Recently I read an article and it really rang true to me. I thought to myself “This is so true! My clown family would appreciate this article.”
It was written by Angel Chernoff, and had 10 sections to it. To help you digest it easier and let it soak in, I will break it down over the next couple of weeks. I also want to share my clown perspective on each point. Enjoy!
Section II: Ten choices that ultimately lead to regret, and how to avoid them:
4. Being selfish and egotistical
A life filled with loving deeds and good character is the best tombstone. Those whom you inspired and with whom you shared your love will remember how you made them feel long after your time has expired.
So carve your name on hearts, not stone. What you have done for yourself alone dies with you; what you have done for others and the world remains.
A Clown’s Perspective –
Perhaps this bit of advice isn’t really a wake-up call to you. If you are a clown, you will already know that we have no problem giving of ourselves. That saying about “having the heart of a clown” sometimes feels like an altruistic self-fulfilling prophecy. But it’s not fake. Our joy and our love are real. And we truly do want to give and give until it hurts. So maybe another way to look at this advice from a clown’s point of view is to consider how you are giving.
You don’t have to be the best clown in the world, you just need to be “their” clown. You need to be present. I always tell my beginning clowns in Clowning 101 at Mooseburger Camp: “Someday you will be someone’s clown.” It’s the greatest feeling in the world and you will never forget it.
Make sure that your performance isn’t about you as much as it is about them. Do your best give them your heart and it will be returned to you a hundred-fold. Maybe not exactly as you expect it, but it will be returned to you.
5. Avoiding Change and Growth
If you want to know your past, look into your present conditions. If you want to know your future, look into your present actions.
You must let go of the old to make way for the new; the old way is gone, never to come back. If you acknowledge this right now and take steps to address it, you will position yourself for lasting success.
Don’t fear change.
A Clown’s Perspective –
Some folks would think I have lived a charmed life. Why, to the outside world it appears I have it all: I have my own business, two wonderful kids living their dream as circus clowns, and the support of my family and clown community.
But everyone has a back story, and it’s not always pretty. During my darkest days I made a choice to be a survivor, not a victim. I made myself face the fact that while some of the bad things that were happening to me were out of my control, I did have a choice in how to respond to them. To move forward I had to change and grow, or else I would be stuck in the muck!
As clowns it is easy to stick with what works. It’s scary to meet a new challenge. One of my favorite quotes is “Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.”
We need to go outside our comfort zone to grow as performers. Think about it. “If you’re green, you’re growing. If you’re ripe, you’ll rot.”
It’s great to become a pro at something, but we also need to challenge ourselves. Take a class, come to Mooseburger Camp, try a new bit, or work with someone new. You will always learn something about yourself!
There are no failures, just results. Even if things don’t unfold the way you had expected, don’t be disheartened. Don’t give up. Learn what you can, and then move on. The one who continues to advance one step at a time will win in the end.
The battle is always won far away and long before the final victory. It’s a process that occurs with small steps, decisions, and actions that gradually build upon each other and eventually lead to that glorious moment of triumph.
A Clown’s Perspective –
So many clowns are afraid to fail. So instead they lie to themselves and say “I can’t _______” Fill in the blank.
“I can’t face paint; I’m not artistic.”
“I can’t juggle; I tried before and never got it.”
“I can’t do that; I’m just not funny enough.”
“I can’t, I can’t, I can’t…”
Stop that NOW! If you tell yourself you can, or you tell yourself you can’t…guess what? You are right! Hrmph – makes you think, doesn’t it?
Does it make it a failure to have the dream to be a circus clown at age 45? Not really. You may not make it onto Ringling, but you may learn that there are other avenues for your circus dream. You may create and produce your own circus style show for libraries or school shows. You may spend your summers traveling with a tent show.
You never know. Changing a dream is not failure. Quitting is. Another favorite quote of mine is “Failure isn’t falling down, it’s not getting up.”
…Ten life choices that lead to regret…
I would love to hear your opinions on these pieces of advice. Have a real-life example of putting it into practice? Tell me about it!
Post your comment below or post to the Mooseburger Facebook Page.
Need a lift? Read these inspiring blog posts to help boost your clown confidence:
- Clowns are the gift that keeps giving
- You never know who will be touched by your presence
- There’s hope for clowns of the future!
- Set new clown goals, and REACH them
- How should clowns react when tragedy strikes?
- Here are the steps you should take during an on-site accident
- Are you worried that you’re not funny enough?