Sometimes people ask me for advice. Its usually beginners in something. Wanna try comedy, wanna do a podcast, wanna come do Jiu Jitsu. My advice for beginners is always the same. You're going to die one day, and the consequences of your actions for good or ill are way less important than your fear would have you believe. Case in point, if you do stand up for the first time and you destroy the room, or walk the entire room, no one in the greater Charleston area will ever hear about it or care. To me, insignificance is a super power. If it doesn't matter, then the pressure is way way less. Maybe thats just me.
Less frequently, people with skill or experience in a field will ask me for advice, usually because they are dissatisfied. They have acquired some of what they want but there is a big gaping hole in their joy and little things bother them. They are bored and stressed at the same time.
If I know a guy in the gym who averages 1.5 hours a week of mat time and he's frustrated about how to get better, or a comic who has years of experience but isn't getting on the amount of shows they want, my favorite thing to tell them is to do way more or way less.
Simple. Start doing more reps. Get on the road and do shows. Create your own shows, write more jokes, make more friends, start a podcast, do comedy competitions. Go get the respect you think you deserve. If they won't give it to you freely go become so good that you take it from them.
Or fucking quit. Maybe not quit comedy. But at least retire from the business of expecting so much. I think its important to remember that at every point you don't HAVE to do anything, not even breath. You can stop anything at any time. People do it all the time. Its good to quit some things.
People who know me know I used to have a podcast. By local standards, it did alright. But at some point I realized that i was never going to get out of it what I wanted. I could have doubled down and started making youtube videos and knocking on more doors, but I was already bored. I felt like I wanted to save all that push for a different attempt. So I did way less. Way way less haha. We killed my podcast in grand form with a funeral roast. It was awesome.
Comedy has taught me that my failed attempts are funny. My nature is to reflect about everything, to take everything serious and over identify with things. This is draining. The up side is when I do go for things, I fucking gun it. Even my failures are something to be proud of. But because my vision of what I can do is so high, anything short of that feels like an L. Being able to laugh at the times I have to do way less is cathartic to me.
So maybe there is something there, do way more or way less.