Cultivate Success with “WINS”
Part of my brand new soon-to-be-published eBook, “Gluten-Free in 5 Days”, are the things I call “WINS”. WINS stands for “What I Now See (that I didn’t see before). Little truths that are a compilation of every major spiritual thought and life lesson that I’ve ever read, intuited, learned from experience or education, or gleaned by traversing other diverse paths to enlightenment. Acting also helped deeply get me in touch with myself. As well as my many teachers including acting coaches, psychics, gurus, guides, shamans, heart-marketing experts, and random encounters with remarkable people.
So I tried to distill all that knowledge down to a few sayings . . . “WINS”. As an attempt to uplift, inspire, empower, and provide some sort of spiritual framework for those who either had none or needed a reminder. As I constantly do about where I fit in with regards to my own spiritual life.
The interesting thing is that many of these ideas mirror either the Alcoholics Anonymous Twelve-Step program. Or Eastern religious teachings. After 70 years of exploration, I’m convinced Western spirituality can be limiting. And that it works . . . according to the AA motto . . . “if you work it”. In other words, embracing these concepts is good, but taking action upon them is even better.
So here’s a few “WINS” to ponder and act upon. There are many more. These are kinda big concepts but I like to think I do everything with an undercurrent of the following. They’re the most vital mindset-change ideas I know.
You’re welcome to add your own “WINS” ideas at the end of this blog to further enlighten us all. Here are mine:
WINS #1 Life is a journey. Think of a lifestyle or any change for that matter as a zig-zag path. You may be at the part of the journey where “START” is painted on the road in red stencil-block letters, or where there’s a sign that says “BEYOND THIS PLACE THERE MAY BE DRAGONS”, or you’ve gotten through the forest, up the river, down the mountain, slain the dragon, and you finally see the golden arches (not McDonald’s) of ease and enlightenment in front of you.
So it doesn’t really matter where you’re at; it’s all just a journey. Thinking this way does away with judgement and beating yourself up because “means-to-an-end” thinking just can’t exist in this matrix. It’s meandering and forgiving . . . just like life. The cool thing is . . . beyond the golden arches . . . is yet another place on the path labeled “START”.
WINS #2 Surrender. I can’t tell you how many addicts I’ve known who just don’t get this. And it’s the crux of the Third Step of AA . . . giving “our will and our lives over to the care of god as we understood god”. Since I’m a staunch believer in Eastern thought, and get that god . . . or my higher power . . . actually exists inside me . . . then my only alternative is listening and surrendering to the best part of me.
Now I know that surrendering old ideas to make way for new without a perceived safety net can be really scary. That’s why it’s important to have a like-minded community like AA, a mentor, a therapist, friends, or a group to support you along the way. If you want to make progress, you have to surrender your old “Stinkin’ Thinkin’” to let in a whole new way of living, acting, or reacting. Or all three.
Oh, by the way, surrendering is what actors do when working on a part. You do all that prep . . . then surrender to it. Your body and soul will remember what to do. Trust me.
WINS #3 There are no shortcuts. I’m currently training a disabled actor. He’s very smart and motivated, and I’m modifying the physical part pf my technique for him. But the other day I got an email from him that said, “I feel a little disappointed with my monologue. I wished I could have been able to accept and embrace what I am feeling.” I’ve worked with him exactly twice.
When I was a young actress, we had no timeline or agenda. We knew were in for the long haul and that it took years to be good, even if you were talented. After all, it took years for society to slam the doors on your expression. So it would also take years to pry them open and restructure your expressive apparatus. You can’t force art.
Even my new student knows that on some wavelength. But it seems that young actors these days want it all now. If you force it, however, you may irreparably damage whatever you have. Don’t go there!
WINS #4 Nothing’s Ever Perfect. All I could ever hope for when I did a play was to do enough work by the time the play opened to be okay in the part. I must have done something right because the review in the LA Times talked mostly about me and stated, “Place OWNED her part!” Great praise for someone who wasn’t sure of the whole thing in the first place. And knew that it was most likely her last role. The only thing I’ve ever known about any role I ever did, however, was that, in the words of my great coach, Walter Lott, “you did your work!” I was very fortunate that he trained me to see what I should do. As well as understanding my own process in the process.
WINS #5 Cultivate a Generous Spirit. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t succeeded BIG who doesn’t possess what I call a generous spirit. Well, maybe Donald Trump. They appreciate their good fortune and give back where they can. They usually end up as an example for others of how to live their lives fully. And it’s no surprise that many of the most generous are successful actors and performers.
Even if your funds are limited, you can give back in other ways. Like the six-year-old I saw on Sunday Morning yesterday who lost both his parents and whose goal it is to garner 33,000 smiles by giving away small toys. He gets lots of hugs too.
The secret of manifesting is that you visualize what you want as happening right now . . . and you do so with joy. What do you want to create in your life? Perhaps these “WINS” will bring you many steps closer to doing just that.
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What ideas to you live with and by? Are you willing to take any of the above to heart? What kinds of actions do you see as getting them into your life?