Three Life Lessons from a Podcast Starship Captain

I like podcasts. I tend to stay away from ones that are explicitly about life change and coaching, especially single host ones; they tend to get didactic.

Which is why I enjoy The Tomorrow Show. It’s a twice-weekly get-together of a celebrity fiancee who dresses himself and his millennial co-hosts and crew up in Star Trek costumes. They hang out and chat about life in L.A. and even get big name guests on.

But it turns out that host Keven Undergaro has a lot of good stuff about making it in life; he just slips it into the stories he and his team tell so you don’t feel beaten over the head with it.

Here are three of Keven’s sayings that I’ve been working on incorporating into my life recently:

Less think, more do.

I like to brainstorm a lot. Well, I like to procrastinate at brainstorming. It feels like I’m developing things, turning ideas into potential blog posts and such.

The first problem is that I get caught in a cycle of not achieving much. I’m too busy working out how to get it right (more on that later) to actually give it a try.

The other problem is that too much thinking leads to worrying. And if you know me well, you know I can be a champion worrier.

I’m finding that I feel accomplished not by thinking about or planning something; but by doing it. I don’t even have to be doing my pre-determined priority; it can just be the next obvious thing, like cleaning the space around me up, or some other chore I’ve been putting off.

Keep yourself busy – not too busy, but too busy to worry. When you do sit down, you’ll be too busy feeling the combined buzz of exhaustion and accomplishment to worry – you’ll turn on that game or download that Netflix show or pick up that book in the serenity of having earned your chill time.

Quit worrying about the other things,what it’s going to all add up to or even whether it helps build your “brand.” Quit worrying about how you don’t even know what your brand is yet. Just keep doing stuff. Volunteer. Take temp jobs. Keep playing!

Half of life is showing up.

There’s another good bit to just doing stuff, especially if it’s things like chores, and it ties into something Keven often tells his team of millennials about going to auditions or pitch sessions: “Half of life is showing up.”

In part, it’s about making sure you regularly put “the work” in to hone your craft, whether it’s study or practice (some say integrity is what you do when no one is watching).

But it’s not just working when no one knows or cares. Sooner or later, if you want to make it through being yourself, you’re going to have to put your thing to work in order to benefit someone else.

That means you have to make and keep your appointments with others, even when you have no guarantee that a particular appointment is going to end in a specific sale or win.

People need the time to get to know you and to come to trust that you’re reliable, both in terms of keeping your schedule and that your work consistently generates quality results.

So keep turning up when opportunity presents. Help folks do their thing and / or demonstrate how you doing your thing helps them. Show up even when you’re not sure what good you can do, or if they’ll even agree to have you along for their ride.

Have a good time, and if you do wind up going home empty-handed, go home glad that you got the opportunity to do your thing and learn something about how to do it for others.

And you never know when the people who turn you down this time might think of you for a later opportunity – or meet someone else who needs your thing and say, “Hey, let me put you together with…”

And when you do show up?

You can be right, you can be wrong, but never be in doubt.

Oh, boy. Doubt. It’s a killer, isn’t it? A particularly insidious kind of fear that I’ve struggled with for years. Most of my life, really. And it’s easy to say “never be in doubt” when you can’t help it half the time; when it’s become a habit without you noticing.

The key to it is earlier in the sentence. Being wrong. That dread C, D or F mark or <50% or whatever the hell it is that says “failure is bad and to be avoided at all costs” that the modern schooling system has been doling out to us for the past few decades.

For me, worry about getting things wrong it resulted in me often getting average marks because I was too afraid to put the work in. I didn’t trust myself to get it right. I was in doubt.

But let this sentence free you. Isn’t it great? You now have permission to be wrong. You can fuck it up. It’s cool. It’s even great, because it means you got in and tried to make something – and you’ve eliminated a way that doesn’t work.

So, screw it. You can be wrong. You have permission from whoever the hell grants it to be wrong. And that’s a great way to quit doubting yourself. It allows you to show up (see above) with confidence, that even if you “get it wrong” you’ll learn something and make some genuine connections on the way.

Make your choice, then free yourself from worry – most times, everything works out well, even if you don’t get what you want. Like I wrote above, people will remember you from showing up. Go in there, meet them, pitch yourself, demonstrate your skill, and even if it doesn’t work, they’ll remember your confidence and enthusiasm, your ability to roll with life’s emotional punches. And when you show up for something else, they’ll remember you.

Go listen to The Tomorrow Show!

If the above article gave you the idea that The Tomorrow Show is all about one “older and wiser” gent laying down life’s wisdom to a bunch of bratty twenty-to-thirtysomethings, let me apologise and disabuse you of that notion.

I love The Tomorrow Show because it’s like being invited to hang out with a bunch of good, energetic, spirited mates twice a week. They argue, they laugh, they bicker; genuine stories get told and they have some fantastic guests on. It’s all powered by Keven Undergaro’s genuine want to help people not just in Hollywood but in life in general make a better tomorrow for themselves and everyone around them.

Seriously folks. The Tomorrow Show is a great, fun podcast. Go subscribe and listen.

Featured image borrowed without permission from The Tomorrow Show website.