robert downey jrCheeky, charming and renowned for alternative and mainstream cinema alike, Robert Downey Jr has had every up and down in his life splashed across the media. Working in film from the age of five, everyone has been able to watch his successes and mistakes – his drug abuse problems, his failed marriage, his career and his family. When he talks about his experiences, above all he is honest about them. His willingness to learn and grow is admirable, and well worth listening to.

“The higher the stakes, the happier I am, the better I will be.” – It is always worth taking a risk, doing the things that challenges who you are and what you can do. Not because of the pay out at the end, but because of the way it will help you grow and learn, the parts of you it will cultivate that leave you a better person at the end of it.

“There’s a little bit of asshole in every nice guy, and there’s a little bit of genius in every moron.” – Until you truly know someone, never judge. Everyone has the ability to be awful to others, when they’re in a bad mood or their temper gets away with them. Everyone has a stroke of brilliance now and again. Don’t write people off because of the assumptions you make about them. They’re human, they’re imperfect, they’re capable.

“Discipline for me is about respect. It’s not even about self-respect; it’s about respect for life and all it offers.” – There is so much to experience in such a large world in such a small life that you need to be able to choose when to stop procrastinating, when to get of Facebook, when to leave the pub. You need to be in control of your gut instincts and your laziness and your cravings if you want to be able to truly grasp the best bits of living.

“Nothing’s daunting once you’ve done it three times.” – The only way to get over any irrational fear is to put yourself through it. If you can do it once, you can do it again, and by the time you’ve done it a few times, all that’s left is to wonder why you were so scared in the first place. Push through that first little bit of fear and you realise how fine everything really is.

“People never change because they are under threat or under duress. Never. They change because they seem something that makes their life seem valuable enough to start moving toward a life worth living.” – When things get difficult, the thing that will pull you out of it is always the prospect of the life you really want. If you have hope and you are prepared to trust in your abilities to get from where you are to where you want to be, you’ll find that strength you need.

“The principle of moving forward as though you have the confidence to move forward, eventually gives you confidence when you look back and see you what you’ve done.” – You won’t get out of the difficult times if you don’t push through them, even when you struggle to believe you’ll make it. Maybe you won’t believe you can do it until it’s already done. But as long as you never give up, no matter how low your faith, you’ll still move forward.

Kirstie Summers,

Daily Zen.

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