I heard something the other day: “Successful people have learned to like the process.” I think that’s true. When I look back on my career, I see that in the early years as an actor and then as a producer, I spent most of my time frustrated, miserable, moody and depressed. If it wasn’t happening I wondered: why isn’t it happening? If it was happening I wondered: why isn’t more happening? I don’t remember ever being satisfied. Quite frankly, I’m still not too sure that I’m satisfied. But, I have learned to like the process.
After all, lets face it, all of life is a process. More than that, it’s all a gift. No matter how you look at it. If you feel God divinely put you here or if you’re an athiest who feels that our time on earth is the result of random consequence. Either way it’s a miracle that we’re here at all. So, no matter how you look at it, it’s a gift. The process is a gift.
So, how does one learn to like the process? I think its about living in the moment. Granted, not all moments are created equal and some are just plain better than others, but when you think about it, this moment is really all you’ve got. It’s all that is truly real. Where you’re going, the end result and your perception of all that has happened in the past, even if it JUST happened, is now in the past and relegated to a figment of your imagination.
Moments are like a grand puzzle. If you’re concentrating hard on something it puts you in the moment. Your concentration is the process of trying to figure out how the work you are doing in the now will fit into a larger canvas of the end result.
Now, keep in mind I did not say learn to LOVE the process. There are some that love the process, but admitedy, the process is hard to love. Just ask the artist who is suffering from writer’s block. There may be parts of the process that you can love. However, any process has moments of drudgery and frustration. It’s in that moment when you remind yourself that this moment connects to the next moment, so fully commit to this one. Accept it for what it is and do the best you can to contribute something to the canvas. When you feel like you’ve made a contribution, you will like the moment. When you like the moment, you will begin to like the process.
It doesn’t matter whether you are writing a script, shooting test footage or making the dreaded cold calls to hustle up work. The moment is a beautiful thing. Remember, you have a finite number of them. The day will come when you run out of moments, so you might as well figure out how to fully engage and like as many moments as you possibly can.
My world can be a strange one. I’m helping to build a company and I have great aspirations and vision for it. But, it requires that I shape shift and I constantly find myself doing things that I am unfamiliar with. The unfamiliar sometimes fills me with great doubt about my skills, with uncertainly and frequent paranoia. Those are moments when I don’t “like” the process. Those moments are the ones when I just want to be an agent and do deals and help my clients reach their goals through closing the deal on the table, and I still do that everyday. But, there is the realization that through investing in the process of building a more powerful platform and learning new things I am helping my clients in ways that I never could before. It’s better for the company, the clients, the agents I work with and myself. If I commit to my process as entrpreneur AND agent we will all reach more of what we collectively aspire to.
At home we have a little white board next to the door. Adrienne and I take turns writing on it little inspirational sayings that we come across. Last week she wrote “Now is the only moment that lasts forever.” She wrote that before she got hit on the big toe with a cast iron cassarole pot lid, opening up her foot and requiring an ER visit and some stitches. Granted, that moment did seem to last forever, the swearing, the gushing blood, the hopping around. But, the reality is, it didn’t last forever. It also came and went. The three shots of Tequila helped move things along also, but the moment came and went.
So, what are you doing in this moment? Whatever it is, it will affect the next moment and the next and the next. It’s all connected. That’s why you need to use this moment to make a call, plan a spec shoot, take a photograph, tell someone you love them, write a blog post, write a scene, write some goals or learn something new.
It’s all about living with intention and being aware of the moment instead of rehashing the past or day dreaming about a future that is not based on right choices and hard work in the present. Intent will always put you in the moment, because intent drives you.