Chris Pratt 100% right on success: ‘Apply constant pressure for as long as it takes’

 

Chris Pratt Instagram

It’s not often that a Hollywood actor talks about the recipe for professional success — and nails it. Guardians of the Galaxy star Chris Pratt took to Instagram on Jan. 27 and did just that.

prattprattpratt It’s 3:20am. I got picked up for work at 6:45am yesterday. I’m not good with math, especially after being up for approximately 61 hours but I think I’ve been up for over 77 hours. I did a table read for Guardians of the Galaxy 2 this morning and then shot all day on Passengers and just now wrapped some 144 hours later. Weirdly both films, which iI’l be shooting back to back, are being shot in Atlanta at Pinewood studios. We have the best crew. Total rock stars busting their asses. And the stuff we’re shooting. My God. I can’t wait for you to see it. I go back in in about 8 hours to do more.

I am doing what I love. It doesn’t feel like work. Even though it is. I’m having fun. I’m overcome with joy and gratitude. I felt like posting this to say to anyone out there chasing your dream… Fifteen years ago I felt the same passion I feel today, but I had very little opportunity. I had to hustle hard and go hungry. I had to eat sardines and figure out how to get gas money. And I never had a plan B. I never stopped believing. Ever. Don’t give up. Apply constant pressure for as long as it takes. It will break before you do. Go get it.

Mr. Pratt is 100% right. To prove it, I will share just one example from my own life that testifies to the authenticity of his claim.

Roughly 15 years ago I not long removed from the U.S. Army and on my way to USC. I used to read The Drudge Report and think how cool it would be to one day write something that garnered one of his top headlines.

This past Tuesday I wrote a piece for work and once again experienced that unique feeling that only happens when a dream others call crazy becomes a reality.
Hillary Drudge Doug

In the 15 years between dreaming about landing a bullseye Drudge hit and actually doing so, there were three roach-filled apartments, stretches were I was literally licking Chipotle burrito bowls clean because I was so low on cash I didn’t want to waste a calorie, and a temporary “mattress” made of my own clothes on a hardwood floor in Washington, D.C.

One section of Mr. Pratt’s message in particular hit home with me: “Apply constant pressure for as long as it takes. It will break before you do.”

That comment echoes something I have told my wife for years. I have always said that with enough time and pressure, we all have the ability to bend reality to our will. 

There are many factors that affect how quickly one manifests a particular dream (which I would be happy to discuss in the comments section), but the following is a blueprint that has worked extremely well for me over the years.

  • Faith in God — and prayer.
  • A clear vision for what you seek to attain.
  • Belief in the core of your being that you will achieve your goals.
  • A commitment to honesty, integrity, hard work, and humility.

One simply cannot go wrong if he or she follows those bullet points. It is a breath of fresh air to see a well-known actor who gets it, and for that Mr. Pratt has earned a large amount of good will with this writer.

I look forward to seeing both Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and Passengers in theaters.

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‘Man’s Search For Meaning’: Viktor E. Frankl’s incredibly profound, must-read memoir

Viktor E Frankl

Imagine an old man walked up to you on the street and said he had insights on life that could help infuse your own with meaning and purpose — if you gave him $10. Would you do it? Probably not.

Imagine that old man rolled up his sleeve and it was immediately evident by the tattoo roster on his skin that he was a Holocaust survivor. Then would you do it? Perhaps, but perhaps not.

Luckily, Viktor E. Frankl’s memoir, “Man’s Search for Meaning,” is well-known. There are plenty of others who feel the same way I do: It is one of the most profound books ever written.

Mr. Frankl was a psychiatrist who had all sorts of theories about the will to survive, how man goes about giving life meaning, and the ways we respond to suffering. Those theories were then put to the test when he found himself a prisoner in Nazi concentration camps during World War II.

He writes:

“We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances.

And there were always choices to make. Every day, every hour, offered the opportunity to make a decision, a decision which determined whether you would or would not submit to those powers which threatened to rob you of your very self, your inner freedom; which determined whether or not you would become the plaything of circumstance, renouncing freedom and dignity to become molded into the form of the typical inmate.

Seen from this point of view, the mental reactions of the inmates of a concentration camp must seem more to us than a mere expression of certain physical and sociological conditions. Even though conditions such as lack of sleep, insufficient food and various mental stresses may suggest that the inmates were bound to react in certain ways, in the final analysis it becomes clear that the sort of person the prisoner became was the result of an inner decision, and not the result of camp influences alone. Fundamentally, therefore, any man can, even under such circumstances, decide what shall become of him — mentally and spiritually. (Victor Frankl. Man’s Search for Meaning. Beacon Press, 1959, 1962, 1984, 1992, 2006. 77)

A man who has given a specific meaning to his life can withstand almost any set of circumstances with dignity — even a Holocaust. A man who does not know why he must live can feel as though he is trapped inside a nightmarish prison  — even as a free citizen.

Frankl writes:

“We had to learn ourselves and, furthermore, we had to teach the despairing men, that it did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life — daily and hourly. Our answer must consist, not in talk and meditation, but in right action and in right conduct.” (77)

If the implications of Mr. Frankl’s insight are not clear, consider the effect of his wife on his mind’s eye as he trudged through snow during forced labor:

“For the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth — that love is the ultimate and highest goal to which man can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love.

I understood how a man who has nothing left in this world still may know bliss, be it only for a brief moment, in the contemplation of his beloved. In a position of utter desolation, when man cannot express himself in a positive action, when his only achievement may consist in enduring his sufferings in the right way — an honorable way — in such a position man can, through loving contemplation of the image he carries of his beloved, achieve fulfillment.

For the first time in my life I was able to understand the meaning of the words, ‘The angels are lost in a perpetual contemplation of an infinite glory.'” (38)

If I was thrown into a concentration camp tomorrow, then one of the things that would keep me alive would be the desire to write about my experience — perhaps on this very blog. My wife is my beloved, but so too is writing because I believe God made me a writer.

Everyone’s life has a meaning. Finding it is often painful and difficult. I firmly believe, however, that reading Mr. Frankl’s memoir can help make the task, as monumental as it is, much easier. I highly recommend “Man’s Search for Meaning.”

Editor’s Note: I will mail a copy of this book to the first regular reader who asks for a copy. I don’t mean to penalize readers who stay behind the scenes (I appreciate all of you), but for the purposes of this give-away I need to have seen you in the comments section on occasion. Just let me know if you’re interested and I will contact you at the email address you have provided WordPress.

Earl Nightingale had it right on success: ‘We become what we think about’

For years I always thought I was weird because when I explained my worldview to people I’d get strange looks. I’d tell them “x” was going to happen because I refused to accept any other outcome. When “x” happened, I was told I was “lucky.” When it happened again I was told that I always find a way to “worm” my way into advantageous situations. When it happened again I was told things “always have a way of working out” for me.

Recently I was talking to a friend a mine about some things that will happen a year or two from now and she said, “Doug, you’re talking about your book as if it’s already published. You’re still writing it!” and I replied, “It is done. It’s published. It’s already happened. We’re just not there yet.” You can guess what kind of look I got…

It is because of these experiences that I was overjoyed when I ran across an audio recording by Earl Nightingale. I had never heard of the man before, but as he was talking I felt as if I knew exactly what he was going to say before he said it. I started mouthing the words as he was talking and it felt as if he was speaking through me. I had never heard the recording in my life, but it was as if I heard it 1,000 times.

“Finally!” I thought. “Someone who gets it!” I still don’t know much about him, but a quick internet search reveals he was born in Los Angeles, a radio host, motivational speaker, and Marine. I’m a USC Trojan, I’ve been on the the radio, I love motivational speakers, and I’m former-Army. I’ll cut Earl some slack for throwing off that last one…

Long story short, when he talks about what it takes to achieve success he couldn’t be more correct. I have included an excerpt from the video below, although if you get a chance I suggest listening to the whole thing.

Why do we become what we think about? We’ll I’ll tell you how it works as far as we know. Now to do this I want to tell you about a situation that parallels the human mind.

Suppose a farmer has some land and it’s good fertile land. Now the land gives the farmer a choice: he may plant in that land whatever he chooses — the land doesn’t care. It’s up to the farmer to make the decision. Now remember, we’re comparing the human mind with the land because the mind, like the land, doesn’t care what you plant in it. It will return what you plant, but it doesn’t care what you plant.

Now let’s say he has two seeds in his hand. One is a seed of corn. The other is nightshade, a deadly poison. He digs two little holes in the earth and he plants both seeds — one corn, the other nightshade. He covers up the holes, waters and takes care of the land, and what will happen? Invariably, the land will return what’s planted. As it’s written in the Bible: “As you sow, so shall you reap.” Now remember, the land doesn’t care. It will return poison in just as wonderful abundance as it does corn. So up come the two plants — one corn, one poison.

Now, the human mind is far more fertile, far more incredible and mysterious than the land but it works the same way. It doesn’t care what we plant. Success. Failure. A concrete worthwhile goal, or confusion. Misunderstanding, fear, anxiety and so on. But what we plant it must return to us. You see, the human mind is the last great unexplored continent on earth. It contains riches beyond our wildest dreams. It will return anything we want to plant.

Now you might say, ‘Well, if that’s true, why don’t more people use their minds more?’ …

Our mind comes with standard equipment at birth. It’s free, and things that have been given to us for nothing we place little value on. Things that we pay money for, we value. The paradox is that exactly the reverse is true. Everything that is really worthwhile in life came to us free.

Our minds, our souls, our bodies, our hopes, our dreams, our ambitions, our intelligence, our love of family and children and friends and country — all these priceless possessions are free. But the things that cost us money are actually very cheap and can be replaced at any time. A good man can be completely wiped out and make another fortune. He can do that several times. Even if our home burns down, we can rebuild it. But the things we got for nothing we can never replace.

The human mind isn’t used because we take it for granted. Familiarity breeds contempt. It can do any kind of job we assign to it, but generally speaking we use it for little jobs instead of big important ones. …

So decide now: What is it you want? Plant your goal in your mind. It’s the most important decision you will ever make in your entire life.

Bravo. I can’t even begin to describe what it felt like for me to hear this for the first time. It was like all of the things I had privately thought for years and largely kept to myself were shared with this man.

I’m not a very touchy-feely sort of guy, but I think that if I ever met Mr. Nightingale during his lifetime I would have shaken his hand and given him a great big bear hug.

If you get a chance, I highly suggest listening to the whole thing.