Yesterday, I went to a comedy workshop held by Jimmy Ouyang (Funny Asian Dude) and Will C near my home in San Diego. They spent the day giving their advice and coaching to those of us who are learning and perfecting the art of comedy. And it was a wonderful day filled with wisdom and laughs.
I struck up a conversation with Will who is finally being recognized for his gift after paying lots and lots of dues. He talked about the early days when he would take a job even if it cost him more in gas to get there. He wanted microphone time. He had to be seen to be discovered. He talked about losing his marriage because his career took so much time and energy. At times, he felt that he would never fulfill his dream. But he said he stayed with it because he loved comedy, and he couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
Eventually Will did get his break. And I wish I had a tape recorder so I could have recorded his exact words about the moment of his first big break. He said that it is as if you love something so much, and you pour all you’ve got into this passion for a long time; and suddenly it is as if you have loved it so much that the world must give you your desire. It was like he was talking about something hitting a sort of critical mass of energy where it can’t help but manifest. I saw an image of some sort of big bang or cosmic explosion. He went on to say that suddenly, the money comes and often in greater amounts than you even dreamed. I hope I did justice to his wise words. They really struck my heart. And the image he invoked in my mind seemed like a powerful touchstone for inspiring others with big dreams.
But this was more than just a feel-good statement from Will. It also has great practical value. If you have ever been in love, you give the object of that love a great deal of focus and attention. Your mind is constantly thinking good thoughts about the person or thing that you love. And since love is energy, the energy builds and grows until the momentum you have created manifests the desire.
This is not obvious to everyone because few people create from love, especially in their jobs. They create from duty, responsibility, and even a bit of hard work ethic. They show up and put in the day’s work. They do what they have to do to get buy. Nothing grows or builds from that kind of energy. No cosmic explosion erupts from obeying the rules. Many think that doing the right thing is being a good follower. I suspect they are afraid of their power because they have watched too many leaders who don’t follow their heart and lead from love.
Many of us have dreams that we love day and night. And often we wonder if they will ever come to fruition. We say “maybe I should give up, quit, get a real job and stop this stupid writing, art, inventing, music, business idea, animal training, etc.” But we don’t quit; in fact, for some odd reason, we can’t quit. Perhaps some part of us knows that our cosmic explosion is inevitable. And that part of us keeps us going to one more performance or writing one more article or baking one more cake.
I talk a lot about letting go of beliefs on this website since it is my passion to support the world in dissolving the beliefs that support suffering, disease, and hatred. Letting go of beliefs is very important. But the desire is the other piece of the puzzle. It is our desire that pushes us to take a hard look at what we believe and to challenge the limitations we hold in mind. People who don’t have any desires rarely let go of beliefs. They accept the status quo. They exist but they don’t really live.
Often people think that having a desire is selfish or unspiritual. But I liked Will’s words. He said, he was pouring love into his work. There is no way that can be selfish. No doubt it challenges those people in our lives who liked our full attention. It forces them to follow their passion and to grow as well. But I can’t think of anything more delightful than a whole world of people pouring love into their dreams. Thanks Will C and Jimmy. You guys prove that comedians can be wise and kind, as well as funny.
PS: Will C is part of the GI comedy tour which will be doing a show on Comedy Central this fall. Jimmy has been recognized on FunnyorDie.com of one of the top young up-and-coming comedians. Both tour throughout the US and perform regularly in LA and San Diego.