Archive for January, 2018

Success Lesson From My Acting Teacher

Thursday, January 18th, 2018

Success Starts Here Freeway Style Desert LandscapePhoto courtesy of MorgueFile.com

I once had an acting teacher who complimented me on my tenacity. She observed that no matter what got me down, I never gave up; that I always got back on my feet and returned to the game. She remarked that she admired the courage I displayed in doing so.

When she first shared this observation with me, it didn’t sound positive. When I screwed up a scene and she gave me critique, usually I was able to make the adjustment that she wanted, and I would usually get it right. But not always, especially in the early stages of my training.

I thought, since I had not “nailed” it at my first attempt, then surely I wasn’t that good, and that this was her way of telling me I wasn’t good enough to make it as an actor, and not to quit my day job. I hung in there but it took me a while to accept that few actors have the innate gift of a Brando, Cagney, Stewart, or Fonda. Most actors have some talent, and many are exceptionally gifted, but it requires dedicated training over time to perfect that talent. And, along the way, actors don’t always get it right.

I have learned that, regardless of the path you choose in life, success requires that you continue to pursue your goals and dreams without giving up or giving in. As I look back on my former teacher’s comment about courage in the face to defeat or disappointment, I can now see how important it is to take your lumps but never give up. If you stay in the game, you just might get there. But if you give up and thrown in your cards, it is certain that you will not succeed. Getting up off the proverbial floor, and pressing forward, can be a recipe for success.

Lately, as I have been re-assessing my life, I have been recalling dreams and aspirations I had when I was younger. In all honesty, some have come true and some have not. Obviously, I don’t feel good about the ones that haven’t, so I have been asking myself some questions about them:

“Which of your unrealized dreams were caused by you giving up on yourself, and what could you have done differently to push yourself forward toward success? Have you given up on yourself at any time in your life?”

Socrates said that an unexamined life is not worth living. While I don’t completely agree with him (I believe that if you are still living, it is worthwhile to continue to do so), I do believe self-examination should be part of an ongoing, transformative process. So I continue to examine my life.

Most of what I learned when I was young, I did so by the seat of my pants. I loved my dad, but he never taught me anything through direct dialogue with me. He was just not a life coach type of man. So I learned on my own, and many lessons came late in life.

Yes, I did give up on certain goals when I couldn’t conceive of how to accomplish them. But I would typically re-group and seek other means to solve the problem. Usually I would get it done.

On balance, I’ve enjoyed enough success to keep me moving forward; always seeking greater success in virtually all aspects of my life. And as long as I embrace and nurture this unfolding, continuous process, I’m pretty sure that when all is said and done, my former acting teacher would be very proud of me. Her words have inspired me in all areas of my life, not just in my acting career. And for that, I am truly grateful.

Were you inspired by someone to move boldly toward success? If so, please comment below.

A World That Works For Everyone

Thursday, January 18th, 2018

What does a world that works for everyone really mean, and are people concerned enough to see this happen? If we judge by the collective behavior of people, I would say that the answer to this question is an emphatic NO.

It is my observation that people are so obsessed with their own wants and needs, that they don’t seem to care about anybody else. Consequently, we see daily evidence of domestic violence and abuse, police brutality, political pandering, abuse of power, and human rights abuses. Too few of us understand that the victimization of just one person, is the victimization of all people. And sooner or later, we may all be visited by the injustices that permeate our societies. Hopefully, we will wake up before it all gets completely out of control.

Perhaps the way I was raised instilled in me an ongoing concern for others. My parents taught me “The Golden Rule”; that is, do unto others as you would have others do unto you. And that has been a guiding principle of my life.

So it is extremely difficult for me to understand, both at an intellectual and a spiritual level, how people can do such injustices to their fellows, so much so that it is constantly reported in the media every day. For example, how can men presume to deny the rights of women to do what they choose concerning their own bodies? This is sexism and, even worse, misogyny, which the Merriam Webster dictionary defines as “hatred for women.” I don’t believe that men would tolerate this behavior if their rights were being trampled upon. I just don’t get it!

And how can 1% of Americans use their political and financial power to keep the remaining 99% of the population controlled; nay…enslaved to their greed that controls the lives of others to their detriment? How much power is enough for these people who seem to be unaware of The Golden Rule? Moreover, where is the will to hold these tyrants accountable for the damage that they are doing to the country, and to the world at large?

Politicians, police forces, corporations, the wealthy, the privileged; as well as racists, bigots, and homophobes, all contribute to a world that works for the chosen few, and NOT for everyone. And these people seem to believe that they and their constituents are somehow more valuable and thus entitled to be treated more fairly that the masses. I hate this.

My greater challenge is to hate the behavior and not the practitioner of the behavior. I want to be an agent for positive change, so that the changes will level the playing field for all people and contribute to a world that works for everyone. But each day makes it more difficult for me to retain a belief that, in due time, there will be a massive change in the collective vibration of the planet; and that we will begin to experience the kind of world that the Designer of Life intended when He, She or It thought it into existence.

This is the hope that I struggle with daily, and one which I cannot abandon. There must be a higher level of collective consciousness than what is being revealed daily in the media. And I must hang on to that hope lest I become an additional part of the problem, rather than a part of the solution.

What about you? Can you relate to what I’m feeling?  And, if so, how do you handle this dilemma? Please share your comments. I would love to hear from you.

Tags: human rights, abuse of power, domestic violence, police brutality, injustices, victimization, spirituality, The Golden Rule, positive change, collective consciousness