This Will Make You Happy
This Will Make You Happy
Before the routine of ordinary life keeps you from following through on your resolutions this year, here are five things to consider.
1) It takes just 10 minutes to achieve your goal.
By allowing yourself to give “just 10 minutes” of your time to do something toward your goal each day you will be amazed at how far and how fast you attain it. The thought of “just 10 minutes” takes all of the self-imposed psychological pressure off and makes it easy to get started. A big contrast from the usual “OMG, there’s so much to do, where do I begin?” This approach is 100% effective. I know, I have just completed writing my first book by keeping this in mind; it got me started every time.
2) Starting is the perfect time to start.
Starting is the perfect time to start. Take one step toward your goal and the Universe will bring it one thousand steps closer to you. Disregard trying to figure out how you will accomplish what it is you desire and just begin. You already have everything you need right now to get started. Years ago I wanted to make a documentary. I was working as a doorman in New York City. I knew nothing about film-making, never took a class, but I did have a home video camera. So I brought my video camera to work and before and after my shift I would video tape and interview the other doormen. This became a short fifteen-minute documentary about these New York City hotel doormen that got the attention of Hollywood director Joel Schumacher. Within seven months my wife and I were living in Los Angeles and I was working as a Stunt Coordinator on the Disney action film, “Con Air.” Paul Arden sums it up perfectly, “Do it, then fix it as you go. Too many people spend too much time trying to perfect something before they actually do it. Instead of waiting for perfection, run with what you got, and fix it as you go.”
3) It’s never too late to begin anew.
When I was an eighteen-year-old freshman at art school our class was invited to the senior’s art exhibit. Once I saw all the incredible work these students had done I became overwhelmed. “I’d never be able to do that.” Intimidated, I gave up and joined the Coast Guard. It wasn’t until a whopping ten years later, at the age of twenty-eight, that I returned to art school. Rather than comparing myself to others I kept my focus only on my progress. Everyday when I felt like giving up because the goal seemed too enormous for where I was at the time, I would remind myself of the silly little saying, "Inch by inch, life's a cinch, by the yard it's hard." It calmed me down and I could focus on the task at hand. I stopped worrying about the enormous amount of work I believed I had to accomplish in order to succeed as an artist. Instead I began to enjoy finishing each assignment, one by one, inch by inch. Ironically it didn’t take long for this method to start paying huge dividends. I began receiving scholarships and awards for my work. And while still a student, I was invited to become an honorary member of the New Jersey Art Directors Club. At the Club's reception, one of the members who was also a college professor, asked if I would be available to speak to her students on the secret to my success. I was flattered and without hesitation said, "Of course!" When she told me where she taught I was blown away, it was the very school I had left defeated by my own outlook years before. How ironic, I left that school overwhelmed by the burden of my own doubts and I got to return as an inspiration. I brought hope to a new generation of art students sharing the secret of my success: a silly little slogan. "Inch by inch, life's a cinch!"
4) Just because you are good at something doesn’t mean you must do it forever.
The only thing constant in the universe is change. It ‘s natural and healthy to desire positive change. After exhibiting with Andy Warhol and being included in an exhibition of what was considered to be the great contemporary artists from the state of New Jersey I no longer wanted to create paintings. My fellow artists, some good friends and family members thought I was making a huge mistake. Artist Hugo Bastidas, whose work now graces museum walls around the world, would repeatedly say, “You were on the brink of really breaking out.” I appreciated his believe in me, however, my heart wasn’t in it. It’s scary to give up what may appear to be a sure thing and step out on faith. But playing it safe is deadly. I went with my gut and I am glad I have. I have learned that I’d rather be clumsy at what I love than proficient at something I lack enthusiasm for. Since that time, adhering to this philosophy I’ve enjoyed success in a variety of creative pursuits. I’ve experienced the life of an actor appearing on stage and television. I tried my hand as a playwright and wrote a two-person play that I’ve performed with my wife, Lori, throughout Canada, New York City, New Jersey and Los Angeles. Interested in television production, I took a part-time job at a public access TV studio which lead to my becoming a producer of an Emmy® nominated news program.
5) You're a lot closer than you think; don't give up five minutes before the miracle.
I've saved my favorite for last. I love this one because it has always turned out to be true - and has kept me from hopelessly throwing in the towel (ever since it was first shared with me in 1986). Now it's 2012 and by continuing to apply these simple ideas I'm looking forward to doing something entirely new; having a book published. These five principles have enabled me to enjoy doing new things by casting aside my unreasonable fear and replacing it with faith. So if you get stuck this year give them a try and have fun.