You Need a Stock Day


"It's stock day; you need a stock day."

There are going to be problems and obstacles that come up in your life — issues that seem insurmountable, catastrophic or devastating. You're going to feel helpless. To you, this is the absolute worst thing that could ever happen, and it will change your life forever.

But to get through it, you need to take a breath and take stock of what's important.

I was a senior in college, and I had just found out that I had failed Theatre History II, a week before I was supposed to graduate. Failing this class would keep me from receiving my diploma during commencement. Looking back, I deserved to fail that course. I barely showed up, never paid attention and used facts I learned from "Shakespeare in Love" on my final exam. While my friends, Kevin and Feeney, were killing themselves at late night study sessions at Denny's, I was ordering a second helping of bacon for my All-American Slam. I deserved to fail that class, but at the time, this was devastating news.

My heart was pounding; I was crying, my feeble attempt to beg the professor had failed. I felt completely lost. That's when I met up with a friend of mine. After ranting on about how unfair this was and how my life was over, she just said,

"It's stock day; you need a stock day."

When it comes to my theatre circles, I tend to give this advice a lot. Whether someone lost out on a role, had a bad rehearsal, received a negative review, I always say the same thing to them, "It's stock day."

If what is wrong doesn't affect your livelihood or family, how bad is it? Will losing out on a role, hurt your marriage? Will having a bad rehearsal get you fired from your job? Will receiving a negative review damage how you raise your children? If the answer is yes, then take stock in everything. But if it's no, then stop letting it devastate you. All you're doing is giving worth and power to people and things that won't matter in the long run.

When I realize it's a stock day, the first thing I do is reach out to my real friends. I'm not talking about your casual acquaintances; I'm talking about your "ride or die" friends. In times like these, the ones you trust 100% are the most important people in your world. Don't be alarmed if this number is small, that's a good thing. By doing this, you might lose some friends, but you'll be better friends than ever, with the ones you've taken stock in. Then I take a breath and think about what's truly important in my life. If you do this when times get tough, you will feel a whole lot better and come up with more reasonable plans to fix what's wrong.

If you don't believe me, then do the exact opposite.

Over the past year, I've gone through some difficult times, where I thought the walls were caving in. But at the end of the day, I know who my friends are and when I come home, I'll get a kiss from my wife, a smile from my son with a roof over my head. And I know I'll be just fine. You will be too.