When you’re STILL sick….and you have Cubs tickets

There’s just something about baseball and warm weather that makes us….happy.

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Got a nice view of Guaranteed Rate Ballpark on my flight home last month

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Add “dressing nice for the occasion” on top of that and it makes you EXTRA happy! 

 

So when I saw there were cheap Cubs tickets available for April – I jumped at the chance.

Problem was – I couldn’t find a free day until the end of the month. The literal end of the month.

The good thing was – this gave me pleeeenty of time to look forward to the occasions 🙂

Having fun things to look forward to is one of my favorite pleasures. I do the same thing with trips back home to Boston. Even though I haaaate the waiting game when there’s three months to go, there’s something special that happens when it gets closer and closer. And when the actual date comes? I’m over the moon 🙂 It’s a special feeling that we get because we endured so much waiting.

…so you’ll understand why I was in terrible mood the week leading up to the game when I got a sinus infection – that was still lingering by Monday the 30th 😦

I. Was. Livid. Cue the negative chatter….

 

“ARE YOU JOKING ME?!” 

“This TOTALLY happened the last time I bought Cubs tickets!” 

“I’m about to start rehearsals! I’m not going to have any time to see another game!” 

“I specifically wanted these because they were cheap! The next time I’m free, they’re going to be soooo expensive….”

“WHY DO I ALWAYS GET SICK WHEN FUN THINGS HAPPEN?! UGHHHH….”

 

 

The funniest part to me is, I have peers who still think I’m a “happy all the time” person. (Note: They don’t exist. If they do – they’re in denial and they’re worse off for it.)

As a die hard baseball fan, I’ve always been in a sour mood when it comes to missing out on a game. While this did happen to me last fall – this also happens a lot due to weather. And it reminded me of a family I met a few weeks ago…

I was sitting in Starbucks, getting some work done. (I got a spot I love right across the street from the ballpark.) Per usual, there were a plethora of Cubs fans getting ready to enjoy some day baseball (another reason I love this spot.) The only thing was – the weather wasn’t looking too good. In fact, it was snowing – which, if you’re a baseball fan – you know has happened throughout the country during the month of April. Yet, fans had still showed up, with blankets and layers. I loved it.

Another reason I love this Starbucks: The staff is fantastic. That day was no exception. Store mananger Benji was going around informing the customers of some disappointing news he just learned – the game had just been cancelled.

While no baseball fan likes to hear this news, there was one family in particular who were really disappointed. They had traveled a good distance to come to the game from Indiana – specifically for their daughter’s birthday.

Now that is disappointing.

After thinking about this family and how disappointed they must have been, I realized something – I didn’t have a real problem. 

Sometimes we get so caught up in the things we want and what we think we deserve, we forget how good we have it. We forget if our schedule is busy and we have to miss baseball games, it might be because we’re living an artistic life and get to work on things we love. We forget that if our vacation plans get changed – we’ll eventually probably be able to take another one. And neither mentions the fact that we get to afford baseball games and vacations in the first place.

What I had forgot about during my week long tantrum is that I live right up the street from the ballpark. Getting back to Wrigley isn’t that hard. Sure, scheduling a game is more challenging. But getting to go to a game doesn’t cost me a Metra ticket, a parking pass, or coming up with gas money. It takes a day that works for me, and a short walk to the ballpark.

That morning, I looked up Cubs tickets for May – and SURE ENOUGH there were $10 seats (face value) for the following week. And I just happened to be free on Tuesday, only eight days after my original game.

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4 Tickets. $40. That, my friends, is what you get for midweek baseball early in the season.
PS – BUY THEM AT THE BALLPARK IN ADVANCE, YOU’LL GET ALL THOSE STUPID ONLINE FEES WAVED! 

Note: This only started to click for me when I started to let go and accept how things were going. This is NOT AN EASY THING TO DO when you’re going through a go through – even if it’s something small as being sick. But when you do accept it – it’s incredible how much you realize is in your control that will allow you to be happy.

So go do it. (After you’ve had your temper tantrum….and doing so off social media, please.)

Let’s go get ’em, friends.

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UPDATE: I’m now on iTunes!

Check out the Tony Rossi Show podcast – you might even hear an extended version of this blog on the show in the near future…hint hint 😉 

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Thanks for reading!

By the way, I’m Tony. I live in Chicago. (Duh.) I’m an actor and blogger living right up the street from Wrigley Field. 

My blog is here to help others take control and live a more authentically positive life on their terms. Since working with a coach and learning more about personal development, I’ve started sharing my learnings with others. (I have a lot…)

If we’ve never meet – shoot me a tweet!  Would love to hear how you found this 🙂You can also find me on facebook, instagramYouTube, or check out my actor website

Oh – and I’m now on iTunes! #TonyRossiShow

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I started the day with an ugly cry. Here’s how it ended

Ever gotten sick when it’s a really, really inconvenient time to get sick?

…I did. This week.

If you’ve been following my blog, you know that this has been a common theme for me lately. Being sick is my “happiness kryptonite.” And when it just keeps happening, it’s easy to get more and more frustrated.

This week, however, was a really bad week to get sick. I was going to be working long days, early mornings, and only had one day off amongst it all. To top it all off, I had woken up on day two of said sickness and barely slept all night. 

I’d say “insert grumpy Tony here,” but that wouldn’t even cut it. I was frustrated, sad, angry, and all of the negative emotions all at once. I even had the thought, “What if I just called off today? I know it’s the busiest day for me to do that, and I’d probably lose this job, but I really don’t think I can handle this…..”

The following #SundayVideo, which I do every week on Facebook, shares how I felt by the end of that day. (It’s about three minutes!)

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(I might have spent the first 20 seconds talking about the ridiculously high ceilings….Click the screenshot to watch!) 

This isn’t to say you’re going to experience the same thing after having a shit morning. It’s to say that sometimes things work out for the better when there’s no evidence to support it.

Hang in there if you’re going through a struggle of your own. Embrace that it’s okay to not have it figured out. You’ll be okay – even if it’s not that day.

Let’s go get ’em, friends.

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Want to me to give an empowerment talk to your group or school? Email me! tony.rossi@gmail.com. 

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Thanks for reading!

By the way, I’m Tony. I live in Chicago. (Duh.) I’m an actor and blogger living right up the street from Wrigley Field. 

My blog is here to help others take control and live a more authentically positive life on their terms. Since working with a coach and learning more about personal development, I’ve started sharing my learnings with others. (I have a lot…)

If we’ve never meet – shoot me a tweet!  Would love to hear how you found this 🙂You can also find me on instagramYouTube, or check out my actor website

This year sucked so far….until it didn’t anymore (How things flipped in 24 hours)

“I’m over 2018.”

Drink if you’ve said or hear that so far this year. (Preferably something caffeinated. Not alcoholic. C’mon guys, it’s morning….)

While I think we give too much attention and energy to a calendar date in order to justify our feelings of a “shitty time” or “season of suck,” I certainly was not off to a good start this year. Between Christmas and now, I’ve caught three colds. I also banged up my rib cage which is causing a plethora of discomfort and preventing me from doing my favorite workouts. (Shut up. I like working out…) And sleep? Ha! Let’s not talk about that right now….#sleepproblems

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Thankfully my new memory foam mattress toper is helping….Beaker, not so much. 

 

So last Saturday, as I was finishing up some work prior to a dreaded day job shift, I got a missed call. And a voicemail. And a text. (When you have all three, you know it’s important.) Turns out it was my stage manager. And I was going on for the role I was understudying. In six hours.

Say whaaaaaat?!

By Sunday night, I had gotten to perform twice at one of my favorite theatres, stayed up wayyy past my bed time (at the same said theatre), and got an outpour of love on social media from my peers when they heard the news.

Suddenly I was saying, “Wow, it’s been a really good year so far!”

….wait a minute.

Didn’t I just say that it had been a crappy year so far?

Yes, the health setbacks were frustrating. But I was feeling perfectly fine and healthy for my performances. And now that I can list “performed” on my resume, not to mention the cool updates I get to share with agents and casting directors?! Woo-hoo! Suddenly I felt very abundant.

All this is to say is that you never know when things can change unexpected. This also can go reverse. While this isn’t a reason to “wait for the other shoe to drop” when things are going well, it is a reason to be grateful for the good things as they come.

So, my friend, if you’re going through a struggle right now – I hear you. I really hear you. In fact, despite this awesome weekend, I still have some things to figure out. (Like making up for the hours I lost at the day job this weekend…..#actorproblems). Just know that I’m rooting for you in the meantime. And please for the love of god, don’t hole yourself up in your apartment and play the “woe is me” game. Instead, feel your feelings and reach out and talk to someone. If you’re into therapy (and I am) – perfect. But if not, an empathetic friend who won’t condescend you will do the trick.

Let’s all go get ‘em, this year, friends.

 

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“Hinter” runs at Steep Theatre until March 17th! 

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Got questions? Want to me to give an empowerment talk to your group or school? Email me: tony.rossi@gmail.com. 

***   ***   ***

Thanks for reading!

By the way, I’m Tony. I live in Chicago. (Duh.) I’m an actor and blogger living right up the street from Wrigley Field. 

My blog is here to help others take control and live a more authentically positive life on their terms. Since working with a coach and learning more about personal development, I’ve started sharing my learnings with others. (I have a lot…)

If we’ve never meet – shoot me a tweet!  Would love to hear how you found this 🙂You can also find me on instagram, YouTube, or check out my actor website

 

A More Empowering Way to View a Loss

Happy Thanksgiving, my friends. 

It’s Thursday. I always post every Thursday. Given my relationship with November 23rd, I wanted to wait and share this not-so-happy”post until tomorrow. But I feel it’s a message that will help those who need to hear it today. So forgive me for sharing this today, if you found this and don’t happen to know Dave or Andy. That said, you can always save this for tomorrow. In fact, I encourage you to do this with “important articles” on the wellbeing of the world, how to handle grief and sadness, and read it during a time where you’re more ready to “feel all the feels” 🙂 

 

 

Hi friends. It’s Tony Rossi. 

I wanted to wait to share this message after the holiday, as to not bring others down who don’t know either of these individuals. But due to recent events, this can’t wait. Thanks in advance for bearing with me.

(PS – Feel free to mark this as a “saved” post and come back to it during a better time, if you’d like. Same goes for political posts, news stories, etc….;) ) 

About four years ago, I was introduced to the world of personal development. Through a life coach, self help books, and more positive people, I felt like I was moving through the world a lot lighter. I was able to look at my problems through a different lens. They were still there, but it wasn’t the end of the world. Or when I did go into a funk, I’d stop beating myself up. I also noticed I wasn’t holding grudges toward people who had “wronged” me. And it wasn’t long before I got addicted to absorbing as much information on the subject as I could.

Since learning how to literally live a more enjoyable life, I decided, “You know what? Other people need to hear this. It’s too easy to apply this stuff. Through my blog, #SundayVideos, and doing a 180 on how I use social media, people started to referring to me as “the guy who is always happy.” And as much as I loved this, I found myself getting the same objection from a lot of individuals: “This doesn’t make sense….how are you supposed to just be ‘happy all the time?’”

I’ll get back to that. 

Let’s rewind a bit: In the fall of 2014, only a year after I started applying self help principles, my longest childhood friend, David Kendricken, passed away. The first thing I thought of was, What “good things” are going to come from this, that wouldn’t have happened in any other way?? This doesn’t make the situation okay. But it gives us our power back. It gives us meaning to something that’s shitty. It allows us to find love and gratitude in a place that’s really, really hard to find it. 

Last night I got word that this day was going to be an even darker day. We lost Andrew Scannell. And the craziest part? Both of these guys were FUNNY. They were really funny. They were loved by a lot. These two would have been great friends. 

Friends. Being a happy person will never, ever mean “happy all the time.” 

Being a happy person means being authentic. It means acknowledging that there are going to be dark times where you don’t feel happy. It’s like being a healthy person – it doesn’t mean you never, ever get sick. It means you get sick less and recover quicker. You’re not all of a sudden invincible. 

While there’s a bunch of different ways to handle death, one of my preferences is to look at the situation in a new light: What can I genuinely be grateful for right now? 

I go write a million more words on this, but I’ll leave just one on each of these sons of bitches: 

David Kendricken: You were my longest childhood friend. I lived next door to you for what, 14 years? And we had a friendship that’s hard to replicate. I couldn’t be more grateful that I got to have that with you. Thank you for that. You might be gone, but those loving memories aren’t going anywhere, son. 

Andrew Scannell: I met you in college at freshman orientation. You asked me for a word suggestion. Becoming friends with you? Oh that was a boost to my 18 year old ego. After four years of laughs, performances, and jokes that only a true New England Pirate would understand – we actually had a falling out. And then – we both forgot about it. We reconciled a year ago and had beers together with some old friends. I am so, so grateful we reconciled. 

Friends. We have an amazing opportunity to find gifts amidst a dark and dreary day. Don’t let your love go to waste. Yes – be sad. Cry when you need to. And when you’re ready, start finding those takeaways. And for extra credit, share those takeaways so we can spread this message to others. 

I love you Dave. I love you Andy. 

And I love you, friends. 

 

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How to Better Your Negative Situation

So I wrote this post two years ago. It really resonates with me this week. …

This is for anyone in a dark situation. We’ll call it a tunnel.

Dark Tunnel

When we’re in the tunnel, we can’t always see the other side. This happens when we’re looking for work, short on money, or in an unpleasant living environment. As more and more negatives start to pile on, we tend do a couple of things:

We focus on more negatives: It’s the easy and comfortable thing to do. Yet it tends to make our situation worse, not better.

We seek out instant gratification: While having a short break is sometimes necessary, it’s important we don’t stay there too long. Many of us go on this break, then stay there. This is nothing more than just an extended vacation in our dark tunnel. Unless we start making an effort to get out, we’re just setting ourselves up to be unhappy in the long run.

So how do we get out?

After you’ve taken your (short) break to ease your mind, here are a few steps I recommend:

1) Accept responsibility for your circumstances

The easy thing to do is to play the victim mentality and blame someone or something other than ourselves. Regardless of any crazy and unexpected circumstances that may have occurred, it’s important to realize that you are the reason for where you are today. Accept responsibility for what’s happened. Don’t kick yourself. Just stop making excuses and blaming others. Once you own up to your situation, you’ll realize you have the power to change things and get yourself back on track.

2) Make an action plan

This is going to vary based on what’s going on. Keep in mind you might be digging yourself out of a deep hole. This could take time. Don’t worry about making it perfect. If you do, you’ll just keep putting it off. Just start. You can try starting from the finish line and then working backwards if that helps. Just make sure it gives you some specific steps to get to your final destination.

If necessary, ask a friend for help. Or hire someone . Whatever you do, do not blame them if they are unresponsive or unavailable. Doing this releases our power to control our circumstances. The goal is to get out. The more we blame, the longer we’re stuck in the tunnel.

3) Stay consistent

It’s easy to belittle those tiny steps starting out, such as making an action plan. “What difference does it make? I’ll still be in my same situation tomorrow.” Making the plan actually puts you further ahead than you think. It ignites a flame of hope. Hope is a very powerful tool. It’s contagious and will reveal both confidence and answers – which are hard to see when it’s dark out.

This only works if you’re consistent. If you’re not, you won’t see any progress. Then you’ll really get frustrated and want to quit. Which keeps us in the tunnel. We don’t want that.

As you go about this, keep finding ways for to keep yourself motivated and sane. Just make sure it doesn’t turn into that extended vacation in instant gratification land. You need to be prepped and ready to go as soon as the break is over.

If you’re in that tunnel now, get up off the couch.  Make that plan right. Then….relax. You’ve just taken your first step. You can sleep tonight knowing that you took a moved forward towards the other end of the tunnel.

Light Tunnel

Best part: Doing this helps the tunnel seem a little bit brighter.

Go get ’em.

I’m taking a BREAK! You should too.

Recently Darren Hardy hosted a call titled SUMMER SURGE: 10 Strategies to Beat the “Summer Slump” and Keep Your Productive Momentum. A bulk of the call was geared towards taking non negotiable time for rest and relaxation. Darren emphasized this wasn’t about “finding our bliss.” It’s about the necessity to unplug completely from our work so that we can recharge our batteries. When we don’t do this (and many of us don’t), we fail to be able to operate at full capacity.

If you’re a big TonyinChicago fan (which you are, right?) you may have noticed there wasn’t a #ShoutOutTuesday post this week. It marked the first time I had missed a consistent post since first starting thie section three months ago. And I’ll be honest – I tried writing a shout out. About three different times. After several failed attempts and a lot of frustration, I gave in.

My batteries were drained.

Lately my schedule has consisted of five days in a row of internships and work. In between there are my beachbody coaching hours, auditions, and other projects I take on either from home or on the go. It’s a lot. And you know when my first day “off” is after that? Tuesday.

And guess who struggles to come up with all of these positive, awesome, inspiring and AMAZING blogs on a Tuesday after all of this?

“Tony….did you really just call you blogs amazing?”

I mean, I think they’re alright….

Here’s the thing: I don’t have a boss. I don’t get paid for this. But I want to someday. So I treat it like a job.And it’s been feeling like a job….except not a fun one….and the whole reason I started doing this was because it was fun! So I’m taking a page out of Darren Hardy’s book and taking a break.

One month off from updating my blog. After that? We’ll be back to our regularly scheduled Thursday posts. We’ll also have a #ShoutOutTuesday….though it may not be on Tuesday….which means I need a new hashtag…

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Not that this blog keeps me from sleeping….but I plan on doing some sleeping next month

There’s a misconception that working long hours and late nights will get us success. In reality, there’s a point where we hit a wall and stop being our most productive selves. This leads to operating at less than 100%. Whereas, if we have time to charge our batteries, we can get back up and refill our creative tanks.

Take time for you before you burn out, friends. I’ll see you in August 🙂

“BUT TONY. What if I really actually think your blog is awesome. What can I do in the meantime?

Great question. I’ll still be doing my periscopes and Sunday videos! Follow me @_tonyrossi and get a notification every time I do a periscope. Alternatively, you can catch up on my previous videos on youtube channel.

Also, sometimes it’s nice to get a fresh perspective from someone else. I recommend checking out blogs from my own life coach, Courtney Rioux, who offers help to both artists and entrepreneurs.

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Photo stolen lovingly from Gretchen Kelley Photography

And if you’re really looking to switch things up….head over to hulu and see her as paramedic Courtney on Chicago Med 😉

Have a great month, my friends. Go get ‘em.

How To Better Your Negative Situation

This is for anyone in a dark situation. We’ll call it a tunnel.

Dark Tunnel

When we’re in the tunnel, we can’t always see the other side. This happens when we’re looking for work, short on money, or in an unpleasant living environment. As more and more negatives start to pile on, we tend do a couple of things:

We focus on more negatives: It’s the easy and comfortable thing to do. Yet it tends to make our situation worse, not better.

We seek out instant gratification: While having a short break is sometimes necessary, it’s important we don’t stay there too long. Many of us go on this break, then stay there. This is nothing more than just an extended vacation in our dark tunnel. Unless we start making an effort to get out, we’re just setting ourselves up to be unhappy in the long run.

So how do we get out?

After you’ve taken your (short) break to ease your mind, here are a few steps I recommend:

1) Accept responsibility for your circumstances

The easy thing to do is to play the victim mentality and blame someone or something other than ourselves. Regardless of any crazy and unexpected circumstances that may have occurred, it’s important to realize that you are the reason for where you are today. Accept responsibility for what’s happened. Don’t kick yourself. Just stop making excuses and blaming others. Once you own up to your situation, you’ll realize you have the power to change things and get yourself back on track.

2) Make an action plan

This is going to vary based on what’s going on. Keep in mind you might be digging yourself out of a deep hole. This could take time. Don’t worry about making it perfect. If you do, you’ll just keep putting it off. Just start. You can try starting from the finish line and then working backwards if that helps. Just make sure it gives you some specific steps to get to your final destination.

If necessary, ask a friend for help. Or hire someone . Whatever you do, do not blame them if they are unresponsive or unavailable. Doing this releases our power to control our circumstances. The goal is to get out. The more we blame, the longer we’re stuck in the tunnel.

3) Stay consistent

It’s easy to belittle those tiny steps starting out, such as making an action plan. “What difference does it make? I’ll still be in my same situation tomorrow.” Making the plan actually puts you further ahead than you think. It ignites a flame of hope. Hope is a very powerful tool. It’s contagious and will reveal both confidence and answers – which are hard to see when it’s dark out.

This only works if you’re consistent. If you’re not, you won’t see any progress. Then you’ll really get frustrated and want to quit. Which keeps us in the tunnel. We don’t want that.

As you go about this, keep finding ways for to keep yourself motivated and sane. Just make sure it doesn’t turn into that extended vacation in instant gratification land. You need to be prepped and ready to go as soon as the break is over.

If you’re in that tunnel now, get up off the couch.  Make that plan right. Then….relax. You’ve just taken your first step. You can sleep tonight knowing that you took a moved forward towards the other end of the tunnel.

Light Tunnel

Best part: Doing this helps the tunnel seem a little bit brighter.

Go get ’em.

Be a Victor – Not a Victim

The only thing better than when life is going good is when life is going great. Sometimes you’re booking jobs left and right, earning enough income to quit your survival job, and all you can focus on is flowers, sunshine, and the thought of puppies. (Who doesn’t love pupples?)

But sometimes it doesn’t.

Sometimes life throws you curveballs. Not just one curveball. Several curveballs. In fact, after the eighth curveball, you can’t even focus on the plethora of good things going on in your life. Sure, you’ve done enough personal development to realize that you’re choosing to see the negatives over the positives. But when there are SO MANY FREAKING CURVEBALLS, seeing just one positive becomes a chore.

It’s been a rough few days for me. I feel like I’ve been seeing nothing but curveballs. And there is a plethora of wine in my apartment that looks incredibly lonely.

… but I’m not touching the wine. Eric Thomas would be disappointed in me.

TGIM

Check Eric Thomas out on facebook

Eric is a motivational speaker and published author. He has his PhD and is inspiring people every day. Though he certainly had his share of curveballs: He was a high school dropout. He even lived on the streets for a period of time. He hit rock bottom. But today he’s on top of the world.

Eric Thomas

Or go here to read some of his quotes!

I’ve made a point to listen to one of Eric’s “Thank God It’s Monday” videos every day. Here’s what I’ve gotten from them:

1) You are not a victim. When things aren’t going well, we tend to fall into the victim’s mentality. This is when we think about how much things suck, as opposed to what we can do to fix them. It’s an easy trap to fall into, but it’s tricky to get out. Take responsibility for what happened. Focus on what you can do to make your situation better. Taking small, simple steps will make you feel a whole lot better than a bottle of wine ever will.

(Champagne, of course, is another story..)

2) Your situation is temporary. When Eric was homeless, he knew that he wasn’t going to be homeless forever. When we start to focus on how things inevitably are going to be okay, we start to feel a little better about our current situation. Sometimes it even leads to ideas on how to fix things.

Regardless of your circumstances, remember that you’re not a victim. You’re a victor. Now go make the rest of your life the best of your life.

Then watch this video. Then call me. We’ll order some champagne.

My Unpleasant Reoccurring Theme

Don’t get me wrong – I’m happy with the path that I’m on right now. 2104 has been a good year. That being said, this week I noticed an unpleasant reoccurring theme: I continue to put myself in unpleasant situations. I work a part time job I don’t like. I quit. I experience brief joy that I’ve left the job. It’s soon replaced by the realization that I don’t like whichever new gig(s) I’ve picked up. The cycle repeats.

As I made this discovery, those pesky, negative voices crept in:

Are you really making progress? Is it worth it to keep going down this path? Should you just redefine your game plan and try a different route?

These voices don’t usually lead to much confidence or positivity. Thank god that one positive voice chimed in to save the day (she still thinks I’m really cute, too):

Tony…your goals are enormous. There’s a reason this is taking so long. You’re thinking big.

Damn, she’s good.

While we’re pursuing a crazy, awesome life, we encounter a lot of negativity. There are obstacles and resistance popping up left and right. If they weren’t there, our goals wouldn’t be crazy and awesome. Take mine, for example: I want a full time income from acting, fitness, and writing. That’s it. (I’ll make an exception for something better that may come along.) Oh, and I want them to give me a somewhat flexible schedule so I can have a social life too.

If there is no struggle, there is no progress

Photo credit: http://millerela.wordpress.com/2012/10/09/if-there-is-no-struggle-there-is-no-progress/

Personally, I hate the word perfect because nothing is ever perfect. There’s always one more thing that could make our situation, our jobs, our income, whatever….a little better. But I’m going to use the word in this case: I want a perfect life. I want you to have a perfect life too. Is it actually going to be perfect? Not actually. That would be silly. But in my crazy, awesome, Tony world, it’s pretty damn close.

Go after that crazy, awesome life. Just keep being patient.

Your turn: My reoccurring theme while chasing after my crazy, awesome life is that I continue to get frustrated while working new part time jobs. What theme keeps coming up for you?