Be you. Not your friend.

Actor friends. Stop me if you heard this one. 

You did a show. It went great. You loved your cast. The show closes. Next thing you know, someone from your cast goes on to book a bunch of awesome things….

-A role with your all time favorite theatre company

-A speaking role on a Chicago television show

-Another speaking on a non Chicago television show. 

Meanwhile, you were…

-Working in more shows, but not ones that were getting the attention or publicity as your friend’s

-Continue to work day jobs that you don’t like. 

-Later find yourself in between projects and embarrassed to answer the question, “So…what are you working on right now?” 

I’m a big fan of Marie Forleo. She spoke about comparison in a recent episode of “Marie TV” (which you can watch in full here). I’ve included some of my favorite quotes: 

“There are not limited spots on the podium.” 

“[The comparison impulse] is addictive, deadly, and will destroy your happiness if you let it.”

“People say, ‘comparison is the thief of joy.’ I’ve called it ’The hamburgler of happiness!’”  

When one person is succeeding next to us in our field, It’s very easy to get upset. But here’s the really crazy part of all this – most of the time we don’t bother to examine why that person is ahead of us. Personally I think our energies are better directed at our own goals and tasks, but let’s pretend “you can’t help it” for a minute….(For the record, I think that you “can’t help it” it’s bullshit, but I’m in a good mood and still have some coffee left, so I’ll play….)

I recently saw two different successful actor friends pop up on the internet for multiple theatre companies I want to work with. Wanna know what I discovered? They’ve been doing theatre in Chicago for a while. Like, a long while. We’re talking my list of top five favorite Chicago theatre companies when before they had hit double digits in age. Wanna know what I was doing before I was ten years old? Drawing pictures of baseball players. And watching baseball. Really anything that could make me believe that I was going to be a baseball player. 

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Sorry guys. 29 Year Old Tony is not going to be a baseball player. But he pulls off this Red Sox winter hat pretty well, in my opinion…

My friends. It is a waste of time to look outside your own lane. It’s yours. Besides, once I start booking roles with said theatre companies….is it really going to matter that I arrived at the same finish line as them just a couple of decades later? 

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In the meantime? I’m okay with being in the email newsletter for Broken Nose Theatre. They’ve been pretty cool to work with 🙂 

I think not. Who knows – maybe we’ll all do a show together. That’d be awesome. 

Let’s go get ‘em. 

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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 terms. Contact him for a free one-on-one to see if he can help you with your own mindset and happiness in life at tony.rossi@gmail.com

PS – Rumor has it that he loves when you share his content with friends and family.

The question that got me out of my funk

Last week I shared with you guys that I haven’t been feeling too great this month. Unfortunately this week is no different 😦 What I’ve since learned is that I’ve been prolonging my cold because I was being stubborn. I had refused to take a break from my exercise regiment and wasn’t giving my body the rest that it needed.

I honestly didn’t realize how attached I had grown to my workouts and my physical results I was getting from them. Of course, I learned this the hard way because I’ve finally stopped doing them. I’ve also learned the hard way that I’m not very nice to myself when this happens. I allow that negative voice to chime in…

“You don’t look as good as you did before.”

“You realize that if you don’t workout, you’re going to look ugly.” 

“You should just let yourself go and eat like crap too. There’s no reason to pretend that you’re going to keep your results in the meantime.” 

All this negative chatter has been chiming in. There was a good 24 hour period where I listened to every word and believed it to be true. (It wasn’t pretty. Ask Beaker.) 

Fortunately I’ve had some helpful people chime some reason into my head. Coaches such as Wendy Braun and Courtney Rioux in particular. In fact, it was Courtney’s words that chimed into my head that finally started to put me in a better mood. 

I credit Courtney for a lot of my breakthroughs. What was really cool about this one was that I actually haven’t even shared this specific struggle with her yet. I simply remembered something she had said to someone else in a recent My Big Year call. They were going  through something completely different and expressed it to Courtney. She followed with this question: 

“Are you willing to see things differently?”

I love this question. We easily can spend time and energy listening to negative voices and asking ourselves why we’re not better. Yet we often don’t stop and ask if we’re willing to see our situation in a different light. I realized the entire time I had been kicking myself and listening to that negative voice that I wasn’t willing to see things differently. I wanted to feel better, resume my workouts, and then have a big cheat night while I watched one of the Cubs games….and then resume my workouts so I could get my results back again. (True story.) I was so frustrated, I wasn’t willing to see any other outcome. But once that question popped into my head, I realized, okay…..I am wiling to see things differently.

Now….what can I do?

The next tie you find yourself in the midst of a setback, stop and see if you’re willing to see things differently. There’s an answer for every problem. But we won’t take the necessary next steps if we’re not open to seeing things differently.

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And if all else fails, take this advice from Preston Smiles. This was from his book “33 Ways to Love Louder.” I’m a little obsessed and it’s such an easy read.

Let’s go get ‘em, friends. 

Some positive thoughts and quotes to get you through next week

I like to think I’m productive. (You can see where this is going…)

But seriously, the past two years since working with a life coach, taking better care of my health, and training to be a coach for others who want to improve their own health and lifestyle has taught me a lot of skills. I’ve even reframed my mindset around my goals. I’ve gotten damn good at getting things done – even to the point where I don’t take breaks or sleep as much!

….and now I’ve been fighting a cold for the past couple of weeks. (Shocker.)

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I tweeted this photo to all who were wondering how I was enjoying the Cubs game on Saturday night from Wrigleyville. (You can tell by my spelling that I was a little sleepy…

 

The biggest challenge? My energy is nowhere near what I’m used to. I don’t like being low energy. (Who does?) But more than that, I LOVE the feeling of adrenaline from new thoughts or inspiring ideas. So while I might not be able to do all the burpees and chin ups that I’m used to (it’s driving me crazy), I have been taking furious notes from my favorite books, youtube videos, and training videos.

Below are just a few of my favorite thoughts or quotes I wrote down from within the past week. Most are paraphrased. (If you’re reading this and are a lawyer, please schedule an appointment at your convenience to discuss anything legal. I’m free if there’s coffee.)

 

Marie Forleo and Grace Bonnie – Marie TV

Grace Bonnie discusses how she encountered a drastic change after new information about her health.

Favorite quote: “My health became my work for a while”

 

#MyBigYear2016 with Courtney Rioux

Courtney tells us in one of her training modules regarding that negative voice in our head that it’s really our ego.

Favorite quote: “It’s not you, and it’s not true.”

 

Favorites quotes from “33 Ways to Love Louder” by Preston Smiles

-Honor what is. Be inspired by what’s in the way

-Hurt people are the ones who go out of their way to hurt people.

-Be conscious with your words. They make up your reality. 

 

Favorites from “Awaken the Giant Within” by Tony Robbins:

-There’s a difference between reaching one’s goals and living ones values.

-Be committed to who you want to become – even if it all goes wrong

-Most people don’t take control and make decisions. They get caught up in the “currents” of life and let it control them. 

 

I hope you check out some of the links if any of them resonated with you so you can start to get more of these thoughts ingrained in your head without waiting for a guy from Chicago to shoot you an email with a free blog 😉

Above all – I thought this would be an example of some cool things that have happened in the midst of a setback. I’m not used to being lower energy or skipping workouts. It’s been challenging. But all those notes? I like those.

Go get ’em, friends.

Strugging? Have a setback? So were these 5 MLB All Stars…

Whether you’re a fan of baseball or looking to become an All Star in your own field, this one is for you.

Being a die hard fan myself, I often think about how wonderful it must be to be an athlete. Sure, there’s a hectic travel schedule and you’re under a big media spotlight. But how cool is it that you get to work every day doing what you love?

Last month I watched the 2016 All Star Game played in San Diego. (From my studio apartment. In Chicago.) I couldn’t help but notice there were a few athletes playing who weren’t exactly living an all star life in their recent past.

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Jackie Bradley, Jr: This season he’s been on fire for the Red Sox. The guy is a becoming a fan favorite in the Boston area after his impressive 29 game hit streak. I’m sure many fans aren’t thinking about how only a year ago he was struggling at the plate and endured multiple visits down to the Paw Sox – a Red Sox AAA team. I even doubted whether or not he’d be in Boston in 2016.

Will Meyers: This man got a standing-O practically every time he was featured in the All Star game. He was representing the Padres in their own ball park, much to the delight of the fans. Speaking of fans, anyone remember the time he got heckled relentlessly by Red Sox fans during the 2013 playoffs after a fielding blunder?

Wilson Ramos: This year the 29 year old represented the Washington Nationals for the National League. However, he endured a devastating struggle five years ago: Just after his rookie season, Ramos was kidnapped from his home in a hostage situation in Venezuela. Many were more concerned about his life – not the fact that he might never play baseball again.

Steven Wright: The knuckleballer for the Red Sox humbly accepted his first All Star nomination this year. After listening to him in a post game interview, fans got a chance to hear how he nearly quit baseball five years ago. Had it not been for the support of his wife, he probably would have. (Men, take note.)

[Source: The wonderful journal of Tony Rossi….but notes were from post game show on WEEI ;)]

David Ortiz: What’s not to love about David Ortiz? We’d be here all day if we were listing his accomplishments for the Boston Red Sox. All loyal Sox fans are familiar with his triumphs. But what about his struggles? Having just listened to a podcast, it was revealed that he broke down in tears after being released from the Minnesota Twins. He wasn’t sure he’d play baseball ever again.

[Source: Boston Red Sox Podcast – “A History’s Perspective.” Guest: Adrian Burgos]

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I miss the guy already. Caught him at Fenway earlier this season! 

Anytime there’s an abundance of evidence showing failure and setbacks, I tend to focus on more of them. I often see them in my acting career as well as my journey as a fitness and mindset coach. What I can’t see in those moments? The future. When we can’t picture an awesome future, it’s hard to get through the struggle

I love these stories. They share how a #notperfect chapter doesn’t dictate our final conclusion.

Go after that conclusion. The struggle isn’t all there is.

Go get ’em.

Why Transition Periods Are Stupid

I got a new apartment.

I had a long list of reasons why I was excited to move in. I couldn’t wait to start experiencing all of them.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a real experience without hitting some roadblocks.

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Moving requires a transition period. You’re adjusting to a new living environment. This means a change in your daily routine, plus figuring out where the closest places are in your neighborhood to run errands. Granted, a quick google search will help. But then there are other factors you may not have considered.

Here were some of mine:

-Technical difficulties of every kind: Broken internet. Workout DVDs wouldn’t play on my laptop. Printer wouldn’t work. Cellphone was constantly freezing.

-Realizing all the things I needed to buy: Everything from trash barrels to a shower curtain. This would take time….and money. Speaking of which…

-Moving costs money. Renting a truck, putting gas in your friends’ car who was nice enough to let you borrow it, putting gas in the truck that you rented…it all adds up.

I very quickly hit a point where all I could see were negatives.

After going through my “Woe is me,” “All I can see are negatives,” “Did I seriously just break my coffee pot?” phase, I remembered some cool tricks I got from personal development.

Despite the transition, I really didn’t have a serious problem. I had finally got my own apartment. It’s exactly where I want to live for exactly the amount I want to be paying. I’m even closer to public transportation. My “problems” weren’t real life problems.

Even if I did have a problem, all of these things were temporary. I was going to get internet again. I’d be getting more paychecks soon. I could seriously go to Walgreens and buy a new coffee pot (which I did, begrudgingly). All of these were just a temporary inconveniences, and would eventually lead to an awesome 2015.

Hell, forget about the rest of the year. It’s only been a week.

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Internet is great. New printer is on the way. Solved my DVD issue. And finances? Working on it 🙂 But I did snag two phone interviews, attended two commercial auditions, plus got two unexpected paychecks.

Last week I thought I’d still be broke with no internet and no way to get my work done without going to Starbucks. I couldn’t see the other end of the tunnel.

Our struggles are temporary. Some last longer than others. But as long as you remain positive that you can and will get through them, you’ll be fine.

Of course, it helps when your Patriots win the Superbowl too.

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We were a little excited. Thanks for my 1522 friends for hosting! 

Stay positive. Keep going.

And, of course, GO PATS!