To quote one of the best musicals of all time, Wicked, "I've heard it said that people come into our lives for a reason. Bringing something we must learn" (insert the rest of the lyrics). Well, I don't know if I believe that quote is true. But to this professor: I know I'm who I am today because I knew you.
The single best piece of career advice I ever got was this: "You're too focused on the results." This was said to me by a professor in an autobiographical storytelling class that I took in college. Although we certainly had our differences, this piece of advice was revolutionary for me because it made me realize that my entire life, I had been excessively focused on the destination, and failing to enjoy the journey along the way. The truth is that in showbiz, we can't always control the outcome because there's too many unknown variables. And frankly, this business is anything but fair. There are people I've worked with who have booked higher caliber projects than me despite having much less experience than me, and this is hardly a unique phenomenon. When I stopped expecting life to be fair, and just focused on, "What can I do to move the needle forward in my career and life TODAY?", I ultimately found much more inner peace.
Another one of the most profound pieces of life advice I ever got was, "Your career is a marathon. Not a sprint." I remind myself of this whenever I'm feeling discouraged. I think if you're like me and you want to make a living exclusively out of acting and other adjacent creative pursuits (in my case, these including comedy, writing, podcasting, etc.), it is imperative to have the mentality of being in it for the long haul.