Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Hollywood Agent's Advice: How to Stay Motivated

Some days the dream is fresh and exciting and everything seems to be falling into place and then there are those other days... The days when it’s everything you can do to get up.  Putting on your shoes feels like a chore.  A sense of dread comes over you.  All the phone calls that need to be made. Or meetings to set. Or blogs to write. The people who need an answer from you.  Or the family that needs more of your time.
There are those days when the mountain just seems too high.  What was I thinking? This is too hard.  I don’t have it in me. I am too old. Too tired. Too inexperienced.  Too set in my ways. You know the chatter.   Sometimes these days can turn into weeks – even months.  Especially when the dream is a big one.  You can barely see any movement.  The money isn’t showing up. The right people aren’t getting back to you.  Your creativity is at an all time low.  So what do you do then?
Here is what I do. 
1.     Rest. Sometimes that is what you need.  Take a day off. Go to the beach. Sleep. Do something fun and frivolous. Give yourself permission to stop working so hard.
2.     Get dressed.  If you work at home this is REALLY important. It’s easy to do nothing if you are still in your nightgown.  Put on real shoes. Like tennis shoes.  Something other than slippers.  If you are going to your day job. Dress better than usual.  Dress up. Dress like your dream has already happened.
3.     Look at old diaries or journals that will remind you of your dream.  I find that these help me see where I have been and where I am now. If you haven’t been writing in a journal. Now would be a good time to start.
4.     Pick the easiest thing you can do and do it first.  If it feels impossible to make a tough phone call make an easier call first.  It will get you moving. 
5.     Make a to do list of all the things that are bugging you. You may already have this but go back over it and add the things in that are really annoying you for some reason.  And then put a date or time down when you will tackle those things.  For some reason this actually gives me some relief. Seeing it on paper helps me see that the pile isn’t that big.
6.     Get some exercise.  Get off the couch, out of the chair, out from in front of the computer and walk around the block or dance to some music or mop a floor.
7.     Day dream. Take time to think about how great it will be when you have achieved your goal.  That’s what you did when you started.  Daydreaming is a wonderful thing.   Allow yourself to do it.
8.     Give yourself permission to have an off day. You can’t stay at the top of the mountain all the time. There will be valleys and they don’t last forever, just like the mountaintop doesn’t last forever.   Valleys are a good time for reflection and planning. 
9.     Organize your desk. Sometimes just sorting through stuff on your desk will get you moving again. You will be reminded of people that you can call or successes that you had.  It also helps to focus you.
10. Pray.  I find letting someone other than me take my burdens can really help.  I pray on paper.  I write down what I am praying about.  I believe that God is listening and I talk to him and tell him what is really bothering me.  Any thoughts that come to me at this time I write down.  My best thinking and problem solving happens when I pray.