“You have the power to change your thoughts, and your thoughts have the power to change your life.” So said the author Ron Willingham. Sometimes it’s a person’s pattern of thinking that leads to eventual success in life or with their relationships. Here are several pieces of inspirational life advice from celebrated actors.
“I guess when anyone asks me, ‘What should I do?’ I’m like, ‘Just do anything.’ Anything will lead to something else, and you just gotta get out there and take a chance. Even if it’s unpaid work, whatever it is, it will lead to something better.”
“One of the things that sticks in my mind was a gentleman named Bill Ball who was the artistic director of the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, and he always talked about failing big. He said, ‘If you’re gonna fail, fail big.’ I like that. I’m not a fall-back mentality kind of person. People would say, ‘Well you know, better have another career to fall back on.’ I don’t want to fall back on anything! If I’m gonna fall, I’m gonna fall forward. I want to see what I’m hitting. I never understood that mentality.”
“Keep making your own stuff. That’s a big, big thing. I wish I had known that early on because I was auditioning a lot and waiting for other people to give me a chance. And now with the internet and all these other outlets, you can write your own things and act in your own stuff and just make really incredible projects without having to wait for someone else to tell you ‘yes.’”
“Desire can sometimes trump talent. Think about that. You may not have as much talent as you think you have. But if you have the desire, your talent will find you.”
“The biggest [challenge] every day, to be honest with you, I think is being able to stay focused, because you can rehearse, and you can plan everything, and you think you have a framework you should remember to stick with or a few ideas that you want to to keep in your back pocket. And sometimes the craziness of an onset environment can be so intense that you can find yourself forgetting all of those things that you’ve planned. So actually really, really stay focused and know that it’s okay to take yourself to a quiet corner and just remember what it was that you had set out to do.”
“I’ve worked out of necessity. I’ve worked on things that I would have preferred not to work on. But you’ve got to live in the real world. And you have kids and responsibility and paying bills like everybody else. When I was 20 and I had not a care in the world, you know, I just had such a fixity of purpose that I wouldn’t compromise. But you can falter when you don’t have those other responsibilities. When you’re a grown up and in the real world, you’ve gotta, you know—I’ve not always been completely in control of the reins of the career, [but] occasionally there’ve been times when I can direct it and steer it.”
“I have this really gross, dangerous mentality: no consideration of failure. Just never even considering the thought of failing. Like if I want something, I just go until I get it. And that doesn’t always work, but…”
“Everyone has a story. Everyone has. People tend to judge and interpret behavior without going to the source of that behavior…People can change and people make mistakes and people are human and you kind of need to love them for that. And I hope that people take that away, finding a way to love their imperfections and love themselves. And really you can’t truly accept other people until you accept yourself, and you can’t really accept yourself until you accept other people. It kind of all weirdly goes hand in hand. And when you show kindness and compassion for yourself, and you’re able to extend it, it’s all inextricably linked.”
Robert Downey Jr.
“It’s easy to embrace hopelessness when things seem insurmountable. And yet it’s actually just a matter of time until all the elements come together for things to be all right. I mean I believe that most difficult situations will resolve themselves if you are persistent and if you don’t give up entirely.”
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