Please Let Me Give You More Money

Pile of 20 Dollar Bills

I am a motivational speaker by profession, but I used to be an actor for many years. As such, my favorite pastime whenever I’m not working is to go see live theater.  And even though this experience I am about to tell you about happened almost four years ago, the fact that I remember it so vividly really makes my point. It happened when I saw Noah Racey’s Pulse at the Asolo State Theater. Four times. In one week. 

Why? It was brilliant. It was stunning. But mostly it was people doing what they love and are passionate about. It was a small cast of ridiculously talented performers who brought everything they had out on that stage. They left nothing behind. Nothing. They gave 1000% to every single moment all the while radiating happiness and joy. And I caught that joy. Me and every other person in the audience. We screamed and yelled and cheered. We jumped up in spontaneous standing ovations during the show. We laughed and cried and clapped and played along with the performers. We, as audience members, totally escaped from any problems, strife or misery we might have had in our lives and caught the joy and happiness of the performers. We were transformed. We were, on some level, healed. 

Walking out of the theater (make that floating out), I struck up a conversation with a man who was seated near me. We remarked how we felt like we had been on the receiving end of a HUGE gift. Suddenly he remarked, “I feel like now that the show is over I should go put some more money on the stage. I got SO much more than I paid for.”

Yes! Yes! He was SO right! And I thought, wow! What would happen if I gave that much of myself to my work? To every single conference keynote presentation I did? To all my relationships? I wonder how much happier I would be? How much happier the people around me would be?  

Why not find (or rediscover) what it is about your work that you love and you are passionate about? Find it, fully embrace it and unabashedly infuse it into your daily life. See what happens. Who knows? Maybe you will make people SO happy that they want to give you more money than you asked for. 

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A Smiling Linda Larsen

About Author Linda Larsen, CSP, CPAE

I became a professional actress and – for actual money – I got to occasionally escape to magical worlds created by everyone from Shakespeare to Moliere; from Shaw to Simon. I became a member of Actor’s Equity Association and the Screen Actors Guild and, as such, joined the ranks of hundreds of thousands of mostly unemployed starving actors. But I didn’t care! I was an actor!!! I had an actual Master of Fine Arts Degree that PROVED, by gosh, that I was supposed to know what I was doing.

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