The Law Of Holes - "When You're In One, Stop Digging."
“The last jobs I had were fixing cars and covering football games for a local access TV station. As in, driving the mobile van to the field, setting up 3 cameras, teaching depressed grownups and interns how to use them and directing the game from the van - and then wanting to kill myself.“ - Louis C.K.
Now one of the world’s most successful comedians, The Artist Legally Known As Louis Szekely was in a big, deep and smelly hole. Fortunately for all of us who have a sense of humor, he didn’t kill himself, but decided to stop digging.
It wasn't by suddenly developing a positive outlook, mastering The 7 Habits of Effective People, finding God or having opportunity fall into his lap. He decided that he was headed in the wrong direction. He decided he needed to change the road he was on.
While working at the local access TV station, Louis decided he wanted to become a standup comic. He got his first shot in 1984 at a local open mic night – but bombed so badly that he stayed away from comedy for two years.
“Whether you think you can or think you can’t, youre right.” – Henry Ford
Eventually, he decided that he had the talent, desire + will to pursue a career in comedy, and committed completely to this road. He put in the work to develop his writing, standup, acting, directing and business skills and went on to write for late night hosts like David Letterman, Chris Rock, Conan O'Brien and Dana Carvey; star in his own HBO sitcom; appear in a number of feature films - and ultimately become one of the most successful and beloved standup comedians in the US.
What are the lessons here?
1. Louis CK is very, very, very fucking funny and makes a boatload of coin from it. But he didn't start out rich + famous.
2. Look in the mirror and be honest with yourself – do you really believe that you're headed in the right direction? Are you in a hole - or just a rut?
3. If you believe that you're in a hole, stop digging.
4. You don't need to know where to go after you get out of the hole yet – we'll address that in following chapters – but its critical for you to know whether you're in a hole before you can move forward.
What do you think? Who are other examples you can think of – celebrities, friends, family, neighbors, colleagues – who went through this?
Thanks for reading - hope you found it helpful. (Even if you're not in a hole.)