Tell Better Stories

“The marble not yet carved can hold the form of every thought the greatest artist has.”


Today is a new day. It might not feel like much and you might not feel like a new person, but it is—and you are.

Yes, you have your memories—everything that’s happened up until you read this, the good and the bad. But does that matter?

In a way, memories are just stories. Real, imaginary, somewhat fuzzy stories we’ve experienced. Some stories are currently defining us. Our current and past tastes in music. Our fashion sense. Our past work and vacation experience. Take your stories from high school or college, for example. Even just mentioning the words might bring a flood of stories to mind from your own experiences during those periods of your life.

Memories are just stories.

Some of the stories in our past are currently holding us back. These are the ones we need to rewrite if we have even a slight hope of doing something more with our lives.

It’s difficult to live in the moment if you are allowing your past mistakes to haunt you.*

But luckily mistakes are also just flavors of memory and stories. Why not tell better stories? Why not turn a mistake into a humorous, insightful lesson you can remind yourself and tell others going forward?

Think about people you admire and the stories they tell. Aren’t some of the most hilarious, laugh out loud stories you heard from them moments where they experience dips or failure or stupidity, and weave it into this fun and insightful narrative.)

Take some time to think about your stories and what stories you tell yourself.

What are stories you loop in your head over and over again but aren’t actually helpful?

How can you tell them differently?

Sit down and write out the new spin on each story. Say it aloud. Tell a friend.

This isn’t about falsely creating a better past. This is about finding the good from the tragic and telling a better story so that we can live a better today and have a better tomorrow.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1104

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*Sometimes this is from trauma, like PTSD flashbacks from war. In cases like these, rewriting stories needs to be more than a thought exercise. Talk to a therapist. Etc.


“Wise are those who learn that the bottom line doesn’t always have to be their top priority.”

William Arthur Ward

The sky looks incredible this evening. Gradients of purple and pink kiss the mountains of my hometown.

I’m walking along with the Tennessee River and can’t help but look up and window snoop at some of the visible apartments high above.

Despite the riverside view, I’m seeing glimpses of what you’d see in any house—no matter how poor or rich you are.

Couches, lamps, curtains. Vague shapes of paintings or perhaps photos on the walls. Busy kitchens and empty kitchens.

Flickers of images from TVs stand out the most. The size and quality might change, but you’ll find one in many houses across the modern world. Something about this makes me laugh. No matter how rich you get, you still are gonna make sure you don’t miss your latest show episodes. Entertainment is a great equalizer.

We’ve always been a storytelling people. Nowadays, we’ve traded campfires and spoken stories for pixels, streaming, and social media.

I admire the people who have decided to live without owning a TV. Up until recently, I’ve always had one, or at least my family has. I watch things more on my iPad and phone more than anything these days.

I love watching good shows and movies. I love them in the creative sense too. The interwoven combination of direction, acting, production, design, fashion, and storytelling that goes into creating a film. There’s an unbelievable amount of good stuff out there these days. Palm Springs. The Old Guard. What We Do in The Shadows. Dark. The Last Dance. And that doesn’t even get me started about YouTube.

As much as I enjoy it, I’m also occasionally gut checking why I’m watching one thing or another. “Am I watching this to enjoy, or am I watching this to distract myself from what I actually want/need to do?” It’s a tough question and usually has a tough answer.

If you’re an adult, there are no rules—you can watch whatever whenever you want. But just because we can, doesn’t mean we should. I’m not here to patronize or get on a soapbox. I’m, more or less, observing my own life and patterns.

Sometimes I need to stop learning, put down the book, turn off the TV, and get to work.

And other times I need to put down my work and call a friend and check in on them. Or take a breather and go for a walk. And, of course, occasionally watch a good episode or two. Everything is balance. A moderation of competing priorities on your time.

The key is to prioritize your life around the values and results you are looking for.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1003

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Tell Your Story

We are all storytellers, (Once upon a time)

because we are all experiencers.

What we’re experiencing RIGHT NOW is a story we get to tell.

We may be living on cloud 11, or —

We may be crawling through some mud,

facing obstacles that seem impossible —

but not only can we persevere, we can thrive


Our life is our story; we write it how we wish,

through the actions we take. 

There will always be factors out of our control, battles to face, and failure to learn from,

but this is just spice to our story — trials and triumphs.

Besides, what’s life without a little CHALLENGE?

And the greatest part is stories are meant to be shared.

Your story affects my story, and vice versa.

What story will you tell?


The Obstacle is the Way — Ryan Holiday

“Because storytelling, and visual storytelling was put in the hands of everybody, and we have all now become storytellers.” — Levar Burton

“Those who tell the stories rule society.” — Plato

“In the end, we’ll all become stories.” — Margaret Atwood

xoxo Josh Waggoner

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