There’s an intrinsic link between the Bartender and the Actor.
That link is that both roles are usually fulfilled by the same person.
At any given time in Los Angeles or New York, a restaurant patron can easily look over toward the Bar or Cocktail Lounge, only to observe a hustling Actor, actively working their night gig.
Needless to say, ambition is disruptive.
Being married to a dream can delay marriages, promotions, job consistency, mortgages, financial security — and a variety of other worldly milestones that “a normal person” may otherwise conquer quite masterfully.
Beyond being a Psychotherapist, I am also a Screenwriter and Film Professional.
Despite the ethical and clinical priority I invest in my Psychotherapeutic clientele — my creative value and literary aptitude for Film has always scattered my focus and detracted from my desire to building a truly booming therapy business.
Like anyone who has ever had a goal or a dream, I entirely understand the dichotomy of having multiple passions or interests.
The ambitious person is often married to their targeted ambition, usually forsaking or sacrificing many different areas of their life.
But what makes someone so passionately committed to a dream?
Vanderbilt University conducted a study where scientists mapped the brains of both “go-getters” and “slackers.” The study showed that those who were “willing to work hard for rewards had higher dopamine levels. The dopamine was in the striatum and Pre-Frontal Cortex which are both linked to motivation and reward.” — With “slackers,” however, dopamine was only found in the anterior insula. This area of the brain is associated with emotion and risk perception.” (Treadway & Zald 2012).
Quite literally, it turns out ambition is more of a hardwired process amidst motivated “go-getters”.
This isn’t to say that a typical, linear path to a career in medicine, corporate America, accounting, or cubicle-work disqualifies someone from being considered a “go-getter” — (quite the opposite).
But there’s something notably passionate and committed about people with an “outside of the box” dream.
“Outside of the box”, within the context of this article, are those interests that have no guaranteed outcome or clear trajectory, inclusive to the: Entrepreneur, Creative Professional, Recording Artist, Wellness Guru, Social Media Personality, Photographer, etc.
Interests that qualify as “riskier to pursue”, are often the ones that end up disrupting a person’s normative milestones — as the individual is kept in a continual state of motivational pursuit and dispersed focus (at least until they succeed).
“Giving up everything” for a desire (or at least sacrificing a significant amount for it) has finally been associated (clinically) with a lack of activity in the anterior insula — and a more precise correlation with dopamine levels in the striatum and Pre-Frontal Cortex (PFC).
Dopamine, if you needed a refresher, is a type of neurotransmitter that associated with reward-motivated behavior.
It stands to reason, that the ambitious professional seeking an “out of the box” dream, might have significantly more dopamine activity arising in the PFC/striatum, opposed to the Social Servant who deeply fears pursuing their passion.
Despite such, it seems our passions pick us — not the other way around.
“Having a calling”, so to speak, also has vast Psycho-Social implications, as many creatively ambitious clients on my couch often present with symptoms of depression, worry, anxiety, and other stress-related symptomatology — accompanied by a fear that “their life is passing them by”.
In counseling, these people often reach a crossroads in their early 30’s.
Bartending and running around on auditions (for the actor), for example, becomes less viable and appealing, as their need for some form of security begins to grow.
From a clinical perspective, it is only once the “dreamer” takes concrete steps to support themselves through some other professional medium — (one that allows them to make a living and contrasts well with their creative ambition) — that they are able to finally relieve some of their stress — and subsequently alleviate some of the pressure that ultimately begins to weigh on the person and the dream itself.
We cannot accomplish our goal if we are in a state of perpetual “wanting”.
It is only after we find a way to relax — and fully come to realize our intrinsic value, that we stop hustling — and start realizing that “our dream industry would be lucky to have us”.