To Gain The World But Lose Your Soul

what does it profit a man to gain the world but lose his soulIn this blog, I’m going to show you my thought process as it happened in real time. The italicized portion in the beginning is my thought process before I figured out the underlying truth. If you don’t give two shits about my process, start reading at Desired Outcome: Become a World-Famous Stand-Up Comic, and please accept my apologies for my hubris in thinking that my ideas are so grand that people will actually want to see my thought process in the first place.

What could be worse than accomplishing your dream of becoming an [INSERT YOUR DREAM TITLE HERE] but the way that you achieve/achieved your dream caused you to act in a way that compromised your beliefs and values?

I was listening to the Tony Robbins program Unleash The Power Within, and he talked about the need for a Change in Approach if/when your actions aren’t leading you closer to your Desired Outcome.

For example, let’s say that your Desired Outcome is to become a world-famous stand-up comedian. If people don’t laugh, according to Tony Robbins, that means you need to recognize that a Change in Approach is required.

Makes sense, right? But what if you Change your Approach SO MUCH that it compromises the Very Outcome i.e. hold on, wait…

You have to define the outcome intelligently, or you may gain your outcome and lose your soul.

What I mean by that is that if you become a world-famous stand-up comic by doing magic, well maybe you will still feel like a failure because, well, you’re doing fucking magic tricks for 13-year old Christian children.

So defining your outcome is very important. The how you get there/stay there are just as important as achieving the outcome in the first place.

OK wait we should structure this differently…

Desired Outcome: Become a World-Famous Stand-Up Comic.

Opinion 1: Change Change Change based On Results Until Outcome Achieved per Tony Robbins: With each performance, you need to change/adjust/refine your approach so you can become funnier and funnier and funnier.

Opinion 2: Do Not Depend Solely On Results per Jack Kornfield via Thomas Merton – “The value, the rightness, and the truth of what you’re doing are paramount.” – Excerpt from a conversation with Duncan Trussell

Yes…right. What does it profit a man if he has gained the world but lost his soul? Two things.

The Importance of Specific Outcomes
You have to set very specific outcomes for your life, or you just might end up A) getting what you wanted and B) hating who you’ve become during the process. The outcome isn’t simply to become a world-famous stand-up comic. The outcome is to become a world-famous stand-up comic while remaining true to yourself. In this case, Tony wasn’t wrong, I was. I set an incomplete outcome. Tony recognized this when he used the example of Jim Belushi. Jim achieved everything he wanted in life and still committed suicide. Ok cool. It was me misinterpreting what he was saying. My bad, Tone.

Results aren’t Everything
A bad result doesn’t mean that you need to change your approach. You can make a good decision that results in a bad outcome.

Low and behold, the perfect song (first verse’s lyrics are rell nice)

“I’m changing today for the better
Talking to the person in the mirror
‘Cause from fame and money start run, it seems like you nah move clever
Whappen to the big, big tunes you use to make?
And whappen to the hungry person you used to rep?
Make mi tell you this: You better come back to reality else mi and you ah done and mi nah tek check
You try to remember why you love music
And start to remember why you start do this
[…]Back to reality, back to earth
Back to reality mi haffi do my work” – Gappy Ranks, Back to Reality

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Crying into a Plate of Chicken Wings

BBQ Chicken Wings

You know, ever since I started this blog, two things have remained pretty consistent:
1) My anxiety/depression/fear of the stage (or more accurately, my fear of rejection and negative feedback).
2) My weight.

The first constant, so to speak, is something I’ve already beat to death. The second constant, however, never really became part of the conversation. Quite frankly, I’ve been a fat ass for about ten years now. You’d’ve thought that with my father and uncles passing away due to diabetes-related heart attacks that I would’ve woken up – nope. Apparently, my cravings were stronger than my will to live, LMAO.

Ignored vegetables have I over the past ten years. Unless it was drowned in Continue reading

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One Day At A Time

Dear Diary,

Yesterday, as I prepared to go out to an open mic, the familiar feelings of fear, dread, and self-doubt began to marinate into my bones. Thoughts of bombing, doing poorly, feeling inadequate, all rushed in. Then, I thought, ‘One day at a time. One performance at a time. You don’t have to be famous today.’

Seneca - letters from a stoic - dealing with anxiety

And it helped! I did aiite for an open mic, but as I was getting into my car, the business student inside of me scorned, ‘So, what did we learn from this experience?’ But before I could swallow myself into a clinical, exhausting post-mortem, analyzing and bubble-sorting the wheat from the chaff (like this post and this post and this post and this post), I thought, ‘Congratulations, man! You made it out! That’s good enough! Didja learn some stuff? Cool! Let’s enjoy this chune Continue reading

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The Myth of Sisyphus and The Meaning of Life

Dear Diary,

The other day I was listening to a JRE Podcast with Duncan Trussell and Ari Shaffir, and Duncan brought up the myth of Sisyphus (Origin of Convo 23:55 | Myth of Sisyphus 25:40-27ish).

Long story short, Sisyphus defied the Gods, was sentenced to death, sent to Hades, and decided, fuck that, so he split, chilled on earth, but then the Gods found out, got pissed, and sent his ass back to Hades, only this time with an eternal punishment: to forever roll a heavy-ass rock up a hill, only to have it roll back down as soon as he reached the top. Fucked up? Sucks for him, right? Can I get an I Know Right?

I know, riiiyyt? – Diary

ego envy superiority

You know, I recognized that myth as soon as Duncan mentioned it, and the nerd in me rejoiced that I knew something I fantasized other people didn’t – I’m a nerdy asshole that way. People love the fact that I know my Jeopardy, but instead of receiving their compliments wholeheartedly and without ego, I’ve begun showboating, lol, Continue reading

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Who? That Guy? He Aiiiiin’t Shit

competition in comedy streven pressfield

I finally got down to reading The War of Art by Steven Pressfield and again, another life changer. Ever look at your co-worker (in my case, fellow comedian), and say,

“Eh yo, FUCK that dude. He aiiiin’t sheeeit.”

But he is. He is the shit. He’s doing well, and worst of all, you resent him for it.

No, just me? Yo, fuck you, Diary. Anyways, I used to feel a healthy bout of envy whenever I saw someone doing better than I was, especially if they started when I did or gasp! after I did. Luckily, Pressfield explains why I felt that way, why it was perfectly natural to feel that way, and most importantly, how to break out.

Pressfield on how competition is a silent killer for the artist: Continue reading

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