Complacency has killed more careers than anything else on the face of the planet. Think about it…
You start working a few days a week, and all of a sudden, you’re working more than you have in your life. Where do you go from there? Do you keep pushing for bigger and better things?
Probably not. I know, I can hear you mentally screaming the opposite but stick with me for a sec.
When you start working more than you ever have before, a couple of things happen: you are now busier than ever before, this leaves less time to work on your career, and you have already shattered a glass ceiling.
Complacency starts to set in. That’s where hunger comes in. See, you can only go 2 or 3 days without water. Dehydration zaps your energy quickly and you don’t really have a chance to “fight.”
However, you can go much longer without a single morsel of food. In my experience, it goes mostly like this: Day 1 quiet desperation. Day 2 the hunger pains set in and the stomach growling starts to become unbearable. Day 3 is like detox in a day (especially if your diet has been less than stellar to this point).
Day 4 starts the emotional rollercoaster. You begin to miss your favorite foods, in the same way you miss Grandma. Day 5, stay in bed, you feel like dying. You don’t physically feel like you are, you just wish you were.
Day 6, you start to think you’re hallucinating. Colors have never seemed so vibrant, nor has the world ever seemed so incredibly beautiful.
Day 7, you voluntarily stay in bed again, feeling like you have caused brain damage because you can’t stop smiling.
Day 8, you are sharp as tack. We’re talking Bradley Cooper in Limitless kind of sharp.
Such is the power of hunger. Before you empty the contents of your refrigerator, let’s talk about a couple of things.
First, remember that I am not a medical professional, I am a mere actor and I’ve actually never even played any kind of medical professional on TV or elsewhere, so nothing here should be interpreted as medical advice, or any kind of advice for that matter. You should always seek your own qualified medical advice, proceed at your own risk, so on and so forth.
Ok, now that we got that out of the way. Let me explain the power of hunger and what it can do to your career. The power of hunger is not about fasting, though it is in my opinion a quick and easy way to experience everything that the power of hunger has to offer.
I was first introduced to this concept by a mentor of mine. She partakes in ritualistic fasting, rather consistently. When she mentioned the benefits of being hungry to me, it was at a time when my career was really starting to go where I wanted it to go.
I was finally working steadily and though everything seemed fine on the outside, inside I couldn’t get a handle on things. I was always going 3 places at once and my mind was present at none. I felt like I was about to spin out of control like a Lindsay Lohan or Tom Sizemore (may their careers RIP).
She explained to me the physical things I would go through, much like I just shared with you above. I decided to give it a shot and I abstained from food for 21 days and nights.
It changed me as a person, and as an actor. Once I got past the initial misery and physical pain, a new world opened up to me. I realized that I was living in a world where I was in control. I didn’t have to head to the fridge every 3rd hour, I didn’t feel obligated to congregate with friends over food, just because it was there, and most of all I realized that I lived through it.
Those first few days were horrible, and it was as if I flat lined and came back with a new outlook on life.
See, by day 3 you are just about ready to dive face first into deep fryer at In N Out, consequences be damned!
Your restraint in that moment creates a reference point in your subconscious mind. When you want success as badly as you want to dive face first, mouth open into a truckload of French fries, you are unstoppable.
That’s the Power of Hunger in a figurative sense. When you go through something like this and come out on the other side unscathed, you remember those feelings. Because it’s traumatic in a sense, the reference points are exponentially more powerful. It’s why people are more susceptible to mental programming during times of trauma. Don’t take my word for it, do a simple Google search and you’ll find tons and tons of highly respected research.
When you keep operating this way, you avoid becoming one of those people that just cruises through life existing. Because you now know experientially that you can do things you never thought possible, sitting back and letting the world pass you by just won’t cut it anymore.
Going 0-5 on the audition circuit just doesn’t faze you anymore. It gives you the courage to go 0-6, 0-7, even 0-10 because you know that no matter what, tomorrow, the sun will rise. And if it doesn’t, you will force it to.
Once I learned about the Power of Hunger and I experienced it, I learned to live one day at a time.
My intent here is not to sell you on fasting. Not at all…
Rather, what I hope you understand goes beyond that. It’s about adopting a modus operandi. See when you get hungry for success, you stop playing by everyone else’s rules. You stop “waiting for your turn” and you start making things happen.
See, most of our peers will never make any meaningful progress in the industry. I don’t mean that disrespectfully, we all know more than a handful of people that only play “actor.” They never get serious about their craft, even though they may have convinced themselves otherwise.
They go on auditions often enough, but never make any meaningful effort to reach out to casting directors and decision makers. They don’t do the things you have learned about as a member of the tribe.
They get caught up in the accolades and the glamour. Most importantly, they caught up in faking it. They don’t appreciate the grind. When you get hungry for success, the trivial things that may have bothered you before (like what your friends would say if you started a YouTube channel) become beyond irrelevant.
That hunger pulls you to success and you no longer have to push. That means life gets out of your way. Your internal doubt and resistance erode and you accomplish things in days or weeks, instead of months or years.
When you lock on a target and decide that nothing will stop you, you also have the ability to dictate how long it will take you to hit that target. For example, I enjoy writing and always wanted to take a swing at screen writing.
Because my mind was unbelievably sharp, during my 21 day challenge, I wrote a full length motion picture script (it actually only took 13 days). I call this time collapsing. How many people do you know that have been working on a script for 2 years? Through the Power of Hunger, I finished mine in under 2 weeks.
What projects have you had on the back burner for a while?
Remember, I’m not saying that you have to go on a 21 day fast. Just chase your goals with relentless and unwavering focus. To do that you have to get clear on what you want, and that clarity comes through focusing and slowing your mind.
The key is to do it like you mean it. So many of us treat this like a New Year’s resolution: January 1st we’re good, January 2nd…what resolution???
Tony Robbins states that you should never allow yourself to have a thought about a goal without also doing something that propels you toward achieving that goal. Here’s the most effective thing you can do right now.
If you’re reading this, then you likely want to achieve a degree of success in the industry. In order to do that you will need a stellar industry reputation and social proof. Here is the fix for that.
Once you get that handled, identify the goal you will go after. What will it be? Let me know in the comments below. Allow yourself to dream, so long as you back it up with action. We’ll do our part to keep you on track.
See you at the top,