What Acting Can Teach Us About Living

“Men acquire a particular quality by constantly acting in a particular way.” -Aristotle

Maybe we all had to do a bit of acting in drama class when we were young. Some of us were excited about trying on new characters while others dreaded the inevitable embarrassment. Once we were no longer forced into it, many of us pushed our acting careers off to the side, but there is something magical about the talents of actors.

It is easy to forget what actors are actually doing with their work. In the media, we usually see them as celebrities living luxurious lifestyles. Even when we are watching a movie or a play, these actors take on their roles so well that we become entranced by the story-line as opposed to seeing them as normal people doing phenomenal things.

Of course, it takes years of practice to become a good actor. It requires both focus and intention as well as an ability to understand different perspectives. Actors have to step outside of their own bodies and maneuver the mind around their hardwired personal believes. Often, actors have to play difficult roles such a villain or heartbroken, and they have to come across as believable. How are they able to convince the audience so well?

In order to play someone else, actors really have to get to know themselves. They have to understand their emotions and be able to recall them on demand. More importantly, the best actors are able to really feel out these emotions. They’re able to buy into any situation as if it was really happening because they have all honed the ability to immerse oneself into the present situation. It seems as though they are able to go deeply into the moment in order to act out their roles, some even go as far as truly living out their characters outside of the movies in a style called method acting. Essentially, actors can set new standards for themselves.

The point of all of this is that we can learn from the actor’s approach in order to improve ourselves. We already all have different layers to our lives. Many of us play multiple roles, and even though we are the same person through it all, the context does encourage us to act differently sometimes. When we look at areas of our lives that we want to improve in, why not think like an actor? We all write our own stories, our own scripts and so why can’t we write in some positive character traits that we wish to see for ourselves?

Going to the gym doesn’t have to be a drag. Learning a foreign language or self-defense can be extremely exciting. If we were paid actors, we would find a way to do it. When we begin looking at what we want out of life, we soon realize that everything is possible if we put our minds to it. It isn’t about faking it until you make it, it is about practicing and learning the process of change. It is about getting comfortable being uncomfortable.

Everyone is capable of the superpowers that actors exhibit. Everyone is capable of approaching learning this way, because after all, that is what actors are: vulnerable learners who are unafraid to explore their weaknesses.

Let’s write the scripts we want to act out in our lives.

Let’s change the way we travel, together.

The Lifestyle Project