At the Heart of My Memoir – Learn From the Best

Simply Between Millions: From Wall Street to HollywoodAfter the plethora of sexy, intriguing and true stories in my new memoir, Simply Between Millions: From Wall Street to Hollywood, the essence of my life’s journey is captured in Chapter 68 – Learn From the Best.

So here’s my favorite chapter and a few photos of me from the book. Enjoy!

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Chapter 68 – Learn From the Best

Remember the movie Splash (1984), with Daryl Hannah and Tom Hanks? Do you wish you could do that? Just dive into the ocean and start a new life? How cool would it be to have the courage to completely change who you are. The thing is, that’s the great thing about your movie – you’re the actor, producer and director, so you can change anything you want.

How? Self-correct and GO TO THE POSITIVE. I didn’t say to just think positive, because more is needed. It’s about going all the way with thinking, feeling and being positive. Feel more, think less. Heavy stuff, I know, so let me explain with an example. I know a sixty-something gal who no matter what we talk about, she’ll go the negative. When I told her I was writing a book about my life, she said, “Oh, you can get writer’s block, you know.” When I told her I would be getting a publisher when I finished, she said, “Oh, that’s so hard to do.” And when I told her I was going on a book tour when I finished, she laughed and said, “Oh, don’t be delusional.” I don’t know about you, but these are some pretty negative thoughts. You might say she can’t help herself because that’s what she’s experienced and believes, but I ask, why not believe the opposite will happen, and say, “That’s awesome Rich, you will get a good publisher, and I look forward to your book signing.” That’s the positive approach to life, and it communicates that you’re open to the realm of possibilities. Because anything is possible if you set your sights and try.

Whenever anybody says anything close in meaning to that phrase, “it’s hard”, I think of the paraplegic gal in my Mother’s Day yoga class, smiling from ear-to-ear, giving it all she had. Was it hard? Yes. Did she succeed? Absolutely.

Simply Between Millions: From Wall Street to HollywoodI should know. Thirty days ago I started writing my first book, and now it’s almost finished. I want to keep going, because I love it and see an infinite world of possibilities. And so can you, regardless of your passion. Remember, it’s about finding and following your passion. Then grow it from there. And just because no one else in the world has ever done it, doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Did anyone say, Man on the Moon, or Apple Computer, or Facebook? You get my point. And never think you can’t do something because your family or friends don’t think you can – send them the press clippings when you succeed. Do it for you.

Always learn from the best. And if you can’t learn from the best, find someone that has, and learn from them. The same goes for teachers. I laugh every time I hear my best friend Angelae say, “Honey, would you take financial advice from a homeless person?” Because wouldn’t you want to learn from someone who truly exemplifies the profession, whatever it is?

Stay focused on what you’re doing, no matter what it is. Relax, listen and focus. Most importantly, listen. Because it makes you better at everything. The same holds true for your body – listen to how it feels. From the time you wake-up, until the time you go to bed. Listen and self-correct with proper posture and breathing.

Once I started feeling and not just thinking, everything changed. As males we’re taught not to feel, just think it through and forge ahead. I’ve learned this isn’t always the smartest thing to do. Give it some thought guys, and try sitting and feeling without thinking sometime. I remember the first time my acting coach, Roberta, had us lie on the ground and just feel. “Is she serious?” I never tried to just “feel” before. She would come around and whisper something deeply personal in my ear, and say, “Now just let go and feel”. I thought, “Why?” She said, “Once you truly feel, you’re more aware of yourself and your gifts”. You really do find assets you never knew you had.

And whatever knowledge you acquire from the best, now simply innovate and take it to another level, trusting your instincts. And most importantly, be you. And never be afraid to fail or to look foolish to the crowd. Because what does it matter anyway what other people think? Always trust yourself and have confidence in your abilities. The greatest professional basketball player of all time, Michael Jordan, said, “I’ve missed 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot – and missed. I’ve failed over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” So heed advice from a legend who got cut from the varsity team his sophomore year in high school.

Finally, remember what the first deaf-blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree, Helen Keller, said, “Never bend your head low. Hold it high and look the world straight in the eye.”

Simply Between Millions: From Wall Street to Hollywood by Rich Tola © 2012

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