Strict Time There's a hand on a wire that leads to my mouth I can hear you knocking but I'm not coming out Don't want to be a puppet or a ventriloquist 'Cause there's no ventilation on a critical list Fingers creeping up my spine are not mine to resist Strict time Chorus: Toughen up, toughen up Keep your lip buttoned up Strict time Oh the muscles flex and the fingers curl And a cold sweat breaks out on the sweater girl Strict time Oh he's all hands, don't touch that dial The courting cold wars weekend witch trial Strict time All the boys are straight laced and the girls are frigid The talk is two-faced and the rules are rigid 'cause it's strict time Strict time You talk in hushed tones, I talk in lush tones Try to look Italian through the musical Valium Strict time Thinking of grand larceny Smoking the everlasting cigarette of chastity Cute assistants staying alive More like a hand job than the hand jive Strict time
I think it's great training for any comedian to start on cows. Because with cows, you expect them to be bored and just stare at you blankly. And that's exactly what you'll get at a comedy club. If you can toughen up with a cow audience, then you'll never be worried with a human audience.
Televisison is like a factory line. You need discipline and focus. You have to hit your mark and know your lines. It's not that I don't know my lines when I do a film, but the pace of discovery is always a little bit more relaxed and nurturing and almost babying, in a way. Television toughens you up, and I like that, but I don't want it to toughen me up too much.
Stormy Llewellyn, a woman of unconventional views, believes instead that our passage through this world is intended to toughen us for the next life. She says that our honesty, integrity, courage, and determined resistance to evil are evaluated at the end of our days here, and that if we come up to muster, we will be conscripted into an army of souls engaged in some great mission in the next world. Those who fail the test simply cease to exist.
If you view everything through the lens of fear, then you tend to stay in retreat mode. You can just as easily see a crises or problem as a challenge, an opportunity to prove your mettle, the chance to strengthen and toughen yourself, or a call to collective action. By seeing it as a challenge, you will have converted this negative into a positive purely by a mental process that will result in positive action as well.
But don't forget who you really are. And I'm not talking about your so-called real name. All names are made up by someone else, even the one your parents gave you. You know who you really are. When you're alone at night, looking up at the stars, or maybe lying in your bed in total darkness, you know that nameless person inside you...Your muscles will toughen. So will your heart and soul. That's necessary for survival. But don't lose touch with that person deep inside you, or else you won't really have survived at all.
Think of it this way: There are two kinds of failure. The first comes from never trying out your ideas because you are afraid, or because you are waiting for the perfect time. This kind of failure you can never learn from, and such timidity will destroy you. The second kind comes from a bold and venturesome spirit. If you fail in this way, the hit that you take to your reputation is greatly outweighed by what you learn. Repeated failure will toughen your spirit and show you with absolute clarity how things must be done.
Compared with this simple, fibrous life, our civilized history appears the chronicle of debility, of fashion, and the arts of luxury. But the civilized man misses no real refinement in the poetry of the rudest era. It reminds him that civilization does but dress men. It makes shoes, but it does not toughen the soles of the feet. It makes cloth of finer texture, but it does not touch the skin. Inside the civilized man stands the savage still in the place of honor. We are those blue-eyed, yellow-haired Saxons, those slender, dark-haired Normans.
Henry David Thoreau
When I walk into [the studio] I am alone, but I am alone with my body, ambition, ideas, passions, needs, memories, goals, prejudices, distractions, fears. These ten items are at the heart of who I am. Whatever I am going to create will be a reflection of how these have shaped my life, and how I've learned to channel my experiences into them. The last two - distractions and fears - are the dangerous ones. They're the habitual demons that invade the launch of any project. No one starts a creative endeavor without a certain amount of fear; the key is to learn how to keep free-floating fears from paralyzing you before you've begun. When I feel that sense of dread, I try to make it as specific as possible. Let me tell you my five big fears: 1. People will laugh at me. 2. Someone has done it before. 3. I have nothing to say. 4. I will upset someone I love. 5. Once executed, the idea will never be as good as it is in my mind. "There are mighty demons, but they're hardly unique to me. You probably share some. If I let them, they'll shut down my impulses ('No, you can't do that') and perhaps turn off the spigots of creativity altogether. So I combat my fears with a staring-down ritual, like a boxer looking his opponent right in the eye before a bout. 1. People will laugh at me? Not the people I respect; they haven't yet, and they're not going to start now... 2. Someone has done it before? Honey, it's all been done before. Nothing's original. Not Homer or Shakespeare and certainly not you. Get over yourself. 3. I have nothing to say? An irrelevant fear. We all have something to say. 4. I will upset someone I love? A serious worry that is not easily exorcised or stared down because you never know how loved ones will respond to your creation. The best you can do is remind yourself that you're a good person with good intentions. You're trying to create unity, not discord. 5. Once executed, the idea will never be as good as it is in my mind? Toughen up. Leon Battista Alberti, the 15th century architectural theorist, said, 'Errors accumulate in the sketch and compound in the model.' But better an imperfect dome in Florence than cathedrals in the clouds.