A New Habit: Writing Wednesday–001

It may sometimes be here on this blog, but more likely than anything is I’ll do the majority of my Writing Wednedays over on medium. Here’s the first of what I want to be a new habit that deepens my writing practice and brings consistency to my creative weeks.

Was able to churn out over 1k words in 28 minutes, not bad. Let me know what you thought in the comments below, or write me a response on Medium.

Without further delay here’s the piece:

 

View story at Medium.com

First Post of 2016

Wow. So even with ample time, I still let 2015 go by with hardly the proper attention this blog deserves. I’m grateful if you’re reading this and want to share some of my vision for this blog’s future as well as my own.

Since this is the first post of 2016 I just want to briefly touch on 2015 and what was an amazing year of self-discovery and adventure. I will be writing a dedicated post with the highlights and lowlights of last year, but for now, let me keep it concise.

2015 I left the “full time” workforce and waded into the ever growing freelance economy. Pretty soon I wasn’t just wading in I was drowning in an endless sea of opportunities, and my own personal struggles. With a buffet of chances and choices, the actual process of deciding becomes very important. I can’t make everybody happy, and capitalize on every opportunity while still having quality as a primary emphasis. There are people out there that can definitely manage more projects, execute more ideas, and balance a life better than I can do at present. Yet, I am learning and will eventually grow my creative work capacity. 2015 taught me that I have some conditioned behaviors and changing things that are very ingrained has a high difficulty factor. Nothing is impossible, but the effort level put into changing these kinds of behaviors is very high versus accepting and adjusting to get around or through the road blocks. Use what you’ve got rather than starting construction on a new thoroughfare. I recently wrote about this on Medium and had the realization that I benefit from a physical location to show up to do my work, that is separate from my home. This is true at least in my current situation, possibly having a larger house with a dedicated office I could indeed “show up” and get to work the way I’ve conditioned myself to from years of working in restaurants and events. So I emphasize my newly found awareness of this because this was one of the greatest lessons I’ve learned in the last year. The second great lesson or teaching 2015 had for me was a greater understanding of the power of choice. The more choices that face an individual, the less likely that each choice will be a rational and well-made decision. Understanding what kind of decisions you make under decision fatigue, and how to adjust or avoid this autopilot if it’s not in your best interest. This is an ongoing evolution in my mindset and behavior adjustments, not a master by any means yet but I do put focus and attention into better and fewer choices. What else did 2015 mean for me? I took lots of chances, and had many go well, but many also fail to materialize or be executed. My third takeaway is that I’m on the right path, and those failures were a necessary part of my growth as a man and a professional. I’m still here breathing, healthy, strong and ready to move forward so reflecting but not dwelling on failure is a facet of my mindset I’m developing. I pushed myself hard at certain points throughout the year, but the push wasn’t sustained. Pace. The same as doing an Obstacle Course Race can’t push the pace to a frenzy if you can’t recover from a frenzied pace. Better to give a constant 80% push dipping down to 70-75% to recover than pushing at 98% but dropping down to >60% to recover. A steady pace in my creative projects, fitness, and professional/personal development is what I’m aiming for in the coming year(s). That (s) shows a maturity in my thought process—I’m okay with not everything happening this year, or next year. I learned in 2015 what a year really feels like on my terms. How much time I really made the most of and how much I’ve wasted. Going forward, I’m glad to think of things unfolding over several years as opposed to wanting instant gratification and results without enough emphasis on PROCESS and PERSEVERANCE.

That essentially gives a brief snap into 2015, here are some of my key takeaways:

  1. I can’t make everybody happy, and capitalize on every opportunity while still having quality as a primary emphasis.
  2. The more choices that face an individual, the less likely that each choice will be a rational and well-made decision.
  3. I learned in 2015 what a year really feels like on my terms. How much time I really made the most of and how much I’ve wasted.

A touch on the past and now a look to the future. I’m chasing my dreams, period. It’s not all sunshine and light refracting through water droplets (rainbows) though. There is plenty of pain mixed with the pleasure. Most of the pain is self-caused through my interpretation of events meanings. That’s a hard one to accept, but I find a lot of truth in that statement. Looking towards 2016, 2017, 2018 and beyond, I am happy with the vision I’m creating. I’ve looked at my major goals and desires in life and have done my best to create a large enough vision to enable great progress and eventual completion of the most important goals. Deepening self-awareness as I move forward is a commitment I’m making. Sharing that development is another commitment I’m making and that’s what this blog is ultimately for. A record of my becoming on the path that I’ve decided on. I am pledging right now to make the records more frequent, insightful and valuable to others. I will be posting 1-2 blog posts a week minimum for the rest of this year and likely beyond. They will likely take many formats and vary from deeply personal, to relevant and useful tactics, techniques and information for others. I don’t’ want to flood this blog with a bunch of crap, so 1-2 quality posts a week is my goal. I’m also creating on Medium and YouTube  more and more often. My Instagram and Twitter are also part of the record. That’s why I show the Twitter and Instagram feed for readers right here on my blog, because not everything that I do in life is captured and instantly translated into a thoughtful blog post yet, but my tweets and Instagram are great insights into the actual flow of my life—what I’m learning, feeling, and working on. My focus for 27th Renaissance the blog is to create, share and develop useful, truthful and evergreen content on my journey.

My future for creative projects is bright, and I’m building a framework, schedule and deadlines into my everyday life. 2016 will be a year of imposing deadlines and eliminating what stands between me and those deadlines.

Thank you for reading, and as always feel free to reach out or comment and share your thoughts on what I’ve written.

Look forward to many more posts and an authentic look at me, Brendan McCaughey.IMG_1193

I’m At Brendon Burchard’s Worlds Greatest Speaker Training: Review (Day 4)

DAY 4:

Last day 😦

6:27 AM

Slept in a little bit more today, these hotel beds are super comfy. An abbreviated workout here in my hotel room and some visualizing took the place of my gym workout yesterday. Getting some writing done too has been good. I’m ready for another great day here at WGST.

Ready to put in the work required for Greatness.

Ready to put in the work required for Greatness.

9:00 AM

Here we go, last session. I’m going to finish strong. This is the 4th quarter I will give all my focus and energy into these last few hours.

3:00 PM

It’s very challenging to put into words how exactly this event has impacted me. Now that it’s all over I really feel strongly as I mentioned on my day 1 post—this has been the best investment of time and money that I’ve ever made. The level of inspiration I feel; coupled with almost 60 pages of notes on strategy, tactics, techniques, tips, and great information has me already at my next level. But I can’t stop. I can’t go back to “normal life”. I won’t let the ball touch the ground. This is the beginning of the next decade of work I put in to become amongst the Worlds Greatest. I’m coming back next year, and I’m going to be up on that stage sharing a Signature Story. I hope that anybody reading this will consider first and foremost following Brendon Burchard and his message—his podcast, YouTube, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, and all of his books are of immense value to anybody at any stage in life. You can even get his new book: The Motivation Manifesto here for FREE! (Just pay Shipping & Handling) After that immersion, get one of his online courses. And attend a live event. Then at any point come back to this blog post and comment on how he’s helped. Because I know without a single doubt that this man is here to help the world, he has already helped me immensely and I know he can help you too. Secondly, I hope that anybody reading this will also consider investing in themselves. Time, money, energy, love, kindness and compassion. Invest those in directions that bring inner fulfillment and by doing so enable you to make a real difference in the world.

World’s Greatest Speaker Training ended with great value from each speaker, and the final series of Signature Stories. The last person to step up on stage was Brendon’s mom. She had been there helping as a volunteer the whole time, and I had definitely seen and interacted with her several times. Brendon expressed that she was the real reason he’s achieved what he has and he does what he does. I was moved to tears thinking of my own mother and the immense generosity and love she’s always given to me. I actually posted a Video to Twitter which Brendon Burchard himself retweeted! Amazing.

How can I summarize something that I truly believe changed my life? I can’t here on this page. But what I can do is put into practice what I’ve learned and live from a place of joy and faith that I can and will change the world. That I can and will live my dreams. I encourage you to cultivate these beliefs, and to watch me grow into a Renaissance Man.

Thank you Brendon, Roger, Bo, Rachel, Chelene, everybody who had the courage to get up on stage and share their signature stories, the entire team that put on World’s Greatest Speaker 2015, and thank you to the AMAZING people that made up the crowd. I know we’ll work together and do great things for the world.

I'll be back next year!

I’ll be back next year!

Stay tuned…I’m just getting started.

Do You Read, or Look at Your Own Content From the Past?

 

Revisiting a Photograph I took from Sunset Blvd.

Revisiting a Photograph I took from Sunset Blvd.

I’m curious. Take this poll and let’s see how many people look back on their work after time has elapsed.

 

Recently I re read a post I did on Medium, and was blown away that I wrote it. It’s about excuses, and I’m still making them. I was astonished at the poignancy of my words and their still applicable nature to my life. I found myself thinking “Wow! I wrote that?” and “I should really heed my own words.” I’m writing to ask if you read and revisit your content at all after creating it? If so, do you find value in it? I certainly have, and intend to make this a regular practice. If I can get value after the fact out of my posts, that gives me hope that others may also find my words, photos or videos of value. Lifetime value not just the day it’s published but ongoing in the future. Creating evergreen content, not just a paltry list post that becomes obsolete as times change, and the marketplace evolves. Can the value sustain? Am I digging deep into life to examine worthwhile issues and sharing the best of what I’m learning on a day to day basis? Documenting my life and journey in a way that will have value in a year, or 5. That is much more of a strategy I can stand behind and work towards as opposed to continually posting only for volume. Clogging or diluting my portfolio and brand that I’m developing with quantity and not quality. Maybe I’m not the best writer or content developer now, but I genuinely want to publish and share my best work in any channel or platform. I don’t want only selfies on my Instagram or tawdry list posts on my blog. I want to push and pull the best out of my experiences. By doing that I will develop more skills, confidence, and content. Waiting for the perfect moment, or until I can create without finding flaws only delays my dreams. I eliminate the excuses for not taking action (insert Nike slogan).

I’m glad that I’m writing. Having the dream & goal of being a writer without writing has annoyed me for some time. Looking back over my content is a nice way to check my process and progress.

Outlining a Writing Workflow

Outlining a Writing Workflow

Two blog posts a year (2014) does not cut it. Being inspired to dedicate myself to learning content creation and marketing is a good feeling. Can I keep it up? Time will tell. When creating anything do you just ship it out and forget about it? Moving on to the next project and the next and the next? Take a moment to examine and revisit it after time has passed, does it still have relevancy? Is it timeless? I want to end with a paraphrased quote from Drake. Yes the R&B/hip hop artist. I remember hearing him being interviewed describing parts of his work and method. He stated he was all about lasting power. Creating music that can be listened to with the same enjoyment years after its creation. “I want my CD to stay in your car.” Perpetual relevance by placing an emphasis on quality. I realized that when listened to that interview at the time his CD Take Care had literally stayed in my car’s 6 CD changer since buying it. Create product that’s going to still be worth something in the future, maybe worth even more. That’s what I’m working towards, I have a long way to go, but knowing the difference between instant gratification and lasting power is truly valuable.

 

I hope you like what you read and decide to go re-visit some old work of yours.

 

An aside:

I started my first real content channel with my Instagram in 2012. I’ve always tried to put only photos that I think are good from a photographic standpoint first, and being an authentic representation of what I love and strive for. Over time my captions or comments have become more thoughtful. But I don’t post something unless I want it to stay there for 5 years. Will I look back at that snapshot and say “Why did I put that on the internet?” Or “That was important that I shared that, wow look at that great shot or I remember that rawness and hustle.”

 

My first Instagram Post Ever!

My first Instagram Post Ever!