You don’t suck

Post originally written for parlepost.com

0127170814a

Quote: Jen Sincero

Ever have someone hate you?

I once was tweeting with a director. (Yes. Tweeting with a director. It’s a thing.)

I had auditioned for him previously. He suggested we meet up for coffee. “Yes please!” Unfortunately it never happened. I stopped hearing from him. I attempted to connect with him on Facebook, but he never accepted. This did wonders for my self esteem.

Click here to read full post! 

***   ***   ***

Tony. Why do I have to click links?” 

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 I’ll be linking the post that are up.

“Okay fine. I kind of like your content regardless. Are you, like, available for hire?”

You bet. Shoot me an email at tony.rossi@gmail.com to discuss what you’re looking for and we’ll see if I’m a good fit!

2 Things to Learn from “Angry Lady at the Park”

I was at Millennium Park.

0528171026b.jpg

Photo credit: What…you don’t believe that I can blog AND take pics on my phone?! 

I was taking some time to eat, read, and put myself in a positive state before work. It was going to be another long one… 

0528171053.jpg

It looks more fun than it was. But I suppose there were perks. 

I always take time before day jobs to put myself in a good mood. Naturally I have my guard up against anyone who might ruin it….like the old lady on the park bench next to me. She was minding her own business with a newspaper when someone took the seat next to her – smoking a cigarette. 

…lady with newspaper was not amused. 

She got upset. Like, really upset. After asking him to move, she then continued yelling after him that he needed to go across the street and smoke his cigarette elsewhere. “Leave! Leave!” 

…so much for my positive state. 

Typically this is when I’d think of a bunch of nasty things about this lady. Fortunately, my “put myself in a good mood” had started much earlier in the morning and I was looking at this from a different angle. I was reminded of some themes that come up when people are yelling and angry: 

  1. People who are hurting will hurt people. When someone is being a bitch, or an asshole, or whatever other vulgar word is your choice (I have a list if you’d like to see), it’s because they themselves are hurting. 
  2. People who care – like, really care – about life’s little annoyances…just don’t have enough interest in bigger things. As author Mark Manson would put it, these people are choosing to give all of their ‘fucks’ to to that one thing because they don’t have anyone or anywhere else to give them. 

Not only does this lady not have enough fucks to give to other areas of life, but it’s possible that she’s hurting because she doesn’t have these fucks to give to those areas. Areas like friends or family. And maybe that was why she was hurting. Or maybe it had to do with someone she lost due to cancer. 

This is when the inner critic in me goes, “But Tony, what if that woman really is just a nasty little bitch?” 

Maybe she is. I didn’t ask her. And because I didn’t ask her, I’m giving hurt the benefit of the doubt. Hurt people hurt people. I feel bad that she was hurting and was choosing to hurt the gentleman who merely wanted to smoke a cigarette before his day started.

So, my friends, think twice before giving your own fucks towards those people who are going out of their way to hurt others. You’ll be better for it. 

Let’s go get ‘em. 

***   ***   ***

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 😉 

***   ***   ***

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. 

when_being_right_does_not.jpg

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! 

***    ***

“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.

BIG NEWS! (And a post….I promise…)

Hey TonyinChicago readers!

For those of you who have hit that “subscribe” button below – many thanks 🙂 I love seeing that others are resonating with the idea of being a more authentically happy person.

Because I want to spread the word of how much control we have over our own happiness, I’ve started applying to other websites.

(Fear not – TonyinChicago isn’t going anywhere 😉 )

In the meantime, I’ve started contributing to a new website called Parlepost.com. One of my favorite posts just got uploaded and I’m happy to share with you all today….

“The Journey To Happiness”

(This one’s for you, actors with day jobs!)

When I first got to Chicago, I wanted a job. Any job. I had moved to pursue acting, but I couldn’t be an actor without money. So I applied anywhere and everywhere.

My first gig was at a toy store. I made $8.50 an hour. The staff and customers were kind, but the job didn’t excite me. Between the pay and my desire to do a bit more exciting work, I needed a change.

I got an office job. I was a receptionist. (I know. Not very exciting.) I made $9.00 an hour and worked 40 hours a week. With a few exceptions, both the staff and the clients here were not too kind and caring….I very much needed a change.

6906_10100427679798609_3605973547668276506_n

Click here to read the full post! 

***   ***

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 😉 

#tbt: Let’s Get Uncomfortable

Hey friends!

I just came back form another awesome visit to Boston, Massachusetts.

…it was wicked good.

0430171948

This nice view on Sunday night for the Cubs-Red Sox game might have been a plus…

Ironically, April has been a popular month for me to visit home. In fact, I had a visit three years ago where I wrote all about it – right here on this blog 🙂

Sure enough. I related it to my goals – and how uncomfortable they can be.

This week, we’ll revisit that time three years ago:  “Let’s get uncomfortable” – April 2014. 

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 😉 

How death can bring life into others

Mark Manson is the author of the book, “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck.” As one might expect, it contains a plethora of choice language and is pretty direct and to the point. And yet, it is just as equally beautiful and powerful.  

He begins each chapter with a story. Some personal. Some not. The final chapter contains my favorite: He shares a touching story of the loss of his friend Josh. Manson was 19 years old when he lost him. Manson reveals that after a battle with depression, he came out the other end and eventually started bettering his life – likely in ways, in my opinion, that probably wouldn’t have happened had Josh not passed away. 

A couple of years ago, I wrote about my own experience and hopes after I lost one of my childhood friends, Dave Kendricken. (In the three years or so of writing, this has been by far my most popular post….he was a popular guy, what can I say.)  If you know me, you know I hate pain. I hate when there’s nothing but negatives and I’ll do whatever I can to change it. I wanted to find the positive meaning in the situation. 

11905397_10100343982563539_1978589127186637441_n.jpg

Someone called me “The Happy Guy” earlier that day….I was okay with it. 

First let’s clarify – this is not about pretending that things are fine, or pretending we’re happy when we really need to cry. You can ask the couple sitting next to me on my flight home to verify that. (Thank God I had a window seat.) This also isn’t about pretending that the positive meaning makes the situation a good thing. It means that given we can’t control the situation and we’re allowed to take away the beautiful moments that might never have occurred otherwise. 

When Dave died, I wasn’t happy about it. And today I’m not happy about. What I do feel is an abundance of gratitude that it brought me closer to my family (and some of his family) in a way that I hadn’t felt before. 

So how do both these stories help you? 

16831861_10100607694517669_8199889550767584605_n.jpg

Saw this at an audition last week. Figured it was good luck 🙂 

Manson also shares a dream after Josh passed away where the two of them were chatting. Mark recalls that telling Josh that he was sad that he died. To which Josh replies something along the lines of, “Why are you upset that I’m dead when you’re still so afraid to live?” 

That, my friends, is a beautiful takeaway. 

Imagine for a moment that every reader who read this part started to do things different in their life. Imagine that actors finally stop making money excuses and start finding ways to get seen for commercials and high profile theatre companies. Imagine if aspiring entrepreneurs took the leap and quit their day job (after the accumulated some savings, of course) and began creating the job they always wanted. Imagine that every single person who said, “I can’t do [that thing I really want to do] because of [time, money, etc.]” stated to do that very thing?

Most of us are too afraid to live. Most of us play the safe route. Many of us rob ourselves of we really want to do and what could make us most happy. 

As Manson reminds us – we are all going to die. So if that’s the case…what do we really have to lose? 

Let’s start living my friends. 

Let’s go get ‘em. 

________________________________________________________________

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.

Sometimes It’s Better To Keep Your Mouth Shut…When Discussing Goals

Have you ever been drunk at a party? 

As much as I pride myself for building better habits, surrounding myself around more positive people, and becoming the type of person who can reach those big and awesome goals…I’d be lying if I said no to the above question. If you haven’t (or if you just don’t want to admit it), let me paint the scene for you: 

You’re having a great time. Such a great time that you’re suddenly willing to share some gossip with a friend. You even preface it with, “I really shouldn’t be telling you this…” but because you’re in such a great mood, you just have this feeling. That feeling tells you, “Yes. You are right. You should share this information. All other reasoning is irrelevant.” 

Of course, eventually your reasoning comes back. But even looking back you can go back to that feeling and justify why you did what you did. “Oh dear..I shouldn’t have done that. But I can absolutely see why I did that…” 

Now, let’s talk goals. 

Right now there’s a big, juicy goal I’m working on. I can’t believe I’ve even set this. It’s that big. And it’s not cheap. And yet, just last week, I found myself setting up an appointment as an initial first step to making this goal come to fruition. I was feeling awesome, you guys. 

Unfortunately though…I got drunk at a party. 

Okay, no. I wasn’t drunk. I wasn’t even at a party when this happened. And yet I got that same feeling that I could trust someone with this valuable piece of information. So I prefaced it with, “You know, I shouldn’t even been saying this….” and off I went. 

No sooner had I finished sharing this, another person chimed in: “Why wouldn’t you just do [insert the name of something much more reasonable and affordable] instead?” 

The truth was, I had considered this option. Many times. And it doesn’t even compare. It’s like saying, “No, let’s skip getting that amazing bacon double cheese burger from 5 Guys and just make one at home using a frozen patty, microwave some bacon, and use the bread we already have. It’ll be cheaper.” 

Yeah….no. 

Yet, on my bike ride home, all I could think of were the following: 

“She was right, Tony. You really should just do the cheaper option.” 

“Why are you considering that expensive option? How the hell will you ever afford that when you’re having trouble affording more reasonable things?” 

“Have you considered that this just might be a stupid thing for you to want, given your situation?”

And so on and so forth. Until….wait a minute…

0127170814a.jpg

From “You Are a Badass” by Jen Sincero

What happened to that joyous, energetic feeling that I had a week ago? Why did that suddenly dissolve? And why am I being such a jerk to myself for wanting something that makes me happy? 

Here’s why you don’t share big and awesome goals with people: They don’t have the same understanding that you do. They’re not bad people. They just don’t think the way you do. You could explain every tiny detail with them and they still wouldn’t get it. They might hear your words. But they won’t digest the message. People who don’t aim for big and awesome things like you do aren’t going to hear your words. And that’s okay. 

But you’re not off the hook. 

Here’s the thing about setting big goals: If you’ve made the decision in your mind that you’ll do whatever it takes to get there – you’re going to get it. And when you do, you’re setting an example that it’s possible.  

Set that goal. Let others laugh at you. See how many people are laughing when their mouths are hanging open because they can’t believe you got what you wanted. 

Go after big things. There’s other people who are going to benefit other than you, my friends. It’s a beautiful thing. 

1116161524.jpg

Having positive mantra cards, like these ones given out by Dallas Travers for her Thriving Artist Circle members, have been a big help 🙂 

Let’s go get ‘em. 

Feeling helpless? (I often do)

My name is Tony Rossi. I suffer from learned helplessness.

I actually forgot this was a thing. I’ve had a plethora of stretches lately where I keep thinking there was something wrong with me for having so many negative thoughts. Then I feel more guilty when I realize that I’m actually allowing myself to be a victim to my circumstances, thoughts, and destructive behavior patterns. 

What the heck is learned helplessness?  

Two smart dudes named Martin and Steven did this interesting experiment with some dogs. I’ll spare you the details (though you can quickly read about it here), but they concluded that sometimes animals refuse to take action to better their situation, even when there are options available. This is based on previous experiences which lead to negative emotions. (Seriously, read about it here. And know that I totally stole some of their words for my free blog, so give this article all the credit.) 

I’ve done this a lot lately. I think how much I can’t stand a job I’m working, but that I have to keep working it because “there’s no other option” that will help me with my acting career. I want to spend more time socializing with friends, but sulk as I stay indoors because seriously, how am I supposed to stick to my health goals when there’s always beer and snacks lying around? Or I want to work with a particular theatre company, but “I just don’t have the availability” so I give up even submitting to them. 

In Tony Rossi terminology, here’s what I’ve discovered with my own learned helplessness: When we don’t have an answer to our pain, we decide that there’s nothing we can do about it. And the scary thing is….there’s often a payoff: We don’t have to take action! In our silly little brains, we think there’s literally no answer. So why waste any energy on taking action that won’t do anything? “It’ll just be a waste of time and I’ll end up more frustrated and disappointed,” we tell ourselves. “Why would I want that?” Then we have a wonderful excuse to get attention from friends, eat as much chocolate as we’d like, and head over to the Jewel-Osco to pick up a discounted pack of Old Style. It’s cheaper there, and we all know that we’re not worthy of buying the Goose Island beer that we actually long for… 

So….what can we do about this? 

Fortunately, yours truly over here has failed at this a lot over. And fortunately I’ve also learned from some of the best authors, life coaches, and personal development leaders since learning about these concepts a few years ago. So allow me to help.

For starters, know that there is nothing wrong with you. Your brain is feeding you lies. These lies likely include…

a) There is no action to take

b) If you do take even the smallest action step, it won’t do anything anyway 

c) You now have have a perfectly valid excuse to eat ice cream and sleep in. 

With all clear indications pointing this way, why would you do anything but this?! 

0118172233.jpg

“The Entrepreneur Rollercoaster” by Darren Hardy is a great source of inspiration

How to get out of it: The F word. 

Hear me out, friends. We’re about to get a little “woo-woo” here. While I’m not going to google an official definition for you, there are countless books and personal development leaders that will tell you that “faith is the confidence and certainty of the not-yet-seen.” (Source: Anyone and everyone I’ve quoted in my previous blogs in the past three years. And probably Courtney Rioux, just to give her another shout out.) When we have faith, we don’t need evidence that things are going to work out. We just believe it. This of course takes practice. It also takes surrounding yourself with people who think this way. If you spend your time with a bunch of nay sayers, skeptics, or indulge in the plethora of media sources telling you how terrible things always end up, then you’re going to have a difficult time with this one. Otherwise, start to switch up your routine. You might find my #SundayVideos are a good start! 

Finally, remember this: Even after you get really freaking good at this faith thing, you still might fall back into your learned helplessness trap. After all, you probably have more money at this point and can afford some better beer, so the incentives are going to be enticing. Just know that there is still nothing wrong with you. You’ve gotten out of this before. You’ll get out of it again. 

1223160605

I like to start the day journaling and writing positive intentions. Most of them stolen from mentors 😉 

Have faith. Believe that you’re awesome. Spend time with awesome people who also know you’re awesome. And with that, I have complete faith that you will live an awesome life. 

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 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.

#TBT: What to do when you really, really want something

Did you guys know that this blog is over three years old?

years-and-over-17000-hits-later-here-we-are-http-angelsbeauty-D3gbjk-clipart.jpg

Okay , technically it’s four and a half – but it got REALLY good at three…..

Did you also know that “motivation doesn’t last. Neither does bathing. That’s while we recommend it daily…”? (Thanks to my man, Zig Ziglar for that one.

We often need reminders in our lives of things we’ve already heard or learned. Which is why I’m implementing #TBT for this week’s post to January 2014. It was my first time doing Courtney Rioux’s “My Big Year” program. It’s still going strong….says the guy who is now doing it again….because motivation doesn’t last forever 🙂

Check it out friends.

For more about Courtney Rioux and the “My Big Year” program, check out her website and see if a 30 day trial might be right for you. (During that time, you can jump in and chat with us on our monthly call, participate in Facebook hours, and watch the training videos.)

 

What to when you really, really, want something – January 4th, 2014

Just go do it yourself. (Spoiler: There’s some choice language…)

Stop asking. Stop waiting. And go F-ing do it yourself. 

“Tony. That’s mean. And you’re scaring me.” 

I’m sorry. (And sorry for cursing.) I’m not saying that condescendingly. I’m saying it lovingly. As in, “I’m on your freaking side, my friend. Let’s go get ‘em.” 

I get asked a lot of questions. I love it. I love helping people and it absolutely boosts my ego knowing that I made someone’s life easier. Even if it’s a question about doing Facebook Live and how to save them after. Here’s the thing though – I learned about Facebook Live through google. I had never done one and wanted to know how. I also don’t like waiting. And the amount of time and energy you save when you take control and do things on your own isn’t just faster – it makes you more confident that you can find more answers. 

That’s a small example. But I think this is where it starts. I’m in a lot of private groups for actors, entrepreneurs, and fitness enthusiasts. (Hint: Birds of a feather flock together. Want to start thinking bigger and smarter? Surround yourself with people who do that. Facebook is such an easy way to do this.) These are great resources to finding answers to the questions we so desperately seek. At the same time, it becomes very easy to give up control and let others do the work for us. I frequently see questions from others who want to know basic information that they could look up on their own. Things like what time a team meeting is, or a particular file that was posted a while ago. Don’t get me wrong – sometimes these individuals have already put in time and energy looking on their own with no luck. I’m not talking about them. I like them. And some of them are cute. (Looking at you, Pablo. I’ve seen your results this month.) I’m talking about the ones who go RIGHT for the post button the minute they have a question.  It’s not entirely their fault. They’ve become so set in their ways that it’s part of their wiring.

And maybe that’s you. So….let’s rewire you. 

The next time you are looking for answer – don’t post about it. Don’t bug your friend. Put some time in to figure it out yourself. Even if it seems like something that might take a little while to figure out. Give it ten minutes. Set a freaking timer if that helps. And if you haven’t gotten answer by the time the timer goes off – stop. The point is to start a new habit – not necessarily to find the answer. THEN….go ask your friend. 

And if it’s Pablo, see if he’s free for coffee later. (Seriously ladies, get on that one.) 

To reiterate: This seems like a small step. It can lead to bigger things. I realized this earlier yesterday morning when I saw one of these questions coming from a friend. They asked a question about something basic that I could have figured out if I cared enough to know. I love this friend to death. And while this particular topic wasn’t important in the grand scheme of life, I could help but notice – This friend is struggling with a few different and MUCH bigger areas right now. What if by starting by figuring out that one answer on their own – they were able to start a compound effect to making more awesome, powerful decisions on their own? 

That’d be pretty fucking cool, wouldn’t it? 

Let’s go get ‘em friends. Let’s take back control. 

PS – Sorry for swearing so much in this post (Mom). 

PSS – Pablo isn’t real. I just like that name. Sorry ladies. You’ll have to do your leg work to find such a looker.