What's necessary in order to be really good at something? Well, the right talent, or set of talents, for one thing. And lots of work, or practice, for another. But still, there's something else.
Let's ask a really different question. How should you react when someone wanting to help you suggests or even recommends you for a new job, position, role, opportunity, or goal that doesn't strike you as quite right? Your friend/fan/helper/coach/mentor/agent is excited about the new possibility, but you're uneasy, or unsure. You don't feel an inner fire. Sometimes, it's great to stretch outside your comfort zone. And yet, you should always listen to your heart. Here's an example. A Hollywood agent in the 1950s has discovered an attractive young woman he wants to put in the movies. Good things are happening for her already. A prominent man in the community, a bold-faced name in the papers, someone having his picture taken all the time, wants to marry her. The agent is himself relating what happened next, out in Los Angeles:
Then wham! The Story of Dr. Wassall. You see that picture? Cecil B. DeMille. Gary Cooper. Jesus. I kill myself, it's all set: they're going to test her for the part of Dr. Wassell's nurse. One of his nurses, anyway. Then wham! The phone rings." He picked a telephone out of the air and held it to his ear. "She says, this is Holly, I say honey you sound far away, she says I'm in New York, I say what the hell are you doing in New York when it's Sunday and you got the test tomorrow? She says I'm in New York cause I've never been to New York. I say get your ass on a plane and get back here, she says I don't want it. I say what's your angle, doll? She says you got to want it to be good and I don't want it. I say what the hell do you want, and she says when I find out, you'll be the first to know.
That's O.J. Berman talking to our narrator, the upstairs neighbor of Holly Golightly, in Truman Capote's short novel Breakfast at Tiffany's.
Holly's words ring true: You got to want it to be good. It's true of acting, and of almost anything else. In considering a new opportunity or possibility, you have to ask yourself, "Do I really want it?" Can I envision it happening? Does it stir me up? Would it be fulfilling and fun? If not, it's probably not right for you, at least, not now. But if so, if you do want it, if it lights a flame in you, then you have one of the main conditions for success - an emotional commitment.
Life is too short to concentrate our energies on things we really don't care about. Find something you want, and pursue that with your whole heart. And if you're like me and are already doing it, keep at it!