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.
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:
I can’t make everybody happy, and capitalize on every opportunity while still having quality as a primary emphasis.
The more choices that face an individual, the less likely that each choice will be a rational and well-made decision.
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.
Polymath, expert generalist, renaissance man. All representative of the life-long learners quest, the quest for full potential. Is a person made to fit into a narrow niche? Or, to expand across all fields of achievement? I believe everybody can have more than just one skill, talent, or ability that can be developed to a high level. Not everybody who chooses a singular role and perfects it is settling in life. Personally, I would feel like I was settling for less than I’m truly capable of, by going for one thing. Not going after all the things that fascinate me would haunt me. I enjoy learning, practicing, and immersing myself in many diverse realms. Many true experts are without a doubt some of the most disciplined and committed individuals to live throughout human history. But, countless souls may never even reach their full potential in any one endeavor. Falling into the grey and forgotten hinterlands between amateur and master. There is however, a rare breed: a breed that is diverse yet singular, masterful yet child like, competent and curious. This rare breed is the Renaissance (Wo)man. The path of renaissance is not reserved for the masculine. Truth be told woman are just as adept if not better at becoming skilled in a wide repertoire of capabilities. Anybody can choose to learn, practice and master many things.
Within everybody, there is a higher calling (or callings). For many they may have gone dormant, but deep within it remains. A spark of inspiration, or a faint voice saying—“Imagine that! Go. Go after that!” Listen to that voice and try what you’ve always wanted. Your path to renaissance begins with the clear understanding of what the ultimate version of yourself would look like. And, what capabilities they would have. Can you imagine if you were able to do everything that you’d ever dreamed of? Do this as an exercise: write down notes, record audio, or even make a video…what would I be able to do if I’d learned everything that interested me? What if I let all my passions express themselves? What things when looking back on your life in it’s last stages you’d regret not doing, or wonder to yourself what you could have done had you just tried. Those are the things to consider when defining your Renaissance. If I look at my list it’s the ultimate realization of allowing myself to have dreams and share them. Building the skills necessary to reach even 50% of what I’ve listed will make me into a much better man. There’s something cool about working on a list like this. Once certain skills become absorbed, practiced, and repeated until enough mastery has been attained something interesting happens, the list becomes shorter. Shorter because mastering the right skills first, can speed up the ability to learn and absorb others. Learning how to learn is the gift and ultimate reward from defining and pursuing your own renaissance. Learn a second language like French; Italian and Spanish become that much easier. Understand how to de-bone a chicken, and duck, pheasant, and turkey become simplified. Learn oratory, and political power can follow. Some abilities may seem completely separate or disconnected, but their connectivity reveals itself through pursuing deep and diverse learning. Masters can draw inspiration from anywhere. Their brains remain connected to the core of their abilities and constantly curious. A trip to the cinema could spark a new painting, essay, or piece of music. A viewing at an art gallery may give the Master Chef insight into a new dish. Learning how to learn, keeps the brain fully active, and a lifetime of enjoyment can ensue.
I compel you to define what your renaissance means—if you’re reading this you’ve got one to craft. Become part of the under-recognized Renaissance Period we’re all currently a part of. Every industry and field is having a renaissance as technology and information become widespread. It’s easier now to be a person of renaissance than ever before. Leonardo Da Vinci would absolutely be Crushing it today. Just imagine what someone who was so diversely masterful could do in our day and age. Then think of what we the individual are doing. Can we do more, be more and become more? Yes. Let’s craft our own renaissance. Are you with me?
As it turns out, I’m not alone on this pursuit. There are others already pursuing their renaissance, and I’m always thrilled to meet another striver and polymath. Serendipitously through Twitter I met such an individual: Michael Mehlberg who runs Modern Da Vinci is actualizing his own renaissance and, like myself, helping others do the same through his blog–Enter: Modern Da Vinci:
What goals drive your behavior? Which challenges excite your passions? Can you name a few activities that renew and revive you?
With a little thought, these answers will come. We all have driving goals, exciting challenges, and reviving activities. Whether we consciously know what these goals, challenges, and activities are, they motivate us. But until we make them conscious, they are nothing more than motivators. By forcing them to be a part of our daily routine, we can turn them into a personal renaissance.
I’d be lying if I claimed to completely understood my own personal renaissance. No matter how much we simplify, life is complicated. No matter how easy they seem at first blush, our goals end up being loftier than expected. But I recognized that I needed to tame these complications and overconfidence. It took a specific exercise to provide the insight that allowed my personal renaissance to take shape.
Sitting at work, tired of countless emails and interruptions, I took a “thinking day” to redefine important priorities in my work. Many thoughts raced through my head that day. But one imaginative exercise in which I pictured myself 10 years in the future, set the stage for my renaissance and Modern da Vinci.
Surprisingly, I pictured myself doing something quite different than my current profession. I pictured myself studying, learning, inventing, and working to help people solve complex problems with creative solutions. I pictured myself healthy, confident, and knowledgeable on a wide range of topics–a true modern renaissance man–always interesting, and always helpful.
Of course, not all men picture themselves studying and inventing in their day job. Those aspirations were my own; personal in nature and driven by my character. But many of us do picture ourselves as healthy, confident, and knowledgeable people. I knew that I could pursue these goals myself, but I also wondered if I could help others to the same. I knew that, if I were to do so, I would have to make this pursuit public. Hence, Modern da Vinci was born. It was a way to publicize new knowledge, discuss new experiences, and help others find their own path to becoming a confident, interesting, helpful, lifelong learner.
With that in mind, it’s worth taking a moment to recognize the incredible period of history in which we live. We have never before better understood freedom, technology, culture, art, or science. Like the classical 14th century European renaissance period, modern art, music, and technology flourish. At times, it feels like we are crossing a bridge between our age and the ultra-modern, high-tech, culturally beautiful future.
I often wonder if, looking through history books 500 years from now, children learn about the 21st century as a modern renaissance period. I often wonder if we should recognize this for ourselves today. Perhaps by recognizing it we can build a bridge to such a future. Perhaps by staying curious, by constantly learning, and by following our passions we can better recognize opportunities and live a fuller life with fewer regrets.
Now more than ever, it’s important to study, learn, invent, stay healthy, and push yourself to grow. You have limitless opportunities at your fingertips with which to inspire yourself and others. Through Modern da Vinci, I hope to inspire others to push themselves to become more knowledgeable, grow more confident, and achieve more. It all starts with defining your own personal renaissance.
I sincerely hope you are inspired to create and maintain your own personal renaissance. Find your passions and explore them. Maintain your curiosity dig into life. Most importantly, never stop learning. And while your renaissance will change (sometimes daily), you will clear your path through life and be able to seize any opportunity along the journey.
Life is a great journey. Defining, and pursuing your Renaissance will make it a more rich experience. Thank you to my friend Modern Da Vinci for his insights and thoughts. We hope you find all the things you want in life and learn to become a true master of your own Renaissance.
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.
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.
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.
Back on my grind with my warrior path. Knew I needed to get in the gym this morning and get my body back into my priorities. Just a quick workout: run half mile on 15% Incline at 6mph, chest press 3×12 w 135 lbs, leg raises 3×15, Hammer Curl 25/12, 35/10, 45/8 45/8, 20/15, and myotatic crunch 3×15. Nothing epic on a Spartan training level, but a good travel workout.
Ready for a great day of learning and interaction, as I get ready to enter the conference for day 3. Having a great experience so far, let’s hope it continues.
Enjoying lunch break and working by the pool.
Poolside work. Getting back to planning my days with more intention. The morning session was wonderful. Lot’s of time with Bo on stage and he is so charismatic. Beyond charisma. I want to attend his workshop just as bad as I want to attend Rogers, or this one again. Learning to have the same level of presence and dominance on stage or in any discussion the same way Bo Eason does will be a great tool in my future, and I will purchase his course in my lifetime. I’ve felt pretty great all day from taking the time to get my morning ritual more in place and exercise. Even without that it’s almost impossible to feel anything but great at this event because there is SO much positive energy everywhere. The people in the crowd that I’ve met have all been incredible. And WOW! there is SO many fellow Canadians here! Can’t believe how many I’ve met, maybe 20-30. And they’ve all been stellar individuals.
As Day 3 Wrapped up there was more signature stories and some really valuable short to the point takeaways. I’ve got at least 20 pages of notes at this point maybe more, and I’ve realized that there are several stories from my life that I can share effectively to communicate a message or give the audience some valuable information. I have had many creative flashes of insight throughout this experience, including many business ideas. Day 3 featured lot’s of techniques for getting ready right before going on stage, including movements and breathing patterns, (wait for my video(s) for further information) and strategies to avoid or eliminate the stage fright that everybody even the greatest feel. Turning the fear into love.
I’ve seen and experienced so much this past 72h and I know I was supposed to be here. Grateful to all the teachers and everybody in the audience for coming together for the betterment of our lives and the world through our new skills, refined stories/messages, and the new friends and allies we’re making.
DAY 2 Worlds Greatest Speaker Training with Brendon Burchard
Hitting the pool for a light physical exercise. Need to get my Morning Ritual back in place for my travels the remainder of this trip. Saying I can’t do my Hour of Power just because I’m on the road is not at all true. What it actually is, is an excuse.
1:40 PM (LUNCH BREAK)
After a very informative and impactful morning I really believe I’m already making strides. Applying META learning principles and natural affinity for quick learning has me very excited to make videos, speak and share messages with the world. But as you will see I’m not just going to instantly crush it without actually practicing and working on it CONSISTENTLY!!!
Roger Love is a great coach and his knowledge, skills and talents are so honed. He
At present, I don’t have the funds to get Roger Love’s Speaking Academy but I would absolutely love to. Amazing value. I’m secretly hoping that I can get the singing part of the package donated to me by someone who know’s they won’t use it.
Networking is going crazy! So many people doing great things and having the opportunity to meet and eventually work with these people is going to be a great advantage in the future.
Do I stand by what I said yesterday that this is the best investment I’ve ever made? Yes. I do. I am becoming better and more savvy with each moment that passes. These posts are a recording of events as they occur, not intended to have all the details of what I’m learning. As I mentioned I am going to make a video
Going to get nourished.
Saw Chalene Johnson give a wonderful talk, and so much value from sharing her story. As a former audience member at World’s Greatest Speaker Training, it was wonderful to se her own the stage and convey great tactics in her message. The use of Periscope to distribute short and purposeful videos was a huge strategy I’ve been ignoring or avoiding. What a great way to practice what I’m learning here…DAILY. If you want to check out what I’m teaching or sharing on Periscope you can follow me @multitude27. My first 5 part Video series is titled “How to Get the Most Out of a Seminar.” Excited to practice and get my voice out there.
Day Two Wrapped up with some great stories from audience members. I was impressed with not only the stories but the presentation skills of each speaker. They were critiqued by the panel of judges on ways to improve, but all the judges agreed that each presenter had far more upside then problems. It was so good to see others get on stage and share their message or story, and practice the principles and frameworks discussed throughout Worlds Greatest Speaker Training so far. Inspired me even more to get up and share what I have to say. That’s one of the hardest parts perhaps, what to say? What story to tell? I have some good stories throughout my life, but which one illustrates the desired outcome of my speech FOR MY AUDIENCE? Anything else is just a DEMONSTRATION OF EGO. That is such a vital takeaway I’ve gotten from this so far. Brendon Burchard said it so well, I’ll paraphrase his wisdom for you. No matter how good, how entertaining, funny, scary, truthful the story may be, if it doesn’t match up with the desired outcome.
Again on Day 2 Networking and meeting fellow strivers here at the event has been a wonderful experience! The energy is just contagious, and I’m a pretty high energy person by nature, but this is next level for me. Meeting CEO’s who’ve had $100 million exits, and shamanic breath teachers in the same 10 minute span is amazing.
This post is a record of my becoming, look for the video(s) soon on what I got from this conference and how I’m applying it into my life.
Registered and ready for the 9:00 door opening. The lanyard we chose determines where we enter the conference at. The Santa Clara Mariott is a nice hotel. Nicer then I thought it would be. The room keys are pictures of the Motivation Manifesto and all staff have been very nice. The Burchard team have all been wonderfully kind and energized.
Wow. Just wow. I felt part way through the morning that this is the beat investment I’ve ever made. Without a doubt. The value from Brendon, Bo, and Roger is staggering, tremendous and important. I’m not selling this program or profiting from it. This is genuinely how I feel sitting here on break having lunch. The nuances of speaking on stage, storytelling, physicality and voice, taught by some of the best in the world. It’s only half way through day 1 but the takeaways are immense. And I will certainly share the core of what I’ve learned. But far more apt then to type will be to make a video and speak these takeaways. Practicing the practical application rather then a written listacle: “top 10 takeaways from Worlds Greatest Speaker.” Even though from a SEO and total hits to my blog standpoint it would generate more traffic. I think that would be a shortcut, and I need the practice and time spent on a video. The video may not be released at the same time as this post so if you’re reading this then look for the video soon, or comment on the post and bug me to get it done.
Day 1 wrapped up. Honestly surprised it’s only been one day. Learning so much and so inspired by the fellow people at this event and the presenters. I have much work to do on my journey but this is a dream come true and the first progress I’ve ever made towards this particular Renaissance pursuit of Oration and speaking.
More to come tomorrow.