Do you have a friend called Al? You should. Then you could call him.

One of my favorite songs is “Call me Al” by Paul Simon. I listen to it on BLAST. The music video with Chevy Chase is hilarious, uplifting, and where I learned to play air saxophone. If you see me rocking out on a dance floor, now you know the origin.

God the 80’s were unforgettable.

More amusing than the song is that in real life, my best friend is Al. His name is Al. When I discovered this, my quality of life skyrocketed. 8 years of friendship and me saying “Hold on, I gotta call Al” a thousand times has given endless delight. No small wonder why I only have a handful of close friends.

Today’s video is about getting a teammate who knows YOU.

Al knows my ambition, reads between lines, and doesn’t let me off the hook. He empathizes equally well as he does truth-tell.

That’s exactly what he did when I called him early this month, scared to make new videos. Click here or the picture below to see how Al helped me stop feeling scared & comparing myself. I tell you the top 4 things that help me SNAP out of my fear and get into action mode. (I also say an Indian goodbye at the end.)

If you skip all five points but take one thing away, let it be this:

Life is long.

If you want a shot at realizing your dreams, you will encounter obstacles.

Lots of them. Ones you can’t simply positively think your way out of.

You need support.

Friends who empathize and truth-tell. Mentors who provide vision. Coaches who steer you through transition.

You need PEOPLE to help you get there!

And if you don’t have someone – friend, mentor, family member (it probably won’t be family but I’m feeling generous) make that your mission this week.

FIND the person who will stand for your highest vision of your life, not for your momentary fear.

Here’s what Al tells me in the video. I literally took notes on my phone from our call because it was so helpful.

#1. Run as fast as you can without worrying about quality. Just take massive action. Al knew I procrastinated these videos for weeks (I’d call him & moan about it) so the only thing to do was take as much quick and dirty action as I could. No worrying about production, lights, cinema. If I’d only *thought* about the aesthetics it’d be one thing, but being so hung up on how they looked actually stopped me from creating. I was too hung up on how they looked before I’d even filmed them!

“Do NOT worry about production right now, Ishita, don’t even think about it. Only worry about that once you’re used to shipping and creating content like this; that’s when you start. Worrying about it now will just take your focus off of creating.”

I had him repeat it 100x. He did. “You just do NOT have to worry about that right now.”

#2. When you’re in the infant stages of creation, COCOON YOUR DAMN SELF.
At this point, essentially what I needed to do was make a bunch of videos with blinders on, no matter how they looked. Action to the exclusion of all else. But I lamented to Al about Youtuber’s I loved and how great their work was.

“No more outside influences right now. You have to cocoon yourself creatively. Ishita, right now you just CANNOT WORRY about those people. Cocoon! They’ve been doing it for like a hundred years. You can’t compare yourself to them.”

#3. You will consistently improve over time. Be patient.
If you keep taking action, incremental improvement is bound to happen. Pay attention.

“Make 10 videos just for yourself, to see that you can do it. Do it quickly, even if you don’t end up using them. You gotta know that video 10 will be better than video 1, and video 20 will be better than video 10. You have to know and trust that.”

#4. Remember your own magic and flair that ONLY YOU HAVE!
This one’s the most fun. Al reminded me of the unique skills, talents, and neuroses I have that no one else on the planet has.

“You’ve got OTHER skills you’ve been honing for years that they don’t have, and they have other skills they’ve pursued. *Your* skills will come together in a cool way that works for you! I think you’ll be able to do cool things with it.”

#5. Get affirmation you can do it.
Seriously. Get this if you need it. Don’t be shy about it. When Al said, “I totally think you should do this. You’re good at it. You really are!” it was exactly what I needed to hear! A kick in the pants went farther with a genuine affirmation of my badass-ness.

Alright. I’ve filled my Al-praising quota for the month.

So, where are you in your life right now? Do you have a friend who can help you through the inevitable moments of stuckness? Someone who pushes you to your highest goal? Email me at ishita@ishitagupta.com and let me know. Let me know if I can answer your Q’s about support or simply getting to WORK. :)

And if you love someone (liking them is fine too) and know that hearing this will make their day better, why not send to them? Sharing what helps you go deeper in life will help them do the same. Don’t just forward it – get specific to THEM and why you think they’ll benefit; they’ll feel loved and you’ll feel more connected. Try it.

Air saxophoning for life,
xx Ishita

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