Time Management Workshop The Working Actor Road Map Actor Training Program Agent Lists Podcast Peter's Story Sign up for our Mailing List

Episode 191: Give Up the Past, Live In the Present, Don't Project Into the Future

core work Aug 10, 2022

Make The Most Of Casting Director Workshops 

Two Week Monologue Slam With Andrew Dolan

Three-Week Commercial Workshop

"If there is anything I've learned with the astounding amount of core work I've done, it's these three things: Give up living in the past. Be in the present. And don't allow yourself to project into the future." 

It's so freaking simple, right?

And yet I find it so hard.

"Not even God can change the past."

The mistakes I've made and my regrets, in some ways, informed the person I am today.

I don't want to beat myself up for that anymore.

Try to find the compassion and to really look at it and "go, wow, you are really scared. You know you are really brave."

Compassion, but also understanding how much strength it took to get through those difficult moments and then using that strength to help you in your present moments when you get scared.

So if you're someone who likes to live in the past:

Let's talk about the present.

What I find interesting about me, at least in being in the present, is how much I avoid it.

Use your mind to govern your brain.

"What if--? Peter, is that the present? Okay. What are you doing in the present? Okay. I'm brushing my teeth. Okay, well, let's be here and brush my teeth.

But what if--. Peter. You're not in the present. What are you doing now? Well, now I'm washing my face. Okay, so why don't you wash your face and just be here in the present? Okay. Wash my face. Wash my face. Wash my face. But what if--."

This is an old habit of mine, projecting into the future the "what ifing." And the fact of the matter is, that makes you cuckoo. 

One of my dearest childhood friends taught me this lesson. And her name is Beth Singer. And I remember being in junior high school and always wanting to be the more popular kid. And yet I hung out with these three young girls. There was just something about Beth, and she always made me laugh. She was just hilarious. She loved fresh fruit as I did. She had the greatest cackle laugh. And I think back to that time that in that present moment when I was growing up with her, how could I ever have wanted to be with anybody else?

She passed away from liver cancer on Mother's Day, her 39th birthday.

I was lucky enough to visit her before she passed, and she said to her husband as I was leaving, "Pam and I had a nice visit."

And what kills me about that? It's such a simple thing. It was such a simple thing. I got to hang out with my childhood friend six months before she passed. And it was something in the present moment.

With the present moment. You're never going to get it back. And I'm never going to get my friend back. I have my memories of her, but I will never get her back.

And if there's anybody who has taught me about value, the present moment, and its Beth.

I encourage you to think:

  1. From your past, what you're thinking of is those moments when you had so much strength and tenacity.
  2. And in the present moment, what are those moments that you really were in the present that you would never give up?

So now I'm going to move to projecting into the future.

"Remain fluid."

When you're projecting into the future, what you're really trying to do is control.

Except the thing is that's not your job. Your job is to manage. Your job is to handle your life. Your job is not to control it.

The future will come. It will come faster than you even can imagine.

When I'm projecting into the future, I'm actually not preparing for it. When I'm projecting into the future, I'm trying to control it—but not doing what I need to do to create the future I really want to have.

"Do it, or it's never going to happen."

If you don't change this particular habit, the things you're trying to do for the future aren't going to happen.

Instead of projecting into the future, instead of trying to control the future, you need to be preparing for it by staying in the moment. 

When projecting in the future, I start to go a little crazy because I'm trying to control the uncontrollable.

Instead of projecting into the future and what you want to have happen and maybe the fantasy of being whatever it is you want to be, ask yourself, Well, what do I need to do now to prepare for it?

Close

Want to Own your Power as an Actor? Let me send you my free guide.