Photos of Conan in Movies

Stop Being A Failure

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

I was reading Sir Richard Branson's (owner of the Virgin group of companies and one of the most successful men on earth, builder of the fastest ever company to reach $1 billion turn over, etc) latest book the other day and came across one paragraph that stuck out in particular, in amongst a chapter on Entrepreneur and Leadership.

The simplicity and condensation of everything you need to know to not being a failure and becoming a success all boiled down to one simple paragraph.... 

 The paragraph? Here it is:

Failure is not giving things a go in the first place. People who fail are those who don't have a go and don't make an effort. Failures can't be bothered.

That is pretty much it. From my own experience this can be seen time and time again, the people who try, and I mean really try, again and again and again, despite "failures" are the ones who make it at the end.

Two powerful influences and my main goals in life have been prime examples of this - Acting and Bodybuilding.

First off EVERYONE wants a good body and all the diet supplements, muscle supplements, vitamins, health products, books, videos, gym memberships all prove this is a "high priority" for many people. But in reality how many people have good bodies?

How many of the guys who want to be huge bodybuilders ever achieve it?

How many people really put in the 100% dedication in meals and training and learning and studying to achieve your goals?

Many, many people put in the 70%, even 90% effort but very few put in the 100% effort to break out of the ranks of average or 'pretty good' into the very select few at the very top.

Many people try and try (or they seem to) but in reality they keep doing the same thing over and over again which is not really trying, it is akin to an insect flying into a glass window time and time again trying to get at the food in the kitchen hitting it's head against the glass repeatedly thinking this time I'll get through rather than looking for a way around or an alternative answer. 

In bodybuilding I see guys who go to the gym religiously, never missing a workout, training hard everytime but then skipping a meal or two and eating junk snacks as a meal. When they ask my "secret" to getting huge I tell them it is steak and vegetables and they won't believe me and they never achieve the body they want because they won't go that little bit extra for 3 to 6 months to get the results, yet they will keep "bashing thier head against the window" for 10 years or more.

Acting too has fans as a career option, in fact how many people would say yes if you asked them "Would you like to be a movie star?". I would guess nearly 90% of people would say yes to that, yet how many try?

Building a successful acting career is harder than most careers as most people cannot stand rejection, they take it personally and get upset then depressed. In acting you need to go to audition after audition and more often than not you go home without the job. ie you're not good enough or not suitable for the part or the director had a different character angle in mind, whatever the reason after 10 or 15 of these most "actors" will quit the industry when in fact this is just the start of their career but they already failed as they gave up. 

In all aspects of life it is the person who goes that 100% that rises to the top, many are prepared to go 90% but for some reason (maybe an unconscious feeling of low self esteem maybe from childhood?) they won't go the 100% because if they do give 100% and still "fail" then it is too much for their fragile self ego - what would people think? The correct answer is who gives a shit.

Try your best again and again and you'll make it, it might take a long time to learn the lessons, or you might find an alternative path (like the wannabe pro-bodybuilder who turns pro-wrestler and discovers he enjoys performing) or you might find a niche that you did not know about previously or other career options that you had never thought about (like Ray the actor who had the idea to do Bangkok Adrenaline and now just wants to Produce and Direct after he was forced to do it for BA).

Many, many top people say there is a shortage of quality people to fill the top positions, I have seen this written in business books and autobiographies of the worlds most famous/successful men time and time again.

When are you going to dedicate yourself 100%? Just try for 3 months, a short term goal and give it everything and I mean everything. Imagine you are going to die in 3 months do you care what anyone says or thinks about your methods to achieve. Spend every minute of every waking moment thinking about your goal, taking steps to achieve it, don't waste time at all, not even for your favourite TV show, just do your goal 100% and see what happens in that short length of time. Who knows - you may even decide to extend your experiment?

One last thing to remember is that the standard, accepted way to success in your chosen career is usually bulldust, it is someone trying to sell you a shovel in the goldrush.

Look at my acting career, people keep telling me (including professional acting coaches) I have to go to L.A., California and start doing acting lessons with an aknowledged acting coach and get in the circle and go to castings everyday, get seen. Why? Because this is how you get into acting. Really? Well.... I seem to be making a complete mess of it on my own, 10 movies in 4 years, maybe I should go back to acting school and learn how to be an actor after all.... 

You can make it on your own, look for your own path and don't follow the 'standard' path if the standard path is not working for most people.

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