It Ain’t Even About The Dough, It’s About Getting Down For What You Stand For, Yo!

by Scott on August 16, 2010

I was doing some reflecting recently (DMX was in my CD player, so hence the title) and got inspired for this post. It was almost exactly a year ago my wife and I decided to leave our cozy life in New Hampshire for the insanity of Los Angeles. That idea alone is crazy, but add moving two little boys (ages two and six at the time) from everything they have ever known, having to sell my financial planning practice, AND moving to a spot where we had no friends or family….. well, I’m surprised no one threw us in straitjackets on the spot. We came to a realization that, although we certainly weren’t miserable in our situation, we weren’t necessarily living the life of our dreams.

One of my side-passions has been acting for film and TV. In a few short years I had built a nice resume on the East Coast, mostly through some high-profile, regional commercials.  Suddenly things starting to pop for me with some national adds and movie auditions.  The coolest part was that my wife and I were cast together on two of the biggest projects. We knew that this is what we wanted to do, this was our passion, and if we wanted to pursue it further then it was time to step up and play on the biggest stage.

There is no doubt that during the preparation, and subsequent move, that we endured a few of the most stressful months of our lives.  Essentially  I was scared shit-less and dealing with severe bouts of second guessing along the way. It was always when I thought of the kids that it got to me. I would wonder if, in the long run, were all these sacrifices the best thing for them?  I mean who drags their kids across the entire country to go pursue a career in one of the most uncertain and effed-up industries on Earth? Um, oh yeah…. me.

In the end, the one thing we always went back to was that we were investing in ourselves. No matter what the future had in store, we knew we had the ability to adapt, adjust, and ultimately thrive. We had faith that by believing in ourselves and our dreams that things would work out, no matter how much fear and stress we had to overcome. We believed (and still do) that we were teaching our kids that one day they need to pursue the things in life that they love. 

Here we are almost a year later.  Although we haven’t hit Hollywood gold yet we’ve made some great connections and have had some cool auditions. Finances have been a roller-coaster to navigate, but we have a roof over our heads in a beautiful neighborhood and money seems to come when we need it most. Most importantly our kids love their new home and all the adventures they have got to experience. We really are living the life of our dreams, because we are present in where we are today and grateful to live life on our own terms. We invested everything….. and I mean EVERYTHING (we sold almost all our possessions except some clothes and the cars) to fuel our passions and we couldn’t be happier.

In reflection, these are the three greatest things that I took away from my experience:

1:  Dream Big – It’s the big things that will light a fire under your ass and get you to take action. Plus, it takes just as much energy and effort to complete lessor outcomes…. so go for the big stuff!

2.  Take Small Steps – Sometimes the big picture is overwhelming, and I know what helped me was trying to get something accomplished every single day, no matter how small.   It’s about progress and keep moving forward.

3.  Swallow Fear – Fear is a good thing, it means you are about to do something big. Embrace it as part of the process.  For me I know this is when I feel most alive.  I also sometimes ground myself by thinking “what is the worst possible outcome and what am I really afraid of?”  When you feel fear and you go forward anyway it means you’re life is expanding!

I challenge you to take a look at your own life. What would you sacrifice to live your dream?  What is the biggest fear you would have to overcome?  What is one action you could take right now that would get you closer to everything you want?

I’m curious so leave a comment and let me know.  If you have any good stories, tips, or ideas on the topic don’t keep them hidden!

PS Leaving you with the best father/son talk ever..

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