Tuesday, May 12, 2009

How to Think Like a Fool #12: Never Give Up

RISK: Never Give Up
Maybe I should have quit performing a long time ago. I turn 45 this week and, as far as I know, I have not gained fame, fortune, or fancy furniture for that matter.

But I am a fool, and one things fools know how to do is persevere and persist in the face of futility and failures.

There's a fine line between a fool and a hero never giving up, usually defined after the fact, by whether one succeeds or not. Fools often put all their energies towards going after something mundane, misguided, absurd, or impossible.

When you actively seek rejection, and get that rejection over and over, it may wear you down, and you may want to quit. You could use a strong image of determination in the midst of constant setbacks. Make one up or...

Watch The General, Buster Keaton's feature film, in which his train is stolen and he, alone, follows it by foot, handcar, wooden bicycle, and finally another train, as a multitude of obstacles are thrown in his way (while some are self-created). Imagine yourself in his place, not fretting about whether you should keep on keeping on, but just how to solve the next problem, and the next, and so on.

So why do I still perform? Because I make my living at it, I am still creating personally meaningful and original pieces that audiences enjoy, I get to inspire others to create through teaching, and I keep learning so much on such an amazing adventure.

Think: What am I trying to achieve and what's the next step? No matter what, I'll never ever give up! And if I do, then I'll start again.

Tomorrow: How to Think Like a Fool #13: Give Up

Previous "How to Think Like a Fool" Posts

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