FEAR

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Fear, not circumstance, is the reason most people are not doing what they want to in life.  Fear of success, failure, risk, change...I have been dealing with this myself for years. The fear of getting on stage to do stand-up comedy due to bombing, being judged, and even success.  My mindset has changed over the years.  I've had loved ones pass away unexpectedly and it made me realize that you don't get to choose how you leave.  It made me think, what mark have I left?  Some memories with friends and family, but after I'm gone then what?  I will soon be forgotten, along with my thoughts and who I was as a person.  That never sat well with me.  Anyone who has made a difference throughout history took a chance and believed in their ability.   

The regret I would have from never trying was always worse than anything I could manifest in my head.  There is nothing worse than talking to people who get you invested in their goals and dreams, but never even attempt to pursue them.  Some of the reasons they don't accomplish their goals are valid, but most of them are not.  Just as my reason was not, although I often tried to justify it to myself.  

A couple years ago, I began listening to podcasts—specifically, The Joe Rogan Experience and Bill Burr’s Monday Morning Podcast.  Both spoke about comedy in a way I had never heard before. I felt relief in knowing the thoughts and doubts I was having were normal. That it was okay to not settle at a job, even though it provided security.  I have never been impressed by material items anyways.  I was always more impressed by someone who could make me laugh.  The messages in the podcasts were always so positive, “Do what you want to do in life.”

I have met fighters and comedians (both in occupations I believe are some of the most difficult careers on the planet) and they are not fearless.  They experience the same emotions, but their mentality is different.  They are scared of the task, but they are still going to do it.  The work ethic and time spent honing their craft, eliminates much of the fear and doubt someone unprepared would experience.  Everyone wants an opportunity to happen, but you have to be ready for it.  

I have always been inspired by seeing other people achieve their goals.  It motivates me to see someone go against the grain and achieve something extraordinary.  It's like seeing someone unplug themselves from the Matrix, you don't have to be like everyone else.

Whenever you start something it's always awkward and intimidating, you never want to look stupid.  Well guess what? I did, everyone does at first.  I realized it was just like any other sport I had played—I was just on the opposite end as a beginner now.  In The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield, the author explains, “Turning pro is a mindset. If we are struggling with fear, self-sabotage, procrastination, self-doubt, etc., the problem is, we're thinking like amateurs. Amateurs don't show up. Amateurs crap out. Amateurs let adversity defeat them. The pro thinks differently. He shows up, he does his work, he keeps on truckin', no matter what.”  No matter what you are pursing, you will get better if you put forth the effort and show up every day.  There is no secret.  It's just hard work and persistency.  Focus, write, rehearse, perform, re-write, and repeat...

 

GONE TOO SOON, JR RIORDAN

I've always felt like I'm a pretty good judge of character, and in my estimation, we lost an amazing person in JR Riordan on February 28, 2014. I pledged the Kappa Sigma fraternity with him my first semester at CSUS, and, from the day I met him, I could tell he was one of those rare people you meet in life that will have a lasting impact on you. I didn’t really know what it was at first…he got along with everyone, made me laugh, was an all around athlete...and when he voiced his opinion, you listened.

What I really respected about him was that he was the same person, no matter who he was around.  He never treated anyone differently and I always left a conversation with him feeling more positive than when I came into it. AEKDB