0022: Predict Your Future By Designing It, Then Creating It

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Show notes

Hey there, hero!

The times we’re living in are not ones we would have expected or predicted. And we can chalk that up to external developments that we neither asked for nor engaged in.

But for some people, that notion of unpredictability applies to everything about their existence. It isn’t just about external events, but everything that happens in their lives. They are more comfortable just “letting life happen” and hoping for the best.

I learned early on that I was not at all comfortable letting life just happen to me. And maybe, if you’re not at ease with that, this podcast might give you some insight into two tools you can use to be more proactive about shaping your future, not just watching it unfold.

And speaking of shaping your future…

You only have until tonight, Friday evening, June 5th at 9p PT, to decide to study with me in the 2020 ACX Master Class. Act now, as registration closes at 9p PT. Here’s the link:



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  1. Hey David, been watching these lately and they’ve been pretty cool!

    Adding to what you’ve said, I’ve had an interesting career. I wanted to do voice over when I was in my 20’s. I wanted to have my own television show. These have been two goals I’ve had over the years that I’ve worked at and have had lots of success. I’ve worked at the top in major games and cartoons and TV shows. I’ve had my own shows. And while it never was exactly the way I wanted it to be and I was never perfect in execution, I did have that success happen.

    As a creative in these industries, a lot of those opportunities have been things that have to be bestowed upon you in a way. You get selected to do be in the cast. You get selected to go into production or development. Most of the work I was doing wasn’t making the thing happen. It was doing every step that let me buy the lottery ticket. Making great demos. Auditioning. Putting myself out there. Doing great work. Getting known by casting directors and producers. Making great material for pitching. Building relationships. And at many points, my life was just buying lottery tickets.

    For some, that’s already leaps and bounds ahead. But for me, it never felt like enough. Even though I put myself in positions to be heard, found, discovered, my creative dreams were always contingent upon being selected by others. And in many ways, I allowed my feelings of success and validation to be contingent upon the validation from others. The validation being booking the job and receiving creative or financial returns on my efforts. My persistence in following through on those goals helped me see some good gains. But it wasn’t everything. I was fortunate enough to see there was another piece to the puzzle.

    I always think back to this one speech by Mark Duplass that always helps me rethink my purpose: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZeWOAliA6Y

    And adding to what you said in your video, one thing that helped me out was digging a little deeper into my goals. Why did I want these goals? And buy understanding the why, I could see that I was in more control of my life and career than before.

    So one of the reasons I wanted a show and to do voice over was to entertain people. Make them laugh. Lighten up their day. Free them from concern. Use my off-beat sense of humor to get people to open up and find lightness and joy in our exceptionally tough world.

    And I looked at my goals and said, “do I really need someone else’s system to make that goal happen?” A decade ago, I was pitching shows, putting together decks and setting up meetings, begging for representation. I put everything into my auditions. I figured out how to build the home studio and get the right ears listening. I was doing all the “right” things in the Hollywood system. Until I went back to what it is that I wanted. And that was to be creative, write, entertain, and tell the stories and jokes that I want to tell. So I just took the joy in making and made stuff. I stopped asking permission from others with the means and found my own ways. I ended up writing my own comics, which turned into animated versions, which turned into live shows (before corona) with large followings. And I got to do exactly what it is I wanted to do. Entertain, have my own shows, and play the characters I wanted to play. So as someone who had success on larger networks, I found I was getting what I wanted. I found a way to forge that path. And while I love working on larger projects and in the games/animation system and being a part of it, my goals and goal planning have let me be happy when the successes do or don’t come in that system.

    But just that moment to reflect upon “why” helped me many times to stop spinning my wheels when things didn’t go my way. To not bemoan the system when it didn’t let me in. To not see success in terms of viewers, followers, dollar amounts, bookings, and these other factors that we believe determine success. And to help me course correct when my actions weren’t helping me achieve my goals.

    So if I have anything to contribute to your words of inspiration, it’s that clarity and purpose on those goals and actions can be achieved by also asking, “why?”

  2. Three quotes popped into my mind as I listened to this:
    “Luck is the residue of design”-Branch Rickey
    “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans” John Lennon
    “You wanna make God laugh? Tell Him your plans”

  3. Hi David, Thank you for this video. I haven’t watched in a while and I didn’t realize how much I missed hearing your voice and fantastic take on life and various topics. When I was 13 my very successful uncle told me to make a list of the things I wanted in life. That started my list-making habit. I loved it because It worked. Then, I learned about map-making. Each time I had something special I wanted to achieve I’d make a map with images, and words, and things that had meaning for me. They worked too. I had a speed bump a few years back and just couldn’t seem to figure out what I wanted. That really is the first step. It is really hard to hit a goal if you don’t even know what that goal is. It took me a bit but when I finally figured out what I wanted I started a new map. This is a big map so some of the steps have taken time. Other things manifested in ways I couldn’t imagine but were much better than what I had in my head. Set your big intention then get the hell out of the way and take action on the steps you can but don’t force things. That is what has worked for me so far.

  4. What happened to the awesome little bit of music you used to play at the beginning and end of your videos? I love that; I always have to listen to the end so I can hear it one more time.