Sunday, 29 December 2013

Your Giving

So we're coming to the end of the year and for some reason it's around this time we start to take stock of our lives and vow to be a better us in the coming year. It may be that we commit to attending the gym more than once a year, getting started on that project that's been at the back of our minds, learn a language or even, use the one we have more properly, like.  

We call them New Years resolutions, a promise to ourselves to make our life's just a tad better. And how successful are we? Put it like this, at a guess, I'd say the most popular New Years resolution by a country mile is, to stop making New Years resolutions. 

There seems to be something about closing out one year and ushering in a new one that makes us disproportionately optimistic about the future, more so than at any other time. 

If we behaved like this randomly, in the the middle of the year people would think you'd gone barmy. If, for example midsummer, you gathered your nearest and dearest and told them, 'I think this could be my August. I've just got a really good feeling. I'm changing my life, joining the gym and learning French!', they'd all think you were having a mid life crisis. 

I haven't made a resolution for a while because I'm done with bank rolling Fitness First with my unused memberships. But what I have been doing for the past few years is making a list of intentions. Late December I find a couple of blank pages in my diary (when I say blank, I mean those useless pages with international public holidays and dialling codes - we have google now, Mr Diary Maker) and list all the things I'd like to see happen over the following year. 

'What you think about you bring about' and all that. So I let my imagination go to town (whilst trying to keep it vaguely plausible. I know I can't be president but I could get offered my own radio show).
 
After I'd completed my list I'd look at it proudly, anticipating  a rich and rewarding year ahead based on my cosmic shopping list. 

then I'd leave the list to stew for approximately 365 days. 
 
Then around about the same time 12 months later I'd return to the list and see how I had faired, ticking off my successes and failures. Ok, radio show - got, stated blog - got, boyfriend - hmm, need.

The first year, I didn't do too badly. I'd say there was a 75% hit rate. I was more than happy with that and decided to continue the practice but as the years went by I noticed that I was entertaining more and more misses and fewer and fewer hits.

Having recently reviewed this years list I can confirm that, like Michael Jackson's Thriller follow up, it's bad. 

I wasn't sure what I was doing wrong. Was I asking for too much, for the wrong  things or just entirely misdirected my energies for a whole year. 

For some reason my mind went back to a meeting I'd had back in June with a studio exec. We were discussing my future plans and he asked me the same question I'd been asking myself annually since 2008. What did I want front the year ahead? I shrugged my shoulders and naively bleated, 'series regular in something?'

I didn't even say it with conviction. To me it was a question. What was the universe  willing to give me. What's the biggest thing I could be audacious enough to ask for.  

He wasn't inspired by my comment telling me instead to think about how to engage all my skills. He said I should feel compelled to engage with the industry and most importantly, have a need to make a contribution. 

A what now? 

Fast forward to this week and my mind is on creating my 2014  wish list. I suddenly realised the mistake I'd been making. 

Everything in the list was predicated on the fact  I needed someone to give me something. Be it a job or money or love, it was all about what I wanted not about what I could give. 

In the entertainment industry it's very easy to get into the mind set of 'what can I  get' or  'what can people give to or do for me'. 

Actors are always thinking about getting a casting director to give them a job, singletons think about the love a new partner will give them, the sales men want to get your money but the world looks very different when you think about what you're putting into it rather than what you're taking out.

Rather than thinking about finding a wonderful boyfriend or girlfriend, perhaps we should be thinking how can I make myself into the best possible partner so I can love soemone fully, rather than being desperate for a job, think what skills can I bring to this company. 

Or in my case, what are the creative entities   I can share with the world. 

Returning to my list I decided I would still do it as I always had but this time I would shift the perspective.  Now, nothing in the list is determined by my needing something from other people, it's all about what I can either do for my self or offer into the world.

And it's not to say  I wouldn't eagerly welcome job offers but rather I want to shift my attention from what's coming in to what's going out. That feels a more healthy perspective to me. So now, moving into 2014, my resolutions have transformed into a to do list. What I'm willing to contribute. I'll report back in approximately 365 days time. 

Good luck to everyone who's made an intention, uttered a resolution or pledge to make 2014 your year. Stay humble, remain grateful and you can't go wrong 

Happy New Year! 

With love, 


Andi

11 comments:

  1. Hi Andi, I gave up on New Years resolutions a long time ago as I also concentrated on what could be given to me. Find a better job, earn more money, find a girlfriend etc etc. I really like your idea of looking at the things we can do for ourselves or offer to others though. It makes for a much less selfish and more attainable list of 'resolutions'. Enjoy the flight back home and have a very merry new year.

    Andy

    ReplyDelete
  2. Would you consider that depending on your form of artistry it makes a difference whether you look to give than receive? By that I mean painters, writers, poets etc usually give first before looking for the receiving. It's the nature of the beast perhaps? Not to say people aren't commissioned to write, paint or create poems, it just seems that theirs is more input focused from the beginning perhaps? Just a thought.

    In any case, thanks for your work on the blog and catch you next year :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Cheers Andy. Happy New Year to you too :)

    Good point Michael though I wonder, is that caused by the art or the artist? I'm sure there are some painters who paint with selling as their first thought and actors who do it purely for the love of it. Interesting, eh? x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do know a lot of people who write with the only intention of making it big, not for the joy of it. Others do it for the sheer love of it (like I do) and don't mind if it reaches a million or one. If it is something that moves the one, my job is complete and I am happy. So, having said all that, may your love be both satisfying and rewarding :)

      We hold in our hearts
      That the best of our yesterdays
      Will be the worst of our tomorrows
      And set our eyes on the new days dawn

      Have a wonderful New Year one and all! I look forward to more of your posts in the coming year!

      Mike

      Delete
  4. I do the same kind of thing. My first "goal" is always to still be alive come New Year's Eve the following year. I achieved 8, partially achieved 5 and failed 5 which is a very big improvement in comparison to the goals of 2012. You should write a book Andi - I could read your blogs all day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah thanks Thony. I do enjoy writing them so it's lovely to know they're being well received :)

      Delete
  5. Replies
    1. tell me, are ya happywithyourwash?

      Delete
  6. Hi Andi! I came to your post via Honest Mum. I don't do resolutions as such. Instead of an action list, I prefer to define a mindset that will guide me through the next year. 2013 for me was about stepping out of my comfort zone and I applied that mindset to all my decisions. After reflecting back on this past year, I have decided that next year will be about raising my game. Continuing with the same things, but just doing them better. Great post, definitely lots of food for thought. Happy new year to you! I hope it is glorious in every way.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hello Miss Osho.
    "A day without a good deed is a day wasted." Marcus Aurilius 'Meditations'
    I have never seen the point of New Year's resolutions. It seems something you can use to criticise yourself with for not doing. Instead, just do good things for other people all year round. Do the self-improving cyou want to not because it is a new year.
    I cannot believe that you have not got a boyfriend. You are pretty, witty and smart. Not to mention you are really 'hot', as they say. There has to be a man out there who is not a total loser and will love you for who you are.
    So what are you doing nowadays? You seem to be missing from TV, the comedy circuit, etc.
    Post script: did I mention you are really beautiful?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah thanks Simon. Wise words.
      There is no Mr Right for me just now but only because there's no time! I'm currently in America taking a break from the UK comedy scene. I'll definitely be returning but in what form I'm yet to discover. I'm loving the journey though. Thanks for the comment :)

      Delete