So, as you might imagine, I love podcasts, but because of the way life and work has happened over the past year, I’ve listened to less podcasts in the last year than I have in the last six or seven years. It’s just different. I’m creating more content than I have before. I’m running different communities, speaking and starting to write a new book to where I don’t make the time as much to listen as I do create for one podcast that I try to never miss is Akimbo by Seth Godin and I love it because it’s different and I love that it’s a peek inside of his brain and it’s not an interview show, but his latest episode, at least as of recording, it’s called publishing is hard. And some episodes that can breeze through and get some ideas from some knocked me off my feet and some are pretty good.
And this one I really enjoyed, but I really enjoyed his answer in the Q and A section at the end and a woman called her with an interesting question that while I was working out at the gym early one morning, I stopped. What I was doing to listen cause I really wanted to make sure I heard the answer. And the woman said that recently or eight year old daughter was not picked to be in the school play and her daughter wasn’t picked a year before either and the mother was starting to fret that it’s possible that she’d never be picked and the mom was worried that the environment that she’s in is teaching her to wait for someone else to choose her. And she was worried that her daughter was going to think she’s not good enough if she wasn’t picked. And she was wondering what she can do to help her daughter with this.
And Seth kind of alluded that a lot of parents at that point would call up the school and lash out how their kid didn’t get picked and that they’re losing their mind that they don’t pick her daughter and fighting for their daughter’s rights to be on that play. And what I love that set at the start was why are there tryouts for eight year olds for a play? And he talked about when he wants produced a play for nine year olds for the Wizard of Oz, there were four of every character because there were no stars. Actually there were 20 stars. They all were in it and sets. And he was to do something that’s different than what a lot of parents will do. And he advised for the mom to encourage the daughter to put on her own play, to hold auditions and put up signs and create her own play and that this would teach her to be an organizer, which will have much more positive impact for her life than being chosen by somebody else.
And it reminded me of something that I had completely forgotten about that my brother did when we were in elementary school together. There were school plays going on all over the place. And I don’t remember either of us ever being interested in theater was an all female band named the Go-Go’s and they were led by Belinda Carlisle and their hit song at the time was called our lips are sealed. So when the fifth grade, I think he was him and his friend Josh Flum got together and they said, we’re going to make a movie. It was going to be based off of that song and the downside to that story and the spoiler alert is that movie was never made. But here’s the upside. I remember one day my brother and Josh were just students at the school, but not long after I walked through the hallways and I saw a sign up sheet on the wall for, for this new movie, and they talked about having different parts, different roles they could audition for, and then all of a sudden two unknown guys had some of the most popular girls in school signing up to audition for their movie and they knew nothing about making a movie.
It’s amazing the memories that come to you when you’re a kid and then as you rethink it as an adult and how you process what happened now for what happened then and what I thought then was a bunch of these people that would never have given them the time of day. All of a sudden we’re lining up for a chance to be selected by my brother and by Josh. Immediately by choosing themselves, their status changed. They shifted the perspective on how people in school looked at them and I remember selfishly wanting him to do it and to succeed because invariably it might’ve helped my status in school as well because of the really popular kids are clamoring to get a piece of what my brother’s doing. That might somehow benefit me. But it’s one thing when you’re in fifth grade to say you’re going to do a movie and it’s another thing to actually have the capability to do so.
Now, right now you could be thinking, well why not grab your phone, start recording? Well in 1980 or whatever year it was, it didn’t work that way. You need to purchase expensive video gear and just the hurdle of that sank the entire project. But what Steve and Josh did was really quite remarkable. If I can go back in time and if there’s things that I would change, I would do more of what they did during that week or two because what they did is they didn’t wait to be chosen. They didn’t get in line to audition for a play that somebody else had set up. They had an idea, they took it and like I talked about in a past episode, they had confidence and they had ignorance. To be able to put those signs on the wall and putting those signs up in the hallways was impressive.
But what really impressed me and made a lasting impression on me was to look at those sheets in the hallway and to see the different parts listed and to see the names of those people. Many of them older than us, way more popular than any of us, and to see this status change of them going from the ones that were in charge to looking to be chosen. And I could only wonder what would’ve happened if they were able to pull that movie off. I could imagine the confidence and the respect and the authority that would have been built and the relationships and the connections to people that never connected. Who knows if they would have become friends, if they would have helped each other out, if that movie would have been shared. And actually it was a catalyst to not only the people that were in it, but to those two people that actually made it.
And to me, it’s a perfect example behind the book. Choose Yourself by James Altucher and by what set’s talking about in this episode, because if this mom could take this advice to her eight year old and say, you don’t need to be chosen by them to be a success, that not only do you not need to be chosen, but you could actually take the vision of exactly. You want to do not even somebody else’s vision or somebody’s choice, but your vision and your choice of what you want to do. If this eight year old can learn this and teach this to other people her age and younger and older, that’s how we go from a society of people waiting to be picked to a society of people young and old of choosing themselves. I will be back with you tomorrow.