Today I took a long walk outside in the sunshine. An intensive work schedule and many different projects demanding my energy and attention had begun to put a dent in my enthusiasm and focus. I figured a mid-afternoon hike would help, and it did. But when I arrived back at the office to resume working, I felt a heaviness, a sort of dread, which is weird, considering how much I love my work. I took a moment to check in and observe my thoughts, and captured the bummer thought that caused the bad feeling. It was something like, “You have too many things to do. You’ll never do anything well because you’re stretched too thin.
Here’s something I learned from years of performing standup in clubs, colleges, auditoriums and a federal penitentiary: Standup comedy is metaphor for life. It’s tough, thrilling, often painful, often fun, always rewarding. And in standup, as in life, there are myriad things that are completely beyond your control. You learn by trial and error, but learn to make the best choices you can under pressure. And when — not if — you fail, you get back up onstage as soon as possible, knowing that the process will ultimately bring you success.