Were you ever into the HBO show “Entourage”? If you’re not familiar with it, it was a show that chronicled the ups and downs of a Hollywood actor named Vincent Chase, his close group of friends (his entourage), Vince’s talent agent Ari Gold, and their collective pursuit of “the dream”. This week Entourage the movie releases.
In an earlier post we talked about mastering your craft, and doing so through self-analysis. Self-analysis is key, but oftentimes it gets clouded because we compare ourselves against other players in the field.
“I’m not improving as fast as him/her”
“They all are way better than me”
“I should be at their level”
Remember my Mario Kart story? This type of thinking is how we throw red, green, and blue shells on our opponents. So why do we do that so often? Well, for one thing, it’s easy to deflect blame. But on top of that, do you remember in Mario Kart there were like 16 tracks you could race on? Well, you might also remember that you couldn’t race all 16 tracks at once. You had to pick ONE and complete the race before moving on to another track.
Same with the things we want to improve on, or master. Why compare yourself to someone in Star Cup (the set of advanced tracks in Mario Kart), if you’re only on Mushroom Cup (beginner tracks)? Or, why take pride about being in Star Cup if you're only comparing yourself to those in Mushroom Cup?
We learned about my yoga instructor who has spent years in order to perfect handstands. You know why I applaud her instead of get pissed at her, or even worse get pissed at myself? It’s because I know we’re on two different tracks. I’ve practiced yoga for 2 months. She’s practiced for several years. Why would I think we’re in the same race? (And quite frankly, for now, with yoga I’m happy staying in Mushroom Cup)
In order to master our craft, we need to analyze ourselves. And in order to successfully analyze ourselves, we need to understand which track we’re on.
One way I love doing this is by relating to entertainment I’m familiar with, and thinking about who best represents me (for example, my WWE Roman Reigns story).
Let’s find your track this same way. With the Entourage movie releasing this week, which character best represents you?
By whatever resource necessary, you find ways to put those you care about ahead of you. Their goals are more important than your goals, and as long as you stay ‘family’ that’s a win in your eyes.
Tragic Flaw: Your reliance on past accomplishments prevents you from setting new goals for yourself.
The thinking type who provides sage advice at unexpected moments. You’re the one who tells the doer why he/she is doing what they are doing. You don't need to own the car, you're happy just driving it.
Tragic Flaw: Because you're always thinking, you're never doing, letting opportunities pass you by.
The behind-the-scenes type who prefers to let someone or something else handle the attention, while you take care of everything to make sure that person or thing looks as good as possible. You’re meticulous in your approach, ensuring that every last detail gets handled. You prefer to hustle without being in the spotlight.
Tragic Flaw: because you're behind-the-scenes, you often go unnoticed. People rarely know when your work is done well, but when you screw up its obvious.
Always the front-runner, and naturally in the limelight. Chasing down your goal regardless previous failures, or the expectations of others. You get knocked down, but get up again. All the while you find ways to bring your crew along for the ride.
Tragic Flaw: Because you're in the spotlight you often rely on others for validation, and are deeply affected by criticism.
Going after your goal with ruthless aggression, without regard to perception, emotions, or conventional wisdom. If There is a problem, come hell or high water you will solve it, even if that means stepping on the throats of people you care about.
Tragic flaw: Your relationships and your own well-being are often cannibalized by your pursuit of success.
No one character is better than the other. But by identifying which character best represents us, we create a solid foundation for how we approach our craft(s). This lets us know what track we're actually racing on and gets us away from making comparisons to those in different Cups entirely. And by knowing our tragic flaw, we know what we need to work on to get us into another race, and a different Cup.
To give you a better idea, I'm a total Vince. If you can't tell, I CRAVE the spotlight. I go after what I want regardless of circumstance. At the same time, criticism has traditionally eaten at me. I have had to train myself in recent years to not let it affect me so much. I still have a long long way to go--if someone criticizes my work my instinctive reaction is I freeze up and get a pit in my stomach for a few minutes (I've trained myself to get it down to a few minutes, it used to linger forever). On the other side of the coin, I know I thrive off validation from others.
At the same time, it allows me to know what environments I work well in. I haven't run this by our Idea Lemon Cofounder Martin, but I'm almost positive he's an Eric Murphy. And that works perfectly to allow us to build Idea Lemon. We rarely step on each other's toes.
He's more comfortable managing the background operations and finding how to best put me over, and I know I’d go crazy if I were in the background all the time. If we were both Vince's, we'd fight each other for the spotlight, and we'd be in trouble. If we were both Eric’s, we’d duplicate work efforts, drive each other crazy nitpicking one another, and would never have gone ahead and put ourselves out there for things like our podcast.
From this understanding, I know what to analyze about myself, where I need to improve, what gets me going, what I need around me to win, and what I'm able to give to help others win.
I know the race I'm in, and I know how to approach mastering my craft.
How about you? Which Entourage character are you?
What up! My name is Rajiv Nathan and I'm the Cofounder of Idea Lemon. That banana peel you slipped on to land here came from me. That's because I fancy myself a human Curious George, and the yellow hat I chase is life's authentic moments. I share my chase one story at a time through this blog, our email newsletter, and as a rapper.
Oh and I'm a WWE fan 4 lyf!