Life Is Hard, So Keep A Sense Of Humor (And Other Advice From Steve Martin)
For decades now, Steve Martin has kept us thinking, laughing, and generally entertained. He is certainly one of my favorite celebrities, always seeming to maintain a down-to-earth demeanor and finding ways to make us smile, even on our darkest days.
An actor, writer, director, producer, balloon animal makers, and one wild and crazy guy, he's arguably one of the most successful comedians and actors of all time. And now he's becoming known for his banjo-playing and is even co-writing a comic strip with a friend. So, what are the keys to his success? Well, there are many, but here are a few:
One look at Steve Martin's life reveals that some of success comes from knowing how to market yourself. Did you know that as a teen he worked at Disneyland after school from the ages of 10 and 18? Yep. He sold those handy little guidebooks at the front gate. It wasn't long until he noticed that "relentless cheeriness" (his term) was the key to doing well. I would suggest this "relentless cheeriness" has played an enormous role throughout his professional endeavors.
Another key to being successful is meeting good people. Like so many others, Martin began as another struggling stand-up comic. He went from town to town, working on his craft, and he admits it was most definitely a struggle. But then, he got lucky. His girlfriend just so happened to be a dancer on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. Like any nice SO should do, she offered to share some of his material with one of the main writers--who, not surprisingly LOVED it. Steve then became a staff writer.
I would definitely assert that daring to be different has been one of Martin's keys to success, wouldn't you? Unfortunately, many of us are taught to do our best to conform and "color inside the lines," if you will. But, especially now, being different and letting your uniqueness shine out to the world is one of the best, and ironically safest, things you can do.
Life is hard and fraught with difficulty. In order to maintain our sanity, I believe it's crucial to have a sense of humor--something that Martin has clearly embraced and shares with us all every day of his life. Laughter is healing and strengthening. Perhaps that is one reason we love comedians. But you don't have to be a professional comedian to embrace a more light-hearted look at the world, even in the dark times.
Keep pushing yourself. In the past several years, Steve Martin has become more public about his love of banjo-playing--and he's quite good. He tours with his band and shares performances from home on a regular basis. I can't help but feel this continues to help him in his other career endeavors--including his comedy.
Life is about growth. Even if you realized a measure of success in your chosen field or interest, it's never a good idea to stop there. I'm not sure why, but I've noticed when we get too comfortable with where we are in life, there's a temptation to stop learning. That's a mistake. Life, and people, are prone to atrophy and doing nothing is essentially deciding to let your progress de-evolve. Sad, but true. But the good side is, continuing to learn keeps life exciting and keeps you vibrant every day of your life.
Heck, he even became a dad for the first time at the age of 67! You can read more about that here. Party on, Steve. And thanks for the joy.
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