Motivation. It is so simple. It is so complex. It can be plentiful and on display. It is hard scarce and hidden.
For me, motivation seems to show up only when it is absolutely necessary to complete a task. This is something I need to work on. I need to be motivated to work and practice my comedy continuously, not just when I am going to do a show in a week. This current method will not lead to success, or fun (which is really the point of this adventure).
I know this. I have to make comedy a routine, part of my lifestyle. Kind of like exercise and drinking beer after I exercise.
I know that if I am going to become reasonably good at comedy and standup, I need to put more time in.
Currently, I am reading (and by reading I mean listening to the audiobook) Malcom Gladwell’s “Outliers” for the second time. It is an absolutely phenomenal book. In it, Gladwell discusses the 10,000 hour rule: essentially, in order to become world-class at any skill, one of the greatest, it takes approximately 10,000 hours of work. HOLY SHIT! That is a lot of work! I think I work with people in the government who have put 10,000 hours of work into looking like they are working, but are really just staring off and wasting time and getting paid. The 10,000 makes sense when you step back and think about it (or have Gladwell prove it to you).
There are 8,760 hours in one year. Practicing just one hour a day would take 27 years, 4 months to reach 10,000 hours.
So where am I?
2 shows; almost 40 minutes on stage. That’s it. Been doing this almost 1 year.
What about time practicing… hard to say, but definitely not an hour per day.
Wow… 10,000 hours is looking like quite the mountain to climb. But, here is the deal. I am not looking to become world class. I am looking to have fun, and get better. So maybe I don’t need to figure out a way to work on standup several hours a day.
So this brings me back to my initial point… motivation. I know that more work and time invested will produce desired outcomes. It will. That’s how life works. So why do I not feel more motivated? I think it is because I am not facing deadlines. My goals are fluid. When I have a show in a week… I spend a lot of time writing and rehearsing. But I am only doing one show every six months. That is also my fault. I am not seeking out shows, I am not finding opportunities to stand up in front of people and talk about the discomfort of purchasing Plan B.
I need to be held accountable.
I need to go to a place that does open mic’s and just do it. However, it is very easy to put it off until next week…then the next week… and before you know it, 6 months has gone by and progress is stagnant. Maybe I need a life/career coach (related post coming soon).
I also must remember the quote by Lao Tzu:
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
This post is a step. This blog is full of steps.