Blog

Where you are

“Get flat, toned, rock hard abs in just 5 minutes a day!”

“Break through to 7 figures, a-freaking-sap!”

“Sell your screenplay in 2 weeks!”

Is it just me, or does it feel like the entire world is obsessed with skipping “this” to get to “that”?

It’s like we’re all little kids in the back of mom’s minivan crying, “Are we therrrrre yet?”

We’re all obsessed with “short cuts” and “speedy tricks.”

We don’t like being “here.” We want to be “there.”

It’s so incredibly rare to meet someone who is just happy to be… where they are.

It’s like being “content” with your current weight, lifestyle, income, home, or level of business success is “illegal” or something. It’s kinda depressing.

Recently, I was having a frumpy day – feeling tired and worn out, for no particular reason – and I decided to attend a screenwriting panel here in LA, hoping it would inspire and recharge me.

The panel was filled with Oscar nominated writers, literary agents, producers from HBO – all kinds of interesting, highly accomplished people from the TV industry with lots of wisdom to share.

They did not disappoint.

It was so beautiful to spend a few hours listening to these masterful storytellers and creators describing their long, illustrious careers – how they all started out on the very bottom rung of Hollywood’s ladder, all the challenges and victories along the way, everything it took to get to their current positions.

It was obvious that many of the people on the panel were close, supportive friends who had known each other for many decades. They shared stories, laughed together, reminiscing and recapping memories of the “early days,” back when they were just crazy kids, brand new in Hollywood, working as interns and assistants, barely scraping together a living. They spoke about those early days with a sense of nostalgia and reverence – not shame. It wasn’t like, “Ugh, remember how awful it was back then, back before we were rich and famous?” It was more like, “Wow, remember how fresh and exciting everything was back then? What a crazy ride it’s been!”

These were people who grew up together, worked together, developed projects together, got married and raised kids side by side, and forged deep, respectful friendships through the years. They’ll probably be friends till the day they die.

You can’t “short cut” your way to those types of friendships.

And you can’t “short cut” your way to “mastery” and “excellence” – in any industry.

Some things, in life, aren’t supposed to have short cuts.

I left that panel feeling renewed. Since then, I’ve been thinking about the beauty of taking things slowly, and the beauty of allowing relationships to deepen and mature with time, rather than trying to cram every aspect of life into a pressure cooker.

I’ve also been thinking about how “working your way up the ranks” and really “earning” your way forward isn’t always a “bad” thing. In fact, it’s a vital, necessary thing.

Every single phase of your career – from being an unpaid intern to a network executive – can be exciting, fulfilling, and interesting in its own way.

There’s no need to rush through the steps on your way from “here” to “your dream.”

When you rush, you miss so much along the way. You’re cheating yourself out of experiences that can ultimately make you better at whatever type of craft you’ve chosen to do. You’re also putting a ton of unnecessary pressure on yourself, which is never fun.

Instead of wondering, “How can I get there faster?”

I wish more of us would ask ourselves, “What’s wrong with being where I am?”

As we wrap up 2015, I invite you to reflect back on everything you learned, achieved, and created this past year with your business. Regardless of whether you hit your income goals, or exceeded them, or neither, try to bring your mindset into a place of appreciation for being “where you are” on your business-journey, wherever that may be.

Despite the millions of billboards, magazine ads, commercials, and bombastic Facebook messages that try to convince you otherwise, there is nothing wrong with being right where you are.

The more we can remember that, the happier and more productive we’ll all be.