Kevin Spacey Rules

I’ve mentioned it in podcast episodes before, and told a short story about the time I almost drop kicked a professor, but I went to college dreaming of, someday, becoming an actor.

Specifically, I wanted to be the next Kevin Spacey.

The Usual Suspects was the first Kevin Spacey film I ever remember seeing. And then Se7en. Followed by American Beauty and The Negotiator, K-Pax, Glengarry Glen Ross, and though many people have probably never seen it, which is a shame, The Ref. Needless to say, I had a huge man crush on Kevin Spacey.

He was the actor that I hoped someday to be compared to. He won what every actor dreams of winning, an Oscar, not once, but twice, for The Usual Suspects and American Beauty. But somehow, he had never once won a Golden Globe.

Then, Kevin Spacey blew the world away and won our hearts with his portrayal of Frank Underwood in the Netflix series House of Cards. A series that will, most likely, be one of his most talked about in his legacy as an actor. During his acceptance speech, though, Spacey said something though that made my jaw drop.

I just want it to be better? 

You’re fucking Kevin Spacey. Better? You could put on a taco costume and read Nickelback lyrics while gazing into the camera and I’d think it was the greatest artistic expression of our generation. What the heck are you talking about “I wish I could be better”?

Your performance in Se7en made me want to become an actor. I wanted to play a crazed psycho because you made it look cool. You, Kevin Spacey, don’t get better—you’re already the best.

But, He Has a Point

Striving to get better, though, even it’s 1% better today than yesterday, is one of the cornerstones of Mark Fisher Fitness. As of writing this, I’ve spent over a month here at MFF as one of their Trainers in Residence, and I’ve already witnessed countless Ninjas’ (yes, that’s what the gym calls those who train here) bust their asses to get 1% better every session, with nutrition, or in pursuit of living their best life.

As someone who can be plagued by the disease stalked by the dragon that is perfectionism, I’ve been reminded while I’m here, that like Kevin Spacey, it’s not about being perfect—it’s about getting a little bit better each time. So I understand Kevin Spacey’s desire to be better. I don’t think Kevin is looking for perfection. He knows there is no “perfect.”

From an actor’s standpoint, that’s a hard pill to swallow. And Kevin Spacey isn’t looking to be the perfect actor, he wants to be better; he wants to master his craft.

Because he knows striving to be a little better— 1% better—every day puts the power in his hands. And like Kevin Spacey, you too, have the power to be 1% better every day.

One Step At a Time

Look, no one wakes up and says, “You know what? I want to suck today. Like, I want to suck hardcore at everything.”

We all want to be better: Better at achieving our goals; better at eating good foods; better parents/significant others; better listeners; better lovers; better friends; better human beings. And so many times we see the peak of the mountain and wonder how we’ll ever get there. “Ugh, how am I supposed to climb that mountain?”

You climb it one step at a time.

Nothing that’s good in life, that’s truly rewarding and empowering, happens overnight. Amazon doesn’t ship gains via Amazon Prime. And as a gamer, as much as I wish it could be, there are no cheat codes for life. Life is a button masher. You have to keep mashing that button—working to level up and get 1% better every day.

Lessons from the Best Actor An Actor Trying to Be 1% Better

For Kevin Spacey, he knows that there is no end to his art; there’s always more he can give. He can make his work 1% better than he did last season or in his last film.

So how does this apply to achieving your fitness goals? In a week, 1% better might not feel like much. But add those days up over a month, two months, or six months, and you’ll make huge progress. Look, maybe you had a bad meal last night, or a whole day of bad meals. It happens. But today is a brand new day, fresh with no mistakes. So why not try and be 1% better than you were yesterday? Get 1% more sleep tonight than last night. Exercise 1% better than you did yesterday

Have a horrible workout? Pfft, that shit happens to me all the time; I mean, it’s like sex, not every time feels like riding a magical Skittle farting unicorn. So what if you had a bad workout yesterday or two days ago. Make today 1% better. Whether that’s making your form better, hitting one more rep, or pushing yourself 1% further in where you want to be, as Kevin Spacey said, strive to be better.

Forgive yourself for slip ups. The past is the past and you can’t do anything about it. But you can be better in the future, and the future is right now. Be more like Kevin Spacey.


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