from Shane Nickerson at http://hollywoodlog.typepad.com/nickerblog/2013/07/11-things-it-took-me-42-years-to-learn.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:%20Nickerblog%20%28shanenickerson.com%29
1. Play like you practice.
If you’ve heard it from a coach, you know what it means. It means don’t save yourself for the big game. Don’t imagine a time when everything is real and you’ll finally be able to give it 100%. This is it. It’s real right now: your writing, your acting, your creating, your parenting, your working, your choices in life. There may never be a big game, or at least, not the one you imagine from the comfort of your couch while you’re playing Minecraft instead of rewriting your sketch. Time slips quickly, and the impression you make on people now will have lasting repercussions as your peers rise through the ranks and eventually have the power to hire you, or not. You play like you practice. You'll have no idea how to actually execute when opportunity arrives if you haven't been giving it everything until that day comes.
2. Trust your instinct.
If you’re miserable in your job, quit. If you’ve chosen the wrong career, make a plan to switch. If something feels wrong, you’re right. Fix it, and don’t look back. This applies to work, relationships, friendships, and life choices. Wake up in the morning the person you want to be instead of the person you’re constantly trying to change. Sometimes it’s hard work to stay true to the person you know you are. It’s always worth it.
3. Let your dreams change.
You thought you were going to be a famous actor but have slowly begun to resent everything about the career except the end goal you imagine to be the answer to your happiness? It isn’t. This goes back to #1. Life slips by quickly when you sacrifice your current happiness for imagined future happiness for an extended amount of time. People tell you to do what you love. That’s not an expression, it’s a philosophy. Switch your dreams to something that makes you happy right now, not hopefully happy later.
4. Open your eyes to the right person.
The right person is so rarely the one you’ve imagined since you were young. The right person is someone you love to be around; someone who makes you laugh, makes you happy, makes you feel strong. Lots of times, they're so obviously in front of you that you look right past them. If you find someone like that, latch on and never look back. If your current person doesn’t do those things for you, move on. Seriously, today.
5. Stop comparing your life to others.
Your life has nothing to do with theirs. You imagine their world to be perfect, but it never is. Find your own happiness, be happy for others successes, and fight that envy. It will tear you up and make you hard to be around. Dump your cynicism, while you’re at it. It’s cheap and simple.
6. Go where life blows you.
So to speak. Let that gentle pushing and pulling you feel each day guide you towards where you belong. Say yes to new things. Be open to exciting experience. Try new foods. Travel. Don’t just hate stuff because it’s easier. Maybe you’d love eel. Or urchin. Or the Insane Clown Posse. You don’t know.
7. Measure your failures as cautiously as you measure your successes.
So you failed. Okay. In the same way you are modest about your successes, be modest about your failures. Don’t linger in them. Think of all the hard learning you did while you worked so hard on something that sucked. Valuable knowledge. That’s how it goes sometimes. On to the next one.
8. Stop expecting stuff.
Your friends don’t owe you a job. Your parents don’t want to support you anymore. No one wants to hear you complain. You don’t deserve anything any more than anyone else. You aren’t the center of the world. You are responsible for your own happiness. Stop blaming everyone and everything else if you aren’t there yet. Fix it.
9. Be direct with people.
Fight the urge to say yes to everyone all the time. It’s okay to say no in a nice way. You’ll lose friends if you agree to do something and then just hope it fades away or they forget. Just be honest now and avoid the guilt later.
10. If you find the sweet spot, everything falls into place.
Get yourself to where you’re happiest in work, relationship, hobbies, social activities...and the world will open up to you. If you’re happy, people will want to be around you. If you’re miserable, you become a chore.
11. Be nice to the people who like you.
Don’t ignore their invitations. Don’t blow off their emails. Don’t take friendships for granted. If you do, you’ll eventually find yourself a fringe friend who everyone only kind of likes.