Trouble, trouble, trouble, trouble
Trouble been doggin’ my soul
Since the day I was born

Worry, worry, worry, worry
Worry just will not seem to leave
My mind alone

Oh, trouble, trouble, trouble, trouble
Feels like every time I get back on my feet
She come around and knock me down again

Oh, worry, worry, worry, worry
Sometimes I swear it feels like
This worry is my only friend
-Ray La Montage, song “Trouble”

“What disturbs us in this world is not trouble, but our opposition to trouble.” -Alexander MacLaren

“When she runs into a difficulty, she stops and gives herself to it. She doesn’t cling to her own comfort; thus problems are no problem for her.” -Verse 63 of Tao Te Ching by Lao-Tzu (Stephen Mitchell translation)

If you had to sum up all of Stoicism in a single sentence, it would be this:

You can’t control what happens to you; you can only control your response to it.

So much of our internal angst is caused by worrying about if trouble will come. Or when it does arrive, feeling angry because it’s interfered with our plans or how we think life is “supposed to be.”

Any good producer will tell you that it’s not if trouble will arise in production, it’s when. How you deal with the trouble defines you.

Yes, you prepare the absolute best you can, but unforeseen issues will arise. Have confidence to know that you can deal with them. And that by dealing with them, you will learn and grow and be stronger and better for the next production. (Remember the principle of Amor Fati. The obstacle becomes the way.)

Stephen Mitchell in his Tao Te Ching translation advises us to look at trouble or difficulty “like a letter with your address on it.” Yes! Terrific advice!

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