I like to workout. It relieves stress. It makes me feel more confident. It makes me more productive in the other areas of my life too. I like the healthy lifestyle now. I'm not perfect, but a much better version of myself than just a few years ago. I want to live for a while, you know? Sometimes I get asked, "What's your secret?" This question is funny to me. What are they really asking? Most likely one of two things. One: Did you find a secret product that you use to look like this? Two: What secret workout are you doing to look like this?
My answer is always just diet and exercise.
This elicits the response, "Oh..."
I over talk it sometimes and start to get into the specifics of my diet and exercise and I quickly start to see the person's eyes glaze over. They don't care, Jeremy. So what are they really asking? Let's dig to the bottom layer of the question. The real question. What quick and easy thing can I do to get in shape and feel better? Deep down we all know the answer. There is no quick and easy thing that will get you where you want to be. It's always diet and exercise. It's just a matter of whether or not a person wants to make diet and exercise a part of their life. I have a suspicion that more people know this than let on when they ask, "What's your secret?" It's just not the answer they want to hear.
On a quick side note, I think even though it's not the answer they want to hear, it comforts people to hear diet and exercise. The mindset being, "Oh good. I thought maybe it was something easy I was missing. I don't have time for diet and exercise." Or "Oh, I've tried diet and exercise and it doesn't work for me. I'm a singular anomaly when it comes to that, so it's hopeless for me." People like to comfort themselves with weird justifications.
Forgive me, as I'm new to blogging/writing, but my ultimate point in all of this is to talk about my artistic process. Ha! I'm not an expert in fitness, but I talk about it to draw parallels to my art. As I said, I like to workout. That hasn't always been the case. I thought I when I was younger, "I can get back in shape anytime I want, so when I'm ready to put in the work, I'll do it." Dangerous thinking. Guess what guys? You're never ready. I had to force myself to go to the gym. I had to find the time in my day despite not being ready. I had to establish habits and create discipline while my inner self was stomping and screaming "I don't want to!" I have a workout process now. With that comes the realization that there is no finish line when it comes to fitness in my life. That is a tough thing to deal with. The knowledge that if I stop, the progress I made goes away. What's the point? The point is process. The unending journey for self improvement, physically speaking.
Now what about my artistic process? Am I content in my unending journey for artistic improvement? Is 'almost' an acceptable answer? The truth is I'm still learning how to create habits and have discipline as an artist. Unfortunately, I have similar thoughts about my creative work. I don't always like to do the work. "I can write that sketch, or shoot that scene when I'm ready." Guess what, Jeremy? You're never ready! Creative impulses are fleeting. This blog entry is a step in the right direction. I didn't want to do it, but I made myself sit down and put thoughts on paper. It's outside of my comfort zone. Honestly, it's easier for me to have discipline working out. It's a physical task I can check off my list each day. I never wanted my art to be that. I refused checklists when it came to my acting. I thought it would limit me creatively. I'm at a point now where I am trying out a balance of discipline and creative freedom. Within the structure of my work week, I carve out time to be creatively free. Just like I carve out time to workout. Being an actor is important to me, so I owe it to myself to continue to improve my artistic process. I like the idea that no matter where I will be in my career, if someone asks me if I'm satisfied with my process, my answer will forever be 'almost'. 'Almost' gets me up in the morning to keep chasing it. Process means doing it even when I don't want to. Because after I've dragged myself into my crazy artistic head space, I never regret doing it. Just like I never regret going to the gym. The only hard thing about it is starting,
Lastly, to somewhat tie this together, is the realization that there is no quick and easy fix when it comes to my process. My acting. It takes work. Natural talent doesn't cut it. People will always want to see the finished product eventually. We are all very result oriented. I guess my secret is that when I share my work, even my supposed finished product, I know it's not really finished. It's just were I am at in my process at that moment. Like this post! My God, Jeremy...keep working at it my man.
Check out: www.stevenpressfield.com and austinkleon.com. I'm reading their stuff right now. These two guys are smarter than me, and a lot of what I was inspired to write is based on what's in their books.