First, what’s your industry?
I know, you’d think I wouldn’t have to ask that, but a lot of people don’t know what kind of work they’re in, or they hate what they do.
This post is geared toward you who are pursuing your dream work, but it’s a recipe that will work in any industry.
I have used this technique to meet famous people on movie and tv sets as an extra, and I now teach acting classes.
Another “coincidence” happened a couple years ago when I was deep into writing – I had been blogging for years before that, but I was definitely feeling more confident in my writing around this time(although looking back at it, it wasn’t that great). But I was confident in it! And it was pretty good.
Anyway! Ryan Holiday was and still is a writer I look up to. I was scrolling through his book recommendations in early April of 2018 I believe it was. I came across the book Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, it piqued my interest so I got it and read it in like a day or two, it was so good, one of my favorite books of all time. But then a few days later an intuitive thought led me to checking out Tattered Cover book store’s website, to see if any authors I knew were coming to Denver for a book signing. I hadn’t checked that site in months, literally, and guess who was coming to a book signing two days from that day? Ryan Holiday. I felt a strange sensation go through my whole body.
So, point two — After you know your industry, who do you look up to in it? Who are the leaders you’d love to work with?
A lot of people never think it can happen to them, but it can! Part of this technique is just thinking about who you’d like to work with, because the mind is an extremely powerful thing. So think about it.
Next — I saw an opportunity in this book signing. Opportunities surround us more than we know — they are like objects in the background, we don’t pay attention to them because well, there’s more convenient things to focus on. But they are there.
So I took time to hand write a letter for Ryan, giving my appreciation to him, the work he’s done, and the influence it has had in my life. I included my email toward the end of it and mentioned that I had been writing for some years now and would love to work with him if there were any openings. A few weeks later I get an email from him with a trial assignment if I was interested in the position. If that’s not magic then I don’t know what is. Who knows, but I was really fucking excited. I did the assignment, got the position, did the work, and learned so much. I’m still learning from him, and am grateful for that opportunity. Him being a best selling author and world speaker definitely didn’t need me, and although I wrote a good amount of content, he did so much more for me by giving me that opportunity.
So that’s another thing — if you do get an opportunity with a leader in your industry, stay humble. They’re doing you a favor, not the other way around.
Then from there, do the work.
Put in the time.
Never stop learning.
But remember that it all begins with an idea.
Acting strategies can be used as tools to improve your work environment as well as your life.
If these strategies have enlightened Jim Carrey, in which you can read about below, they might be able to do the same for you. Give them a try and use what works for you!
Acting Strategies To Try At Work
1) Act “As If”
The HuffPost has a good article on Acting “As If”. Click here to read it. The article looks at both sides of this exercise and discusses its benefits. Here is an encapsulating quote from the article:
“When we choose to live with a strong faith in things not seen, not proven, and not guaranteed – we tap into the power of the possible and we supersede the literal and predicable.”
Another good quote from article:
“The question for us to ask ourselves is, ‘What am I acting as if will happen in the most important areas of my life right now?’”
So what do you want to act “as if”?
Think about specific qualities you admire and/or think about one of your role models or a leader in your industry. What would they do in this situation?
Then try it out! Don’t give up after 3 minutes, take time to really dwell in an “as if” situation.
This leads to something similar…
2) Create, then don’t leave your “Stage”
This is another type of method acting.
“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.”
Every day people are waking up and playing a role; some do it intentionally and some don’t.
The following strategy can be used in any occupation:
Let’s say that you are a pharmacist. In this exercise this is also your “acting role”. Try going into your job pretending that you are an actor, acting as a pharmacist. View everyone you see as fellow actors, acting out their roles!
^This idea can be a trip but I love it.
Related to this strategy is the article about Jim Carrey when he used Method Acting in portraying Andy Kaufman. Check it out here.
Seeing others as fellow actors can help you understand that each “actor” has a role, they have tasks, they are focused on an end goal. This can help you understand peoples’ wants:
“One of the most important keys to acting is that every single person at every single moment of their life has an objective (a want) as well as an action to get what they want. In acting, if you can identify what your character wants at any given time, then you will add a vital element of truth and direction in your work. The same applies to life.”
Knowing that each “actor” has an objective can help you react less and respond more. Reactions are quick and usually without thought whereas Responses are calm and calculated. Reactions are emotional and typically ego-based. Responses are reasonable.
“When egos act defensively (e.g. when we insist that the other person is “wrong”), our judgement becomes clouded. When we focus too much on defending ourselves, we become blocked in our own self-development.”
One of the best qualities an actor can have is active listening. Active listening lets go of the ego to completely engage and focus on the present moment, open to all possibilities(trusting improv), which is where real Joy is experienced, and isn’t that what it’s about?
Joy is contagious. Try the first method to Act “As If” joyful wherever you are and observe the people in your surroundings become more joyful too!
“If you carry joy in your heart, you can heal any moment.”
Actions become habits if repeated long enough, but remember that progress is the goal, not perfection. Every day won’t shine as you’d like but you can work on shining every day.