Most books come with the slight hope that a few parts will be worthy of your time. Rob Lowes’ “The stories I only tell my friends: An autobiography” makes your time pass so quickly because it is both an entertaining and informative gem. Rob Lowe starts the book with a story of John F. Kennedy Jr asking for marriage advice because he is torn between settling down and staying one of the most desired single men in America. But Rob Lowe also bears his soul and shares with us how he was raised with a mother whom struggled with some mental demons as well as proclaims his own inner demons with alcohol and how he overcame them. Lowe also brings great insight to the zeitgeist of fame, which he acquired in his teenage years, and how it can change your life, in both good and bad directions.
Of course, Lowe spells the beans about the Hollywood machine. One of my favorite stories is how Rob imitated Robert Wagner while playing golf with Mike Myers. Because Mike Myers loved it so much, he wrote the character into his next movie, “The Spy who Shagged Me”. One story which left a lasting impression was the difficulties of being a happy actor in Hollywood. Rob Lowe describes his first big role in the Outsiders under the direction of one of the biggest directors of all-time, Francis Ford Coppola. As Lowe states, he put his heart and soul into his role as Sodapop Curtis, only to find that most of his greatest moments on screen were cut from the final version. Rob Lowe was devastated.
It took Rob Lowe almost 20 years to realize one important truth about how to be happy in your career. You can only focus on what you can do well, and you must stop worrying about how others may change or even ruin your best work. Once he adopted this thinking, Lowe gained a sense of peace and serenity about the Hollywood machine.
Rob Lowe was implementing the Serenity Prayer at his workplace:
God, give me the grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, the courage to change the things that should be changes, and the wisdom to distinguish one from another.
Finding serenity at your career involves a simple 4-step process:
Step 1. List your top ten worries at work. These can include such as items as what other co-workers think about you or if there will be layoffs in the next year.
Step 2. Place your worries into two categorical box: Can Control and Cannot Control. Some worries my cross over into both boxes but make your best estimation.
Step 3. Let go of the worries in the cannot control box. Be like Rob Lowe and find the mental strength to accept those factors over which you have limited or no control. Thinking about them is just wasted energy.
Step 4. Devise a strategy for dealing with your worries in the control box. It takes courage to deal with worries you can control. For instance, while you cannot control whether your boss will actually give you more compensation, you can control facets that can contribute to this rewarding event such as working hard and being a better communicator.
When you learn to let go of factors you cannot control and focus only upon those factors that are within your control, you will be a star in the world of serenity.
Dr. Gregg Steinberg is a motivational business speaker who lives in Nashville TN. He has spoken to many Fortune 500 companies such as TRowe Price, Toyota, Merrill Lynch, Boeing and Hughes