the MIRREN LEE

The 2012 Act Three Journey of an Actress/Coach/Writer.

Day 13 Goals and Fantasies

Posted by themirrenlee on 13/01/2012

(It’s Friday the 13th and a lot of people talk about how unlucky it’s supposed to be. I’ve always found it to be a good day for me. It’s funny the superstitions people embrace. I had Lithuanian in laws who had so many it was hard to keep up! Don’t pour the wine back handed, it’s unlucky; don’t step over a child or they won’t grow! If we did step over someone by accident, we had to step backwards to reduce the bad effect. We also weren’t supposed to go back into the house once we’d left if we’d forgotten something.  Too bad if we forgot to turn a heater off and it was burning the house down! A charming one they have, though, is to throw lots of coins all over a house you’re just moving into. It’s supposed to bring financial abundance while you live there. The problem was I kept finding myself sucking up coins when I vacuumed!)

Goals and Fantasies.

That’s what I’ve really been thinking about today. As a voice and acting coach, I am often in the position of advising those who want to know how to break into acting or voice-overs.

The first question I always ask is: “Do you know the difference between a Goal and a Fantasy?”

They usually don’t so I answer: “Action.”

It sounds so simple, but it’s so powerful. It separates those who really need to ACHIEVE a goal from those who really only want to THINK about a fantasy.

If you tell me you want to be an actor, then you should also be able to tell me what you’re doing about getting there. If you say you’ve just been thinking a lot about it and hope that someone will “discover” you, then I know it’s a fantasy. If you say you’re taking classes, reading books, watching lots of shows (from an actor’s point of view, not a “citizen’s”), and have a whole short/medium/long term set of goals to work through towards whatever ultimate achievement you’ve decided on (working overseas/winning awards/whatever your particular desires are), then I believe you have a goal.

Creative achievement of any kind is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. It takes years of hard work to make anything look easy to do! Dancers know this, musicians know this, singers know this, actors often don’t. So many times an actor will ask me if I can help them get a dialect down by their audition “tomorrow”. I always reply that I’m sorry, but I haven’t got a supply of magic dialect pills yet!

Of course, I’m also talking about creative achievement in ANY field, from cooking to hair dressing, sewing to gardening, and any kind of art – painting/sculpture/photography. Everything takes time and effort to be able to do it well.

I have some steep learning curves this year, and I’m working out my short/medium/long term goals to accomplish them all. One is of primary importance as a foundation for many of the others, and that is to be more computer literate. To my delight, my son and daughter in law gave me a voucher for a year’s worth of free Apple tutoring, called One on One. I can have private or group sessions whenever I want. The important thing to note here is that computer literacy will only be a goal if I actually go to the sessions. If I just stare at the gift voucher, then it’s a fantasy!

I’ve already mentioned that the word “goal” has lost a lot of its power for me. That’s because it’s been so overused for so long by every motivational coach who ever lived. So even though I’m using the word here because it’s familiar to most people, I’ve actually switched to the word “commitment” instead. I feel that it’s not “just” a goal then, it’s a commitment to myself to follow through on what I want/plan to do. Of course, you first have to really believe that commitments to yourself are of the utmost importance. If you think commitments to other people are more important than ones to yourself, then there’s your first goal to work on – changing your mindset about that!

For me, the month of January is about setting commitments to myself for the rest of the year. Notice I don’t use the word “resolutions”. Like “goals”, it has also been overused and too connected with the idea of breaking them. I don’t need that kind of negativity! But whatever words you use, think about whether or not you’re approaching what you want as a definite achievement or simply a fantasy.

Are you DOING or THINKING?

I’m just askin’ …

2 Responses to “Day 13 Goals and Fantasies”

  1. Found this write up on the web. Very interesting information that you make. Thank you.

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