Whether you’ve spent a day or a decade in Hollywood, you know life in La La Land is a series of ups and downs.
The peaks and valleys of the entertainment industry are as inevitable as the geography upon which this city was raised.
My life and career have been no exception; I’ve experienced unbelievable highs and devastating lows.
But those experiences have taught me an important lesson:
The lows are as important to your career as the highs.
That’s because while they’re certainly not as fun, it’s the lows that motivate you to work harder.
The lows force you to rededicate yourself to your craft.
The lows make you hungry.
In my own career, it’s the lows I’ve experienced that drive me to work harder, achieve more, and learn as much from others as I possibly can.
The lows enable the highs.
Success in the entertainment industry is a direct result of your ability to turn pitfalls into peaks. The danger comes from getting too comfortable at the top and forgetting to live your ups like you’re down.
How To Turn Your Downs Into Ups
Even when nothing feels like it’s going your way, there are things you can do to feel the little victories and appreciate them.
It can be as easy as just taking a deep breath.
Remember, everybody has struggles, be they your next-door neighbor, or some of history’s most successful people.
Bill Gates lived paycheck to paycheck. Spielberg made bad movies. Hell, go see DUNKIRK and you’ll see the entire United Kingdom had a pretty bad time in 1940.
The trick is turning those valleys into mountains.
Gates was driven by his failures; Spielberg learned from his mistakes; the UK’s very existence was on the line. Okay, that last one is a bit extreme, but even on a personal level, turning the dark times in your favor is crucial.
In the same way, celebrating your little successes can go a long way.
Go to a yoga class, start reading a good book, work on developing a new skill – every investment in yourself is worth a pat on the back.
Don’t get stuck in your routine.
Balancing your work and personal life is of vital importance.
If your boss calls you at all hours of the weekend asking for things, you probably don’t want to work there much longer. There’s more to life than what you do in the office.
I love what I do, but I know there’s only so much I can do on the work front before it starts to feel stale.
Ambition is valued, but so are well-rounded personalities and people with interests. In a world filled with highs and lows, there are so many different aspects of your life where you can find highs and be motivated by lows.
Life is more than work and money.
In that vein, let’s talk about success. How do you define it? Take a minute to think about that. It can be a multi-faceted definition, but money probably shouldn’t be your primary measure.
Money comes and goes, and if you’re too bound to it, you may just lose control of yourself.
Find what brings you happiness and chase it. Whether that is, like me, working hard to identify new skills and empowerment, or leading a life full of friends, don’t let a one-track mind bear you down.
After all, peaks and valleys come and go; it’s how you navigate them that matters.