I listened to an interview this week with Carlos Luna, an amazing performer, creator and comedian (and more), and I have been thinking about it for days now.
There was so much that Carlos spoke about that rang true for me. That felt so personally helpful and impressively wise. I’m going to regurgitate some of it here, because I want to internalize it.
Four Stages to Focus Your Project
- Do work
- Do work consistently
- Do hard work
- Do hard work consistently
This may seem simple – and in some ways it is, refreshingly so – but what is important is the way Carlos defines “work” and “hard work”.
“Work” is what you want to do. This already is anathema to the mindset that I’ve had – and many people I know have had – my entire life. Work is the thing you avoid. Fun is the thing you want to do. But this – what I’ve begun to do – voice acting – this is both. This is what I want to do. This is my work.
Working consistently is self-explanatory, but I’ll say it anyway – don’t just think about it. Get the job done. And do it often.
“Hard Work” is what you don’t want to do. Carlos himself mentioned Social Media as the the hard work – it’s the part of the work you want to do that is awful. For me, that’s selling myself. Putting my work and my name out into the universe. It’s important. But it’s so difficult to want.
And to do that consistently is the last piece of the puzzle. If you can get all of these steps done – that’s how you focus your project.
Last week I told you that the entire point of writing this is to focus myself. To explore the week that just occurred, and inspect it for helpful things. And here comes Carlos with this exquisite advice on how to do just that. Already I’ve begun to try and apply this to the projects in my life. My Voice Acting, my DMing, my Bread-making. Writing this blog. And it’s exciting! Remember that soup I was making last week? Well here’s my new secret ingredient. I think it’s gonna be delicious.
In a world where you don’t have to do anything, everything you DO matters.
I have plans to put this above my desk, framed somehow. I’m picturing print lettering on vellum.
It’s important to remember that when you complete something – when I’ve finished a project, or finally re-recorded my audiobook demo for better sound (available now on my homepage) – that is an accomplishment in its own right. No matter how insignificant or lowly the task. Completion is to be celebrated. I think that the celebration should be relative, of course. No champagne for finally vacuuming the rug. But you’re allowed a moment to smile because you’ve completed a task. It’s like a microscopic Spa visit. Treat yo’self. Then of course move on to the next thing.
What one man can do, another man can do.
This makes me sit up taller. The spirit of competition, of determination, of savage grit that this evokes inspires me deeply. I want to carry this with me everywhere I go, into everything I do.
When I think about talking to a person who has accomplished something impressive, something great – a friend of mine is on an Oscar short-list, for instance – this sentence immediately turns that from daunting to inspiring. This is a new source of confidence. Don’t get me wrong – I wouldn’t think to myself – you’re getting an Oscar? I could get an Oscar… But it does allow for my first reaction to be full of sincere appreciation for them as a person. Removes them from a pedestal. Which is a dangerous place to keep anyone in your mind. Mostly for your own self-image.
If I can remember what great feats people are capable of, and then also remember that I am capable of many things, too, well then my days just got a lot easier to face.
Thank you, Carlos
I’m sure you’ll never run across this, and that is okay! (Let’s be honest, probably for the best)
But I just want to say out into the universe, thank you for sharing your wisdom and experiences. They matter. And you are an inspiration.
Until next time, dear reader.
May your days be filled with tiny spas,