Reboot

There’s a lot of… gunk that we accumulate in our lives. As we go about our days, it’s like we are building up plaque in our mind, body, and spirit.

Work comes first. Other people come first. Todo list and doings often usurp quality time with ourselves.

When was the last time you took care of yourself? When was the last time you did absolutely nothing—no work, no tv, no books, no agenda—just you.

We are always going, always striving, always push towards something.

I think every now and then we need to shut down our human OS and reboot ourselves.

Hold down the power button, so to speak, and do a hard reset.

It doesn’t have to be much. A little can go a long way.

Go to bed a little earlier.
Sleep a little longer.
Get outside.
Move a little more.
Eat something healthier today.
Do nothing.
Tap a nap.
Breathe.
Do something that matters to you.
Try something fun.
Try a new hobby.
Reflect. Reassess. Remind yourself what’s important.

Nourish what you’ve been neglecting.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1110

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True Yes

“Saying no frees you up to say yes when it matters most.”

Adam Grant

It’s not that loose threads are inherently bad or good—like many things it depends on the context. On the road to success, there will be many opportunities we could say yes or no too.

The problem is, most opportunities look pretty great! How the heck do you know what’s a good opportunity versus a bad opportunity?

Simple (..but far from easy): compare the opportunity to yourself—who you are, what you value, and what kind of life you want to have.

The question is whether it’s leading you towards or against what you’re looking for.

Is this opportunity and/or obligation distracting me from what I actually want to do?

If someone is dangling money or fame In front of you, but it doesn’t align with who you want to be, will you take it or turn it down? Tough call. Knowing what you want, no—discovering what you want through experience and practice will make tough decisions much easier.

Is this yes a true yes or more like an easy/fun distraction?

Of course, in order to answer questions like these, you have to know who you are. And, equally important, you have to learn to act on self-interest. Self-interest isn’t selfish. You can be caring and compassionate about others AND have an opinion and say what you want your life to look like.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #980

Recommended Reads:

Hell Yeah or No

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Limiting Beliefs / Limitless Beliefs

“Expect great things, and great things will come.”

Norman Vincent Peale

“Yeah, I’m late to everything LOLs…”

That’s me. I’ve said a version of the phrase above more times than I can remember. In high school, I was late to first class so much that we (our class) started collecting my tardy slips and taping them to the wall as a joke—like a badge of honor (shame? disbelief? 🙂 to see how many I accumulated.

I try not to be late nowadays—at least when it matters. You get to a point where you realize it’s a sign of respect when you get somewhere on time because you are respecting someone else’s time. I have to fight it because as a multi-disciplinary, I have a tendency to take on too much during the day. (A topic for another day, perhaps.)

Another phrase I’ve said a lot:

“I’m terrible with direction.”

This one you still my catch me saying. I’ve learned a lot—directions aren’t one of them. It’s not that I can’t find my way around—I can tell you which direction is east and which is west—rather, I’m generalizing. The truth is I don’t bother memorizing road names or direction details. I can easily get around if I’ve been to a place before, otherwise, I couldn’t tell ya where were are or give you directions without whipping out my phone and asking my friend GPS.

There’s a huge part of our identity that’s wrapped in negative labels we adopt from others or give to ourselves.

Perhaps you weren’t aware of it until now, but once you know it, you’ll start to hear it from everyone.

“Oh yeah, I suck at math!”

“Yoga?! I’m as stiff as a board. You won’t see me bending like that”

“Cooking? You mean takeout?”

“I’m so unlucky!”

“I”m terrible at finances lol.”

It goes on and on. We wear these labels like a badge of honor, but in reality, we are just holding ourselves back from being a better version of ourselves.

The reason I’m usually bad with directions because I don’t prioritize learning it. In fact, my mindset is an action AND reaction that devalues me from wanting to be good at it.

The same goes for other negative traits we feel about ourselves.

Something bad happens—like we spill coffee on our brand new white pants—and then we mentally tell, no convince, ourselves we are unlucky. At that point, two things occur 1. We become aware of our “unluckiness”. We start seeing out validating reasons why we are unlucky to prove to ourselves we are right. And 2. we view the world through our “unlucky” mindset and start making decisions that lead us to be more unlucky.

The interesting thing is the reverse can happen too—we can convince ourselves that we are the luckiest person in the world—and find ways to validate it and we start taking action that makes it true.

In a word—we are all biased by our “badges of honor”, so to speak.

The real question is who do you want to be? What kind of person do you want to be?

By thinking through the limiting believe’s you have, you can slowly begin to convert them to limitless beliefs instead.

What do you believe about yourself that isn’t doing you any favors? What can you replace them with?

What do you believe about yourself that you want to be true? What can you start doing to make that happen?

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #941

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Self-Assessing Our Biases

“Integrity is the essence of everything successful.”

R. Buckminster Fuller, Multidisciplinary

“A strong intuition is much more powerful than a weal test. Normals teach us rules; outliers teach us laws. For every perfect medical experiment, there is a perfect human bias.”

Siddhartha Mukherjee, Best Selling Author, The Gene, Emperor of All Maladies

Have you ever wondered why a quote’s attribution (quoter) is after the quoted sentence? Sure, it looks nice and organized that way. Or maybe we think it looks better that way because it’s always been that way and we are used to it so switching it up would seem off. Sometime’s you’ll see the opposite it books, where the author mentions the speaker and their titles before going into what they said. I think this minute detail — before or after a quote — hits upon the same idea:

Bias.

When you read a quote before knowing who wrote or said it, your mind is more open to its ideas. Imagine hearing a great turn of phrase but only afterward learn that it was said by Hitler or from a person you distrust. And what about when the tables are turned? What does your mind immediately do but scoff and ignore or dismiss the quote out of principle?

Can you praise the quote but not the attributor? Can you separate the art from the flawed artist? Van Gogh is known for just as much as — if not more than — cutting off his own ear than he is for Starry Night. Obviously, I’m not defending Hitler, nor am I suggesting we cut off our ears in the name of creativity.

I’m suggesting that we all have flaws and lean towards certain perspectives over others (based on our experiences and upbringing). The key is not to judge others so harshly for their views and instead self-assess and work on ourselves instead.

Where am I short-sighted?
Where are my blind spots?
What decisions (actions and reactions) am I making that are going to come back and bite me?

We may not like what someone says or does, but all we can do is work on ourselves and let our actions be an example of wisdom, character, and integrity. And apologize when we make mistakes. Butting heads with our ego might get us success, but it won’t make us friends.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #861

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Book: Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me).

Fooling Ourselves

“A degree of self-awareness is extremely valuable… I hope I have that going forward.”

Nick McDonell

It’s refreshing to have at least one person around you tell it like it is. When everyone around you agrees or compliments what you are doing, you start to believe your own hype (aka BS).

This is a dangerous position to be in, because you don’t know if what you doing is working in your favor or against you.

Ideally we would be self-aware enough to watch assess ourselves and “pick up what we’re putting down” as they say, and call ourselves out when we notice ourselves cutting corners or making bad choices. But as the American physicist and brilliant thinker Richard Feynman once said, “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.”

Self-awareness is all the rage nowadays. But if you strip away the woo-woo and boil the idea down to its essence, self-awareness essential means knowing yourself. Knowing what you like, dislike. Knowing your goals and desires. And more importantly, knowing where your blindspots are, what your bad habits are, and where you tend to get upset (and how you cope with those emotions).

It might sound silly to say, but it’s difficult to know what you don’t know. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible. If we have a rough idea where our blindspots are, we can try to prepare for them in advance or avoid the triggers that lead to them so we can completely go around them.

Having a friend that’s honest and realistic, but is doing so because they want to see you be better and succeed is a great way to avoid unforeseen problems.

It can’t just be any person that can be our smart decision thermometer. Respect is essential to that kind of relationship. If there’s isn’t mutual appreciation or if you don’t look up to the person who is giving you honest feedback, then you’ll never actually listen to them and take their advice for truth. Without mutual respect and appreciation, they are the equivalent to the random Youtube comment troll who’s only goal is to criticize and take you down. Authority is also essential. If your friend is giving you advice on things they don’t do themselves (or never have done) then the advice will fall flat. If your words don’t align with your actions or experience, no amount of brutal honesty will convince you to change course.

These types of friendships are hard to come by, so when you do find one, do your best to cultivate the relationship and keep it strong.

Seek out groups of likeminded individuals or create a group yourself. Look for people who are lifelong learners and who are always doing new things and trying to be the best version of themselves.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #855

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Work on Yourself

“There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time.”

Malcolm X

It’s quite easy to see the flaws in other people. You have a friend that would be killing it… if only they would put in a little more effort. Or you have a parent who would be so much better off if they would stop worrying all the time about everything. Or you strike up a conversation with a randoe person and notice exactly the things they could improve.

It’s harder to see the flaws in ourselves.

We don’t see ourselves from the outside perspective. We don’t know what we don’t know. What’s easy for you to solve might be difficult for me, because we’ve experienced life in different ways through different experiences.

Although, I think people growing up today with social media might have a better sense of it, but not in a good way. Everything is styled and curated. If something’s wrong, they notice. But they don’t use it to try to improve themselves (or learn to accept their flaws as a part of what makes them who they are). Instead, we see waves of self-loathing and anxiety.

It’s alright to be flawed. No one is flawless, even the people that tell/show us they are. We all have things we are great at and things we need to work on.

One insight I found help on my journey is to think about yourself as a work in progress. If you don’t like something about yourself, then change it. If you want to be better, then be better. You are a blank canvas waiting to be painted and repainted. You can change. And you can change your mind over time too.

And if you want to help others, begin by helping yourself. Take the lead. Live the example first. Don’t just shout advice like you have a clue what you are talking about when you don’t. Give advice on what you do know, or examples of who does.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #823

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Related:

Book: Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends on It by Kamal Ravikant

I Need a Tune Up

“Don’t be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

I can’t find who it’s originally attributed to, but there’s a great quote from the show Justified where the protagonist, Rayland, is bringing in a drug dealer or something and says “If you run into an *sshole in the morning, you ran into an *sshole. If you run into *ssholes all day, you’re the *sshole.”

Personally, I’ve noticed that when I’m in a bad or discouraging mood, every little things seems to be against me. I wake up late, feeling tired. Everyone I come into contact is in a bad mood. My car is out of gas. There’s construction and traffic on my way to work. I trip and rip my pants.

The real problem isn’t the traffic, the problem is me. (It’s not you, it’s me.) And more specifically its my mental state.

When I’m feeling great mentally, everything is great! Traffic seems much lighter today than normal! Wow, I’m literally getting all green lights. Who cares that I tripped and ripped my pants. It was time to get new ones anyway.

I wonder if our mindset works on the same wavelength of music frequency.

We tune instruments, such as a guitar or piano, to be in tune to a particular harmony. Does ‘tuning’ our minds to a more optimistic mindset create more harmony in our lives?

It’s more likely that having an optimistic view of our life, in good or bad circumstances, changes how we perceive what happens to us. So when setbacks happen, our optimistic mindset become a mental firewall to self-criticism and despair, which makes us more resilient to negative circumstances.

All when need to do is figure out how to turn the guitar tuning pegs, so to speak, and align our mental strings to the correct note.

First, we must become aware of our mental states. It’s hard to stop being a crabby patty if you don’t know you are acting like one. This requires us to make regular mental pit stops to check in with ourselves and make sure we are acting from the mindset we want to be in. Am I grumpy? Do I feel agitated or annoyed by things that normally aren’t? Am I hangry?

Second, we need to cover our bases. Did I get enough sleep last night? Do I need a nap? When was the last time I took a break? When was the last time I had water or ate something? It’s the little things that we are neglecting that cause us the most trouble.

It’s the little things that we are neglecting that cause us the most trouble.

And lastly, we need to find a way to reset. Easier said than done, but taking time for ourselves helps. Go for a walk. Take a break and pick up a good book. Read a blog post or two. Go play a pickup basketball game with a friend. Run up some hills. Breathe. Do whatever you need to do to reset your mental state.

When we are in tune, and acting from a mental state of possibility and opportunity, life is electric. Setbacks become moments to practice resilience. Failure becomes lessons. And all the good things become joy.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner

Daily Blog #671

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Your Net-worth is not your Self-Worth

Money is not something we typically talk about here in America. 
Well, that’s not necessarily true. If you’re making a lot of I­t­, people talk, sing, rap, and boast about I­t­. Some do I­t­ in a humble way, saying if I️ can do this, you can too. Others subtly show off their wealth with their cars and gadgets. But if you’re struggling to make ends meet, no one talks. It’s like a silence that hangs over the room, but most aren’t willing to stare the problem in the face. Most of us take our problems to the grave. You hope that maybe if you ignore I­t­, the problem will go away.

But of course, ignorance only makes the problem worse. 

Last year I️ went through a pretty rough patch with my finances. I’ve written a couple blog posts about my experiences, talking about how I­t­ was one of the best worst experiences of my life. I️ found myself unable to save or invest. I️ slept on a coach for 10 months to make I­t­ work. And as frustrating as I­t­ was, I­t­ was also an eye-opener. This kind of setback showed me a lot about myself, some good, some bad.

Setbacks teach you a lot about who you are and what you can handle. They can also show you incorrect ways your thinking and areas you need to improve.

I­t­ also showed me that my self-worth had become my net-worth.

Anytime my bank account went below a certain threshold, my attitude, energy levels, confidence, and happiness would plummet. And when I️ got paid, the heavy feeling of low self-worth would go away. 

I️’d trained my self-awareness enough to watch I­t­ happen, time and time again, yet felt powerless to control I­t­. I­t­ felt like there was so much abundance happening around me and online — but not for me.

All I️ wanted was to pursue mastery and create, but my sorry state of finances were telling me I️ wasn’t good enough. How can you help others when you can’t even help yourself?

I­t­ took me a while, but the answer came in three parts:

1. Believe things will work out for the better

Every time my bank account was low, money unexpectedly found its way to me. I️ didn’t have as much as I️ wanted, but I️ had just enough of what I️ needed. I­t­ was as if God (insert your own beliefs here) was showing me that things work out for the better when you believe and act as though they will. I­t­ was a powerful lesson for me about how needs gravitate towards you when you ask for them.

2. Let go of the expectations of what I️ think should happen

Doesn’t I­t­ always seem like the more you try the less effective you become? The more you try to beat your head against a problem, the more confused you become. It’s like digging a hole with a fork: you can do I­t­, but it’s going to take a while. Only when you let go of trying to control everything, the answer presents itself. The more I️ tried to control my situation, the less control I️ had over I­t­. By letting go of my expectations, I️ opened myself up to real opportunities to make a difference.

3. Share the story.

-Who doesn’t love rags to riches stories? They ­ motivates us and show us what’s possible. If she can do I­t­, so can I️. It’s okay to not have things figured out. In fact, no one has everything figured out. What you have is a unique story to tell that could change the lives of people facing their own setbacks and failures. Hiding your story out of embarrassment or fear is preventing you from making an impactful change in others. Share your story. Show your battle scars.

Your Net-worth is not your Self-Worth

Have you ever been to a grocery store and your card declines?

Ughh been there. It’s an embarrassing feeling. But you shouldn’t kick yourself when you’re down because you don’t have enough, you should be kicking yourself into action because you didn’t have the self-awareness of knowing whether or not you had enough for groceries.

If you find the number in your bank account is directly linked to how you happy you are and how much you love/hate yourself, it’s time to make a change.

How much money you have — or how much you lack — doesn’t define you. 

Self-worth comes from deeper things than money. We gain strength from staying true to our character, and putting happiness and wisdom over wealth.

There’s something to be said that the happiest places in the world are the poorest. That being said, money can enhance your passions and reach. Money isn’t evil, it’s what’s you do with I­t­. Do you control I­t­, or does I­t­ control you?

When you’re net-worth is your self-worth, everything you do revolves around wanting more. More stacks, more stuff, bigger stuff. And even small financial bumps in the road turns your hair grey. You’re always worried too. Worried its not enough. Worried you’ll lose everything. It’s a very unhappy way of living.

How do we decouple net-worth from self-worth?

To be honest, I’m still working on this.

One way I’ve found helpful is practicing poverty.

Practice poverty.

How would you live on $5 today? 

It’s easy to lose track of the abundance around us. Practicing poverty is a great way to keep things in perspective. Sleep in a outside in a tent. Eat beans. Go to work on your bike. 

Practicing poverty is something icons have done throughout history. Benjamin Franklin, Seneca… The more we can practice poverty, the less beholden we can be to our stuff and standards.

Practicing poverty also gives you superpowers. I­t­ turns you into a more capable, resilient person by showing you I­t­ doesn’t take much to survive today. If you can live off oatmeal for a week and sleep on a yoga mat, not much can phase you. If this is all I have to worry about, they taking risks to pursue creativity and mastery doesn’t seem that risky anymore.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

IG: @Renaissance.Life

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Related Insights

“Money and success don’t change people; they merely amplify what is already there.” — Will Smith

“Self-worth comes from one thing – thinking that you are worthy.” — Wayne Dyer

“Let your dreams outgrow the shoes of your expectations.” — Ryunosuke Satoro

Not Not Brilliant

We won’t become brilliant because we think we’re brilliant. (‘Man, I am sooooo amazing’ :P)

We’ll become brilliant by knowing we are not brilliant, and doing everything we can to change that. 

Its not the goal itself. It’s the improvements the goal requires of us to make it happen.

The mission leads to the outcome.

The outcome itself doesn’t necessarily matter, rather the actions we must take which  aligns us to achieving it. 

Take strides toward your mission, and you will be on your way to becoming not not brilliant.  

 

Related: 

 “They can because they think they can.” — Virgil

 “The thing always happens that you really believe in; and the belief in a thing makes it happen.” — Frank Loyd Wright

#KeepPursuing,
xoxo Josh Waggoner

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

‘Polishing Bricks’

Simplicity, Refinement, Minimalism —

are all admirable pursuits…

as long as you’re not trying to simplify a brick.

A brick is a brick.

You can polish a brick all day long, but at the end of the day, it’s still going to be a brick (albeit a shiny one).

The ones that are capable of learning to take a step back, self-assess, and see the difference between a brick and a gem, have the traits of someone brilliant.

 

related:

“Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.” — Jonathan Swift

Book: Seeing What Others Don’t: The Remarkable Way We Gain Insights

“A blind man who sees is better than a seeing man who is blind.” — Proverb

#KeepPursuing,
xoxo Josh Waggoner

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