and dad taught you? (Or siblings)

“It’s okay if you’re not okay” – My little sister Suzannah. She told me that two years ago in the depths of my depression. I’ve learned that over and over again these past couple of years: It’s okay to be broken, to admit brokenness, to lean on friends and family who love you, and then do art, run, dance, sing, be outside… do something to work through your pain, but never ever ignore it. Your pain brings you closer to a truer version of yourself, but you have to face it and feel it to let it shape you into who you are meant to be. The first step, for me, was hearing “It’s okay if you’re not okay”.

 

Q 2. What’s your favorite travel experience?

Living on a hospital ship off of the coast of West Africa: My roommates from that time are still my best friends. It was definitely a life changing experience.  

 

Q 3. What are some decisions you’ve made that have made you into who you are today?

Traveling after high-school and college and most recently moving to San Clemente- up rooting my life, starting over. I was once told “Travel trims the fat off the soul” by John Stember, a man I met while camping in the Grand Tetons. It’s true! Being around people with completely different childhoods and belief systems tests you. It reveals who you truly are deep down under all that comfort we’re surrounded by in our daily lives. 

Probably the most profound decision I ever made was to live.

I found myself with bleeding wrists on the bathroom floor, hysterical, crying, rocking, wanting to die, when suddenly a profound calmness poured over me. I looked at myself in the mirror and said “NO. there is more life to live, people to meet, places to see, laughter to be had. You will not kill yourself” So I bandaged my wrists, wiped my face, and started being honest with myself and others. 

Being honest means disagreeing with people. The decision to listen to my still small voice has been a big change for me. disagreeing with people is hard, but learning to exist and observe the world around me from an island within myself has been life changing. If you can live from a place of solitude (read: Henri Nouwen’s “reaching out”) you can love others more and appreciate and respect their beliefs and ideas. 

 

Q 4. What songs do you sing when you are alone? And what new bands are you digging recently?

I sing “Day Dreamer” by Adele a lot… it’s just in a good key for me.

These days I’ve been listening to Cereus Bright, Animal Collective*, Sufjan Stevens*, Khalid*, Kanye West, Vince Staples*, Kendrick Lamar and Rajitheone.

* josh (aka me) seconds that.

 

Q 5. What advice would you give to someone pursuing creative work?

Do something that scares you and you think you’ll hate. Turn off your brain and create, even if you think it won’t make any sense. Sometimes I paint something, then I write a bunch of stupid stuff all over it to ruin it and then I paint over it again… just don’t put boundaries on yourself. There are no rules!

 

Q 6. What or who inspires you and why?

Nature– being outside fuels my creativity. It’s big and fathomless and beautiful. We could never come close to creating something as magnificent, simple, and complex as a blade of grass. 

Q 7. In one word, how would your best friend describe you?

resilient

Q 8. What’s something challenging you faced recently and how did you handle it?

It’s been a challenging year, to be honest, but the best thing I have learned to do is to make a list. One side is a list of things I know I want to do but aren’t good for me (think drink, reach out to certain people that aren’t good for me, rely on certain relationships too much) and on the other side is a list of things that give me life and bring me joy (think yoga, running, tea, safe friendships). I make rules for myself that I try to follow and then I breathe and do the next right thing for however long it takes to come out of the cloud I’m in. Sometimes that’s a day and sometimes it’s three months. I claim grace days. Where, if i got out of bed, put on clothes, and went to work, I am very proud of myself. “Should” doesn’t exist in my dictionary during these times and if I slip up and do something on my “not good for me” list I breathe, forgive myself, and remember that all that exists is today and I can do my best with what I have in this moment. 

 

Q 9. What’s your mission in life? (Or mission right now)

To be present

 

Q 10. If someone gave you 10 million dollars, what would you do with it?

Invest in small businesses in 3rd world countries.

 

Q 11. One thing you liked about last year, and one thing you want to improve this year?

I learned to laugh again. I want to be more consistent. 

Thank you Bonny Jean for your vulnerability, advice and words of encouragement.

You can follow her on instagram @cameliabearheart

Leave your comments below +

 #StayHonest #KeepPursuing — Josh Waggoner, 12PM EST, Feb. 2nd 2017, Chattanooga TN

Everyone has a voice

If you want to give yours on the Renaissance Life, email me @:  josh@renaissancemanlife.com with the subject: We The People. Tell me who you are, why your a good fit for the Renaissance Tribe and link your social media’s.

Support The Renaissance: Become a Patron (It’s a Win-Win)