Jerry Seinfeld, as told to Brad Isaac, said that: “in order to accomplish something you have to work at it every day. Get one of those big wall calendars and every day you do the thing that you need work at you put a big red X on it. If you do it everyday then you will have a chain. The next step is not breaking the chain.” Donald Trump says to “never, ever give up.” In getting through life, Drew Barrymore says on the topic: “It’s all just humor; all you have to do is laugh. Don’t take life so seriously. Life is like high school, it’s small and everybody talks about everybody, so just laugh.”
Lifehacker recently published a post by software developer and blogger Brad Isaac, who had an opportunity years ago to be the recipient of some productivity advice from observational comedian, actor, and writer Jerry Seinfeld.
Photo by Alan Light/ Wikipedia
Here’s Brad Isaac’s encounter:
“Years ago when Seinfeld was a new television show, Jerry Seinfeld was still a touring comic. At the time, I was hanging around clubs doing open mic nights and trying to learn the ropes. One night I was in the club where Seinfeld was working, and before he went on stage, I saw my chance. I had to ask Seinfeld if he had any tips for a young comic. What he told me was something that would benefit me a lifetime…
He said the way to be a better comic was to create better jokes and the way to create better jokes was to write every day. But his advice was better than that. He had a gem of a leverage technique he used on himself and you can use it to motivate yourself – even when you don’t feel like it.
He then revealed a unique calendar system he was using pressure himself to write.
Here’s how it worked.
He told me to get a big wall calendar that has a whole year on one page and hang it on a prominent wall. The next step was to get a big red magic marker.
He said for each day that I do my task of writing, I get to put a big red X over that day. “After a few days you’ll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job next is to not break the chain.”
“Don’t break the chain.” He said again for emphasis.”
Why does it work? Because it takes commitment, dedication, and action to implement, as well as sustained effort.
Donald Trump – business executive, entrepreneur, real estate developer,casino operator, author, and executive producer and host of the TV show The Apprentice – offers this advice at Trump University:
“It’s a business lesson I teach over and over again. Never, ever give up. Never quit. You can never be successful if you give up.”
Is it possible that The Donald never heard the lyrics to Kenny Roger’s song The Gambler?
You’ve got to know when to hold ’em
Know when to fold ’em
Know when to walk away
Know when to run
According to Joanne Meehl, president of Meehl & Balzotti Career Services, AKA The Resume Queen, much can be learned from Madonna, Martha Stewart, and Oprah Winfrey:
“Underlying the success of these women is the greatest lesson of all, Meehl says: Madonna, Stewart and Winfrey all are true to their authentic selves.
Holding fast to their ambitions may have been met with derision along the way, especially since the confidence and drive needed to follow one’s own path are not considered typical female traits. But the proof is in three of the most successful businesses of all time.”
This advice I can sink my teeth into and agree with.
Drew Barrymore has this to offer in a Harper’s Bazaar interview:
“You know, it’s all just humor. Don’t take life so seriously … Laugh, laugh, laugh. Life is like high school and it’s small and everybody talks about everybody, so just laugh …”
The final television personality that we can learn from is Homer Simpson. Yes … you read that right.
Tom Stern, writing in the Fast Company blog, believes Homer can teach us a few things about work-life balance:
- Unlike us obsessed, overworked types, Homer can’t wait to get the heck out of work.
- While at work, Homer does not take things too seriously, innately understanding that the everyday duties we get so stressed about are ultimately not that important. (All right, so he works in a nuclear facility. We’ll let that slide.)
- Homer maintains active and enjoyable leisure time with his colleagues from the job. Belching contests in a bar are just as valid a bonding technique as, say, golf. And you can’t slice a belch into a sand trap, thereby ruining your entire day.
- Homer often goes to his wife Marge with problems that have been weighing on his mind, and even solicits her support and affection. Maybe it’s just that reassuring beehive of blue hair that makes him know he has a safe place to unburden.
- As has been indicated in many episodes, Homer and Marge still enjoy a healthy love life. And I’ve heard that cartoon make-up sex is even better than in real life.
- Despite his run-ins with Bart, Homer goes to great lengths to be there for his children, often enduring physical harm to his own person in the process. (Who can forget the Bart skateboarding episode in which Homer hit a series of tree branches in an epic fall that contained an uninterrupted string of “D’oh’s”?
- Homer supports his daughter Lisa’s many attempts at coming into her own, even though he is so pitifully her intellectual inferior.
- As a dad, Homer is not afraid to get mushy with his children, often talking baby talk and letting his own inner child out to play. You go, Homey!
- Homer is rightly afraid of Mr. Burns, who represents the emptiness of wealth and achievement. Mr. Burns is the embodiment of that famous quote “for what does it profit a man if he gaineth everything but loseth his entire muscle mass?”
- Finally, Homer Simpson is a big goofball and proud of it. And that is the last thing anyone who thinks the world revolves around them would ever admit. Homer knows who he is. Do we?
You know what my father used to say about opinions? He drew an analogy between them and a part of the human anatomy and said the two were similar because “Everybody’s got one and nobody wants to hear yours.”
All kidding aside, take what you need and leave the rest. There’s something in each celebrity’s philosophy that you can use.