There is a book called The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho that my mom suggested I read years ago. [spoiler alert] It’s basically a parable about how the things that we THINK we want are simply catalysts in our lives to drive us to fully realize our potential through the challenges we must overcome to become a better version of ourselves during the journey. In other words, the gift is not the realizing of our goals but who we become along the way. [End of spoiler alert]
I have found that my journey as an actor in Los Angeles has definitely stretched me and forced me to grow in ways I never dreamed I needed. Along the way, the thing that has caused me the most PAIN was not the disappointment, the long hours, grueling physical or mental work, or the rejection, but my EGO. I’ll say that again. My EGO is the main source of my pain and my biggest challenge to overcome.
As it turns out, my ego has all these plans and expectations for me. My ego has a clear image of who I am and how I should be received by others. And when any of these circumstances are not met to the satisfaction of my ego, it punishes ME. That doesn’t seem very productive, does it? Those of us who create in our lives (and I would dare say ALL of us create in our lives in some fashion) are constantly questioned by our ego if our end product is good enough or worthy enough for the image our ego projects upon us. In fact, it’s why some of us feel paralyzed to put our creative energy out in public at all, because our ego says it’s not good enough…and never will be!
But the good news is: YOUR EGO IS A LIAR!
Last year, a wonderful friend of mine took me (practically FORCED me!) to a lecture by a fellow actor. His name is Jack Plotnick. It was one of the most transformative evenings of my life. Everything this man said resonated within me deeper and more truthful than almost any other teacher. What he had to say struck me as so profound I realized that what he was saying was way bigger that just being a good actor. What he is really teaching is how to get out of your own way in LIFE!
Check out this tiny excerpt from Jack’s lecture on how to manage your ego:
What a GIFT to be able to get rid of all the voices in your head telling you you’re not good enough, you can’t achieve something, you’re not smart enough, pretty enough, talented enough, blah, blah, blah. And that applies to ANYTHING you want in life, whether you want to be a movie star, or an amazing parent, or an honest politician, or the first astronaut to walk on Mars. The only real obstacle standing between you and whatever you want is YOU!! Or more specifically, your EGO!
So if I have piqued your interest, perhaps you’d like to read more of these life affirming lessons from Jack? And he offers everything he teaches for FREE on his website: http://www.jackplotnick.com/4.html New Thoughts for Actors (or politicians, or parents, or astronauts, or whatever you want from life.) If you click your way through the items on the left of the page, you’ll find over a hundred pages of Jack’s school of thought on how he approaches his chosen field of expression. His approach is funny and accessible, if not profane at times. But it is all presented with a loving intent and deep insight. I hope you find it as powerful as I did!
Because when you can identify and remove the obstacles keeping you from fulfillment, you’ll find All Things Possible!