We The People: Troy Akers aka Bandit Heart

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.

Welcome to 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 Troy:

Listen to Bandit Heart on iTunes, Spotify or Soundcloud

TA purp 2.jpg

(bold's, styling and * by josh :P)

Q. How do you answer the infamous question, “So what do you do?”

I hate this question haha. Maybe it’s because I feel like it defines you—or attempts to define you. I hope that I love others well and am a constant to people in their lives. Everything else is an aside.

 

Q. What’s your favorite travel experience?

India. Hands down. It is a piece of my heart. It’s the first time I feel like I knew what it was to fall in love. While it may not have been a person, to know that you had been meaning to “meet” a place for so long—once I found that, everything about that place becomes a rhythm that you feel beating with your blood, within you. That’s how you know.

* I feel that way when I travel. As if I'm taking off the weight of my 'normal' life and experience the world completely different and new. 

 

Q. When did you first start playing and singing music?

I started playing music when I was around 15. It began around the time my Nanny passed away unexpectedly. I remember writing an instrumental piece on piano for her funeral. I started writing songs when I quit my lessons ('rebel') in high school. It was mainly to get back at girls who had done me wrong. As you can see, not much has changed. 

 

Q. Who in your own life has influenced you to take the leap into the music biz?

My mentor, Jeff Bourque. He was the worship leader at my church for years. He used to come pick me up from high school and we would go back to my house or his and he would show me how to write a song. It’s his fault I always tell him, hahah. He was and still is such an encouragement. Little did we know, he and I would embark on recording the singles I released over the course of 2015 and 2016. I am forever grateful for him and just his belief in my potential. It’s an amazing thing to see someone go from being a mentor to a friend to a brother.

 

Q. What bands or individuals have influenced you? 

I have always been infatuated with Fleetwood Mac. How can Stevie Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham embody SUCH CHEMISTRY onstage every show? It’s mesmerizing. 

 

Q. How has relationships and connections impacted your craft (and life)?

It (relationships) has literally been the inspiration for all of it. I would say if you know my songs, you know my love life—and in many ways…me. A few miss-truths here and there, but songwriting for me is therapy. It has helped me walk forward. It’s the one place to be totally open and have no need for a filter. No one can tell you what to say or how to say it. You get to recount every memory, every instance. I have found it to be one of the most ethereal places for me. 

 

Q. What’s your song writing process now? Is it any different since you started?

I always just begin.* I usually play my piano and start singing at the same time. I’ll rarely deviate from that and base something off of a line in my head or a melody I hear when I’m sitting in the steam room at the gym. 

* Same here, songs come from a hum, or unexpected places.

 

Q. When did the name Bandit Heart pop into your head? What’s the story?

I just wanted to name this thing something that wasn’t my own name. I wanted it to have no preconceived notions on what it could be or would be for anyone listening. 

 

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

Trusting Jesus Christ has been the anchor for me in my life. Everything else pales in comparison right now. It is the one, true adventure.

 

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

I usually listen to classical music when I am alone, haha. I love where it takes me. I feel like I’m in an indie film usually. ‘Spiegel Im Spiegel’ by Arvo Pärt is my favorite piece.

 

Q. What is your story around health?

Well I am a vegetarian who occasionally eats fish. I love to run. Running is another therapy I entrust to get my spirit moving. I eat pretty clean and I love wine. Those are my caveats. Years ago, when I was in another band, I became sponsored by a company called Garden Of Life—and they have pretty much become my girlfriend.* (IG @gardenoflife)

* hahahahahaha

 

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

Always be yourself. Never let anyone else ever put a dream in your mind that you don’t want. Always listen to God. He will never steer you wrong. He is guiding your life in a way that you might possibly may never be able to completely fathom, but He loves you and wants you to trust Him. Success is not about money. It’s who you impact and how those things along the way bring joy to your heart.

 

Q. What advice would you give someone who wants to jump into music, but hasn’t taken that leap yet? (aka me ha)

I always feel like the word “leap” has some expected HUGGGGE action to it, but in all reality, it’s just deciding to put your foot down and start somewhere. I usually tend to turn off sensor in my brain that makes me nervous and just do things how i believe they should be done. NOT in a cocky way, but to the extent that i don't keep freaking myself out. If i’m so nervous about releasing a song or an EP, it will never release. But the biggest thing you can think about music, in my eyes, is you are creating for someone else. In the grand scheme of things that person is God, but at an earthly level, you never know who truly needs your music. You never know. And once that stuff is out there, it’s theirs…it’s the listeners. Who are we to say that they don’t deserve to hear it? Who are we to say that they may get more out of a song than we ever will….even if we wrote it. Find people that you can pour into but also find people that can pour into you. Not just to give you technical advice, but those who can encourage you and you are able to encourage them. Building a community around creativity is vital to your survival. Not just as a musician, but as a human being. Some of my favorite and most personal relationships revolve around people who aren’t even other musicians. I don’t have this secret circle of music pro types. It’s those who love life in the way that I do, and in most ways, do it entirely better than me—BUT they build me up and spur me on to want to do the same for them as well.

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

Listen to God, always.

Open the door for her. 

Walk her to her car.

Listen to what you want to do, not what others think you should do.

Don’t always run; learn to walk.

 

Q. Who or what inspires you and why?

Nostalgia. It’s always there. It’s included in the memory packs of our brains. We can go there when we want; there are clothes and feelings and hats we can wear to make us feel like we’re 18 again….or 22…or 27. Nostalgia is special; it’s potent. It can get all over you if you let it and it can run you. But what I love about nostalgia, is I can go there and leave when I want. You can see old girlfriends, old memories, new loves, mistakes, happiness…whatever you want. It’s all there. I’ve never really said it that way, but I think that’s it.

 

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

Love.

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

I brought back a pretty rare buddy (sickness) from India that resurfaced after four months. It took me by surprise as well as my doctor. And in the five days of pain that I had, he told me that I couldn’t work. So I sat out on my porch and just soaked everything in. It was hard because I had to slow down, but i think sometimes in our lives, we get forced into things because we need to. And I needed that.*

*I've been experiencing my own flavor of this force recently. It's humbling. 

 

Q. What’s your mission right now? What does success mean to you?

Success is an illusion that we make up to feel compensated for and like we have approval. In my heart, success has been completed. Jesus lives; and He died for me. Anything I do now is out of joy because of that. My mission right now is to create music that can relate to other people, to be real with music, to not hide or cover it up. I also hope that at any moment, as my heart grows for India, that He is paving a way for me to transfer my life over there.

 

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

Pay off my student debt; move to India; give the rest away.

 

Q. Do you have a mentor? If so describe them and the most valuable things you've learned.

I have had one since I was about 15. I mentioned him above, Jeff. I think the biggest lesson that he has taught me is mentoring someone isn’t about this massive transfer of information from an older person to a younger one. It’s about walking with them. And that should happen effortlessly. It’s deciding to stop and take the time. He taught me so much through that and that’s how we are still friends now. He’s one of my favorite people and his family still pours into me in an incredible way.

 

Q: Have you mentored someone?

I would say a lot of the reason I am a youth leader now is because of Jeff. For the last year I have had the honor of walking with guys who are sophomores in high school. It’s my hope to be with them through graduation, but I tell them all the time that it’s a never-ending dedication to them.

 

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

I can’t stress enough how valuable it is to be present with where you are. I am fighting in that arena and want to grow. Be present for the people you love. Be present for the job that you work at. Be present for the struggles just as much as the joys. You will never get back today. If you are always pining for tomorrow or the next big thing or the next year, you’ll always be one step ahead of “right now.” THAT is what I want to be working on this year and every year.

 

Q. What are some impactful books you’ve read recently and why? (Recent reads / or books you’ve read multiple times)

“The Way To Love” by Anthony DeMello*….I’ve maybe given that book to over 20 people

“Reaching Out” by Henri Nouwen* 

*aaaaaannnnd adding those to my to-read list.

 

Q. Documentaries?

How To Die In Oregon’—crazy documentary

 

Thank you Troy for taking the time to answer my Q's.

I hope this impacts everyone as much it has me,

Listen to Bandit Heart on iTunes, Spotify or Soundcloud

You can follow Troy on

IG: @banditheart 

Twitter @banditheart

Facebook @banditheartmusic

 

 #StayBOLD #KeepPursuing ,

— Josh Waggoner, 11:55 PM EST, May. 8th 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.

Normal Shmormal

Normal is in the eye of the beholder.

Your Normal is showing

What's normal for you, may be vastly abnormal for someone else (and vise versa). Flying might be normal for you, but some people wouldn't even put their left picky toe on a plane. Stepping up on stage might be normal for you but make others melt into a puddle of fear and embarrassment even thinking about it. Playing guitar, writing, dancing — every facet of our lives combine into one big amalgamation of what normal means to you.

Same thing applies to groups. Your groups verbal tenacity and things you enjoy discussing are more than likely completely different from the next table over.

 

Who Moved My Normal?

When you begin to learn something new, you are stepping out of your normal zone. When you continue to progress, your idea of what normal is no longer is in the same place as someone starting out (a pair of shoes you were in not so long ago). If the Internet was a camera, then the world would be the show freaks and geeks. We all have different interests and opinions and that's okay. Just because you watch a lot of reality tv doesn't mean I can make fun of you. (well.. maybe a little :) Reality tv is normal to you.

 

Be Your Weird Normal Self.

Seeking mastery and a Renaissance Life is far from normal, unless you are surrounded by people (like me) after the same thing.

After taking BOLD action towards a goal, it's good to pause and see how far you've improved from the mainstreams normal. 'Wait, you don't know how to use illustrator? ... 'you've never heard of Simon Sinek?' ... 'What do you mean you don't have a blog?' ... :P

The more we step towards change, the less conventionally normal we become. Which is not a bad thing at all. In fact, as we continue to change and pursue, we become more unique and influential for those seeking similar things. 'Wow, I've trained myself into something unique, haven't I?'

The more different you become the more your voice matters.

Some people won't get you, because their idea of normal is different. But some people will, and those are the ones to connect with.

It's also good to compare your current normal, to where you want to be. Make sure who inspires you and who you spend your time with matches up with that.

 

Stay Bold, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner.

P.S. Sign up for the free Monday Motivation and Best You 365 Newsletter!

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
— Mark Twain
Maybe your weird is my normal. Who’s to say?
— Nicki Minaj
Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.
— Albert Camus
Start — You don't need permission.

Yesterday, an insight struck me, after I officially pushed publish on my new niche site, the discover.ist:

You don't need permission to create something.

I went from idea of thediscover.ist, to sketching what it could be, to buying a domain, hosting it on bluehost, setting up a wordpress account, designing and writing 5 short blog posts, adding a wishlist page and mailchimp newsletter and went live, all in an evenings work. Without anyone telling me no.

I repeat, You don't need permission from someone else to create something.

You do, however, need to give yourself permission to believe that you can. That you are capable.

 

Validating an idea is a smart way to do things too, to avoid bad ideas and mistakes before you start. (Will It Fly by Pat Flynn from smartpassiveincome.com is a good resource for doing that)

But you don't need permission.

You don't need permission:

  • to write
  • to blog
  • to podcast
  • to dance
  • to teach
  • to start a business
  • to create a course
  • to speak
  • to become a comedian
  • to sing or start a band
  • to disrupt the old
  • to create!

you can just start doing it.

Perhaps in the past you needed permission, but in the pace of today's change, no permission is required.

If you live in a free society and have access to the internet, there's no excuse for sitting on your creativity, except yourself.

And when permission is required, there's a rag-tag group of rebels that come to disrupt it.

Nobody puts baby in the corner.

Pat Flynn didn't ask for permission to start the Smart Passive Income podcast

Banned or not, Ren McCormack is gonna dance.

Elvis Presley's still gonna play that devil music.

Seth Godin didn't ask for permission to write a blog post everyday.

 

Go create something.

Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner, Renaissance Man, May 5th, 2017, 10am EST.

Join the Renaissance

New! The Discover.ist — fresh finds, tinyReview & things I love

I've been working on a new style of niche website to coincide with The Renaissance, called

The Discoverist. (thediscover.ist) 

It's a no fluff, no filler, short and oh so sweet recommends, reviews and fresh finds on things I love.

(music, design, books, health and wellness, blogs, and more!)

If that sounds rad to you, check it out at: thediscover.ist. I've got about 5 posts up and counting.

Also, sign up for the +1 discover.ist newsletter, to get the weeks discoveries before anyone else.

Scare Yourself Everday

It's not until you start doing the things you want to do but are terrified to do,

for the life of your dreams to explode into view.

 

Action Step: Scare Yourself Everyday 

Expand what you think is possible for your life.

The question you must ask yourself is

What am I scared of?

And then go step into that fear.

Personally, as bad as fear may feel, living life in a box of fear is even worse.

 

Here's my fear list, what's on yours?

Interviewing (keep doing it)

Public Speaking (classic)

Performing Music on Stage

Renaissance Video

Theater

Improv

Success

 

— Keep Pursuing,

Josh Waggoner  Renaissance Man.  April 26th 10:43PM EST, Chattanooga TN

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
Game Over. Press Start to Continue

What do you do when you have to start over?

What do you do when you need a fresh start?

Dear Creative Like Me,

Whenever I purchase a new notebook, everything feels so fresh and clean. Each blank page has the potential to be my next great idea (such a bragger). A song, business idea, design, personal insight, or blog post (much like this one I hope). But then my jumbled thoughts and multi-disciplined life grabs its messy hands on it. I jump from one thing to the next. Sometimes I'll leave a great thought on a nearly blank page unfinished. (dun tun dahhhh)

The mess itself doesn't bother me (... too much :)

It's the fear that my ideas will never leave the notebook. Ideas trapped in another book of 'what ifs' and 'maybe somedays' on a shelf gathering dust.

Your ideas are the path to your best-self, but if they only exist in your notebook or head, do they even exist at all?

  • Ideas are meant to be shared.
  • Ideas are meant to be made.
  • Ideas are meant to be challenged.
  • And ideas have an expiration date.

It's okay if you have to start over. Sometimes you must step back before you can step forward.

We all need a fresh start sometimes.

A fresh starts can be exciting if you look at them the right way. Instead of a past mistake or failed attempt, you have a clean page, a new today.

A fresh start begins by pausing — 

Seeing what's working and what's not, what needs improvement and what whale fails that need to be avoid in the future.

After all, life is a series of fresh starts, big and small, don't you think?

Growing up, endless summers, high school, college, first apartment, falling in love, finding fulling work.. everything is a new beginning. Every day is a new chance to be someone better than the last.

Fresh starts are what The Renaissance Life is about.

I personally don't want to be old and grey before I live a live of creativity and boldness.

No, I must start today. I must make each day a fresh start. I must push through any fear I face.

And when I am old and grey, I hope to remember that fresh starts never end, and are ultimately what life is about. If future me is reading this, I hope you look at my struggles and pursuits fondly and see a life well-lived. And remember old man, it's never to late to turn the page.

Grab a fresh page and take action on your new life today.

Then do it again the next today.

Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

Support for the Renaissance is brought to you by you! 

Become a Patron: as little as $3 month. (It's a win -win)

related wisdom

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.
— Seneca
Every day I feel is a blessing from God. And I consider it a new beginning. Yeah, everything is beautiful.
— Prince
 
 
How I Learned to Laugh in Failure [Insert Maniacal Here]

Failure is Feedback

"Failure will never overtake thee if thy determination to succeed is strong enough" — Og Mandino

 

Ugh not another blog Post about failure!!

 

I've come to appreciate the humor of failure and setbacks.

You can read more about my story on a recent post, My Three-headed Demon, but suffice it to say, failure loses it's bite when it keeps happening to you again and again.. "Oh, that's on fire now? Haha okay. Ah, well... where was I.." When you lose your health, or when a big bad wolf comes knocking, everything after becomes minor quibbles and hilarious. The word 'success' has been run into the ground and lost its meaning, but in my mind a successful life begins when you change your perspective about what it means to fail. To those who have made it (whatever it may be for them), failure is feedback — humorous quibbles. palm to face moments. Bumps on your journey to look back fondly on. Decision points in the road, whether to continue, apologize, try again, or give up.

 

Think of failure not as something you are, rather something that happens to you.

Failure is a force that overwhelms us.

It's something outside of our desires and intentions that wants nothing more than for things to stay the same. Think of failure like a brisk wind — from the wrong perspective, it will steamroll you and knock you down; from the right perspective it's a force that can propel you forward, an updraft that your outspread wings can catch. 

Perhaps your intentions were incorrect. You had high hopes for the project but things just didn't work out like you wanted. Or perhaps you were right, yet butting up against circumstances outside of your control. Regardless of the fact, what are you going to do about it now?

Action Step: failure happens. Now what are you going to do about it?

If we (and the world) are malleable, open to change, then failure is the yin to that yang. It's the doubt smiling in your ear, saying 'you can't do this, why even try?'. And when you do try yet fail, there it is again, 'you might as well give up'.

Failure is the enemy, but should not be hated. As painful as it may be, once you see begin to see failure as feedback, it becomes less fatal and more of a pivot point. Your story goes from, 'I'll never make money', to 'What I'm doing isn't working. What can I change / experiment with next?' or 'why do I suck so bad?' to 'everyone sucks in the beginning. I just need to keep pursuing'.

See failure as the enemy of your enemy, and use it to your advantage. 'That sucked big, now what can I do next?' Because the real enemy is complacency.

This is an essential perspective of The Renaissance Life and pursuing creative work. Failure goes hand in hand with creativity. Failure is the artists story. Innovation usually begins with failure. For example, look at this list of successful people who failed first.

Unless my failure equals death, my failure isn't fatal, its an overreaction. I can keep persisting. When we fail and give up, we are giving into a negative outcome. However, there's always a way to flip failure into a positive outcome. The hard part is getting your mind to accept that, and letting go of the upsetting fact that you failed in the first place.

Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

related wisdom

"Few of our failures are fatal." — Tim Harford, author of Adapt.
"I want this so bad that I'm going to keep going UNTIL it works. Other people are doing it, so I can to. I just need to keep going until it works." — Jeremy Frandsen, from Internet Business Mastery
My Three-headed Demon

How to Find Strength in Vulnerability

I've been having a difficult time lately.

For as long as I can recall, I've always tried to live by example

I would define living by example as the principle 'what you say and value is what you practice.' 

Living this way has given me a certain calming effect on those around me. I stand strong for myself, for my sisters, friends, and tribes. Even when the s is hitting the fan, you probably won't see me losing my marbles over it, at least not externally. Naturally, people ask me for help and advice all the time. (which is rad, and one of the main reasons I started The Renaissance Life)

Tranquility in a sea of turmoil can be like a campfire on a moonless night.

Everyone (including myself) has some internal battle going on which they seek comfort and connection for. And the battles become louder and more fierce when you are pursing creative work.

Recently, a life-changing question was brought to my attention, 

'Josh, you stand so strong for everyone else, but do you have someone strong that stands for you?'

And that brought to the brink of tears. I was speechless. I didn't know what to say...

Perhaps that is why I've had such a difficult time these last couple of years. 

It's felt as though I've had no one to go to for advice, or at least advice that wouldn't be sandwiched with that persons own expectations for me.

It's not easy admitting your weaknesses and failures to the world (or yourself.)

The truth is my life's been one setback after another recently, all blobbing together into one monstrous dragon of frustration and overwhelm. What happened? Did I get hit with the unlucky stick? At this point so many bad outcomes have happened to me it's hilarious now. But as difficult as things may be, I'm learning to be okay with setbacks. 

Because no one ever said pursuing a life in creativity was going to be a piece of cheesecake.

When you feel as if you are at your lowest point, your way up is being open. Strength is found in Vulnerability.

  • Open to new ideas, beliefs and ways of thinking.
  • Open to asking for help
  • Open to change and spontaneous opportunity.

Difficultly should never be swept under the rug. (It's not like you've gotten rid of it... now it's just under a rug.) No, difficult should be out in the open. Especially when your giving your all in to climb the mountain to make your dreams your reality (e.g. building up a renaissance tribe and inspiring likeminded creatives.) In the dark, setbacks are pain and loneliness, but in the open they are ways to connect and inspire.

 If you are not open with your tribe, how can you expect them to be open with you?

And even more so, If you are not open with yourself, how do you think you can possibly overcome your circumstances?

How to be Vulnerable

Vulnerable is being okay with where you are, even if where you are is not where you want to be.

It's acknowledging unwanted emotions. Fear, anger, failure, lack of confidence, stress, loneliness... theses are all things we feel, and the cycle of fear that comes from feeling them.

Unwanted emotions are okay to have. They highlight areas we need to improve and tell us when something doesn't align with our truth.

Vulnerability creates possibility for opportunity.

People know when you are hurting, they can see it in your eyes and feel it on you, even if you don't notice it yourself. Sometimes hurt is like food stuck on your face. The only one who doesn't know about it is you.

It may seem counterintuitive, but you can become stronger than you ever have, by being open and vulnerable.

The more vulnerable you are, the stronger you become.

Difficultly is part of your life's story.

Instead of hiding your setbacks why not use them? Turn your difficulties into a story you can inspire and connect with.

And that has been my journey this past few years and my journey going forward.

Enter the three-headed beast.

My Three-headed Demon

They say never let them see you bleed, but I believe the opposite is true. Bleeding together is how your create incredible relationships and a cult following.

This is me being as vulnerable with you as possible:

 

I am not okay, and that's okay.

 

Why?

Three setbacks that are feeding each other. Injury, Health & Finances

1. A Pain in the Neck

A few years ago, I injured my neck in a bad way. I'll talk more on my experience later, but it was a hell-of-an experience. The first two weeks I could barely move. I went through some dark days early on, but I couldn't live like that forever. And thus my journey into mobility practices, posture, mental strength and dancing.

Now I've reduced it down to a mild ache in the front of my neck right beneath the collarbone, but even still, a constant nagging frustration.

2. Chronic Fatigue

My health sucks right now. I've been fatigued for over 12 months and in the dark as to why. I've tried every sleep, health and wellness hack I can get my hands on, all the while questioning myself if its only a mental thing. Is this just in my head? Waking up tired and going to bed tired, rinse repeat gets to you after a while.

Finally I've begun to receive some clarity in what's wrong. I'm allergic to half the things in the Universe! We're still in the dark about the underlying cause, and cutting out foods I love is stupid, but worth it all if it gives me my energy back. Energy to create and live a Vibrant life.

3. Financial Meltdown

My finances are worse than my health right now. As my energy depleted so to did my financial health. Add that to increasing expenses and bad clients and you have me in full on panic mode. Can you say, cue crap your pants in french?

I am not okay, but I am okay with the challenges handed to me.

Because setbacks are something we all experience and creativity is something we all strive for.

And through my own, I can be in a greater position to connect and inspire you and others like me.

I want to show that my setbacks have made me a better me. Just as yours will make you a better you.

Setbacks don't define you, but how you deal with them do. We become our best-selves from the challenges we take on. Not only are they your responsibility, they are path to the life you desire.

If there is one takeaway from my life, and theme of The Renaissance Life represents is capability.

You are capable.

  • You are capable of overcoming your situations.
  • You are capable of having a wonderful life of worth. 
  • You are capable of living true to yourself, and being apart of something bigger.

My three-headed monster may be zapping my energy to do and be more than I am, it may even grow more ugly heads, but it won't stop me from living and pursing a meaningful life, nor cherishing those who are important to me.

Don't let your problems stop you, let them challenge you, and make you into a better you.

Thank you for your time,

Keep Pursuing — Josh Waggoner.

Let me know if this resonates in the comment below or @: josh@renaissancemanlife.com

P.S. You're be the bee's knees if you Join our newsletter below:

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
Best You 365: Gratitude is Attitude

Preface

This is a sample of our BestYou 365 Newsletters.

If you are seeking the best version of yourself you can be in creativity, work, and life, join our newsletter today (and/or share with a friend who would be interested).

Best You 365

Introduction

BY365 is about asking yourself the questions:

"How can I become my best self?"
"What does that mean to me personally?"
"How can I become a better person every single day?"
"And how can I help and enable people to do the same through my own actions and journey?"

 

today: Gratitude is Attitude

       
    When you find yourself seeking something more for yourself, it's easy to get lost in the future and miss the good you already have given and receive every day. (believe me, I know) 


    To begin your journey to the best version of yourself possible, you must start by being grateful who you are right now, and what you have going for you already.

No matter what setbacks you are facing, I can assure you someone else out there has it worse.

Even at its most extreme feels, when has hating yourself ever worked out for someone?

We must learn from the mistakes and pain. Use them as drivers to embetter yourself and inspire others.

Becoming your best self is not about rejecting your old self. To move on to something bigger, you must be okay with who you are.
I mean, doesn't the idea of accepting who you are — mistakes and all — sound like you are already becoming someone better?

Look @ me for example, here I am surrounded by privilege, living in the land of the free, home of the brave, but am I giving thanks every day for what I have?

Do I use my freedom to pursue bravery or am I just living within my fears?
Questions we should take the time to ask ourselves.

Gratitude is Attitude.
It's something you bring to the table.
It's a perspective you must practice.
It's a lens that changes even the bad things that happen to you, to the good.
 

Practice

Gratitude Tips — There are many resources out there for gratitude, but here are some of my favorites to get you started:

1. Each morning, write down three things you're most grateful for. It can be anything you want.

2. Before you talk to anyone, say 'I love you' in your mind to them. (Learned this from TF's book, Tools of Titans.) You won't believe how effective and mood-lifting this can be, even towards someone you dislike!

3. Practice frugality (like Marcus Aurelius, or Benjamin Franklin) for one day each month. Spend the smallest amount possible on food (eating rice and beans, or something like that), wear cheap clothes, even sleep on the floor. Not only does this make you grateful for what you have, but also reduces the anxiety of losing it all. Showing you it's not that bad to have nothing.

4. Send a thank you note to someone. Write a letter, reach out. call someone. There's nothing like gratitude than giving someone presence. It tells them,
'I see you.'

5. Give a random person a compliment. Think of the last time someone did this to you. Doesn't it immediately boost your mood for the day?


#KeepPursuing — Josh Waggoner

We The People: 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)

Renaissance Life Podcast Session Five: (Solo Round) On The Rise — A Mantra for a Meaningful Life
Dear Hesitant Creative Like Me,

"What if it doesn't work?"

'What if I invest all this time into my idea that I'm really excited about, but it doesn't get the feedback or engagement I would like?'
'Would all my time invested matter?'
'And if people actually like my stuff, how will I keep up with all the engagement and orders?'

 

Dear hesitant Creative Like Me,

I hope this letter finds you well.

I completely understand how you feel.

I was running through the same thoughts when I started my clothing company boldsheep.com (@boldsheep) and when I started this very site.

'What if no one buys anything from me?'

'What if nobody reads or comments on my blog?'

And you know what?

Nobody did.

Nobody bought any shirts, nobody read my posts. Nobody was listening.

(And mom's don't count)

Even though I implicitly told myself I wouldn't, I made every mistake in the book.

Fffffff...

But here's the thing: It was worth it.

Every mistake, every problem, every failure has made me a better and more capable person. 

What if it doesn't work? It probably won't. Do it anyway.

Ask yourself, 'would I rather try and fail or would I rather not try and be exactly where I am now?'

Failure is not an end-point, rather a turning point. It's Life telling you that your idea needs some reworking and tuning.

What about this worked and what didn't? What can I change to earn more engagement? How can I do this better next time? Okay that sucked. What went wrong, and how can I avoid it?

The biggest lesson I can give you about starting something is its okay to fail.

If your idea doesn't work. Keep going. Keep pursuing your dream.

Every good endeavor needs to be honed and crafted.

Reinvent, rework, redesign, pivot, tweak, ask, hone, step back, leap, tack, sprint, redefine..

Do whatever you have to make your idea and yourself better.

And if you must start over with a new idea, take what you learned on your last project and use it to your advantage on your next one.

When it comes to building an audience, focus on helping one person. Focus your efforts on impacting just one person who's your ideal customer / client.

Because each additional follower count you gain is a person on the other end. Someone you might be able to impact.

 

'And if people actually like my stuff, how will I keep up with all the engagement and orders?'

That's a good problem to have. It means what you're doing is working and having an impact.

Stay honest. Ask for help. Let your audience know. Remember, Vulnerability is Relatability.

Things to note and live by:

  • Every single person who made something wonderful started where you are — at the beginning.

On the ground. figuring out things. failing forward. stepping out of their comfort zones.

  • Continuous action creates continuous opportunities.

what you do will have create far greater value to you than what you don't do.

  • No is better than maybe. 

Don't rely on a maybe. Don't let your life be controlled by 'some day i will...'

Everything that you want to do, is still in your head, not on the page. And what you should or could do won't get you anywhere you want to go. 

Everything you can do will change your life for the better if you decide to act on it.

  • Train yourself to think of the positive possibilities, instead of the negative outcomes. 
  • In the end, all the setbacks, frustrations and pains are worth it.

Just because you might fail, doesn't justify saying no to the good you'll give to the world if you say yes instead.

I personally believe you are capable of making your dream a reality.

you should too. Once you do, you'll be on your way.

Remember, today is the best day to start.

I hope this helps you, if it doesn't I'll try again.

#KeepPursuing, Don't Quit Your Day Dream — Josh Waggoner | Feb 3rd 1.30PM EST, Chattanooga TN | Updated Fed 6th

 

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.

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

Support comes from you! Buy Products I love and find helpful

Drink Some Tasty Greens

De-stress Feel Good

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
— Eleanor Roosevelt
All achievements, all earned riches, have their beginning in an idea.
— Napoleon Hill
Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.
— Seneca
We The People: Bonny Jean Worland
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)

I'm Taking a Learning Vacation — You Should Too
"All the adversity I've had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me... You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you."  — Walt Disney

Jan 18th

I could feel the stress flowing down my back,

like a waterfall too powerful to sit under without breaking you eventually.

I was zapped, emotionally and physically. And doing my damnedest to not tear up because of my current set of obstacles. 

There's was a physical heaviness weighing down my mind. Pessimistic thoughts were attacking me at all angles. It took all of my effort to not let the negative thoughts take control of the driver's seat, but their barrage was paralyzing me. When things get bad, my mind cops by going numbI refuse to let it.

The difficultly of finding new clients and work, plus the lack of physical energy to do so and the pain of an old injury was doing a number on me. A one, two, three knockout of setbacks that were feeding each other.

I didn't want 'tired, broke, and empty' to be the title of my autobiography.

Something has to change!, I screamed within.


Jan 19th

My mind is more clear than it's been for months.

I'm not making enough, but that shouldn't stop me from creating and pursuing what's important to me.

I'm still tired, but I feel good.

My neck hurts, but I can help it by moving more.

Why the sudden change? What gives Josh?!

 

I've decided to focus on the possibilities and benefits of my setbacks, instead of dwelling on the downsides.

I've decided to choose health first.

I've decided to take a learning vacation.

And I've the liberty of taking a vacation from myself. I'm free.

I've let myself out of the cage that I helped build.

Because believe it or not, I was holding the key.

Just as you might be with your own cage.

Often times, the only thing holding you back from opportunity is yourself.

We get in our own way.

Q: How are you holding yourself back?

FEAR of Failure? ha no problem. I'm on vacation, you can't scare me.

Feeling Stressed? not anymore. Vacation baby!

Feeling Stuck? you've got plenty of time to unstuck yourself now!

 

Okay okay, sure — I'm basically tricking myself — I'm still working. Still looking for clients. Still connecting, writing, design and a bucket-load of other things.

But my mindset has completely changed.

I'm looking up instead of looking down.

I'm not looking at the problems, I'm looking around them.

The only thing that's changed is my perspective.

I'm still doing the work. I'm not slothing around. I'm not just doing whatever the wind tells me. But there's a massive difference in my mindset.

Now that I'm out of my own way, I can do what I do, but better and more effectively.

 

My Learning Vacation Itinerary

  • Hone my design & developer skills.
  • Mastery the Art of the Interviewing for my podcasts.
  • Redesign renaissancemanlife.com      (Jan 28th: check!)
  • Start a Mastermind circle organization: Avants.
  • Learn about money, selling, online business
  • Find new clients, and have fun doing it.
  • Connect with interesting people in my city (Chattanooga) and online. Be a part of something bigger

 

Set sail on the S. S. Learning Vacation. Are you on board?

Tell me what you think in the comments below

related wisdom

Life is not waiting for the storm to pass, its dancing in the rain.
— Vivian Greene
You should never view your challenges as a disadvantage. Instead, it’s important for you to understand that your experience facing and overcoming adversity is actually one of your biggest advantages.
— Michelle Obama

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My Evening Routine (as of January 2017)

My last post was about my morning routine (you can check that out here.)

The first thing you need to know about routine is 

Your morning routine is only as good as your evening routine+

An ideal morning begins and ends with how you set up your evenings.

Here's my current evening routine:

  • Try and be home @ around 9 to start winding down the night.
  • Turn my phone on Night Mode. (3 seconds)
  • Take a hot shower, run through the day's events, and end with cold water. (10 min +)
  • Layout my clothes for the next day (reducing mental energy in the morning) (2 min)
  • Roll my legs using a mobility ball [goal: my leg flexibility is pathetic, the goals is to be able to bend my legs enough to be a base in Acroyoga] [note: I feel a noticeable difference in my legs when I wake up, compared to not doing mobility at night] (5 min +) 
  • Make a SleepyTime drink (2 Tbsp of Raw Local Honey + 2 Tbsp of Apple Cider Vinegar [I use Braggs] + hot water in a mug mixed up) — This smells awful but is super tasty. It'll knock you out real' good too. (5 min. make time)
  • A glass of Calm Magnesium Supplement [This combined with the SleepyTime Drink is a one two punch ....zzzzzzzz] (1 min)
  • While I'm drinking my healthy version of a night cap, I'll read a fiction book or a book that read like fiction (such as history or biographies) [current read:  Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson ] (Usually just until I finish my Sleepy Drink)
  • Teeth Health (3 min)
  • Get in bed, lay on a sleep acupressure mat [I use the Bulletproof Sleep Induction Mat] (10 min)
  • By this time I'm out. zzzzzzzzzzzz

Evening routine is about turning off and relaxing. You certainly don't have to do what I do, but you do need to do what makes you feel at ease and turns off your todo-list-mind.

Rest is equally as important as effort, but also the easiest thing to neglect +

 

Sidenote

 I like to practice pushing my mental will capacity at night.

You know that feeling you get when you're in bed and you forgot something and you HAVE to get up. Ugh!! I like to push myself by lingering in those moments. The easy choice is not, it's saying no and going to bed anyway. But that's not my M.O.

I like to think that if I linger in that desire to not do something, and by do it anyway, I'm expanding my willpower. 

Expand your capacity.

Linger in those moments of inaction, then train yourself to take action anyway. 

I have no way of testing this, but my discipline in taking action has never been sharper.

Ask yourself,

Q: How can I expand my willpower more when it feels depleted?

 

If you feel like you don't have the time to have a evening routine, it's time to give yourself the space to create one. Make it a game, do it with your significant other, your kids and or your friends.

#KeepPursing — Josh Waggoner

Q: What's your Evening Routine?

(leave your answer in the comments below, if you feel the urge to share)

 

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