Written by : Pat Lavin

Josh Radnor Talks About His Directing Philosophy

Josh Radnor from How I Met Your Mother talks about directing, acting, gratitude and meditation.

Josh Radnor by vagueonthehow, on Flickr

He seeks to offer a more inspiring, uplifting point of view

Excerpt from Josh Radnor interview (original full story):

I watch some of these movie previews and I think, “My God, kids are watching this!” So I really consider what characters I want to bring to life. I’m obsessed with content and what we put out into the collective consciousness, so I have really strict standards about what I’ll do. Ultimately, the only real power I have is to say no. So I’m very proud of my résumé. But I love giving my film characters a real tangle and then watching how they manage to triumph. I write for actors. I write really juicy parts.

I’ve learned a lot about real life from directing movies. For instance, I’ve learned about leadership. At the base of it is love—love for the project and a deep gratitude to the people involved in bringing it to life, but I’ve learned that sometimes sternness is also required. I also learned a lot from some wonderful mentors early on who let me believe I could do something that felt impossible at the time… be a professional actor. When you achieve something like that, suddenly all things seem possible.

Somehow I knew that in order for me to keep my sanity as an actor, I needed to confront my mind and create a new relationship with it, so I’ve been meditating for nine years. It helps me to have a practice where I can watch my thoughts and learn not to react or identify with them. I call it serene self-observation; it’s a lifelong process—serene being the key word here. I should add that I fail at this regularly. But there’s a place beneath the madness that is calm, alert and awakened. This is the place I try to access and act from. It’s our natural state, our “Being.” I find it so useful to check in with myself and ask questions.

“What am I being in this moment? What am I contributing? Am I asleep or am I awake?” Each of us—in every moment—is making a contribution to the world by our thoughts, words and actions. I think we underestimate how much power we have. Whatever qualities we wish the world to embody, we have to embody in ourselves. I believe that’s how we change the world. Not by hoping or wishing or delegating, but by being that change. I’m working hard to embody that change through the movies I make by offering a more inspiring, uplifting point of view. Too many people are already calling attention to the dark and dysfunctional.


Pat Lavin is a Certified Hypnotherapist and Life Coach. Her inspirational and insightful articles, essays and interviews have appeared in publications throughout the country.

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