Starry eyed actors come to LA to serve their dream to the Hollywood gods (a.k.a. Harvey Weinstein). Unless you’re rollin’ in dough or your last name is Kardashian, what’s required is usually the sacrifice of having to get a second job to support yourself financially. Many take on the supplemental roles of bartender, waitress, or barista. Others try part time work, nannying or personal training. After a while these additional roles begin to wear on you. You feel pigeonholed in your part as waitress or personal trainer. Most often this results in boredom, which quickly turns into laziness. You start slacking off, showing up late, putting little to no effort into how you look or how you perform your job. Because, who cares? It’s just your side job, right?
Even major stars like Eva Longoria or Katherine Heigl get tired of being on a popular series’, recurring the same role day after day. Yet, we chastise them, saying “They should be grateful. At least they’re working!” Yeah, well, so should you. You’re working too. Sure, it’s not your dream job, but it’s financially helping you achieve your dream. Even though waiting tables or bartending is not your lifetime goal…
Show up. Put out your best. You never know who you may impress. You never know who’s going to be your next client or who’s going to sit at your next table. You never know who’s going to appreciate the small dose of kindness you give them by remembering their Skinny Double Shot Vanilla Soy Latte. When you’re mired in the victimhood of carelessness because it’s “just a side job,” you’ll miss these amazing opportunities to connect with people. If you’re feeling like slacking, it’s because you’re not grateful for what you have.
Serve yourself a heaping dose of gratitude.
Be grateful for what you have right now: a job, a roof over your head, your health, a computer to read Ms. in the Biz on, a roommate who’s who actually pays the rent on time and washes his dishes regularly. (You lucky duck!) Gratitude helps better mental and physical health. It creates happiness. It enhances empathy and compassion for others. It even open the door to more relationships, which could be very beneficial if a big-wig walks into your bar on the reg.
If you need help cultivating some gratitude, spend ten minutes a day in meditation focusing on three things you’re grateful for. Here’s a few to try on for size…
- Your life
- That dishwashing god of a roommate
- Your partner/lover/spouse
- The scent of the air after it rains
- Your job
- Your health
- The barista who makes that perfect inspired, filled cup of cold brew coffee
- Your phone
- Global Connection (a.k.a. the Internet)
- The perfectly lit selfie you took while hiking Runyon.
- The big tipping customer you had during your afternoon shift
- That audition you just nailed
- The audition you bombed (We learn so much more from our flops anyway.)
- The inspiration you had for a new screenplay yesterday
- Your family
- Your coaches/mentors/friends
- Your warm bed at night
- Air conditioning
- Fresh food
- That maxi dress you rocked at Coachella last month, and all the memories you created in it.
Breathe in deep and out, focusing on each one of the three grateful-filled gifts for that day. You can switch up your choices everyday, or meditate on the same handful of things to be grateful for. After a week, you’ll be feeling fueled with fiery gratitude, which will make your inner light shine brighter. You can even try mini-medi’s (mini meditations) throughout the day, even after every customer. Whisper a simple, “Thank you” to the Universe. Do this when you get in your car, when you get home from work, when you get an audition, when you help a customer solve a problem, when you learn a lesson. Say, “Thank You.”
How you do anything is how you do everything. When you add little thanks to anything, you’ll feel happier about everything, including your side job. It’s time to put your best, grateful-filled foot forward and strut into the inspired life of your dreams.