I Broke The Rules

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

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

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

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

“Yeah! Definitely!” 

…I didn’t do it. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Gotta love the quotes at Next Door Chicago!

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

Let’s go get ‘em, friends. 

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

He also loves to blog on how to do this. 

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

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

Why You’re Having a Bad Day

I was having a bad day. And it didn’t seem like I could improve it.

One of the benefits of being a #MyBigYear2017 member is the monthly calls with Courtney Rioux. (You can also sign up on her website to receive info for her free calls if this concept intrigues you.) A question Courtney sometimes asks us is, “Are you willing to see things differently?” I remember the first time I heard her ask this. I realized that each time I posted in our group or shared thoughts on a call, I was sharing them to vent. Not to hear an answer. In order to get that answer that deep down I ultimately wanted, I needed to see things differently. And to see things differently, I needed to be okay with being “wrong” about the way I was currently seeing things. 

A thought Courtney shares is, “You can choose to be happy or you can choose to be right.” I constantly need this reminder because, well….I like be right! 🙂 And the funny thing is, I think that by being right, I’ll automatically be happy. Usually it works the opposite. 

Back to my bad day: I wasn’t in a good mood and I had a lot of things I wanted to get done. Yet with the mood I was in, I wasn’t just unmotivated. But I grew more frustrated every time I started a new task. I quickly realized that this wasn’t the state I wanted to be in when doing things like answering emails and submitting to different theatre companies. 

I took a walk. (Okay, I went to Walgreens. I needed toilet paper.) 

I got home. I listened to Ross Grant do his bi-weekly #ActOnThisTV periscope.

And slowly, I started to feel better. (Cubs rallying in the 9th for a day game at Wrigley? Bonus points.)

It wasn’t until after all of these things that I started to be willing to see things differently. And once I was willing to see things differently, I was able to do the things that made me happy. 

Next time you’re in a bad mood ask yourself: Are you willing to see things differently? Or do you want to complain? If you want to complain, chances are you just want to be right. (Trust me, I get it.) And if you want to be right, perhaps right now is not the thing to solve your problem.

Take a break from the problem. In fact, watch this

I know, right? Cubs will do that to you.

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Thanks Cubbie Instagram for the pic. You make my blog look good. (Also – follow the Cubbies on instagram.)

Let’s go get ‘em friends. 

***    ****

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

He also loves to blog on how to do this. 

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

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

What happens when you trust uncertainty in your life

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’m sorry….what?

I’m getting paid to leave right now?

I. Was. Elated.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s go get ’em.

Tony Trick: Let Yourself Be Negative

Wake up early. Eat something healthy. Read something inspiring. Prep for positivity.

There’s plenty of options to set yourself up for a positive day. Yet some days you just won’t be happy.

As someone who loves teaching others tricks to be more positive, I don’t hide that I still have my bad days. I share these days  because I know the frustrating trying to learn new behaviors. We badly want to emulate them, yet they seem out of our reach. All the while, it seems the teacher has some “magical power” which we can’t seem to utilize ourselves. So let’s debunk the myth that this has to be hard. Believe it or not, part of this process involves allowing ourselves to be negative.

Don’t get me wrong: This isn’t an excuse to be grumpy all the time. Rather, it’s to emphasize how acknowledging your current feelings can help reach the ones you desire.

For instance, this week  I’m  visiting friends and family in the Boston area. My friends will all tell you I love opportunities to visit home. My mood always improves when I have a trip coming up. Less than a week to go?  Wicked happy. On the train ride to the airport? SO MUCH HAPPINESS.

….except for this trip.

I hopped on the Red Line and was feeling rather tired. When I’m tired, I tend to focus on more negatives: My throat felt scratchy. Am I getting sick? My flight would be getting in late. That won’t help. Will I be too cold this trip? What if my flight will get cancelled? What if I never make it as an actor?

Note: Being sleep deprived is a terrible time to start assuming things.
Clearly I wasn’t feeling very happy. So what did I do about it? I gave in.

I realized I was trying to fight my fatigue. I was wishing and hoping that I would feel more excited. Then I’d get mad at myself for not feeling better. Once I acknowledged how I was feeling, I didn’t have to fight anymore. I wasn’t conjuring up magical feelings that didn’t match how I actually felt.

I switched trains. I got on the Orange Line. Suddenly… I was in a much better mood. I was going home!

…granted, this tends to happen when one departs the Red Line.

I’ll admit this might not work for everyone. We all operate differently. I personally struggle reaching positive emotions by fighting off negatives and pretending they don’t exist. Sure, sometimes you can fake it til you make it. But more often I prefer to check in with myself first. Then I can work on how to best switch my focus – not fight it.

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Doesn’t mean you won’t forget to dump your water before going through security though…

Your turn: What do you usually do when you’re struggling to be in a better mood? What tricks do you use to change your focus. I’d love to hear in the comments below.

Before you comment, know this: The concept of “I can’t make myself feel better” is bullshit. You can be happier. You just need to know what works best for you.

Go get ‘em.