I watched a video today from Trey Parker and Matt Stone about life. Pretty general statement right there, but that’s pretty much how to describe it. It was taken from a lecture by Alan Watts, a guy I have to admit, I’d never really heard of. I still don’t really know anything about him, I didn’t read up before writing this 😛 But, the lecture snippet they used was pretty cool. Apparently, those two of South Park infamy have been doing their animations of these lecture snippets for quite a while now. Pretty cool. Those guys are kind of my heroes when it comes to being funny. They’re pretty much the tits.
Anyway, it was about how result oriented our culture can be. Putting kids through school that is result and promotion oriented, into jobs that are then result and promotion oriented and how so many of us can find that result and promotion surprisingly unfulfilling at the end of the day.
I can definitely relate to that as an actor. There is always another carrot to aspire to, dangling just out of reach. It never stops in this town.
And, it’s definitely not a concept that I’ve never heard before, for sure. It’s something that been talked about around me for, practically, forever. I’m such a goal-oriented person that I’ve heard the advice, nodded my head at it and kind of pretended that I agreed with it, but deep down, it just went completely counter to everything that my DNA has told me my whole life. What’s the point if I’m not supposed to set goals for myself and try to reach them. That’s a hard pill for someone like me (like, literally me) to swallow.
But, today, the advice finally made sense. I get it. And, I actually completely 100% agree with it.
The POINT is, if I may be so bold, is that happiness is not found in the attainment of a set goal, but rather the pursuit. Success is fleeting, and if my happiness is tied to success, especially in this town where sometimes what we want never comes, I’m destined to be unhappy. At the very least, MOST of the time.
Recently, I’ve actually been thinking about that a lot. Realizing, that I’m actually very much enjoying myself right now, just doing the WORK. I’m finding the PROCESS to be immensely enjoyable. My LIFE, because of these changes that I’ve made, is becoming more enjoyable day-in and day-out. I’m HAPPY just doing what I’m currently doing.
Which is 100% setting goals and working my ass off the achieve them. But enjoying the process isn’t actually counter to wanting to achieve success. More than not being mutually exclusive, they can actually be mutually inclusive, and feed each other. And, it makes me want to (continue to) shift my attention more towards developing ways for me to work hard and enjoy it. To fill my life with things that make me as happy as I can be. Because THAT is the point. Happiness, when life is a process, is right here next to me in the present, and not some goal that I’m reaching for. It’s a persistent mindset, it’s not external.
I was talking today with a guy who came by to inspect our building for the bank that holds the mortgage, and he was telling me about how he used to be a non-fiction writer, and we talked for a minute about how it can be agony sometimes to create. That the process of writing, or painting, or acting, can be unpleasant, or at the very least hard. And, I realized as we were talking that I genuinely enjoy the process of writing. That when I’m sitting in front of my keyboard, the visions of what I’m putting into word swimming in my head, I really, really love that. Perhaps even MORE than having it done (which is also an amazing feeling)…and given that fact, I think I really may be on the right track to finding both happiness and success.
That’s all for tonight, guys. Tomorrow is a work day. Let’s git ‘er done.