Welcome To 2017

2016 was an epic year. My best. 

2017 is about impact for me. Using my momentum to make waves 🌊


Although 27th Renaissance was neglected  (again) I was more creative than ever and consistent in my writing elsewhere

This year I have big plans for this blog and my life. 

Things I’ve got in store for my website here:

  • Design overhaul–freshening things up. 
  • A summary of my Renaissance pursuits from My Renaissance Defined: what progress have I made since compiling that list? 
  • A portfolio of graphic design, writing and video work. 
  • A consistent summary of my creations in other locations 
  • Experiments and challenges in health, fitness and life. 
  • Book reports and reviews. Major Year of reading ahead!
  • Travel posts–have some vagabonding in the works
  • Links to my most recommended supplements, fitness tools, books, mentors and inspirations. 
  • A summary of my 2016 learning and takeaways 
  • Even more! 

I greatly appreciate everyone who’s been following the journey thus far, and I can promise a more exciting and well documented year here on my blog in 2017

Image credit @garyvee

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

What Can I Give the World?

Blades of Grass holding Life's Essence

Blades of Grass holding Life’s Essence

Do I have anything meaningful to give to the world? Can I contribute and make my mark on an ever changing, crowded, and evolving planet Earth. Do my other 7 billion brothers and sisters feel the same way? Does everybody want to leave a positive legacy and be known for great things?

I’ve been pondering these questions, and I think the answer to all is a yes. At least to some degree. Certainly I wasn’t born without SOMETHING meaningful to give back—I can’t simply be a taker or consumer. Surely, I can develop a worthy attribute, skill, or mission that gives value to others on the planet we share, and the planet itself. Making my mark on the world has been a calling I’ve always felt, sometimes with a crushing pressure. I reflect upon the cliche “pressure makes diamonds” and aim to thrive under the pressure of expecting greatness from myself. A challenge I’ve faced is overload. I literally want to be excellent in my skill set in so many things that it is overwhelming. On the positive side it I’ve got an endless To Do list of things that I enjoy and can categorize as productive time on some level. This is great, but there is a bottom line that must be met for me to be functioning as a member of society. Some avenue that is being pursued must create “a living” in the societal sense. I just thought of this metaphor about my current undertakings. Taking one swing of an axe at 27 trees one at a time is a bad strategy to cut them all down. Possibly a better tactic would be to completely take each tree down, sharpening the axe between each tree. Or taking a few choice trees and rotating between them 1/3 at a time. The most ideal plan may be to step back and look at the forest. What? Looking at the alignment of the trees and noticing which one if cut with the right technique and forethought may knock down several other trees using the force of gravity on its way down. That is just a metaphor, I don’t want to cut down any trees, I’d honestly rather plant many many trees in m lifetime. If that metaphor was written poorly or I lost you replace the trees with goals and cutting down with accomplishing. So if I try to accomplish 27 goals at once versus accomplishing one at a time, or clustering a handful, or looking at the complete picture and seeing which goal can accomplish many others once it is completed.

 

So realizing that I need a better strategy, what do I even intend to give. The list of what I want is clearly posted on my blog, and that’s somewhat partial and not as specific as the goals I’m working with now on a daily basis. But, all that is me me me. What about you you you and we we we? Will I create soley for a selfish and personal reason, or can I ensure that I’m giving value and hopefully creating in service to others and good causes. The latter sounds much more noble, but can I or you say that that is our intent at all times? I can’t. Maybe it’s because I was an only child for most of my life, but I’ve noticed in times of reflection that I often behave very selfishly. Look out for number one they say. I don’t really consider that a great piece of wisdom. Number one is just one number. Focus entirely on that and that’s just one looking after one. Can’t I look after many, and then should I ever be in need have many that would consider looking after me? Has a nicer ring to it. Looking over the words that are written above it’s apparent there is a lot of “I” in this writing. This is a reflective and personal questioning of my motives in life, and I hope that you can see some value somewhere within. Gratitude for reading my words. Let me finish by answering the question initially posed. What can I give the world? Myself, my best self, working hard, candidly as I pursue deepening my strengths, improving my weaknesses and overcoming the obstacles while taking ideas through the creation and execution process—defining dreams and questing for success for myself but also for the tribe that we all are a part of.

The Most Introverted and Reflective Year of My Life..so far. 

This is my first post from my iPhone. 
  
this is been a different here than any other year I can recall. 
I’ve definitely spent a lot of time looking at my life in a lot of different ways I’ve tried a lot of different things and failed honestly. I really think that this is valuable time even though half of me thinks that I’ve been wasting a lot of time this year. Maybe I have, but I am called to continue pushing in the direction of my dreams. 

I’ve always set goals, but setting these new kind of goals I’m working towards now with deadlines is exciting and scary at the same time. I’m putting a lot of effort into changing my psychology. Understanding what’s been holding me back in my own mind and in the physical world. Every time I get a good idea I’m like wow this is it this is the one but the value of an idea lies in its execution and implementation not simply in a bold stroke of creative genius.  

 Plain and simple I have to do the work. In 2015 it is so easy to be distracted probably easier than ever, but I’m choosing my focus better with each passing day. 

People can say what they want about personal development or “self-help “but I’ve always wanted to be successful so studying success and ways to overcome your own struggles is valuable to me. I’m immersing myself in only positive and pertinent material, with aims of creating my own. Tim Ferriss and Anthony Robbins have been major helps to me this year. Although Tim is more in the Learning and lifestyle design space, I still help myself with his content. Unfortunately self help has a somewhat negative connotation, so I don’t want to lump Tim with a group to which he is much more diverse than. I’ve been a major follower of Tim since I was 22 and working 80 hour weeks in the craziest job I’ve ever had. Finding the 4 hour work week back then was life changing. This year I will re read it and execute on its principles like never before. Tim actually put me on to Tony Robbins. Of course I’d heard of him and read quotes, but never had I chosen to dive deep into his work until hearing him on the Tim Ferriss Show Podcast, I then purchased Tony’s new book and subsequently his Ultimate Edge program. Amazing value! Understanding how my brain works and why I do things is incredible knowledge. Acting upon this knowledge is my main aim at present.  I now truly am committed as I write these words to getting back to work, rekindling the hardest working spirit of my deepest warrior soul. 

Creating content and realizing my goals and ideas is what I am solely focused on. I don’t need to party, “chill” or anything else other then create the life I deserve and dream of. Much work to do, but I have found a way to love it. Loosing momentum and not following through are painful and I’m finished with that pain. Writing, learning, helping others, oration, fitness and documenting it all equal massive pleasure. 
Here’s to being back on the campaign trail to being a Renaissance Man and Warrior.