Love is one of our most important needs as a human being. Many people think they can only feel love if someone loves them. I want to let you in on a little secret. That love that you feel (even when someone else is lovin’ on you) comes from within you! You can feel that love anytime you want. And, most importantly, you can feel love by GIVING love (to yourself and others!)
In reviewing the past year with others I noticed a theme among many of my friends. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”* all in the same year. One of my friends told me today, “I had the worst year of my life personally, but the best year of my life in my business. It’s so strange!”
The darkness is important.
Recently, I took a workshop with E and Roe from @brownkids called Abundance Through Minimalism at Bodhi Spiritual Center. The workshop was eye opening in that, the discussion was not about getting rid of your stuff or not spending any money. It was about your values, and how to create a life that aligns with your values.
2017 is almost over! Where did the time go?
I've heard from many, and yes, I felt it too-this year seemed more trying than others. But, if you only focus on the negative, you'll miss out on so many positive things that happened this year.
So, it's time to reflect!
Taking a few days to review the past year is one of the best ways to set your stage for growth in 2018. It allows you to acknowledge where you’ve come from and gain a clearer outlook for the year ahead. I now look forward to doing this review each year! Here’s how to do one for yourself.
Have you ever taken the time to really think about what your ideal life looks like?
My job as a coach is not to give you all the answers but to get the right answers out of you. Everyone has a voice inside that knows the truth. It knows what you want and it knows how you feel. Whenever you say, “I don’t know,” you’re just not listening. You know. Give yourself time and space to listen and trust what comes up.
Thanksgiving is not the only time to think about gratitude, but it sure is a popular one. I like to write three things I’m grateful for everyday, as it trains my brain to see the abundance of all that is good in my life instead of focusing on the few crappy things happening at the same time.
“The key is taking responsibility and initiative, deciding what your life is about and prioritizing your life around the most important things.”
We’ve all had “those days” where it seems like there are a million urgent strings pulling on you.
Your spouse forgot their wallet so you have to drop everything and take it to the office. Somehow a bill slipped through the cracks and you have to spend 45 minutes on the phone with the cable company. A coworker at your J-O-B got sick so you have to fill in for her at the last minute.
Oh, and let’s not forget about the email trap: questions coming in from others who need your guidance, small details on projects that must be taken care of, etc.
Yes, we’ve all been there – and of course, those things are important to take care of. But what if you spent all day, every day at the whim of those minute, “urgent” tasks?
Stephen Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, presents an important idea that, if implemented, can make a big difference in your success as an artist: the Time Management Matrix.
THE TIME MANAGEMENT MATRIX AND WHAT IT MEANS FOR YOU
Covey breaks up tasks into four quadrants: Important and Urgent, Important but not Urgent, Unimportant and Urgent, Unimportant and Not Urgent.
He stresses that many of us get caught daily in a cycle of putting out fires. “Firefighting,” as he calls it, falls into the Important and Urgent category and includes submitting to breakdowns that are time sensitive, preparing sides before you see the CD, and getting your shifts covered at work so you can go to your next audition. And yeah – you can’t ignore those things! But when they make up most of your day-to-day, how can you plan for the future?
The second quadrant is key to sustained success. These are activities that are Important but not Urgent, and they often fall by the wayside in our fast-paced lives. These are things like attending casting director workshops, networking with local filmmakers, or writing the script that you’ve been putting off. Oh yes, and let’s not forget the task of taking care of yourself! Exercise, cooking healthy food, and strengthening your acting muscles in class also fall into Quadrant 2.
Quadrants 3 and 4 both fall into the “not important” category and Covey generally qualifies them as distractions and time wasters (hello, trolling through my Facebook feed... eek!).
Covey and Merrill
GIVE SOME LOVE TO QUADRANT 2
Since I’ve become aware of the Time Management Matrix, I’ve really shifted my workdays. Instead of waking up and jumping to check my email (which is usually comprised of Quadrant 3 issues [distraction] or Quadrant 4 issues [time wasters]), I take some time to myself to plan.
"Since I’ve become aware of the Time Management Matrix, I’ve really shifted my workdays." Click To Tweet
Maybe I’ll take a yoga class, do a little financial planning, or start pulling together my most recent footage so I can update my reel.
After 90 minutes of time spent working on Quadrant 2 activities, you can see how my life is much more enriched than if I had spent the time checking to see who tagged me in a post on Facebook or answering emails that could have waited until the afternoon.
Quadrant 2 time is so vital because it’s when you craft your vision for the future, and figure out how you’ll take steps to achieve your goals. Rather than feeling harried all day, it’s about consciously setting priorities and taking care of them.
So, take a look at your day and how it’s planned. Are you allowing yourself to be at the mercy of unimportant activities, or do you set aside time for Important but not Urgent tasks that will ultimately move your career forward more productively?
I’d love to hear about your progress. Leave a note in the comments area below to joint the conversation!
And if you’d like a little guidance in crafting your week to maximize productivity, click HERE to connect with me directly.
Courtney Rioux, The Whole Artist coaches actors and other creative talent who feel stuck in their career and want more out of life. She's here to help you shift your mindset from stuck and unhappy to empowered and joyful — all while making it feel fun and easy. It’s like therapy without the therapy.
“Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.
Did you know?!
Many places have an artist’s discount, but don’t advertise it on their site. Any time you’re buying something big or taking a class, it never hurts to ask if they have a discount for artists.
Here’s some places I love that give a discount to artists in Chicago:
And I need to preface, I am seriously not a complainer. On the contrary, I’m super positive. But this summer has been really challenging. Thankfully I have spent the last year and a half, working an acting method that has been helping me be a real human. So between that, Brené Brown, and past talk therapy, I feel like I have some tools.
My friend Darci calls me a ninja when it comes to getting a discount. Really, I’m just not afraid of looking “cheap,” and I want to save as much money as possible. She told me to write a how-to blog. Here are some of my best ninja-saving tips:
“These two threads that run through our life—one pulling us into the world to achieve and make things happen, the other pulling us back from the world to nourish and replenish ourselves—can seem at odds, but in fact they reinforce each other.”
― Arianna Huffington
A couple of months ago, I felt like I had a day from Hell on set! The director barely gave me the time of day. I wasn’t able to get my lines out in the time and space that he wanted. He wasn’t talking directly to me, but to me through others.
Other actors on set were joking with me, hugging me, letting me know it was all good. The crew was doing what they could to help me.
But, I still left defeated.
I cried to friends on the way home. They met me with chocolate cake and wine in hand. They told me, “Everything would be okay. I would get asked back to set. It probably wasn’t as bad as I thought it was.” They were telling me everything that I would tell any one of my friends in the same situation.
I had a sadness hangover the next day. I don’t know if it was from the sugar or the crying, but I felt sick.
Have you ever had a day like that?
When it comes to days like that, there are both physical and mental things I do to help get through it.
There is a saying I’ve heard that goes: “Don’t quit before the miracle.” But when you’re in the arts and creating shows, how do you know how long you have to wait?
I have been doing the podcast Improv Nerd for over five years. I’ve had some really big name guests. I’ve toured with the show all across the country at improv festivals and theaters. But the audiences have always been unpredictable. Sometimes we’ve had as few as two wayward improv students, and sometimes we’ve had some really nice crowds of about 80 people.
They’ve never been huge. Until last Sunday.
Ever have a day or week when you feel totally lost? Sometimes, we get too busy or life throws us a curveball, and we start to feel anxiety, self-doubt, or just plain dazed. We may feel like we don't have a connection to the sense of who we are.
Not feeling centered makes it hard to find positivity or motivation, two things that are key to walking our path and reaching our goals. So, how can we get ourselves re-aligned when our thought train has run off the tracks? Here are three ways to do a quick re-set in those moments of uncertainty:
On our free monthly coaching call, my friend, a stage manager, shared how she was craving stability and steadier income and planned to quit the business. Can you relate? She made up her mind to work a few more shows and be done. And what did she discover? Her interactions on the job were smoother, and talks with producers about potential projects were lighthearted and easier. She was finding joy again in that business she was ready to quit.
This week’s post is a joint article from Monica Ryan, an artist who is part of the My Big Year mentoring group, and me. During one of our recent calls, we talked about risk-taking and what it really means to step outside your comfort zone. She has some great points, so read on and enjoy!
Let's face it. We aren't born to be 100% confident, energetic, and instant masters at what we do. We know we have to take care of our physical bodies by eating right, working out, getting sleep, etc etc but we don't really talk about how we need to take care of our mental and emotional selves.
The more you learn about yourself, the more you'll be able to understand your quirks, strengths, and capacity for dealing with life, and it's so important to work on our mindset every single day.
Happy New Year!
Almost! 2016 is ending soon. Taking a few days to review your year is one of the best ways to set the stage for growth in 2017. It allows you to acknowledge where you’ve come from and gain a clearer outlook for the year ahead. I now look forward to doing this review each year! Here’s how to do one for yourself.
Ever had a period in your life where things were going so well that you were constantly wondering when it was all going to fall apart?
Gay Hendricks talks about this in his book, The BIG Leap [LINK: CR’s Amazon book link page]. We all tend to think there’s a limited amount of success, love and abundance we can have - that we “deserve”.
In these self-imposed limitations, once we reach our glass ceiling (that is, once we’ve reached the pinnacle of how much wonderful-ness we’re “allowed” to have), we begin to sabotage ourselves.
Or at least wonder when the next crappy thing will happen.
Can anyone say, “Hello, Ego”?