After mentioning it in yesterday’s post, I ended up watching Talking Funny again, because I couldn’t resist. It’s one of those shows that reveals new insights every time you watch it, even if the idea of doing stand up comedy fills you with stomach-roiling terror. I know it does for me.
In the special, Jerry and Louis talk about why they wanted to become comedians. They talked about how there were these groups of comedians in the cities they started out in – New York for Jerry, Boston for Louis – and how they wanted to be like those guys. For Jerry, success on the stage didn’t even matter, because as soon as he got up there the very first time, he was one of those guys. He was a comedian.
In deciding what to do with your time, it’s useful to consider what guys (or gals) you want to be like. What do you want to be able to identify yourself as?
For me, it’s an author. For some of my friends its an accountant, or a programmer, or an entrepreneur, or a house renovator. My brother wanted to be the father of a large family, and fortunately his wife was happy to oblige.
Sometimes I think it’s more instructive to think not about what you want to do, but about who you want to be. Once you know the identity that would make you the happiest – as unrealistic or silly as it may be – it’s much easier to trace a line from where you are to the future you desire. Just think – in an ideal world, what would you want to introduce yourself as?
Now go make that a reality.