When I was young, I had this poster or similar ones taped on my bedroom wall.
You probably recognize David Cassidy from his work on The Partridge Family TV show.
I adored David when I was young, and I learned a valuable lesson from him as an adult.
In the 1970s, David Cassidy was one of the biggest stars on the planet. He seemed to have it all: talent, looks, charm, money, opportunities as a singer and actor, and legions of fans, including me.
Somewhere during the years, he decided his outsized life wasn’t enough, and things went horribly wrong for him.
In June 2018, we watched the documentary David Cassidy: The Last Session. I was sad to see him looking so bad, as much of it was filmed 2 months before he passed on 21 November 2017.
The clips of him in his 70s heyday were incredible because of the 1000s and 1000s and 1000s of screaming fans.
However, rather than feeling grateful for the adoration of so many people and enjoying that life, he seemed dismissive of it. He said he never wanted to be a teen idol, and he felt frustrated that he couldn’t play the type of hard rock music that he wanted to.
David couldn’t accept that the ROCK market didn’t want him to sing, but the POP market did. Or perhaps he would have found an audience who liked him as a rocker. I don’t know that he tried. This article has a good sampling of David’s comments.
I’m sure it was very difficult to be in the “hurricane of success”, as Barry Manilow calls it, especially for someone so young.
The documentary included a phone call from him where he admitted that he had lied about his drinking and really had no sign of dementia. He said his liver disease was from alcohol poisoning, and he “did it all to myself”. He said he drank to fill the emptiness.
I remembered reading David’s memoir years ago and thinking that he was very bitter.
I could relate to David’s feeling unfulfilled by his work. I spent YEARS working at the IRS feeling extremely frustrated and wishing that I wasn’t there and was instead doing voiceover work full-time. However, I did appreciate that my IRS career gave me financial security and healthcare options I wouldn’t have had as a freelancer.
When I acted like David and bemoaned what I thought I lacked, that lack continued to show up for me. It caused me to feel very unhappy in the present moment. I didn’t realize back then that such thoughts are an act of self-negation.
Acceptance Is Key
I wish I could somehow convey what a difference ACCEPTANCE made to me!!
It started with me saying out loud and with true feeling “I ACCEPT MY LIFE!” It seems like such a small thing to say and do, but it made such a tremendous difference. EVERYTHING changed at that point. The desperation I felt for my situation to change vanished and was replaced by enthusiasm for the work I was doing.
I wrote in my journal on 12 August 2008:
I ACCEPT MY LIFE!
I realize at long last that I have been blocking things from coming to me with my resistance to my day job. I read about these things in books, yet I never saw myself or my actions mirrored there. Today, p.43 of Secrets of Success has much more meaning to me:
Your emotional broadcast must align with your specific goals if you want to achieve real results…The irony is that attaching our joy to something in the future actually sabotages our ability to be content now. And according to the laws of intention, it greatly reduces our potential to attract the very things we’re pinning our hopes on. The solution comes from choosing to live now in the happy energy that we want to create.
Accepting my life is a huge relief. I no longer have to pretend to be something else. I can feel happier in the present moment knowing that I am where I am supposed to be. I have said the words many times, but I had feelings of doubt. I always felt like I should be doing something else. If I had free time at work, I felt like I needed to be working on voiceover goals, but doing so made me feel guilty.
[My best friend] said she could see for years that my resistance to my reality was blocking me from receiving. She said I had put up walls and was only looking for things to come to me a certain way.
I know that acceptance of my very wonderful life is not dependent on getting a particular job, either at the IRS or in voiceover. Accepting my life means I can be like water, flowing smoothly and easily on my life’s path.
As soon as I accepted my life AS IT WAS, things started to flow better in both the thrival job at the IRS and in my voiceover business.
Declaring that you accept your life is not saying you’re accepting that your dream won’t happen. Instead, you’re telling the Universe that you accept how things are RIGHT NOW and that you know your dream (or something better!) will materialize in its own good time without your need to stress, push, and force the result you want into being.
All of the metaphysical teachers stress that we can focus on what we want with the calm assurance that we free the Universe to provide it or SOMETHING BETTER to us at the right time. Otherwise, you may find yourself feeling increasingly desperate for your desired outcome, which activates the Law of Paradoxical Intent and pushes your hoped-for outcome further away.
Acceptance led me to embrace my work, both at the IRS and since then.
David Cassidy’s story continues to be a powerful reminder to me to be grateful for my life and not spend my time and energy discounting it and desperately wishing it were the exact way I envisioned it. However, we can do things that make our lives even more rewarding and meaningful.
In 2018, as I was starting to develop NarratorsRoadmap.com, I wrote in my journal about reading the article How to Do the Work Only You Can Do by Jeff Goins. Goins interviewed former astronaut Alan Bean, who later documented his space flights by painting what he had seen. I tweeted the article on 6/20/18, commenting “I love this inspirational story! I’m realizing more and more that work I feel called to do and things that I want to create aren’t necessarily what I and other people would think of as my career.”
I hope you’ll read the article, but I wanted to highlight some important passages from it:
Your life’s work is rarely what you expect it to be….Alan had to paint the moon because no one else could — at least not like him.
…we all have something like that, something only we can do. You may call it a purpose or a calling or your life’s work, but you are here to do important work. And sometimes, you have to leave your comfort zone to do it.
[Bean] began experimenting with ways to make money off his art. But how could he earn enough to provide for himself and his family when he kept comparing himself to the likes of Monet and Picasso?
We all do this: we question the work we do and compare it to what someone else is doing. But that’s their duty, not ours. And they have the authority and advantage over us because that’s THEIR work.
…to do your duty, the work that only you can do. You can’t compare yourself to others and keep trying to measure up to someone else’s standard. To do what no one else can do, you have to use what no one else has.
Which is to say, the tools and skills and experiences that make you uniquely you are incredible advantages over the competition.
As an audiobook narrator, I’ve often been snared in the trap of comparison-itis and have done the inner work needed to usually be free of it. (If you’re interested, NarratorsRoadmap.com members can watch a video where I shared my “Antidotes for Comparison-itis and Bad Review Fever”.)
For years, I waited for certain things to happen through my work as a narrator, yet they’ve appeared for me as a result of creating my site. While they didn’t look like I envisioned or come from the direction I expected, I’ve learned to count all my blessings regardless of how and when they show up for me.
As we start a new year, my goals are simply to continue accepting my life and embracing the work that is mine to do.
To that end, I am excited to announce I’m starting something new on 18 January: the Narrators Roadmap Club on Clubhouse! Every other Wednesday, I’ll host the Pit Stop room, which is your fortnightly mid-week rest area to refuel your drive. My friend and co-host Anne Flosnik and I will talk with narrators who have careers beyond narrating. I invite you to join the Narrators Roadmap club to be notified about upcoming discussions, and I hope I’ll see you in the Pit Stop!