You guys: External things can't fix external issues.
Do you find yourself thinking any of the following:
- If only I had an agent ...
- If only I was Equity ...
- If only I had better connections, knew better people ...
- If only I had a better book ...
- If only I had more credits ...
- If only I had a better headshot ...
When we focus on the external factors of our lives, we're really saying that our skill set isn't good enough.
It's true that many high-powered people have trouble seeing past basic credentials like the things above. But it is easy to focus on "the tyranny of being picked" — it's so unfair, because I'm ready. And they won't consider me without the bells and whistles.
But instead of stewing over what we don't have, we must consider what we do have, and what we DO have control over.
We have control over ourselves, our work ethic and our attitude.
OURSELVES: The artist inside. If you have trouble finding material for yourself, I suspect that the inner artist hasn't been fleshed out. Either you haven't developed the understanding of the search (a problem in and of itself), or you can't choose between an overwhelming amount of material (because you haven't taken a moment to define yourself). What is your mission (what do you DO to attain your goals — routines and habits?)? What is your vision of yourself (who WILL you be?) And perhaps most importantly, what do you VALUE?
WORK ETHIC: Only you know if you are working hard enough. But some check-ins may be... do you ever feel bored? Do you ever feel lazy? If you're getting more than 8 hours of daily sleep, I think you may be sleeping too much. (Sleeping in and napping are for people who have lost sleep and need to catch up). When you end your day, is the only thing you can say for yourself that you went to your day job and saw friends? Or can you point to 3, 5, 10 things you did for yourself and your career, despite not having much time to do it?
ATTITUDE: It's vital to maintain perspective and to remember that we have a choice in how we feel about ourselves. Even in the darkest times, people found a way to stay positive.
I'm attaching a half-page chapter called "The Source of Your Anxiety" from one of my daily ritual books, The Daily Stoic. It's brief and asks some big questions.
- Ask yourself, "Am I focusing too much on external desires?"
- Make a list of 5 things you can do for yourself and your artist. (Likely, they are things you've been thinking about and maybe putting off.) Plot them out during your week... you have one week to do them, or at least get them started — and be sure to do at least ONE THING today!