Today was a day of reflection.
About turning over some old behaviors (I hope).
Feeling discomfort in the present so long term I can better reach my long term goals.
Anyone who has known me for more than 5 minutes would describe me as a "shoot first ask questions later" kind of guy.
I think part old/conditioning + faulty wiring (my brain) = impulsive decisions.
There was a long term study done with school aged kids.
They were brought into a room, which had a chair, a table.....
And a cookie.
Just one cookie.
They were told that they cold eat the cookie now...
or wait for 15 min and at that point, they could have a whole bag.
Now, the wait time may not be exactly 15 min, or maybe it wasn't the whole bag, but you get the gist of this.....
The researchers were trying to find out if success was partially linked to delaying gratification.
So, they kept track on these kids, through high school, college and beyond...
And guess what?
The ones who could wait for that bag of cookies...
Here's a link to the article....
And an excerpt....
Want a cookie?
More than 600 children took part in the marshmallow experiment nearly 40 years ago, conceived of by psychologist Walter Mischel of Stanford University and his colleagues.
"Sometimes experimenters had not even finished talking about the experiment when the kids already ate the marshmallow or cookie," said cognitive neuroscientist B.J. Casey at Weill Cornell Medical College, who has taken part in follow-up studies on this work. "Other 4-year-olds were able to wait by sitting on their hands and turning away, or creating imaginary friends to distract them."
Since Mischel's daughters attended nursery school with many of these children in the study, he began noticing that whether or not the kids delayed gratification appeared linked with many other factors in their lives. Kids who succumbed quickly to temptation often had lower SAT scores, a higher body-mass index and a slightly increased risk of substance abuse later on.
Casey refers to those who quickly gave in as low-delayers and those who can delay gratification high-delayers.
"Now, you're not doomed to a bad life if you're in the low-delay group — those results are the average across the whole group, and not true for everyone within," Casey stressed. "Personally, I think we need both low-delayers and high-delayers. High-delayers are more methodical, while low-delayers are more drawn to interesting new or alluring things. If you need explorers, low-delayers might be where to look."
This doesn't mean there's anything wrong with the way I am wired.....
I wouldn't change my life.
It doesn't mean that I couldn't learn to delay whatever gratification I'm seeking for JUST a bit longer.
Which brings me back to my title.
Gotta take care of some debt.
Not a huge amount.
But it's time.
This means putting into practice behaviors that are not my strong suit.
Hell--I just plain don't like them.
Just have to remember that whatever discomfort I'm feeling is finite.
It will end.
Sometimes to get that whole bag of cookies means I'll have to say no to the one sitting right there within arm's reach.
Wish me luck!
That quote is not my own....
But it's good right?
It's from Lance Henriksen. You may not recognize the name but look him up in IMBD....as a matter of fact--here's the link.
Go ahead. Check him out.
This guy works.
188 titles to be exact.
Point is, he's been in everything. Big Blockbusters. TV. Smaller Independent Films. Straight to DVD.
That's what I like to call prolific.
Point is, he's an actor. That's his job.
It's funny. Most people go to school to act.
Which is good.
What happens in between jobs, or when you're just starting out.
That's right--you go to class.
You pay to learn.
I'd rather do a job for little or no money when I'm starting out. I get experience, copy AND I'm learning.
I'm not paying to sit in a classroom.
Even better. I was never one to sit in a class.
I'm more of a doer.
Under the "Triva" Section in IMDB under quotes....check out what this guy says. Love it!
Here's just a little taste:
[on working so much] You know something, if you're not acting, you're not an actor - you've gotta work. No way around it. I remember Andy Garcia - we had done Jennifer Eight (1992) together. And Andy, I think, was probably making a couple of million for that movie, and he looked at me one day and he goes, "Hey Lan, you work too much, you shouldn't work so much". And I said, "Alright Andy, if I was making a couple million a movie, I wouldn't work too much. I wouldn't need to work 'too much'!" Everybody has their own life to live, and I love doing the work, so what I am I gonna do? He hasn't done the same kind of roles I have. But it's lucky for me, because I'm really having a good time.
Until next time.....
So--the phrase that everyone likes to toss around is "actions speak louder than words". Kind of a platitude, isn't it?
Or as a close friend/mentor likes to say "simple. not easy."
Do I audition? Yes. Do I study with a coach. Yes. Do I love acting? Well, yes I do as a matter of fact.
But am I REALLY serious about reaching my goals and becoming the best that I am capable of--no mater what level that may or may not be......
That is when things get a LITTLE complicated.....
I decided a long time ago that not doing my best was ok. I don't mean that every day my best effort might be the same.....some days my best is "eh" and other days I feel like I'm ready to take on all comers. That's being human and last time I checked that's an ok thing to be.
It does not mean that I don't show up for myself, don't respect myself, take care of myself, which in turn, helps me be of better service to others. I can't give what I don't have....
So, starting today....
I make an oath to myself and the others who might wander over to this site that I:
1) I will take more risks. Real risks. This doesn't mean being "careless", or "who cares" or any old behavior that I've indulged in before. If it's old, self defeating behavior, then where's the risk.
2) I will actually study. Prepare. Do my best. And then, here's the key for me: relax. Let it go. Pat myself on the back. And go on to the next thing.
3) I will embrace making mistakes. Lots of them. Real whoppers. Smack my forehead "oh shit I messed that up" kind of mistakes. This does not include breaking any laws. ;-)
4) I will cut myself a break. I will cut others a break. After all, at the end of the day, 99.9 of people out there do their best. I know, sometimes I scratch my head on this one, but it's true.
5) I will post SOMETHING on this blog every day. It may be about acting. It may not. Nobody may read it....someone may and come away thinking all sorts of negative things to say. Or positive things. Cool.
6) Woody Allen (mixed feelings about the guy) said it best "90 percent of life is just showing up)
That's all for today.
Until next time.
Hey everyone. I've been in NYC for over 12 years. Before that...all over the place. Born in Pa, grew up in St Augustine Fl, served in the US Army, lived in Washington Dc and now I call New York my home.