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How Comedian Jerry Seinfeld Deals With Career Anxiety

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld has made a living by making light of the absurdities and monotony of every day life; the significance of the insignificant.

In Judd Apatow’s book “Sick in the Head,” Seinfeld says he finds the perceived insignificance of his own life to be a calming, creative force in his career. This is why he used to hang photographs of of our solar system taken by the Hubble Space Telescope when he was working on “Seinfeld.”

He tells Apatow that the pictures would calm him when he would start to think the show was important. The stress and anxiety caused by his own and the public’s expectation of him are based on artificial meaning attached to things. What does Seinfeld do to deal with it? He imagines himself a speck on earth, which is itself a speck in the universe.

He told Bill Maher, in an episode of the web-show “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” that this way of thinking empowers him to take risks and create shows and routines that make him happy. “I’ve often said this and people say, ‘It makes me feel insignificant.’ And I don’t find being insignificant depressing. I find it uplifting.”

This way of thinking is fitting for a man who’s become one of the world’s most significant comedic minds; who spends most of time reminding us that the small things in life are often the most important, and usually the funniest.

Photo credit: Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP