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The Daily Stoic

The Cost of Chasing Success | Chris Distefano

Sat Jun 08 2024
PodcastsComedyFamily LifeAnxiety ManagementSelf-AcceptanceReligionStress ManagementLessons from FamilyPerspectiveRegretComedy RootsContinuous EffortCraftsmanshipImpostor SyndromeInsecuritySuccessFameControlAmbitionContentmentRetirementCharacter AssessmentKindnessHuman Connection

Description

This episode explores various topics including podcasts and multitasking, balancing comedy and family life, struggles with therapy and career-family balance, self-doubt, self-acceptance, religion, self-care, stress management, lessons from family, perspective on life's challenges and annoyances, regret and reconnecting with comedy roots, continuous effort and personal satisfaction, focus on doing what you love and staying true to the craft, impostor syndrome and insecurity in creative fields, success, fame, and maintaining control, balancing ambition and contentment, retirement, success, and character assessment, and prioritizing kindness and human connection.

Insights

Podcasts offer the convenience of multitasking while listening.

Progressive Insurance offers auto quotes that can save drivers money, with an average savings of nearly $700 for those who switch.

Chris de Stefano is a respected stand-up comedian with two comedy specials and a recent headline show at Radio City Music Hall.

The podcast episode discusses topics like balance in comedy and family life, faith, self-acceptance, defining success, and the power of saying no.

Routine plays a significant role in managing anxiety for some individuals, providing structure and helping to control anxious thoughts.

While routines can help alleviate anxiety to some extent, they can also create stress when disrupted by unexpected events or deviations.

Therapy sessions can sometimes exacerbate anxiety if individuals build up issues unnecessarily in anticipation of the session.

Some individuals find therapy to be stressful and question its effectiveness in their lives.

The speaker finds calmness and minimal anxiety when performing stand-up comedy or spending time with their kids.

Balancing career success with being present for family is a challenge for the speaker.

The speaker grapples with the idea of self-sabotage and prioritizing family over career opportunities.

Measuring quality time with family based on presence rather than physical proximity is important to the speaker.

The speaker reflects on using parenthood as an excuse for not performing well in comparison to others.

Turning 40 is seen as a societal benchmark, but the perception of age has changed over time.

The speaker used to struggle with self-doubt about his career and comedy, but now he embraces who he is and his impact on others.

There is a struggle with self-acceptance and ego, where the speaker doubts his own worth despite positive feedback.

The speaker discusses returning to Catholicism for personal growth and acceptance of himself, influenced by historical evidence and Pascal's wager.

The speaker emphasizes the importance of personal choice and not forcing beliefs on others.

They prioritize self-care and mindfulness by dedicating time for meditation and disconnecting from distractions.

The speaker advocates for a balanced approach between discipline and flexibility in daily routines.

Chapters

  1. Podcasts and Multitasking
  2. Balance in Comedy and Family Life
  3. Struggles with Therapy and Balancing Career and Family
  4. Self-Doubt, Self-Acceptance, and Religion
  5. Self-Care, Stress Management, and Lessons from Family
  6. Perspective on Life's Challenges and Annoyances
  7. Regret and Reconnecting with Comedy Roots
  8. Continuous Effort and Personal Satisfaction
  9. Focus on Doing What You Love and Staying True to the Craft
  10. Impostor Syndrome and Insecurity in Creative Fields
  11. Success, Fame, and Maintaining Control
  12. Balancing Ambition and Contentment
  13. Retirement, Success, and Character Assessment
  14. Prioritizing Kindness and Human Connection
Summary
Transcript

Podcasts and Multitasking

00:00 - 06:34

  • Podcasts offer the convenience of multitasking while listening.
  • Progressive Insurance offers auto quotes that can save drivers money, with an average savings of nearly $700 for those who switch.
  • ASPCA Pet Health Insurance Program provides customizable accident and illness plans for pets.
  • Audible is a platform offering a wide range of audio entertainment, including books and exclusive thrillers.
  • The Daily Stoic podcast explores Stoic virtues like courage, justice, temperance, and wisdom through meditations and interviews.

Balance in Comedy and Family Life

06:15 - 12:11

  • Chris de Stefano is a respected stand-up comedian with two comedy specials and a recent headline show at Radio City Music Hall.
  • The podcast episode discusses topics like balance in comedy and family life, faith, self-acceptance, defining success, and the power of saying no.
  • Routine plays a significant role in managing anxiety for some individuals, providing structure and helping to control anxious thoughts.
  • While routines can help alleviate anxiety to some extent, they can also create stress when disrupted by unexpected events or deviations.
  • Therapy sessions can sometimes exacerbate anxiety if individuals build up issues unnecessarily in anticipation of the session.

Struggles with Therapy and Balancing Career and Family

11:47 - 17:27

  • Some individuals find therapy to be stressful and question its effectiveness in their lives.
  • The speaker finds calmness and minimal anxiety when performing stand-up comedy or spending time with their kids.
  • Balancing career success with being present for family is a challenge for the speaker.
  • The speaker grapples with the idea of self-sabotage and prioritizing family over career opportunities.
  • Measuring quality time with family based on presence rather than physical proximity is important to the speaker.

Self-Doubt, Self-Acceptance, and Religion

17:12 - 22:49

  • The speaker reflects on using parenthood as an excuse for not performing well in comparison to others.
  • Turning 40 is seen as a societal benchmark, but the perception of age has changed over time.
  • The speaker used to struggle with self-doubt about his career and comedy, but now he embraces who he is and his impact on others.
  • There is a struggle with self-acceptance and ego, where the speaker doubts his own worth despite positive feedback.
  • The speaker discusses returning to Catholicism for personal growth and acceptance of himself, influenced by historical evidence and Pascal's wager.

Self-Care, Stress Management, and Lessons from Family

22:19 - 27:54

  • The speaker emphasizes the importance of personal choice and not forcing beliefs on others.
  • They prioritize self-care and mindfulness by dedicating time for meditation and disconnecting from distractions.
  • The speaker advocates for a balanced approach between discipline and flexibility in daily routines.
  • Stress management is highlighted, with an emphasis on not sweating the small stuff or getting caught up in insignificant details.
  • Lessons learned from family members, like not letting minor issues affect long-term happiness, are shared.

Perspective on Life's Challenges and Annoyances

27:37 - 33:27

  • A story is shared about a man getting upset over a parking ticket, highlighting the perspective of not sweating the small stuff.
  • The concept of paying life's 'taxes' gladly is discussed, emphasizing acceptance of challenges and annoyances as part of life.
  • Paying taxes can be seen as a reflection of success and gratitude for what one has achieved.
  • Acknowledging inconveniences like flight delays or minor financial setbacks as part of life's 'taxes' is encouraged.

Regret and Reconnecting with Comedy Roots

33:12 - 38:48

  • The speaker's father advised against adding a second show despite the first one selling out quickly to avoid unnecessary pressure and stress.
  • Despite his father's advice, the speaker added a second show which did not sell out quickly, causing anxiety and regret.
  • Reflecting on achieving career milestones like performing at Radio City Music Hall, the speaker felt disconnected from comedy and less powerful in his career.
  • The speaker's girlfriend suggested that he may be chasing success without appreciating his current achievements, encouraging him to reconnect with his roots in comedy.

Continuous Effort and Personal Satisfaction

38:19 - 44:06

  • The speaker is reflecting on the feeling of never truly 'making it' despite achieving success in their career
  • Comparison to others and external achievements do not bring lasting fulfillment
  • Choosing a specific path means accepting limitations and running your own race
  • Continuous effort and doing the work are emphasized for personal satisfaction and growth

Focus on Doing What You Love and Staying True to the Craft

43:52 - 49:44

  • Focus on doing the work you love without seeking constant recognition or external validation.
  • Continuously practicing and honing your craft keeps you humble and fulfilled.
  • Comedy mentor emphasizes the importance of staying true to the art form and not getting caught up in fame or ticket sales.
  • Success is measured by being able to do what you love and having an audience, rather than external markers like likes or ticket sales.

Impostor Syndrome and Insecurity in Creative Fields

49:17 - 55:45

  • Having a large audience as a writer is a significant aspect of being a professional writer.
  • Impostor syndrome can arise in careers where there is no clear measure of success.
  • Struggling with self-identification and insecurity about one's profession is common, especially in creative fields like writing and comedy.
  • Accepting recognition and fame comes with various levels of acceptance and understanding over time.

Success, Fame, and Maintaining Control

55:23 - 1:00:59

  • Public figures in small towns may struggle with the blurred lines between recognition for their work and personal life
  • Prioritizing relationships over money is a common sentiment among elderly individuals reflecting on life
  • Success and fame do not always equate to freedom or control over one's life
  • Maintaining relative anonymity while still having a dedicated fan base can offer a sense of control and freedom
  • Excessive wealth and fame can lead to pressure, temptation, and family issues

Balancing Ambition and Contentment

1:00:41 - 1:07:03

  • Making decisions based on long-term impact and personal values is crucial for maintaining happiness.
  • Being able to say no to opportunities that do not align with your goals and values is important.
  • Ambition and the desire for more can drive individuals to achieve great things but may also come at a personal cost.
  • Balancing ambition with contentment and self-awareness is a challenge faced by many individuals throughout history.

Retirement, Success, and Character Assessment

1:06:48 - 1:13:11

  • Achieving a level of mastery or success at one's craft and being content with it is impressive.
  • Many individuals struggle with the idea of retiring at the right time, often pushing for 'one more job' which can lead to negative consequences.
  • There is societal pressure to maintain success consistently, leading to a relentless pursuit that can be detrimental.
  • Retiring at the peak of one's career can be seen as courageous, even if it means not achieving certain milestones like winning a Super Bowl.
  • The importance of observing how people treat those they perceive as less important in assessing their character.

Prioritizing Kindness and Human Connection

1:12:41 - 1:18:33

  • Antoninus groomed Mark for success for 20 years, forming a father-son bond despite no blood relation.
  • Choosing to work with people who treat others kindly in the present moment over potential future success is valued by the speaker.
  • Past experiences taught the speaker to prioritize present interactions and gut feelings over future calculations when making decisions.
  • The speaker values human connection and kindness in business dealings, even if it means sacrificing potential gains.
  • A personal anecdote about a failed sitcom pilot highlights the importance of focusing on effort and relationships rather than just outcomes.
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