This Date in My History is a series of blog posts taken from my private journal entries from at least 10 years ago.
TDIMH — Tuesday 20 January 2004 11:18pm on my sofa
When I leave my day job on the day before holidays, vacation, or wonderful Wednesday, I have the lightness of step and giddy heart of a child out of school for the summer. Knowing that I don’t have to get up early tomorrow and go there gives me such joy! It doesn’t even matter that I feel little stress or pressure on the job. I just love my freedom away from it!
I didn’t even mind going to the doctor for a physical this afternoon. It meant I left even earlier and could start wonderful Wednesday even sooner. It also meant I got home earlier than normal.
While I was in the waiting room, I continued to read Harlan Hogan’s book VO: Tales and Techniques of a Voice-over Actor. Reading his many anecdotes, which, of course, mentioned his clients and credit list along the way, made me feel a bit depressed and discouraged. Sometimes, I feel like I’m a dreamer (on a rough road, to quote the song Swing Street by Barry). I wonder when I’ll get my big break.
However, I was heartened when I read p. 208-210 in his book. He states that we have been taught to ask the big, breakthrough kinds of questions. [He wrote:]
These questions are self-defeating and downright depressing. They are ends, not means.
He talked about Kaizen, which is an ancient Zen philosophy that teaches small, constant improvements by taking tiny steps and asking easy questions to achieve large goals. You should look closely at small, seemingly insignificant details to learn big lessons. [He continued:]
Ask yourself what tiny thing can I do to further my voice-over career today? Keep acquiring and improving the four Ts of voice over — training, talent, tools, and technique — by asking the small questions, taking the small steps, learning each lesson and enjoying the long journey — one session at a time.
I always feel better when I record my activities on my Goals calendar. I get stars for voice-over, and I earn a star almost every day. Some of my activities are pretty small, indeed, but I guess they are better than nothing.
1. Do one thing, no matter how small, each day toward your goals. I actually wrote a post on this same topic 5 years ago, which featured a lovely story from Joe Cipriano explaining why it’s important to do something everyday.
2. You may find it fun and inspirational to track your progress on a calendar. You may even want to give yourself stickers as a small reward for each accomplishment. I got the idea for rewarding myself with stickers on my goals calendar from this post on the Barbara Sher board. I described how I decorated and used my book in this post. Unfortunately, the links in that post to the pictures no longer work, and I don’t seem to have copies of them to re-upload to my site.
I kept the sticker format for years! I have a binder full of calendars going back to 2003. I stopped keeping a paper calendar in the last couple of years only because I wanted to take less stuff with me on trips. However, I still track my progress every day in an iPad app called Daily Notes. It allows you to create as many tabs as you like so you can track different parts of your life. You also can draw and add pictures, as well as tag and search posts.
3. I notice in this journal entry that I was once again making comparisons between myself and another voiceover actor. For peace of mind and happiness every day, it’s vital to STOP THE COMPARISONS! Just remember: Comparison is a cancer of the soul.