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. 

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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? 

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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. 

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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.

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What to do when you feel like you’re undeserving (like I did last week)

It’s funny how quickly we can talk ourselves out of something we want. 

I personally experience this a lot when it comes to what other people will think of me. 

“You want to do…what?” 

“Why do you think you deserve to to that?” 

“You do realize you’re a [insert reason here why I can’t have that thing I’m asking for because I’m too young, too behind in my career, etc], right?” 

Of course, these are all thoughts I’ve made up in my head. And yet, they still come to mind quite frequently. 

Which is why I was surprised to find myself turning my bike around to head into the Steppenwolf box office Sunday night. 

It was Opening Night for “Straight White Men.” It wasn’t on their calendar. They weren’t selling tickets. Yet there I was, dismounting my bike, and peeking through the glass to see if the box office was even open. 

They were. 

The following is a close description of what I said upon walking up to the window: 

“Hi! Okay, like, I know this is a long shot, but like….and I know you aren’t exactly selling tickets for tonight’s press opening of Straight White Men but like…do you, maybe, have anything available for tonight’s show?” 

…they didn’t. 

I exited. As I did, I recognized the playwright, Young Jean Lee, exiting the theatre. She was with two other people dressed nicely. They all looked very important – much more importantly than the guy who just asked for tickets to opening night of the show that wasn’t even being advertised. (Side note: This, of course, was my perspective given my situation.) There I was – a non union actor with a non union agent, with a laundry list of Chicago acting goals in his journal back home, who was walking behind them out of the theatre. 

Needless to say – I was not exactly feeling on top of the world. But here’s the crazy part – the box office staff responded in a manner I was NOT expecting:

“Yeah man! Sorry, I got nothing for tonight. But like, yeah! I mean…please come back and see us!” 

He almost seemed apologetic for not having anything for me. For not having any seats for the show that wasn’t even on the calendar. 

Here’s the thing, friends: We come up with all sorts of reasons in our head why we aren’t enough and why we don’t deserve our big, crazy, ridiculous goals. The goals that are literally triple the size of our checking account. And yet, sometimes we still get a kind reply – or an apologetic reply – that it’s just not our time yet – from the Universe. (Or the dude from Steppenwolf Box Office. I need to get his name.) 

Our goals do not dictate our awesomeness. We are awesome and deserving exactly where we are today. 

Oh, and wanna know the best part? 

I may or may not have crashed their after party. Here’s a recap: 

-I mingled with a few of the actors.

-I had an ever so short interaction with playwright Young Jean Lee. 

-I had an awesome chat with some of the costume team.

-I was told by one of the designers from the New York team, “You’re going to be on this stage one day.” 

Here’s the thing: These were nice, awesome and inspiring people. I’m willing to bet they’d be just as nice to any other actor in my position. And yet, it helped. It made me feel deserving. 

But let’s pretend we didn’t crash the after party and didn’t get this reassurance from people we respect and want to emulate. The words I heard that night that gave me so much confidence were something I could have chosen to feel confident about regardless. 

I want you to feel confident regardless of your situation too. 

You are awesome. You are deserving. If you have an opportunity – please take it. 

Sound good? Good. 

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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.

You are abundant. You are enough.

I learned this weekend at the Bodhi Spiritual Center that I suffer from “not enough ness.” It’s a terrible thing. 

The following is a list of things I frequently find myself wanting more of: 

-Money

-Fun

-Airline Miles

-Confidence

-Groceries in my fridge (because I always forgot to pick up something)

-Apartment accessories

-Money

-Warmer weather

-Cooler weather (in the summertime)  

-Money

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone through this list in my head. I think of how much easier life could be. How much less stress I’d have. How much more enjoyment I’d have. But first, I’d clearly need more things on this list. 

Because I’m such a big advocate of personal development materials, I’ve learned that getting these things won’t actually bring me the joy I want…..why is this? 

When we suffer from “not enough-ness” we are coming from a place of lack. Coming from a place of lack is not an empowering way to make us happy. When we come from a place of lack, we might gain temporary fulfillment by achieving things on our list. But it’s not sustainable and it doesn’t bring us longterm happiness – which is what we all are ultimately seeking. 

The truth is, we need to come from a place of abundance and gratitude. 

“But Tony. How can I come from a place of abundance when I don’t have enough?”

1. Ask yourself, “Is this is true?” Often we think we don’t have enough money, but the truth is we have plenty. We just choose to spend it on other things. For example, I’ve been putting off purchasing workout equipment for a while now “because I don’t have enough money.” Yet over the weekend, I found myself spending much more money than I planned on for food and drinks while celebrating the Patriots AFC Championship game. (Note: The real reason I did this was to fulfill my other need of “not having enough fun lately.” See how coming from lack doesn’t help here?) There’s no need to beat ourselves up when this happens. That’s also not serving us. Rather, this is something we can do to better evaluate the truth, and then take action to fix it from that empowering place.

2. Identify the areas you are abundant in. While I might not have the income I want right now, I do have an abundance in other areas. Currently, this includes time. I’m not always abundant in time. But right now, because work has slowed down, I have more of it. It’s led to more activities that I’ve been waiting to do for a while, but had previously dismissed because of my schedule. These activities also make me feel more abundant with fun. (Despite that I still feel the need for more.) You do have an abundance, friends. It just might not be in that area you’re focusing on. 

Please remember: Realize that what you resist persists. If you’re coming from a place of lack, you’re resisting something negative. If you’re a believer in the Law of Attraction – and I am – you know that you draw in whatever it is you’re focusing on. Instead, focus on the thing you do want. Attract more of that thing instead. 

I’ll end this with a quote from one my new favorite authors, Jennifer Sincere. She ends each chapter of her book, “You are a Badass” by reminding us… 

“Love yourself.” 

And in one instance…

“Love yourself. You’re doing an awesome job.” 

I need that reminder. Constantly. 

I am enough. You are too. Love yourselves, friends. 

Let’s go get ‘em. 

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One of my favorite ways to remind myself of how abundant I am is by writing in my Spotlight journal every morning. 

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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.

3 Questions to Ask to Stop Yourself From Worrying

My name is Tony Rossi. And I’m a worry-holic.

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Must have been why they gave me the “Are you Robert Pattinson” scene during Waltzing Mechanics XI Edition of “El Stories”

I’m currently listening to the book, “The Big Leap” by Gay Hendrix. There’s a section where he talks about how we get addicted to worrying and how quickly we go into scenario of “The Universe will not function if I don’t worry about this. I realized I’m very good at worrying myself.

While I’m still working on this, I’ve been able to help some of my friends who are worry-holics themselves. Here are three questions I often ask:

1) What is the worst case scenario here?

Sometimes we find ourselves worrying without even wondering what the repercussions are! Try to figure out what those are now with this question. You may find you’re stressing about something very mundane that doesn’t deserve as much energy as you’re giving it.

Now let’s say this is a serious issue that needs to be address. What is the very worst thing that can happen? Is it as bad as you’re picturing it to be? Is the universe going to end? Is anyone going to die? Even with those situations where someone is depending on us for something we can no longer deliver on, the repercussions often aren’t as bad as we make them out to be in our heads – which sometimes is that worst case scenario J

2) Do I have any control over this?

Do you ever find you’re worrying about the following….

-Public transportation running late

-Traffic

-The weather

-Something bad happening in the world

We love to complain, stress over, and vent about those four topics. Sometimes we realize we have no control over them and think that worrying will help us somehow rectify the situation. As a worry-holic, I can tell you this doesn’t help. If anything, it will drain our mental batteries, cause us to break down, and swear a lot in our apartment. I’m sure my neighbors have plenty of nicknames for me…

I’m always hearing complaints and negativity around these things specifically. Keep in mind that if you choose to worry over them – chances are you can’t do anything about it. If you can – great! But if not? You’re wasting a lot of energy that’s going to drain you. And I’m guessing you want that.

Sometimes it helps realizing we worry because we care. We don’t want to hold others up. We don’t want to see ourselves in future pain. And we don’t want to see others in pain. Great! We’re awesome people! Now let’s keep being awesome by saving up that energy – we’re busy! We need it.

3) If the worst case scenario happens, will I be able to bounce back from this?

This is where I like to play the “Will this matter in five years?” game. Yes, if I’m late and I lose my job it would be very inconvenient. But will I find another one or find a solution to keep me from going homeless in the meantime?  Yes I will. In this case, stop worrying exactly about the HOW and focus on the fact that you WILL make it work.

Finally, when you DO catch yourself worrying again remember this: It’s okay. You’re okay. And you’re not worrying because you’re a bad person. You’re worrying because you’re human.

Which of these three resonate with you the most? I’d love to hear in the comments below.

Have a friend who worries? Send it their way and invite them to the blog!

 

 

Thanks for reading. Let’s be awesome this week.

Go get ’em.

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.

Had You Won The Power Ball, You Still Wouldn’t Be Happy

If you do non union extra work in Chicago, you might have heard the Rosemont story:

A group of us booked a job through 4 Star Casting (who are amazing, by the way). All we knew was that we’d be standing in line outside a convention center in Rosemont. After a long day of confusion, we got some cash for literally holding spots in line for collectors at a coin show. And it didn’t end there: We got the chance to return and hold more spots in line.

For more cash. (A lot more.)

This time, we’d need a good spot. A spot to get in early enough that we’d enter the show before the rest of the crowd.  If we got in, we’d get our hands on an item that was woth a lot of money.

And there were plenty of others who knew about it.

The next few days were hectic: Texts throughout the night, sleeping outside, getting soaked by sprinklers…you name it. Oh, and there were stampedes to get in line, threats to anyone who was cutting or holding a spot, and lots of other fun stories. It got bad enough that the final day of the coin show was cancelled due to safety concerns.

Money can do a lot. And there’s a lot of misconception behind it.

 

What doesn’t make you happy

Marcus Persson is a billionaire. Known as the creator of Minecraft, he made himself quite a fortune. Last August, Persson sent out a series of tweets sharing how he was lonely, unhappy and afraid to pursue future success.

Andre Agassi is a tennis pro. He won eight Grand Slams and an Olympic gold medal. In less than a day after becoming number one in the world, he was roaming the streets, wondering why he felt so empty. He later was tested positive for crystal meth.

Money and fame isn’t what makes us happy.

 

What does make you happy

In my experience, the truly happy people in the world are the ones who went through a struggle. Rather than allow their dreams to suffer, they learned from the struggle and grew. Along the way, they grew even more and appreciated life better because of  it.

I’m not saying we all need to suffer in order to be happy. I am saying that struggles help us learn how we want to feel to truly find happiness.

I’ll use myself as an example: If I had more money, I’d be working fewer jobs I don’t want to go to. We’re talking, I can’t fall asleep because going to this job makes me so unhappy.

If I had more money, it would mean more time working jobs that are creative, fulfilling, and meaningful. It would mean more time creating experiences. Money would allow me to visit the Boston area. I’d see my parents, grandparents, and cousins more often.  I’d see my college and highs school friends that I only see once or twice a year (if that).

It would mean more time to pursue creative jobs onstage, behind the camera, and across the country motivating students to live their crazy, awesome life.

I want more experiences with others. I want more opportunities to add value to others though art and motivation.

Yes, a lottery ticket would help fund those dreams. But a paycheck from my agent that sends me to Boston for a commercial – that’s more special than anything I could get from 711. (Don’t get me wrong, grateful they were open late so I could buy cheese on New Year’s).

How do you want to feel? Base your goals off that. Then go after it. Seriously. There are too many experiences and people you care about waiting for you to put this off anymore.

Go get ‘em.

 

Did you like this post? Oh good. I hoped you would. I write this blog for free so that others can get insights that they wouldn’t have otherwise gotten. I’d love for you to share on social media with others who might benefit too 🙂

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

I’ll be honest – I hate the lottery.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Is it telling stories in a specific way?

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

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

-Will doing industrials for corporate companies help with this?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Go get ‘em.

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

How Being Healthy Caused Me Extra Stress

Many of you know that I’m a health and fitness accountability coach. I started a year ago and couldn’t be more grateful. I’m helping others, plus am constantly learning about workouts and nutrition.

Prior to this, I did the whole gym thing. For some, this is exactly what they need. For me, I was guessing (and mainly guessing wrong). I knew very little about weights or cardio. I didn’t know anything about nutrition. Forget about those abs I had wanted since forever.

Fast forward to today: I workout from home. I love my body. My nutrition plan is my favorite. And I recently got abs. So like, I’m pretty sexy now.

…I mean, I don’t look like Shaun T.

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The rest of the body though? Oh that’s so me. Particularly the facial hair…#notreally

While I’m thrilled with how far I’ve gotten, it hasn’t been an easy journey. Eating clean takes a lot of work and preparation. Getting in my workouts sometimes means waking up extra early. I also took on some harder goals: Avoiding food three hours before bed, plus saved cheat days to just once a week.

This became easy enough when I didn’t have anything going on. I quickly learned, however, this was increasingly difficult on days where I had to, like, be a real person and leave the apartment. I refused to accept this as a day of adjustments. Not getting in my “perfect Tony routine” meant failing – which led to lots of stress and frustration.

I started avoiding the outside world. I was socializing less and rarely submitted for work – the kind that was, you know, paying my bills.

Granted, I was in the best shape of my life. But I was also pretty miserable.

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I most certainly could have used more of this….

There’s a rumor going around that once we reach a certain point in our careers or lifestyle that we’ll all of a sudden be happy. Unfortunately, this rumor is false. (And if you know who started it, send them to me right away…) By putting our happiness on hold, we’re likely to feel unsatisfied as we start accomplishing our goals.

Should you ever find yourself in a situation similar to mine, here’s what I recommend:

1) Make happiness a priority. I wanted abs because I learned having a body I’m proud of makes me happy. Yet I finally had abs and was very much not happy. What could you be doing as you go about your goals to keep you happy?

2) Avoid perfection. Perfection is dumb. And it doesn’t exist. What areas could you allow yourself to be a little more laid back in? Want to know another cool trick? Failure actually helps us get better.

3) Learn to appreciate the journey. It’s not always about the final destination. Sometimes there is no destination – it’s literally a lifelong road!

Keeping all this in mind, enjoy the process. Seek failure. And then call me so we can eat chocolate together. (This has been sitting in my bag since Friday….)

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Go get ‘em, friends.

Why You’re Not As Happy As You Could Be Right Now

Wow….that’s a morbid title, isn’t it?

I want to emphasize this varies for everyone. It’s based on things like work life, social life, health and nutrition, or whether or not you have an awesome goal you’re hoping to achieve – but keep putting off. You might be happy with all of these….in which case, we need to hangout. I’m always looking for more positive and people in my life. (Like, seriously).

So how do we learn whether or not these are areas that are preventing us from being happy? Go back to that list I just mentioned. As you read, notice whether or not any one of those topics make you cringe. Then dig deeper.

…I know, I know. Digging deeper isn’t fun when it comes to things that make us cringe. Try not to focus on how uncomfortable it feels. Rather, think about how this is a small step towards making that area less stressful. Which then leads to a happier YOU 🙂

Okay, so you’ve sucked it up and dug deeper: Why am I unhappy in this area? What’s stopping me from making progress? Here’s a common reason:

There are rules in your head that are stopping you from overcoming obstacles. We call these limiting beliefs. These beliefs vary from “I’m not good enough,” to “That won’t work,” to “That’s only something that other people can do.” How these beliefs got there in the first place can vary. What’s important is getting rid of them. And to get rid of them, we need to recognize them. The scary part is we usually don’t know that these beliefs even exist. Before I started working with Courtney Rioux, I didn’t know I had any limiting beliefs. (Now I know that I have several hundred.) If this wicked awesome blog post you’re reading right now isn’t enough to break your limiting beliefs, you may want to consider a coach yourself.

If that’s not for you, or you want to start smaller (and I always am a fan of starting small), I recommend incorporating personal development into your daily routine. Doing this consistently over time will help you recognize these beliefs without even trying. I personally recommend audio: Books, interviews, motivational speakers, etc. I like audio because of what I can get done while I’m listening: Cooking, cleaning, showering, driving, etc. We don’t always have time to sit down for an hour and listen to a motivational speaker. But we all have time to do things like shower.

(And if you don’t….we do not need to hangout….regardless of how positive you are….)

If you do have time for reading (even ten pages a day), here are some books I recommend:

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“The Compound Effect” – Darren Hardy

“The War of Art” – Steven Pressfield

“Failing Forward” – John C Maxwell

“Eat That Frog!” – Brian Tracy

“How to Win Friends and Influence People” – Dale Carnegie

I have plenty more 🙂 But to avoid overwhelm, start with those. Hell, just start with ONE. Again – start small. If you’re not a reader yet, start with “The War of Art.” The longest chapter is about four pages.

Have you ever discovered a limiting belief that you didn’t know you had before? Share below in the comments section!

And then…have a great week! IT’S ALMOST MARCH 🙂

If you know someone who might enjoy this post, I’d love for you to share with them! And if you wanted to share on social media, I wouldn’t be upset either….

Priorities Are Important. Don’t Skip This One.

I’m an organized guy, yes?

[Guys in the back loudly disagree.]

Okay, you got me there. While I’m not the most organized person, I’ve gotten better with areas I previously struggled in. Like priorities.

It’s one thing to know your priorities. It’s another to put them on paper in order of most important to least. I felt pretty damn good once I started to learn my own.  Though admittedly, I didn’t bother to order them. “Eh…whatever. They’re all my priorities. I’ll figure it out.” Between my acting goals, coaching goals, overall health goals, and finances, I thought I was all set.

And when we’re all set, it’s normal to go to bed incredibly stressed out every night, yes?

Since I quit waiting tables and got my own apartment, I have less stress than I’ve had in years. Where on earth was this coming from?

Then I heard a voice: “Make happiness your priority.”

What?! Who said that? GOD?!

…it wasn’t God. It was Shawn Anchor in an interview I was listening to. (I did mention I was listening to a Shawn Anchor interview, right?)

Hmm…happiness…..How the hell am I supposed to be happy if I’m not working on my goals? How am I supposed to be happy if I have no money? And I’m certainly not going to be happy if I don’t have a six pack….

(….maybe I’ll be okay without the six pack. )

All of these are all important. Just not at the expense of my happiness.

Working on my coaching business and acting goals are a priority. They make me happy, especially when they bring in that thing called money. What I’m learning is that I can be happy working on these every day for a certain amount of time, without spending all of my time working too much without taking breaks or making time for social activities.

Then there’s health: I’ve reached a goal where I stopped giving into instant gratification and refuse to indulge in cheat meals unless it’s specifically a cheat day. While I’m proud of this goal, I’m learning that I let it contribute to more stress. I had learned how easy it was to stay home and skip shows and activities without the worry of food and sleep. The more I stayed home and skipped going out, the more unhappy I was getting.

These are all areas I’ll be more comfortable in a month from now. At which point, I’ll probably be able to talk about this topic even better (Not to mention write a better blog post….) Regardless, here’s my biggest takeaway so far: We should focus on how to go about our goals and priorities in a way that makes us happy. This might not always be the “right” way to go about it, or the way our friends and family tell us. While we don’t want to shun advice from others, it’s okay to stray from the path that’s often classified as “the way you should do it.”

I had been so focused on what motivational speakers have been telling me in interviews, youtube videos, and even social media posts, that I wasn’t focusing on how I felt. Well now….that’s just silly.

Don’t be silly. Just…be happy. 🙂 Go get’ em, friends.