He was in a tail-spin.
His life burning to the ground… trapped in drug addiction… fired from the show Ally McBeal… and even sent to prison. No one dared to hire him. You'd never guess it today. But years ago, that was actor Robert Downey Jr.
Yet – he turned his life around… rebuilt himself… and skyrocketed to become Iron Man.
Here are four secrets that turbo-charged his comeback. Even if you don't have dreams of being a dynamic actor (or actress)… even if you're facing a different “enemy”… even if you don't even like superhero movies… these four lessons (when implemented) can help you rise back up, rebuild yourself and resurrect yourself to a new level.
Here ye go:
Iron Man's 4 Secrets to Rising From Rock-Bottom
1. Laser-Beam Focus On Taking The Next Step
Just like Tony Stark slaving away in a cave to build the original Iron Man suit. Downey's climb out of the darkness took seven years. He rebuilt his credibility, his commitment and his self-confidence one day at a time. One movie at a time. One job at a time.
I found my way out of the woods
by a subtler and subtler trail of bread crumbs
-Robert Downey Jr.
Not Hulk-like leaps forward. Small relentless steps forward.
(Remember progress is progress)
2. You Can Always Build Your Self-Discipline Muscles
At first, Downey doubted his ability to leave a life of drugs. He knew it was wrecking everything. But kept going back. With the help of Wing Chun (Chinese martial art) he built up his concentration… laser-like focus… and inner calm. This finally busted the vice-grip that drugs had over him.
3. Knowing It's Okay To Ask For Help
When Downey had demonstrated his commitment to staying sober, producers still had ice cold feet. They swore he'd bail out. But Mel Gibson (who had his own demons) who worked with him on a previous film – jumped to the rescue. He believed in Downey so much that he put up collateral to reassure producers.
This gave Downey his shot to star in The Singing Detective… showing audiences and Hollywood that he was heaven-bent on taking his life back. But if Downey was too proud to accept Gibson's help, this never would have happened.
4. Total Belief That Your Skills Will Eclipse Your Past Mistakes
At first, Marvel Comics didn't want anything to do with him. Jon Favreau, director of Iron Man, fought tooth and nail to persuade the studio to hire him. He saw Downey's electricity. He saw his dynamite acting skills overshadowed his dark past.
Here was this force of nature,
who I think was living with this frustration
that he wasn't able to really show what he was great at
That greatness lies within each and every one of us.
We are all forces of nature in our own way.
Find what it is for you.
And start building… rebuilding… and creating something (or becoming someone) that you're proud of.
Because the past does not have to equal the future.