I read an article entitled “3 Things Actors Need to Shed on Their Journeys” by Craig Wallace. It gives the author’s thoughts on some things that should fall away along an actor’s voyage. But upon reading it, I think many of us can integrate these points into our lives no matter what our craft.
I think it’s important to understand the importance of a journey. No matter what your plan or idea, a journey is key. What makes the journey worthwhile is what we pick up along the way. Skills, relationships, and experience come. But sometimes in life there are some things that need to be left behind. If it’s to be a lifelong journey, knowing what to shed along the way will be just as important as knowing what to add. Here are three things you may want to consider leaving behind.
1. Attachment to results. Many of us forget or do not appreciate the power and privilege in this present moment. You are guaranteed nothing. Period. That doesn’t mean you don’t have goals, it just means that it’s unwise ‘to focus on the exact manifestation of the goals at the expense of the present moment.” That goes for so many things: weight loss, degrees, jobs, mates. We get so caught up in the when that we forget the now. Trust wisdom greater than yourself. By doing this, you’re opening yourself up to the chance of things happening in a bigger and better way than you were able to imagine. Open your possibilities!
Don’t waste your precious time and energy on what is out of your control.
2. People. This actually was biggest for me. “If there is anyone in your life who you feel you have to explain yourself to—who demands that you prove the legitimacy of what you do—get rid of them if you can.” How can you take a positive, energized, and meaningful journey when people are riding on your shoulders telling you that you’re a fool for doing so? Sometimes it’s not possible to slough off all of these naysayers—for example, many times they’re family.
You can, however, lay down some stronger boundaries as to what is on and off the table in terms and discussion and opinion. More importantly, you can work to make their opinions of you and your chosen profession less important to you.
3. Self-judgment. Since you’ll experience a lot of rejection along your journey, you’ll also have a lot of opportunities to learn—and also to judge. It’s important to learn from it all. When you beat yourself up, you cease to learn. Have a way of working that allows you to see clearly what didn’t work, and how to fix it.
Self-judgment is such a huge impediment to moving forward. Again, there are already plenty of people who will feel free to judge you; don’t do it to yourself. You need a sharp discerning mind and open heart to truly know what things will move your journey forward and what things will hold it back.
“You don’t have to know 1000 things; rather they need to know three or four things really deeply,” says Wallace. And so it is with the larger journey. What are the very few things that are truly essential to you? Find them, explore them, get to know them deeply and you will always have strong reliable companions as you travel your path.