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Identify what it is you want, and go after it without hurting anybody else. And I’m talking about life as well as the film business.’ – Larry Turman, ‘So You Want to Be a Producer’

I’ve been around too long to believe it will always be like this, but to climb the next rung, to achieve the most immediate goal, I believe I’ve put myself in a position where I just have to outwork any and all obstacles.  That of course isn’t an easy feat, but it does create a new confidence, it reveals a different tone.  It always matters, but when I don’t have to burn any energy defending my identity or playing politics; when everyone who matters is either encouraging or understanding; when all that’s left is me proving I’m more than deserving of what I seek, well, let’s do this.

The ‘hard’ part right now is saying ‘no’, or really, ‘not yet’ to hanging out as much as I like.  The ball games and the concerts and Vegas, I will get it all back.  But not yet.  This moment is about my discipline. Not winning a battle, but winning the War.  I feel I’m very, very close to…something.  That’s part of what’s driving me.  And it seems to be working, I already finished one project a week ahead of schedule, trading fun for work has the project I’m working on now being done way ahead of deadline as well.  ‘Appreciation’ is the best word I can come up with for the feeling of being on ‘third base’.  I wasn’t born here, and the sacrifices I make to try to get ahead, well. I’m not looking for sympathy.  Most people have some degree of ambition; out of that group, some of those give things a go; and out of that group, most quit.  A few of us won’t take no for an answer and keep hustling until they get what they want.  So maybe we can call this my ‘killer instinct’ phase? The sports fans among you will appreciate the analogy.

Even among friends, I’ve heard reference to me in this mode as ‘angry Malik.’  I laugh.  I’m not angry at all.  I’m still a complete goofball, I’m still not sweating the small stuff.  I still just take everything one moment at a time.

In these moments, I’m just hyper focused.  Not angry.  Serious, but not angry.

Let’s do this.

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