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Monday 15 February 2010

"Eighty Percent Of Success Is Showing Up" - Woody Allen

Have you ever waited seventeen months to return a phone call that could lead to a great opportunity?

Have you ever said "I'll definitely come and see your play!" and then not bothered to go?

Have you ever fought and battled for an audition only to not go on the day?

Have you ever called yourself a writer but waited five years to write anything?

Have you ever let someone down because you were 'really busy and had no time' when really you were not doing much of anything at all?

Have you ever promised someone that definitely, yes, this week I will sit down and watch your film, and then not done it?

I think we all have this destructive and lazy side to us. The worst part is the guilt you feel afterwards (towards others if you let them down, or to yourself if you pass up an opportunity.)
The fact is -- the most successful people in the world can always find the time. To be 'too busy' is, in my experience, a sign of bad organization, a sign of laziness, a lack of professionalism and a lack of self-discipline.

I have been that guy many, many times. One of my favorite writer/directors agreed to do an interview for this blog. I stalled on setting up the call for six months. That's not cool. I can't be doing that anymore. When we complain about how our careers aren't going right, or how we're not getting the right opportunities, we rarely mention that "oh, yeah, a Producer is interested in hiring me for a big project and said I should call him - but I haven't and fourteen months have gone by."

I think it's about discipline. I now make myself sit down and read, I make myself do paperwork, I make myself do whatever it is I need to do to get the things I am doing done (wow that was a mouthful).

"Decisions are made by those who show up."
-Aaron Sorkin


  1. ood post and so true. Its fascinating to find that if you 'make' more time for yourself, you seem to get MORE lazy and less constructive - its only when you are squeezing things into every second of time do you achieve something. Love the Woody Allen quote ... but unimpressed that Aaron Sorkin has pretty much said the same thing and claimed it as his own. Bloody West Wing man. A better one on the same subject is from David Chase of Sopranos: "More is lost by indecision than by wrong decision"

  2. I could sure use a good kick in the butt once in awhile to motivate me.

  3. Very, very true. I learned this at young age with martial arts - I had to show up to every workout, no matter how much I did not want to, to make progress and move forward.

    Just show up - and you've already got the hardest part out of the way.