The difference between being negative and being genuine. (It’s not what you think.) 

…okay maybe it’s what you think. 

Just recently, I came home to my apartment after returning to a visit to the Boston area. 

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Not wanting to break routine, I proceeded to through my usual vacation withdrawals at first. “What? Back to reality? Back to day jobs? Ugh…” I decided I needed something Boston related to get me through the next few days. And since nothing makes me happier than the Red Sox, I figured listening to some baseball would do the trick. 

Good news: I have a membership that allows me to listen to any baseball game I want! 

Bad news: …it wasn’t working. 

Three phone calls and multiple conversations with both Google Play and MLB At Bat reps resulted in….no answers. 

The follow day, I called again. This time I got a rep named Cara from Oklahoma. 

Truthfully, Cara didn’t sound particularly enthusiastic to talk to me. And I couldn’t say I blamed her – I was calling to get help with something that really didn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. I love baseball – but I don’t need baseball. (Playoffs excluded. Obviously.) Yet I was surprised when apologized to me for not sounding more energetic. “I’m really not feeling well,” she admitted.

Her honesty allowed us to have an awesome conversation. She wasn’t being fake, pretending like she was thrilled to be at work (even though I’m sure her boss wouldn’t approve.) She was honest and I even got to learn more about her. She loves baseball, hockey, and was looking to get back into a career in singing! I loved everything about this. 

She also scored extra points when she solved my problem and got Tony Rossi some baseball back into his life. 

Now had Cara gone on to vent to me about how much she hated her job, hated being sick, etc. this would have been a different blog post. But I personally love when I get a sense of honesty from someone who is on the clock and serving me. 

In a nutshell, I can’t stand fake. I blame the corporate environment for this, and not their employees – who are most likely not getting paid enough to even be there in the first place. 

The way to be genuine is to be yourself without venting. I love getting a sense of the person behind the mandatory smile. But let’s also not confuse this with getting a free pass to bitch and moan that we’re on the clock in the first place. 

So friends, be on the lookout for more ways to be yourself without going into a tailspin of “this sucks and here’s why.” 

And if all else fails – tweet broadcaster Tim Neverett and let him know where you’re listening from. He likes when you do this. 

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Don’t worry, I wasn’t being negative. They were broadcasting an extra inning game. And doing it wonderfully. 

 

Let’s go get ‘em, friends. 


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Tony is a theatre and film actor living in Chicago, just up the street from Wrigley Field 🙂 He loves helping others to become the happiest version of themselves so that they can live more fun, fulfilled lives on their own terms.

He also loves to blog on how to do this. 

Contact him for a free one-on-one to see if he can help you with your own mindset and happiness in life, or to inquire if he can do some writing for you!  You can reach him at tony.rossi@gmail.com

PS – Rumor has it that he loves when you hit that “share” button for friends and family to see 😉 

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Wanna see more? Check out my actor website! 

I also have a YouTube Channel with weekly #SundayVideos where I share how to take control over our thoughts and feelings on facebook live! 

 

When Being Right Doesn’t Work

Post originally written for parlepost.com. 

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My name is Tony. And I’m extremely stubborn.

Despite being stubborn, I love to make people feel happier, more confident, and have a better understanding of themselves. In order to have this understanding, it helps to understand others. Which means, if I want to help people in this area, I must do the same. So I’m working on this whole “stubborn” thing and focusing on how to listen better – particularly when I don’t want to…

Click to read the full post! 

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“Tony. Why do I have to click links now?” 

So glad you asked. Last week I shared that I’m a contributing writer to parlepost.com. In the hopes that I can stay on the team, I’ve asked readers to check out my content on their page.

“So like, is this content any different?” 

Nope! Still me talking in my own voice about taking control and being a happier person.

“Does this mean you’re done posting original content here?” 

Nope! But for now, I’m linking the post that are up.

“Okay fine. I kind of like your content regardless…so…are you available for hire?”

You bet. Shoot me an email at tony.rossi@gmail.com to discuss what I can do for you. Or check out my very official posting here.

I Broke The Rules

My name is Tony Rossi. Sometimes I break the rules. 

I do this every now and then. As other artists and entrepreneurs can attest to, there are periods where you’re not quite making as much money as you’d like. Which may or may not (but definitely will) cause you to do things that you probably shouldn’t be doing. 

There was a time where I did this and it really stuck out. 

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I won’t say where I was or what I was doing because it was highly illegal…okay that’s a stretch. It really wasn’t. I just found a loop hole that allowed me to steal wifi from an establishment that prefers you to give them money for doing so. Seeing as how I had been able to get away with this in the past, I figured…why not try again? So I did. And sure enough, I was recognized “Hey! Good to see you! When you get a chance, can you (actually do that thing where you pay us money because those are clearly part of the rules for being here)?” 

“Yeah! Definitely!” 

…I didn’t do it. 

The next couple hours were fear filled. “Are they going to say something? They’ll probably say something. I should probably leave. Or hide. This is terrible. I’m terrible. I’m a terrible human being. Is there someone behind me? I bet that’s them…

Which of course, only led to more negative thoughts….

“The staff must hate me. They must think I’m a scammer. They probably think I do this in every area of life. I bet they’ll go home tonight, think about how I’m a scammer, and text each other about what a dick I am….”

I should note that my whole reason for coming here in the first place was to feel positive, inspired, and excited to do work which can help me with my goals. Instead, I found myself furiously typing away at a post that I couldn’t wait to upload. (To my free blog.) 

Between my obsession for self help books and learning more about both myself and what others are thinking about, I’ve learned a few things that resonated that day: 

  1. We all could do better with checking in with ourselves. If the point of doing something, going somewhere, or being with somebody are supposed to make you feel good, do yourself a favor and ask if these things actually are helping you feel good. 
  2. Guys. No one cares about you as much as you think they do. I know, I know. This is a harsh truth. But think about a job you’ve worked in the past where you had an encounter with a coworker or customer. It didn’t go well. It pissed you off. You might have thought about them all the way home, complained about them to your significant other over dinner…..and then needed to unwind. With netflix. Or wine. Or both. The point is, we reach a point where we stop caring because we care way more about ourselves. We only care about the thoughts of others because it relates to ourselves. So do yourself a favor and just let it go. 
  3. This isn’t going to fucking matter a year from now. (Or maybe even tomorrow.) If anything, your trial and tribulation from today is going to make for an incredible story down the road. Because down the road, it’ll be just like your netflix and wine night – you’re going to stop caring about it. 

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Gotta love the quotes at Next Door Chicago!

So put things into perspective. Check in with yourself and see how you’re feeling. Realize that no one is thinking about you as much as you think they are. And realize that in the grand scheme of things – this incident really, really isn’t that big of a deal. 

Let’s go get ‘em, friends. 

***    ****

Tony is a theatre and film actor living in Chicago, just up the street from Wrigley Field 🙂 He loves helping others to become the happiest version of themselves so that they can live more fun, fulfilled lives on their own terms.

He also loves to blog on how to do this. 

Contact him for a free one-on-one to see if he can help you with your own mindset and happiness in life, or to inquire if he can do some writing for you!  You can reach him at tony.rossi@gmail.com

PS – Rumor has it that he loves when you hit that “share” button for friends and family to see 😉 

What happens when you trust uncertainty in your life

Don’t drink too much caffeine. Don’t put product in your hair. If you don’t show up early, you might not get paid.

The things we do as creative artists to pay the bills….

I signed up for a research study. I signed a confidentiality agreement and am not allowed to reveal details. I can say that I arrived after a #notperfect day. Add on top of that my continuous work on becoming more happy while working random gigs like these, and you have one unique, lanky, long nosed and quite troubled fellow coming into your office to take said study.

I’ve been working hard on myself. I want to believe that “everything always works out for me” whether I’m having a good day or not. Yet today, I was struggling. And it didn’t help that I was running late. I finally arrived to read the details of my consent form. The Tony-Rossi thoughts went as follow…

“I could be here two hours? And I’m going to be subject to a set of potential emotional experiences in order to give them a particular response? Don’t even tell me I might have to taste something on Day 2 of my new nutrition plan…Ugh. Why didn’t I just cancel? This can’t be worth my time…”

Right before I signed the form, figuring I was already there and have backed out of too many things I shouldn’t have in the past year, I had a new thought: Maybe this will be fun. Maybe I’ll get paired with someone nice. Maybe we’ll get out early. Or perhaps this will just be a great story or experience of yet another random side job I worked to get to success….

A voice interrupted my positive thoughts. It came from the nice lady behind the front desk. She was telling me that they’ve already begun the study. Something about the participants. And then concluding with, “…and we’re going to just pay you anyway.,

I’m sorry….what?

I’m getting paid to leave right now?

I. Was. Elated.

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Note to self: Make sure to crop out the full gift card number before posting….

Lessons from yours truly (who, upon writing this, is currently celebrating with a tall dark Christmas blend from Starbucks):

1) You are doing yourself a disservice if you freak out about uncertainty. While evolution has lead us to be on alert for uncertainty as a previous mode of survival, we’re no longer (hopefully) subject to attacks from wild animals who might kill us. Furthermore, you’re closing yourself off to the abundance of surprises and positives that are waiting to flow your way.

2) Believe that good things are supposed to happen to you. As speaker Les Brown says, “A lot of us think bad things are supposed to happen to us.” Start to ingrain a new belief into your brain that good things happen to you and that you deserve them. See what happens.

3) If all else fails… copy and paste this part somewhere so that you have it ready:

“Dear Universe (or whatever it is you choose to believe in – God, higher being, Tony Rossi, etc): Please forgive me for doubting you. You clearly want good things to happen for me. Thanks for that. I’m #notperfect. But I’m making progress everyday. With a little bit more practice…this will be second nature. Until then – thanks for your patience with me.”

Life is going to be as good or bad as we expect it to be. I’m expecting it to be awesome. Care to join me?

Let’s go get ’em.

3 quick reasons why you’re awesome

It’s my last blog post of 2016…..this shit better be good, huh? 

Per usual, I have a million thoughts on my mind. I’ve had a couple dozen aha moments since my end of the year vacation began. I’ve written down countless messages, notes, and thoughts that I can’t wait to share with the world – inspiring minds with the thoughts of Tony Rossi. 

We’ll save those for another day. 

Instead, here are three thoughts with no further explanation, of things on my mind that I think need to be shared: 

  1. You are awesome, exactly as you are
  2. You can screw up and still be just as awesome
  3. If you’re worried that you’re not awesome, chances are you have high standards for yourself. Which means you’re not going to let yourself be less awesome. 

…did I say I wasn’t going to give a further explanation? Oh. I lied. 

I love you guys. I am grateful for your likes, shares, and comments. I am grateful that so many of you watch my Sunday Facebook live videos. I am grateful for the mentors who teach me these lessons. 

And I’m grateful that I’m awesome enough to get over myself and share them. (Oh yes. This shit applies to me too.) 

Bring it on 2017. 

Let’s go get ‘em. 

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Beautiful shot of a water show at Longwood Gardens earlier this week 

“Because that’s life”

Hello! And welcome to TonyinChicago.

I update every Thursday. (You should subscribe. They’re pretty great….though I suppose I’m biased).

I write because one of my favorite things in the world is to share with others how to become a more authentically positive version of ourselves so that we can do the things we really want to do with our lives. I want others to discover they have control over their thoughts, emotions, behaviors, and patterns.

I want people to start realizing, “Oh wow….I used to feel (insert negative emotion here). But now I don’t. And my previous self would have never considered this a possibility!”

It’s a pretty awesome feeling once we realize how much control we actually have in life.

Sadly most people don’t accept this. They go with the, “It is what it is,” mentality. Oh! That reminds me…

There’s a guy who always visits one of my day jobs. I recall a conversation wit him where he shared with me -within minutes -about a health problem he had, then followed with how the red-hot Cubs would likely lose in the playoffs. “Because that’s life!” he told me.

Funny thing about life….
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…it doesn’t actually suck. It only sucks if you allow it to suck and allow yourself to be pulled by the current of “it is what it is.” It’s a herd mentality. I’d advise you not to follow it.

My hope to everyone is that you start reading more than just this blog from a guy in Chicago. Read authors such as Tony Robbins, Jim Rohn, Darren Hardy, and John Maxwell. Subscribe to Marie Forleo, Eric Thomas, and Preston Smiles on their youtube channels. Spend just a little bit of time everyday reading and watching these materials so that they eventually compound into these powerful thoughts that you never realized you were capable of having.

 

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I hope you do this so that you can have your own transformation…and yes, I might be a bit more trim in the “after” photo. It’s more than just an “I eat better and exercise” photo. It’s an “I’m a happier person” photo. I hope you can be happier too.

And I hope you realize just how amazing life can be, my friends.

Let’s go get ’em.

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Tony Rossi (that’s me!) is an actor, motivator and Beachbody coach helping others to become the most authentically positive version of themselves. If you’d like to speak with Tony, learn about his services, or tell him how much you like his hair, feel free to email him at tony.rossi@gmail.com. 

 

The Bunny That Reminded Me To Stop Stressing

In 2009 I decided I was going to move to Chicago.

I was about to enter my senior year. During class the previous semester, a professor mentioned some cities around the country that are great for pursuing theatre. Chicago was one of them. Seeing that I had an aunt and uncle living in the city, plus always wanted to try living outside of New England, I decided to check it out.

I contacted my aunt and uncle and booked a flight.

This was seven years ago, so I don’t remember all the details. I do however remember the first night very well. The weather was nice, so I went for a walk with the two of them around their neighborhood. I specifically remember this because we saw a little guy cross our way…

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Actual bunny

Okay lied. That wasn’t the actual bunny…but it is AN actual bunny….

I wasn’t used to seeing bunnies randomly on the sidewalk. 21 year old Tony was thrilled. That trip, I decided I was moving to Chicago. (I suppose a couple of other things influenced my decision.)

It wasn’t an easy transition after the “I’m going to move!” honeymoon phase ended. I remember being scared about so many things: Would I have any friends? Would I get cast in anything? Will I be able to afford my rent? How do I even get an apartment? We’ll save Long story short, it all worked out. (A lot of credit goes to my family and other kind souls…we’ll save that for a future post 🙂 )

Fast forward seven years and two weeks:

I was taking a walk. It was another beautiful night. I usually don’t take walks at night, but I needed to get out of my apartment for a bit. I was stressed. I felt behind on my goals. I was about to enter hell week for my workout program (check #TonyDoesHell week for updates!) and wasn’t looking forward to it. And we won’t even get into the confidence issues I was having that night.

Then I saw a little guy. A little guy I hadn’t seen in seven years….

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Same actual bunny.

Okay I’m totally kidding. There’s no way it was the same one.

But I did see another bunny rabbit. And I thought back to my first day visiting Chicago and realized what I have been missing: I’ve overcame a lot to get to where I am. Now I’m living in my own apartment, paying my own bills, have an agent, and have auditioned for three different plays this month. In comparison to where I started, I realized this: I am successful.

It’s easy to get weighed down by everything that life does. I think it’s even easier to forget how far we’ve come and all the good things are happening because it’s so freaking simple to focus on the negatives.

I hope you’ll join me in continuing to seek the good things that are right in front of us. I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.

Let’s go get ‘em, friends.

Are you a critic like me?

Did I ever tell you guys I used to be a critic? I was a damn good one…

Despite my commitment to personal growth and development, I was very good at critiquing those that I could best learn from. This happened a lot in acting classes. When the teacher was talking, I could always find something I didn’t like about their tone of voice. Sometimes I didn’t like that they always laughed at things I didn’t find funny. Other times I’d get upset when a student asked a particular question or sounded over confident.

This also happened anytime I was listening to a training call or attending an event related to my job helping others with their health. I would get bothered when the person hosting the call continued to say something similar each week.  I found myself annoyed if the presenter didn’t take into consideration how long the day had been or how tired I was. (I could always find a reason even if I slept well…)

This especially happened anytime I watched a video that was supposed to help me with my personal growth. “Did that speaker really just fumble over that part?” “Oh sure, that’s easy for him to say now that he’s successful…” “Great, now he’s going to tell us all the reasons why we should buy something from him….”

It’s a shame I wasn’t getting paid to be a critic. I could have made a lot of money.

I’m embarrassed to admit that I was doing this silent critiquing up until very recently. Somehow and somewhere, in between all that reading and audio listening, a question popped into my head:

“Is this person actually trying to bother me? Or are they trying to help?”

(Someone tweet that….I always wanted a blog with a link for people to tweet my words of wisdom…)

More often than not, the people we get bothered by aren’t trying to hurt us. In all of the examples I just shared, most of these people were trying to help me. While I heard their words, I wasn’t actually absorbing the lesson as well as I could have because I was too busy critiquing and getting upset by mundane things.

Do you ever find yourself doing the same thing? If you do, consider the following:

This person really wants to help. This especially applies if it’s a teacher, instructor, or anyone in a field where their job is based on the success of others.

Let the anger go.  When you start to recognize that anger? Acknowledge it, then let it go. Try silently thanking the person in your head. They’re doing you a favor right now whether you like their tone or not.

Successful people care about helping others. The money they ask for is helping them create more materials and content to continue helping – not just so they can take a cruise. Also consider the very successful ones – the big guys like Tony Robbins, Darren Hardy, or Michael McCracken – don’t need more money. They could retire. They ask for money because they want to continue helping.

 

 

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Okay….Michael just had a second baby….maybe consider throwing in an extra dollar in the coffee jar next time you use the Keurig at Vagabond School of the Arts 

 

Do any of these thoughts resonate with you? I’d love to hear which ones in the comments below. (And I won’t even charge you 😉 )

Now, if this does happen with you a lot…don’t kick yourself. You’re not doing it because you’re a bad person. You’re doing it because you’re human. When we’re human, we have a tendency to mess up every now and then. Doesn’t make us bad people. And we can always change.

Let’s go get ‘em, friends.

 

 

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PS – Like the photo of me and Michael? It was taken by Gretchen Kelley from Gretchen Kelley Photography. She also did my headshots. I kind of like them. Check out her website if you’re looking for new ones yourself 🙂 

Take Ownership. Be Happier. (Then Tip Accordingly)

I’m going to toot my own horn for a minute here: I’ve gotten pretty damn good over the years at saving money and time when it comes to food.

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Cooking in bulk saves time – leftovers! 

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Packed some food prior to flying home last week. Had some healthy options ready to go for my first couple days! 

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More packed meals for the flight home! 

With the exception of my amazing ability to empty my wallet by the second inning of a baseball game, I’ve learned tricks to pack meals and avoid inconveniences on the go. On visits home, however, it’s a different story. Family dinners and coffee with friends are a common occurrence. I enjoy these experiences, so I make time for them as I can. Below are a few experiences I had on my vacation last week that diiiiidn’t quite go according to plan….

 

What happened: I was budgeting, but really wanted to treat myself to breakfast. I ordered a couple of eggs, a side of veggies, and coffee. Next thing I knew, I was receiving a large plate of eggs, veggies, toast, and home fries. I ordered sides, but received the “combo.” This was going to cost more.

Taking ownership: If you’re looking to save money, you should avoid eating out all together.

 

What happened: I decided last minute to join family for lunch. I only had a short amount of time before meeting another friend for coffee. So we picked a spot right by the coffee shop with just enough time for dining. Due to an error….my food order wasn’t placed. My family had finished eating before my food had even arrived (I encouraged them to start without me). I was late to coffee with my friend.

Taking ownership:  If you’re on a set agenda, consider quicker food options (take out, just ordering drinks, etc.) Avoid sit down restaurants where issues like this can happen.

PS – I’ve been a server – I’m well aware of all of said issues. In a busy, popular place, there’s a lot that can go wrong very quickly J

 

Let’s be clear, here: None of these are real problems. I’m highlighting this because a lot of the time we get upset over delays and unforeseen circumstances. It’s easy to get upset and angry, when the mistake or delay shouldn’t have happened in the first place. Some thoughts on this:

1) It’s a waste of energy: Unless you’re going to ask the server (or whomever is responsible) for a change, the “letting off steam” to others approach is just going to drain you and make you more unhappy. Please keep this in mind over events that should be fun, like dinners and outings with friends.  (Side note: If you’re going to ask someone in the service industry to fix the error, tip accordingly. Even if they’re at fault, you’re causing a delay and more work to them, and possibly other staff and customers.)

2) Realize that problems are always a possibility. This isn’t a pessimistic view. Rather, it’s a chance to prepare so that when problems do arise, you’re ready.

There’s always a chance you could run into traffic. Consider leaving earlier, even if that means killing time beforehand.

There’s always a chance public transportation could have a delay. Either consider leaving early, or find another way of getting there. (This is a big reason I love biking.)

There’s always a chance your “supposed to be quick” meal could hit a snag and take twice as long. Considering packing a snack or coming up with a Plan B for food options. (Email me if you need tips! As I mentioned, I’m a pro when it comes to saving money on food.

3) Realize that bad things can happen to good people. No matter how nice of a person you are, the Universe sometimes has “off” days. Again, not being a pessimist 🙂 It’s acknowledging these things that save you energy and keep you happier when they do happen.

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And then there are some people who always make you happy. An after dinner picture with my cousins Danielle and Samantha 🙂 

Sound good?

Good. Go get ‘em.

I’m #notperfect. Wanna join?

I was up late last night.

I enjoyed some beer, listened to some baseball, and ate lots of food. It was wonderful. And yet, here I am talking about how I’m on this mission to be happier and healthier. Yes, I am on this mission, but here’s the truth: I’m still #notperfect
. And I enjoy #notperfect things.

I love cheese. I eat an embarrassing amounts if it’s available on my cheat nights. If it’s not available, I’ve been known to make a trip (or several) to the 24 hour Jewel that’s a short bike ride away – regardless of how cold it is.

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This gets challenging when your favorite pizza shop is closing early and gives you extra slices.

I love chocolate. I stopped keeping it in my apartment because if I have one piece or one bite, the rest quickly will be gone. But when there are desserts on the table after Christmas dinner? I am SO having chocolate….all the chocolate.

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A lovely view of the spread we had last Christmas at my Aunt’s place!

I love baseball games….okay so this one isn’t so bad. At least until you see how much money I spend. Or you see how much of that cheese and beer I’ll purchase. Or how my “be happy” attitude goes south because I’m upset that Ortiz got called out on a terrible pitch.

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This wasn’t an issue during my trip home last month. 

I love doing a lot of things that don’t make me my most positive, healthy and creative self. And that’s what makes me normal.

Do you ever get upset at yourself for doing human things? They might keep you from your goals in the long run – but in the moment they’re pretty fantastic.

I like instant gratification. I’m sure you do too.

In all that I do – running private health and fitness groups, hosting weekly periscopes, or just posting on facebook – I’m encouraging you all to live your own positive, healthy and creative lives. Know that if you join me, we all get to be #notperfect. It’s about progress. And in the Tony Rossi Rule Book, we get to enjoy being human along the way.

Have an amazing rest of your week, my friends. Go get ‘em.