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Don’t be Stupid. Your Life Will Never Be Uncluttered.

“I feel so strongly that deep and simple is far more essential than shallow and complex.” — Fred Rogers

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Has anyone seen my wallet? Or Keys? Anything really… 

 

I have this awful habit of saying, “Well, when things calm down, I’ll be able to…” then I insert an action that will never get done.  Ever.

When I was in college, I wanted to write more scripts.  I wanted to craft short stories that I could turn into short films.  There was a film festival called the 180 Film Festival and I really wanted to win best screenwriter because that’s what I fancied myself as, the eccentric screenwriter.  This of course was far from the truth at the time, but imagining myself as such made me happy.

However, I never did win that prize.  I never got the acclaim that I so desired.  Why?  Because I made excuses.  I was involved in so many groups, clubs, and went to so many events that I had no time to sleep, let alone write.  I kept saying that I would have more time to write when life was less cluttered, but who cluttered my life?  ME.

Did you know that Henry Ford used to give his employees time to relax at work and just think?  He believed that if you had the time to just relax and imagine that you’d be more creative and you’d come up with innovations that could revolutionize a company.

We don’t do that anymore.  We have busy lives.  We make excuses and don’t take time to do what we love.

So, that’s my goal.  I want my life to be simple, yet deep.  I know that life won’t hand me anything and that it will never be uncluttered.  I want to make time for what’s important.

How about you?  Can you carve out a few minutes in your own life?  What’s really important to you?

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/bharathkishore/3419486378/”>Bharath Kishore</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>cc</a>

The Art of Procrastination – Just Do Something

In the fourth grade, we had to make something called an Alabama notebook.  This was pretty in-depth for a fourth grade project.  It had to be a binder outlining in detail the entire history of Alabama.  Not only that, but you had to know every aspect of the state including the state song, the state bird, and the state flower.  Yes, there was a state flower.

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The redneck state flower/weed.

This project was due around March in the second semester of school, so I had months to make this.  Did I take months to make it?  No.  Did I remember it a week before?  Absolutely.

The project was pretty intense and as a fourth grader I couldn’t cash the check of procrastination that I just wrote, so my mom had to help me out.  Granted, she would have been helping me anyway, she just had to be more involved since was has so little time to get it done.

So, the week was a total disaster.  I was up late every night and my mom was up with me.  We went over and over every detail until it was perfect.  But, it got done and it looked good.

When we got the book back though, it had big a B- on the front.  As an adult it must be very frustrating to pretty much write a fourth grade paper and not get an A+ on it.

That week, I caused my mother insane amounts of stress.  I should have taken care of that project months earlier.  Today I had one thing that I really should have done, but I got ridiculously busy on other things and didn’t get what I needed done.  I’ve been putting it off for a month.

One step.  All it takes is taking one step forward.  I know that every time I say that I’ll do it tomorrow, I won’t get it done.  I haven’t done it for a month, why would I do it tomorrow?

However, if I start today, doing at least something, I’m way more likely to get it done.

What do you think?  Will taking one step, even if it’s small step, push you forward?

Will it get the ball running?

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/shandilee/5972934439/”>Shandi-lee</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a>


One Habit at a Time – Making Self-Discipline Stick

I tend to talk a lot about self-discipline. Why?  Because I believe that self-discipline is the key to success.  I think that once you know yourself and take control of your life, you can do anything.  Until then, you’re waiting on life to lead you into the right places and you’ll end up wondering how you got to those places.  You got there because you had no plan.

However, the problem with articles about self-discipline and ways to succeed is there is too much information too fast.  It’s easy to get excited about something that you’ve read and then to completely forget about it in a week.  The reason that happens is because we, or at least I, try to do too much at once.

For example, I’ll read one article about running and decide, “I’m going to run 6 miles every day!”  Then I’ll read an article about writing and decide, “I’m going to write a 6 page sketch every day!”  After that I’ll read two or three more articles and add two or more things to my new “schedule.”  By the end of the week, I find myself sleeping in only to wake up and eat a whole carton of ice cream.

 

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I personally don’t believe that you can ever have too much ice cream.

 

Self-discipline is a snowball rolling down a hill.  It doesn’t start large.  It starts very small, but on the way down it picks up more snow and more speed.  By the time it reaches the bottom it’s the boulder from Raiders of the Lost Ark and it’s speeding forward lightning fast.

The best way to start being self-disciplined in your life is to start good habits, but those habits must be small and must start slowly.  Otherwise they’re doomed to overwhelm you and fail.

So, start small.  Instead of starting an intense work out routine immediately, decide to go to the gym for at least 10 minutes every day.  You’ll find that once you get there you’ll likely spend more time there and you won’t feel the pressure to be amazing immediately.  After that, you’ll find yourself used to going to the gym and you can start staying longer and working harder.  Then maybe you can start juicing, then reading more, etc.  The sky is the limit.

What do you think?  How many changes can one person handle effectively?  How do you make your new life changes stick?

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Marathon Training

About a year ago I started training to run a marathon.  Why?  Mainly, because I’ve always wanted to.  Not only would the training make me healthier, but only 0.5% of the US population has ever run a full marathon.  I wanted to be one of the few people who could pull it off.  I wanted to be one of the .5% that could make something that difficult possible.

In the end, however, I failed.  When my friend and I started training, I knew nothing about running.  I just knew that you should go.  So, I bought a good pair of shoes and started running.  The problem is, I didn’t do enough research.  I got to a place where I was running 8 to 10 miles every Saturday.  I felt great about it.  What I didn’t know is that I have weak knees and I needed to have special knee support wraps and better cushions in my shoes.

So, one Saturday we decided to go big.  We decided that we wanted to run a half marathon.  At that point I had only run 10 miles, but I thought, hey, what’s the worst that can happen?  That day, I ended up pushing myself so hard that I not only permanently hurt one of my knees, but I also bruised the bottom of my right foot so badly that I couldn’t walk on it for a week.  After that I ended up having to stop to recover and never starting again.  I had lost momentum and couldn’t get it back.

Did I fail to run a marathon because my knees and feet couldn’t handle it?  No.  I failed because I never counted the cost of what it meant to run a marathon.  I didn’t prepare well and when the going got tough, my body wasn’t ready.

Next time you have a big project, count the cost.  Read all you can on the subject.  Know what trials you’re going to run into and BE PREPARED.  That way when the going gets tough, your knees won’t give out and you can finish the race.

Oh, and one day I will run a marathon.  I just have to figure out how to fix my knee and foot.


Make People Like You

Six Ways to Make People Like You

Dale Carnegie

Rule 1:  Become genuinely interested in other people.
Rule 2:  Smile.
Rule 3:  Remember that a person’s name is to him or her is the sweetest and most important sound…
Rule 4:  Be a good listener.  Encourage others to talk about themselves.
Rule 5:  Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.
Rule 6:  Make the other person feel important and do it sincerely.

Holy Cow.  This is literally a guide to how to being successful in all areas of life.  If I can master this and get outside of my apartment more…  I could own the world.

Community is essential to a successful life.



Have a Personality

When I worked in casting I met great people.  I also met not great people.  Not to say they weren’t nice or that they weren’t good people.  They just weren’t great.

Some people would walk into the room and immediately not only shake my hand, but also drum up a conversation with me.  From the second they walked in the door the oozed of kindness and friendliness.  I actually believed that they wanted to be my friend, me, the lowly casting associate.  Other people only said hi and sat down and re-read their lines.  They didn’t speak to me unless they were asking me to get them something.  Not bad people at all.  They were just busy.

Guess who got on my good side and I fought for?

You’d be surprised how many times my lowly opinion meant something.  If I didn’t like someone, sometimes the casting director would listen to me.  Now, I did work on a major motion picture, so my opinion didn’t matter on the lead roles so much, but it definitely did on the minor roles.

So, next time you go into an audition, remember the little people.  No one knows that you’re a great person unless you show them.  That will significantly help your chances of getting any role.

Remember, they’re not just hiring you.  They’re hiring a potential friend that they’d want to work with.


Due Dates

I’m not great at getting things done.  When I was in college, if a paper was due on the 22nd of April, I didn’t even remember that I had to write that paper until the 21st.  I would get a text from a friend asking what book I cited for the paper and I would say something jokey like, “Get your own books!”  Then I’d freak out and write the whole paper in one night.

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Why does this keep happening to me?!? Oh wait, it’s because I’m a moron.

 

At least that’s what I did when I first started out.  After a while I bought a day timer/ planner.  This saved my soul.  Then I started giving myself due dates that were months previous to when the project was due.  That would give me plenty of time to actually read through my paper and check for mistakes.

What a concept.

Now, however, I don’t have due dates.  At all.  If I decide that I want to write a script, I write down the goal, but it never gets done.  This is where I’ve incorporated self-imposed due dates.

Do this.  It helps.

When you decide that you have a goal to achieve, immediately decide when that goal should be done.  Then use that motivation to get it done!

If, on the other hand, that still isn’t enough for you, there’s a website named StickK that has more motivation such as accountability, time constraints, and money on the line.  It’s pretty great.

The point is, get moving.  You’re your greatest mountain.  It’s time to get past you and get things done.

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/wheatfields/4774087006/”>net_efekt</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>cc</a>