The odds were against it from the start. Most people remember “30 Rock” debuted during the same season and on the same network as another show set behind the scenes of a fictional sketch comedy series, “Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip”.
“Studio 60” was a big budget drama from the mind of “West Wing” creator Aaron Sorkin and featured one of the biggest tv stars of the past decade in Matthew Perry.
It was the centerpiece of NBC’s fall lineup that season. If any show was going to succeed that season, it was “Studio 60″.
It lasted 22 episodes.
7 years and 138 episodes later “30 Rock” took its final bow, running laps around the competition and being hailed as one of the greatest sitcoms of all time in reviews like this one.
How did that happen? And how can you find the same level of success?
By not being afraid to make a change. And by being on a network with a lot of grace to give.
The first few episodes of “30 Rock” were rough around the edges. Ok, that may be too kind.
The first few episodes of 30 Rock were bad. Like, “How did this make it out of the pilot stage,” bad.
Something happened when the show hit the back half of season 1. Mainly, it got funny.
Actors got in the groove and found their characters. Writers got loose and found the voice of “30 Rock”. The show began to embrace an off-kilter, nothing-is-too-zany mantra that would embody the show for the rest of its run.
If something is not working in your life, you don’t have to keep doing it. Examine why you’re doing it. Try your best to edit out what’s not working to fix the problem. Don’t be afraid to cut things out of your life if they don’t work.
There’s no shame in correcting course if you’ve made a wrong turn. In fact it’s pretty noble to admit you’re doing something wrong and try to fix it.
Yes, you’ll have to travel a little extra distance to make up the ground you’ve wasted. It’s a small blip compared the agony of continuing down the wrong path and hoping maybe somehow it’ll turn around without doing anything to change. (Spoiler Alert – that won’t happen.)
Succeeding like Liz Lemon can also only happen with the benefit of a lot of grace.
When “30 Rock” hit the airwaves NBC was the fourth place network and fading fast. The glory days of “Friends” and “Frasier” were gone. “Deal Or No Deal” was plugging holes in a schedule leaking ratings. No one was expecting a show like “30 Rock” to be a ratings savior for NBC.
Because of low expectations, NBC was able to show a lot of grace and patience with “30 Rock”. They allowed the show time to find its voice and grow an always small but ever loyal fanbase.
Believe it or not, God has even more grace than NBC. You never have to live in fear of cancellation from God when you are under His watch.
You are free to explore your story, make changes, rewrite scenes, and add new characters. The weight of the world is not upon your shoulders. Your success is not measured by ratings or grades but simply by the greatest commandments: Love the Lord your God and love others as you love yourself.
If you want to succeed like “30 Rock”, it’s easier than you think. You can go to there. You have a boss willing to be patient as you work out the kinks. If things aren’t working, don’t be too stubborn to make a change. It worked for “30 Rock” and it will work for you too.
Don’t fear the critics. Be like Liz Lemon.
Or be like Tracy Jordan and live every week like it’s shark week. Whatever works.
What do you think are the keys to success in life? How would a God full of grace enable you to live more freely?