Monday Motivation: How Comedian Roy Wood Jr. Stays on His Grind

2015 update on Roy Wood Jr.: On Monday, Sept. 28, 2015, Roy Wood Jr. joined Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” as a correspondent. He moved from L.A. to New York to take on the new assignment. The show airs at 10 p.m. CDTFor more info on his new job, go here.

By Chanda Temple

Whenever I need a good laugh, I can count on comedian Roy Wood Jr.

His CDs and stand-up gigs always bring the funny, as do his posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

But what Roy is also good at is motivating others. During a recent interview, I realized just how good when I asked him how he stays on his grind as he pursues his acting career on TBS’ “Sullivan & Son,’’ public appearances and comedy tours across America.

“Everybody says that they are just waiting for their light at the end of the tunnel. For me, the light in my tunnel is the train coming up from behind, threatening to run me over if I don’t keep moving,’’ said Roy, 35. “I’m running blindly in the dark, but I’ve never felt more alive.’’

Here are five of Roy’s tips on how he stays ahead of the train:

  • Surround yourself with doers 

Hang out with people as equally as motivated as you are because anyone who doesn’t believe in themselves won’t take the time to believe in you. Unmotivated people won’t push you. You have to remove those people or demote them to your drinking buddy.

“When I’m telling you I’m doing 12 different things and your reply is, ‘Man, you are doing too much.’ We can’t be friends anymore,’’ Roy said. “There’s no such thing as ‘doing too much.’ ‘’

Sometimes you may have to go it alone when others don't support your dreams.

Roy says that people may laugh at your dreams now. But when you are a success, they will be the first ones to patronize your business or ask you for help. Ignore the naysayers because their opinions don’t matter.

  • Stay hungry 

If you are with someone who’s already satisfied with their life, especially if it’s a lazy life, what could they possibly do to push you more? Where is their drive? Look at yourself. You must have that thrive and that thirst for success. No one else can give it to you.

  • Know when to let go 

Know when it’s right to let go of that job or that person holding you back. The change could help you push your dream toward the finish line. You may even have to get a second job to realize your goal. “Growth … is not a comfort zone,’’ Roy said. “It’s not supposed to be.’’

  • Explore what keeps you up at night

“If you are dreaming to do something, it should be eating away at you,’’ Roy said.

  • Keep it moving  

“To me, motivation comes from a sense of wanting to better myself and top what I’ve already done,’’ said Roy. “(Hockey great) Wayne Gretzky said it best, ‘I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.’ ‘’

Comedian Roy Wood Jr. is a graduate of Florida A&M University.

Comedian Roy Wood Jr. is a graduate of Florida A&M University, which gave him the President’s 40/40 award in 2010. He was one of 40 FAMU graduates, under the age of 40, to receive the award for outstanding accomplishments in their career fields that year.

Note: Roy is a Birmingham, Ala. native, a graduate of Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Fla. and is the former host of the Roy Wood Jr. Morning Show. He was one of three finalists on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” in 2010, and he has released three prank phone call CDs and one comedy CD. He’s appeared on national late night shows with David Letterman, Conan O’Brien and Craig Ferguson. He stars on TBS’ “Sullivan & Son,” which airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. CST. He currently lives in L.A., where “The Hollywood Reporter” has called him a “standout” and VIBE magazine has said he’s one of the top 20 comedians to watch in 2014.

Chanda Temple is a former reporter now working in public relations. She blogs about being better in business and more at Follow her on Twitter at @chandatemple. Contact her at



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