When I was in my late 20s, I had a roommate named Darryl who had one goal in life – to perform stand-up comedy professionally.
He’d moved from a small town in Nova Scotia to Toronto to pursue this dream.
Seven nights a week, Darryl honed his routine at open mic nights, while six days a week he supported himself by working for minimum wage at a coffee shop.
He was busting his ass, getting laughs and making friends.
But, he wasn’t getting booked by comedy clubs, festivals, or anyone who would pay him and pave his way to bigger things.
After two years, still stuck in amateurland and about to turn 30, Darryl hit a wall.
“I’m doing everything I’m supposed to and still nothing is happening,” he said. “What’s the point?”
Darryl decided to give up comedy, pack his bags and go back to Nova Scotia to work in his brother’s pharmacy.
After we chatted, he postponed the trip.
Comedy was the only thing he’d ever wanted to do and he wanted it more than anyone I’d ever met.
It was his calling.
The ancient Greeks had two words for time: chronos or linear time and kairos or divine timing.
Sometimes when you push and push and get nowhere, the Universe needs time to catch up with you.
And this what happened with Darryl’s career.
He agreed to stay for six more months, write some new material and keep working the open mics with no expectations other than to hone the new material.
His new stuff was funnier than his old stuff.
His stage presence got better.
He stopped caring so much about getting booked.
And, within a year he received an offer from a broadcaster for a nationally-aired comedy special and was booked for a major comedy festival.
If you’ve hit a wall, stop trying so hard.
Remember when you first started doing the thing you are trying to get results with.
What appealed to you about it? What were the parts you loved before you expected anything to come of it?
Stop focussing the outcome and reconnect with the joy in the process.
Let go and let flow.
Have faith. And you too might experience a resurrection of sorts.