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pain and meaning and struggle

Real Talk 23: Sometimes you work and feel the pain for meaning

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It’s 5AM right now and I’m writing this.

Sometimes you just have to do the work even though it’s at weird hours, when everyone else is asleep and most of all, when you’re tired as hell.

“I think people sometimes don’t pay enough attention to what they do. I’ve done well, but the reason is pretty simple: I’ve worked my ass off. The toughest thing a performer can do is make it look as if it comes easy.” – Justin Timberlake

Sometimes you don’t know when the light at the end of the tunnel would actually come. Sometimes you can’t see it and you wonder why you do it. But you just do anyway.

“Success is just a war of attrition. Sure, there’s an element of talent you should probably possess. But if you just stick around long enough, eventually something is going to happen.” – Dax Shepard

Sometimes you don’t even know what you’re doing is right or wrong, and that’s scary as hell! But nobody really knows what they’re doing in life. We’re just trying to figure it out as we go along.

“A lot of young actors have the idea that, “I’ve got to do this right. There’s a right way to do this.” But there’s no right or wrong. There’s only good and bad. And “bad” usually happens when you’re trying too hard to do it right. There’s a very broad spectrum of things that can inhibit you. The most important thing for actors – and not just actors, but everybody – is to feel loose enough to create what you want to create, and be free to try anything. To have choices.” – Robert DeNiro

Sometimes people call you weird, talk shit about you and just go all out to put you down.

“Ignore the naysayers. Really the only option is, head down and focus on the job.” – Chris Pine

For sure though, you just need to keep at  it because the idea of overnight success is absolute bullshit.

“There’s no such thing as overnight success. That’s my concern with a show like American Idol. It encourages the false belief that there’s a kind of magic, that you can be ‘discovered.’ That may be the way television works, but it’s not the way the world works. Rising to the top of any field requires an enormous amount of dedication, focus, drive, talent, and 99 factors that they don’t show on television. It’s not simply about being picked. Which, by the way, is why very few of the anointed winners on American Idol have gone on to true success. Most have flamed out and gone away. That should tell us something.” – Malcolm Gladwell

Sometimes you do it because it’s the struggle that makes you happy.

“Success? I don’t know what that word means. I’m happy. But success, that goes back to what in somebody’s eyes success means. For me, success is inner peace. That’s a good day for me.” – Denzel Washington

Sometimes you need to remember that you’re doing it because you love it.

“I’ve been very lucky. All I wanted was to pay the rent. Then these characters took off and suddenly there were Hulk coffee mugs and Iron Man lunchboxes and The Avengers sweatshirts everywhere. Money’s okay, but what I really like is working.” – Stan Lee

You do it because it keeps getting better too.

“People ask, ‘What’s the best role you’ve ever played?’ The next one.” – Kevin Kline

You find meaning in your pain and struggles.

“When I was younger I’d berate myself: You’re fat, you’re not a good dancer, you’ll never have a boyfriend. I don’t sweat that kind of stuff anymore. Now every day is a miracle. I’ve also learned that if something is painful or upsetting, you shouldn’t hide from it. You should make it part of your life instead.” – Valerie Harper

And if it all serves to make you weird, introverted, lonely, isolated or even crazy, I guess that’s how you become the best version of yourself.

“I used to live an isolated existence, even in relationships, but now my family knows me for who I really am. Mostly, that’s a good thing.” – Tim Allen

Do you want more honest-as-fuck stories like this?

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