People Are People

“People are people, so why should it be? You and I should get along so awfully.” -Depeche Mode, song People Are People

“When you wake up in the morning, tell yourself: the people I deal with today will be meddling, ungrateful, arrogant, dishonest, jealous and surly. They are like this because they can’t tell good from evil. But I have seen the beauty of good, and the ugliness of evil, and have recognized that the wrongdoer has a nature related to my own – not of the same blood and birth, but the same mind, and possessing a share of the divine. And so none of them can hurt me. No one can implicate me in ugliness. Nor can I feel angry at my relative, or hate him. We were born to work together like feet, hands and eyes, like the two rows of teeth, upper and lower. To obstruct each other is unnatural. To feel anger at someone, to turn your back on him: these are unnatural.” -Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

So much of being a producer is hoping for the best, but being prepared for the worst. That includes interacting with people. Like or not, that’s a primary part of your job. All day every day. And as such, you need to be prepared for and empathetic to all their idiosyncrasies, their bad moods, their problems, their issues, etc…whatever’s going on in their life. Don’t take it personally. People are people.

Can you stay calm? Can you inspire? Can you rise above and get everyone’s best work? Can you be their oasis?

Yes!

One way is to practice Stoicism. Read the above passage from Marcus Aurelius every morning. He wrote Meditations while Emperor and dealing with every problem imaginable. Including a fourteen year plague. It was his private journal. To remind himself of all that he learned, all his training. So that no matter what was going on, he could always be at his best for others.

And you can too.

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