The picture of my ideal life at about 18 = something like: 8am Swimming / 9am Strawberries & oatmeal / 10am French class / 11am Voice work / 12noon Massage / 1pm Stuffed artichokes & rare steak / 2pm Acting class / 5pm Nap / 6pm Bathe / 7:30 Champagne / 8pm - well, you get the idea: learning, luxury, poetry & discipline. (really, does anything sound sexier?)
To that end, here's what's jazzing me for 2013.
The pro mindset is a discipline that we use to overcome Resistance. To defeat the self-sabotaging habits of procrastination, self-doubt, susceptibility to distraction, perfectionism & shallowness, we enlist the self-strengthening habits of order, regularity, discipline, a constant striving after excellence.
TURNING PRO by Steven Pressfield = bringing discipline & structure into all of it — not just when I'm coaching / on set / in 8 performances a week mode. Must it be a surprise every week if I get to yoga? Can I commit to structure & not feel like I'm in middle school? Given that a rebel persona takes up a chunk of my identity, can I nurture all her good stuff without letting her rule the day? (As you recall, fellow creativity workers, Pressfield also wrote the terrific book The War of Art)
RESOLVE: Bring the Pro mentality to all aspects of my life.
Your ability to generate power is directly
proportional to your abiity to relax.
GETTING THINGS DONE by David Allen. Half way thru this one. Inspired by his terrific Ted Talk: The Art of Stress Free Productivity. Nutshell: clear your brain of every little thing you gotta do & wanna do, so that it doesn't cycle round again & again, creating angst. Email / paper files / social media / calls / projects / health / relationships, everything — put all the niggling responsibilities & upcoming events & wild ideas into what seems like an intuitive, easy to use organizational system. (I know, I know, we've all been there before. Let's see if this one sticks.)
RESOLVE: Lots of productivity with lots less stress.
I needed to save myself. I needed to remind myself of what
I like to do, what I can do. Talent...can go away. It needs to
be nurtured, taken care of. The best thing about getting older is
that you kind of know what you are doing — if you stick with
something. It doesn’t get easier. But you get stronger.
ANNIE LEIBOVITZ, about her book PILGRIMAGE
I live for stuff like this: Annie Leibovitz's beautiful book contains no portraits. It's all the habitats & things of creative people: Emily Dickinson's only surviving dress (left), Georga O'Keefe's pastels, Ansel Adams darkroom, Virgina Woolf's desk, the gloves found in Lincoln's pocket the night of his assasination... Trancendental & haunting & aloft.
RESOLVE: Work stronger.
Happy New Year! May all our dreams of chaos & order come true.
(And your resolves? Please, comments here.)