- The Sunday Starter
- The Sunday Starter Silhouette: Jerry Seinfeld
The Sunday Starter Silhouette: Jerry Seinfeld
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Welcome to The Sunday Starter, a weekly email of tools and techniques, that will help navigate the journey to just get started and keep moving forward.
In this week’s Starter Silhouette issue, I am going to recognize one of the most well-known comedians of our time, Jerry Seinfeld.
I’ve always enjoyed Jerry’s brand of humor and obscure observations but it wasn’t until I started to understand his work ethic that my admiration for him grew.
He is one of the all-time greats because he understood that talent is born out of extremely hard work, patience, and a belief in oneself.
As the old adage goes, “It’s not about timing the market but time in the market.” The same applies true to our creative endeavors.
How many of us stop before we’ve crested the hill and allowed momentum to become our ally?
Jerry wasn’t born a great comedian but worked tirelessly at his craft to become great at it.
Let’s explore some lessons we can learn from his journey.
❔ Did You Know?
🎤 He was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1954 and attended Queens College which is where he first started to perform in Open Mic Nights.
🚀 He appeared on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson for the first time in 1981 only 4 years after starting his stand-up career.
💵 Seinfeld was offered $110 million to create a 10th season of “Seinfeld” which he turned down.
🏎 He is an automobile enthusiast and owns over 150 cars including a large Porche collection.
⏲ He has been practicing Transcendental mediation for over 40 years
☕ He owns a $17,000 espresso machine
🍿 Sunday Snacks To Munch On:
Jerry Seinfeld interview on The Tim Ferriss Show Podcast
Jerry’s appearance on Howard Stern talking about “Seinfeld” and how it can’t be replicated
Jerry’s 1st Appearance on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in 1981
Jerry Seinfeld & Michael Richards on “Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee”
As we look into someone’s long and lustrous career we can pull many examples of inspiration and wisdom from what they’ve achieved.
Here are 3 takeaways from Jerry Seinfeld’s career that can help us all Just Get Started.
The Work Matters
Overnight successes do not exist and even if we see something resembling one from time to time it’s the exception, not the rule.
Personal success comes in the form of accomplishing what we set out to do. It’s in the work we create and the joy that we derive from that work.
Of course, we can delay starting, make excuses and over-prepare but we know the work never gets completed until we put in the time to do it.
As renowned author Steven Pressfield says about writing but can be applied to anything, “It’s not the writing part that’s hard. What’s hard is sitting down to write.”
Piggybacking off of our three prior newsletters, the work starts to get accomplished when we make it a priority and schedule it out.
If we are procrastinating, overthinking, or becoming distracted the simplest question we can ask ourselves is, “Is this the type of work I want to be doing?”
If the answer is yes then just get started and figure out the details later.
Nobody Has It Figured Out
We think the greats had it all figured out when, in fact, they were just as scared as us and although the road ahead was unknown they decided to venture out on it.
Maybe that’s the only difference between people who appear like they are accomplishing so much and those that aren’t.
It’s not a lack of fear but an abundance of courage to try.
If we are open to not getting perfect results then it leaves room for us to fail and miss the mark from time to time. As Brene Brown so eloquently points out, “I don’t leap for the perfect landing, I leap for the feeling in the air.”
Part of the journey is not knowing because that’s part of the fun, as well. When we figure it out along the way it builds our confidence and we start to wonder what else we can do.
→ But it’s hard to get to that spot without giving it a go.
If we’re struggling to start the first question we may ask ourselves is, “What’s the worst that could happen if I try this?”
The answer eliminates almost every excuse we can possibly have.
We are free to leap into the air.
Know When It’s Time To Walk Away
Although he was offered an unprecedented $5 million per episode ($110 million total) to create a 10th season of “Seinfeld”, Jerry walked away. He liked the idea of ending in the single digits similar to the Beatles. “The portion size of the Beatles felt right to me.”
When is it time to walk away?
This is a difficult decision, especially for projects we’ve invested in over a longer time horizon but we can’t fall into a “Sunk Cost Fallacy” which describes our tendency to follow through on an endeavor if we have already invested time, effort, or money into it, whether or not the current costs outweigh the benefits.
→ Sometimes knowing when to end is just as valuable as keeping it going.
Certainly, every situation is different so using our best judgment, a little intuition, and a focus on our future vision can lead us to make the best long-term decision.
We must weigh the opportunity costs by sticking with something or cutting it loose and only we know what we truly want to do.
Often times with a tough decision we tend to gather a lot of research and garner advice from friends and colleagues. While helpful, for most big decisions, we have a “gut feeling” about what we want to do.
Since we will never be 100% certain about a decision, going in the direction that we feel the most comfortable and confident with is normally the best route.
It relieves us from having any regrets because we acted accordingly with the information we had at the time.
In the end, we know that we trusted our judgment and were committed to the decision.
That’s all we can ask from ourselves.
Here’s My Challenge:
This week, ponder the 3 questions from above and write a short journal entry on the one that might closely resemble something you’re dealing with at this time.
Is this the type of work I want to be doing?
What’s the worst that could happen if I try this?
When is it time to walk away?
Writing allows us the opportunity to go deeper while also being realistic with our thoughts. They are exposed. They are alive. They start to tell a story that we might have been scared to acknowledge for some time now.
What’s Coming Next…
Next week, we’re going to chat about habits and begin to build an understanding of where we can make improvements by committing to simple steps.
🙏 Thanks again for your support with this newsletter.
❓What did you think? I’d love feedback on this newsletter in order to continue to make this a superb resource for everyone. Nothing is off-limits. Simply reply and share your thoughts. I’d love to hear from you.
✅ When you complete the challenge, I’d love to hear which journal prompt was chosen and how writing about it helped you allow further reflection on the topics. Reply directly to this email and please share.
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