Runt of the litter…the beauty of grit...
This week I listened to an interesting interview with Bo Eason. Not the first time I’ve heard him interviewed but it had been a while so I thought I would give a listen to another interview this time with a different interviewer. Very glad I did. Bo has an amazing story of how he worked his way, emphasis on worked, into the NFL (at the age of nine, he wrote a 20-year plan to be the best NFL Safety in the world). Even more interesting is what he did afterwards… Bo started studying theatre so could get all of that energy required as a top NFL player on an equally suitable platform - the stage. He studied impromptu, speaking, and acting and asked people in his class who is the best performer…Al Pacino…Upon securing a meeting with the famous actor, he asked him what does it take to be great at acting. Yes, this top NFL player wanted to become an actor. Not just any actor but a GREAT actor. Pacino broke down the next 15 years for Bo..who to work with…having to be on a stage for the next 15 years, more than any other human being. It’s matter of time, consistency, and commitment. Bo knew all about hard work. He went to work with many teachers and put his feet on a stage for the next 15 years, and kept showing up. After 15 years of hard work, after 15 years of consistently practicing and not giving up, Bo is now an acclaimed playwright and performer on Broadway, and an international presence/story coach. What are some of the key attributes to his success:
Vision - Bo knew he needed an occupation where he could inject his enthusiasm into that would be acceptable and translate into “civilian” lifestyle.
Seek help - At the time Bo left the NFL and went to New York to study acting, he asked his fellow acting students who the best actor was. The answer, Al Pacino, is what Bo heard. He sought out Pacino to ask him what it takes to be a great actor (a question Pacino had never been asked before). The advice Bo received was to be on a stage more than any other human and do that for years and years and years.
Rituals/Routines/Practice - Did Bo take that advice and follow it? Yes, he studied and practiced and was on a stage somewhere for the next 15 years. He did this consistently without giving up without saying “this is too hard”, “I can’t do this”. Instead he got in the trenches and worked and worked. After almost exactly 15 years later, Bo was on stage performing a one-person play that he wrote, Runt of the Litter. In the fifth row sat Al Pacino who sat quietly. Bo and Al locked eyes and Mr. Al Pacino, considered one of the best actors in the world, gave a nod to Bo. Amazing.
Grit - Practicing daily…for years…and years…and years…Bo never gave up. Were there tough days? Of course. Doubt? Absolutely. Grit is what separates merely passing through life and living life…on purpose.
Time for self-reflection. Where are you at in your life right now? Do you have a vision and plan? Have you sought help from an expert? Do you have a daily practice to help you achieve your vision? Do you have…grit…? I believe that all of these attributes are important now more than ever. We can have anything we want at our finger tips in a click of a button, a pop of a pill, or a voice command to Siri. We want everything right now. We want everything without hard work, without struggle or uncomfortableness. We shy from commitments and daily practice. We postpone training to write on Facebook how awesome our lives are. We go to dinner with friends while constantly checking our smart phones. We don’t stick with what takes effort, with what has meaning. Let’s change that. Let’s make a choice right now to commit to… …finding our purpose, …taking better care of ourselves, …taking better care of others, …working hard to become a better version of ourselves... After all there is beauty in that... To your journey, Lisa Schaffer GreenNote Fitness P.S. Checkout my Facebook page for inspiration.