Entrepreneurs are ruling this recession. Why? Because they’re hungry and motivated. They’re out there finding business from places you wouldn’t have even thought to look. That’s the thing, people don’t want to work. They want a job and a paycheck.
There are lion tamers who are “naturals” - born lion tamers – and lion tamers who “know the ropes”. They try hard but the lions instinctively sense that. You see them checking their messages while these persistent wannabes attempt desperately to command their attention.
Even the layperson can intuit distinction between the naturals and the “not-born-to-its”. One sends you home feeling exhilarated; the other – you may not be able to put your finger on it – but you somehow feel that something meaningful was missing.
Annette Bening tries and does commendably well. But, like the lion tamer to whom the lions pay only perfunctory attention, there is something missing.
If you’re me, possessing an ear attuned to the material’s potential, you can sense that the monologues deserve bigger laughs than the performer, lacking the “basic ingredient” is able to elicit.
You can feel the audience wanting to laugh more – and Draper’s delicious observations meriting more – but Bening’s comedic insufficiencies turn potential home runs into opportunity-missing singles.
I mostly sat there, imagining which performer might “kill” in a similar situation.
People tell me, "I want to be a writer." OK, then write. There's no trick. No one's gonna knock on your door and ask you to write. Just write, dummy. Put your 10,000 hours in (see: Malcolm Gladwell), and be undeniable.
Don't let defeat discourage you
I got fired from Saturday Night Live and fired from my next job, a sitcom, right after. It made me gun-shy. But I lived through it. I kept going. As Charlie Kaufman said: "Do not worry about failure. Failure is a badge of honor. It means you risked failure."
Do start reflecting
I do therapy. If therapy isn't your thing, then go to church or get a Pema Chödrön book for $9 on Audible—whatever you need to do to live an examined life. It'll make your life (and the lives of people around you) exponentially richer.
Be nice to yourself
I've caught myself feeling utter disgust looking at myself naked.. If we were half as nice to ourselves as we are to any f--king stranger on the street, we'd be winning.
Don't get cosmetic surgery
Aging is like a really slow-moving horror movie. When I see people with fillers or weirdo stretched-out faces, I'm like, You look crazy.
From an Interview with Woody Allen by Anthony De Curtis
I think that my generation grew up with a value system heavily marked by films. You know, there was no television, we didn't read books. Your values and everything you thought about life you got from this overwhelmingly powerful image of the movies.
You'd go into a beautiful movie theatre -- you know, even the neighbourhood movie theatres were beautifully carpeted, chandeliers, brass, they were gorgeous. You'd go in and suddenly on some ugly, broken-down, sun-drenched street in Brooklyn on a summer afternoon, suddenly you're in a totally different world and there's a pirate ship off Spain. You saw all of that as real as could be.
Then that picture was over and there were six people living in a penthouse on Park Avenue and going to nightclubs and all the women were beautiful, and all the guys were attractive, and everybody always had the right thing to say.
This is overwhelming when you're a kid. And it forms your value system, and it's hard to outgrow it.
I have a lot of experience in this area,” says one longtime label executive and producer. “Artists have a lot of help on their first albums, and they’re open to a lot of help, and they are very smart collaborators and make great work.”
Once that work results in great success, he says, the artist invariably believes they are solely responsible. “Time and again, they feel like they could have done it themselves, and if they had done it their way, it would have been even bigger,” he says.
“So they jettison the people who helped them get where they are and hire people who are less powerful, who let them do what they want. I think that may be where Lady Gaga is.”
In the past, if you asked me when I woke up in the morning what things would make me happy that day, I would tell you: being with my family, eating good food, having rewarding conversations with friends, learning interesting things, going on adventures and so on. But if you asked me at the end of the day how I spent my free time and I would tell you: Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, responding to angry internet comments.
Whenever I would come home from a long day at work or school, I would be so tired the only things I could find the energy to do were mindless. Somehow I would find hours of time for television, Netflix, Reddit or Facebook,
Finally, though, I replaced this nightmarish routine with the twenty minute rule. The moment I get home, I force myself to do at least twenty minutes of one of the following: write an article, read a book, practice chess, learn another language with DuoLingo, practice guitar, meditate, work on a computer programming language or improve flexibility with stretching.
Once you get passed that twenty minute commitment, you will find that you have the energy to keep going. If you don't continue past twenty minutes or don't even start the twenty minutes, it's better to go to sleep than waste your time.
So, here are the keys to progress:
1. When people don't plan, they play Angrybirds and watch Netflix because it takes less energy than figuring out something to do. This is the path of least resistance. We need to build habits that make it difficult and one way to do this is the twenty minutes rule.
When we want to do something that we know will enrich our lives, like writing a book or learning a language, we say "I'll get around to it." We don't commit the twenty minutes a day necessary to become the person we really want to be. And so we need to challenge the impulse to relegate our ambitions and passions to something our future self will do.
2. Recognize that any forward movement is worthwhile.