Stop over thinking everything

I saw something on the internet the other day by the wonderful stand-up comic Sarah Millican. She called it the 11 O’clock Rule or Millican’s Law

The gist is that by 11 O’clock the next morning you have to let yourself off from your bad gig the night before. But for me the key part of the rule is that it works the other way around as well:

Equally, if you nail it, slam it, destroy it, whatever, you can only be smug about it until 11am the next day (in the past, I have set an alarm so I could get up and gloat for an extra half hour) as if you go into the next gig thinking you are God’s gift to comedy, you will die.

I am an optimist, so forgetting the negative was built into me from day one. I know that skill and use it a lot. (I’m not saying I don’t get depressed, I do regularly, but that means I know how to get myself out of that hole because I’ve been in it a lot.) The danger for me is the, “Oh my god, I’m amazing at this”.

My first painting / drawing, while not amazing, was so much better than I was expecting and I should have known better but I then drew some pretty poor paintings / drawings one of which I included last week despite being told, “that looks like a child drew it”. I included it to re-enforce Millican’s Law. I thought I had it nailed, but I really worked at that first picture because I knew I was hadn’t practiced, then I rushed off the second one because I thought – I just happened to be amazing at painting.

Don’t put yourself down too much, but don’t big yourself up too much.

One thing that isn’t included in the article but is also important is this, “keep going, and do the next gig/project/bit”. Keep going.

3 thoughts on “Stop over thinking everything

  1. KrisS says:

    Are you not suggesting more, rather than less thinking, here?

    (The insistence by WordPress on logging in is very annoying)

  2. igorandronov says:

    For me 11.00am is too late, the day resets when you get up. Be depressed, frustrated, sad or elated as you go to bed. The next day is another day, I would not want to waste a good chunk of time trying to excuse myself or pat myself on the back. Seneca the Younger got it right in his essay ‘De Brevitate Vitae’, the philosopher comments that men waste much time in meaningless pursuits. According to the essay, nature gives man enough time to do what is really important and the individual must allot it properly. You may reflect, but you must get on…

  3. I think 11am is probably too late, I think from Millican’s article it sounds like 11am is quite soon after she regularly gets up. You are probably right that the idea is to have this squared away before you wake up, but in practice having a secondary cut off is important too.

    Perhaps the time difference is because of when a comedian does their work is so close to bedtime?

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