How you can make the most of your holiday

Paint a picture in your head of the “perfect” holiday. What do you see?

 

-Is it a big family gathering?

-Lots of people flying in from all over the country to be together?

-A large table of food with people you haven’t seen in a while?

-Maybe a visit from friends of the family?

 

I recently heard the term “fomo” – Fear of missing out. I grew up thinking holidays needed to match all of these things. Then when my own family gatherings didn’t meet this reality, I’d experience fomo. I don’t know about you, but I hate feeling like I’m missing out on something. It eats away at me. (Which in turn usually just makes me want to eat more pie.)

 

Something that’s helped ease this fear is this: Everyone celebrates differently. In fact, it doesn’t matter how you celebrate. What matters is what makes you happy.

 

I shared on facebook yesterday about how important it is to set an intention. It might seem insignificant, but could make the difference in making your holiday extra special. So ask yourself: What do you want from your holiday?

-Do you want to laugh?

-Do you want a day away from your busy schedule in order to be around others you love?

-Do you want a day off your workout/nutrition regiment to eat lots of food for a day?

-Do you want a day where you get to focus on how grateful you are for everything as opposed to stressing out about your day to day routine?

 

I want all of those things. Today I’m grateful that I know I can do all of those things: Laugh, take a day off, stop stressing, and enjoy whichever company I’m in, without trying to match my holiday with everyone else’s that I see on social media.

However you choose to celebrate today, make it a day where you’re happy. In fact, let’s do that every day, yes?

 

friendsgiving

From the Friendsgiving I hosted two years ago. The Patriots winning made it okay too. 

Happy Thanksgiving, friends. Go get ‘em.

Attention Perfectionists: You can be successful without being perfect

 

I wish I had read these words forever ago.

I constantly get upset when things aren’t going perfect. If you saw my latest Sunday night video  (I share a new one weekly on facebook), you know that I had a day where I woke up at 4:30am – a good three and a half hours before my alarm went off. I didn’t want to be awake. I hated that I couldn’t fall back to sleep. Eventually, rather than fight it, I decided to accept it. And you know what? My day still turned out pretty good. Not perfect. But pretty good.

In fact, I’ve come to realize this has happened a lot lately.

The audition

I was running late to an audition. When I arrived, I learned I was at the wrong location. The odds of getting there “fifteen minutes early to fill out paperwork” weren’t looking too good.

I rushed off, made it to the right location, and had a less than perfect audition.

The outcome: I got a callback.

(Note: Actors. Don’t be late to auditions.)

The job situtation

For a long while, I refused to leave my dreaded job as a server because “there weren’t any other jobs out there that would give me the income and flexibility that I need.” But the day came where enough was enough. I left anyway, without a solid back up plan. It wasn’t the smartest decision. I had more than my share of financial struggles following this.

The outcome: I submitted for a job I never would have otherwise submitted for. I got it. My hours have recently picked up. Today I’m more financially comfortable than I’ve been since before I started serving.

Combining the two

So now I’m working more hours – great! Now how do I keep pursuing acting?

For a while this year, I wasn’t sure. There were some big obstacles around my schedule. I didn’t think there would be any projects I could pursue without taking a lot of time off. I didn’t think I’d be able to attend last minute commercial auditions for the same reason.

The outcome: A few months ago I got off my high horse and got back in touch with my agent. Since then, they’ve gotten me several auditions – all of which I’ve been able to attend around my work schedule. I’ve also discovered theatre projects that wouldn’t require time off either. I found answers which I thought didn’t exist because “they just wouldn’t work around my schedule.”

 

 

Sometimes things work out in our favor, despite the odds. This doesn’t always happen. Knowing that it does, however, releases our need to control every detail and trust that things have a way of “just working out” sometimes. .

Furthermore, we need to be willing to take risks. And fail. A lot of the answers I’ve found weren’t ones I had even considered because I had too many limiting beliefs around the outcome.

Trust that you can still do what you want. Don’t stress about how it looks. Just try it. Even if you fail, you might learn something you wouldn’t have otherwise learned.

Don’t let perfection get in the way of you living your awesome life.

Go get ‘em.

Do work that you love (and don’t play the lottery)

I’ll be honest – I hate the lottery.

For starters, it implies that there’s an easy way out. It implies that life is going to suck unless we’re that one in a million person who had things “just work out.” I’ll stop here. It’s making me upset…I don’t like being upset.

Second, it implies that once we reach a certain point in our lives, then we’ll be happy.

I call bullshit on both these points. Especially the second one. Let’s talk about that.

I moved to Chicago to be an actor. These days I spend more time at my promotional job and working from home coaching others with their health goals. I don’t neglect acting, but I certainly spend more time in the other two areas. Once I have more time for acting (and trust me, that’s coming), I’ll definitely be happier. However, time is not the only indicator on whether or not acting makes me happy.

If you’re a member of the Thriving Artist Circle, you know that Dallas Travers does one-on-one coaching calls each month. More recently, she and Roz Coleman were coaching actors on their goals – and it wasn’t at all what I was used to. I was used to the “do what you need to do to be a fulltime actor.” With this call, it emphasized being an actor and doing the type of work that you truly and honestly love to do.

*Record screech* Wait, wait? I thought being a fulltime actor was the answer?

Being a fulltime actor would be fun because it would mean less time working JOBs and working on what we’re truly good at. Now let’s fast forward to that magical day where acting pays all the bills: What is it about acting that excites you?

-Is it sharing a message to others that they wouldn’t have otherwise learned through your work?

-Is it telling stories in a specific way?

-Is it the process of dissecting a script and getting to know your character?

Because of it’s any of those , I got some follow up questions for ya:

-Will doing industrials for corporate companies help with this?

-Will doing film work – where I have little to no rehearsal time – help satisfy my passion for character work?

-Is that one liner role on Chicago Fire going to satisfy my need for dissecting a script?

This isn’t to say that the answer will be no. In fact, my dream job is to be a full time theatre actor.  Yet all three of those examples are jobs that I would gladly take.

Tony stops writing for a moment to see if he had any missed calls/emails about said work.

…Sorry. Anyway, the point is to focus on what you do want and how you do want to feel. I recommend focusing on those things now, prior to that magical day where you have financial freedom and can do whatever you want.

If you watched my facebook video earlier this week, you say that it breaks my heart seeing people working jobs they hate. Life is too short. Go after what you love. And be sure it is, in fact, what you love.

Speaking of which…love you guys. Thanks for reading.

Go get ‘em.

Have a friend who would like this? I’m always grateful for shares or shout outs on social media. The more people we can reach sharing messages of positivity and support, the better =) 

Being happy takes WORK

Look at my facebook page.

It’s easy to think I’m happy 100% of the time, always eating healthy, watching the Cubs, and heading off to an audition.

Social media tends to share our “highlight reel.” We see the awesome moments of others and think that’s it – that must be their life. For the most part, we don’t update our statuses we’re throwing a temper tantrum. (And for those few who do, they usually don’t last on our newsfeeds for much longer.)

Here’s a fact: I love my life. But it stresses me the hell out. While the payoff is great, the hard work can be a struggle.

Nutrition

I don’t love saying no to free chocolate that always seems to be available at work. I don’t love walking away from the free samples at the grocery store. I don’t love eating clean 100% of the time. But I sure love my cheat days.

More importantly, I love the way I look and feel. When I go to bed at night and wake up in the morning, I’m thrilled with my health. And that makes all those “no thank you’s” throughout the day worth it.

Personal Growth

Anyone here like binge watching shows on Netflix?

I used to watch tons of Netflix. I also used to watch more baseball games and listen to stand up comedy. Do I still do those things? Sure. But I cut it down considerably. On average, I watch roughly twenty minutes of television a day. I rarely watch sports and opt to listen to games while I work. And while I miss Jim Gaffigan, he sadly doesn’t make the cut these days.

What am I doing the rest of the time? I’m investing in myself. I listen to audio books, Ted Talks, coach training calls, and acting tips from Dallas Travers. Do I like skipping the fun things? Nope. Don’t get me started on how many Cubs games I missed this post season.

The payoff has always been worth it. But the initial sacrifice? Yeah that’s unpleasant.

Social Life

I really, really miss weekends.

Not only do I work Fridays through Sundays, but I also wake up early on those days so I can still complete my coaching and acting work for the day. Ask any of my friends who work normal 9-5 jobs the last time they saw me. I’ve gotten addicted to getting stuff done. God help me.

Here’s the deal: I don’t always share these things on my social media posts. It’s tough. I don’t ask for sympathy – that would be silly. But I share it here because I want my friends to know that even though it might look like I’m living this crazy and ridiculously positive and fun life, there’s a lot more sacrifice and unpleasantness than there might appear.

I want to leave you with a question: If you knew that making sacrifices in the short term would pay off in the long run, would you do it too? What if it helped get you out of your JOB and towards your crazy, awesome life?

Think about it.

Go get ‘em guys.