2019 Comedy Goals

For the past ten years, I set goals at the start of the year and then review how I did at the end of the year [see 20182017201620152014, 2013201220112010 and 2009]. I’m not sure if this is actually useful, as the goals have been pretty similar the last few years and I only look at this post the first and last day of the year, but I like traditions, and maybe it helps subconsciously, so here go my goals for this year.

I’ve put “process goals” (aka things I can control) in black, and “goal goals” (aka thing that depend on other people as well as me) in grey text. There’s an extra line break in between the two.

I have the same number goals this year as last year (15) and then whittled down my top 5. If I nail 3 out of these top 5 goals, and don’t achieve a single one of the others, I’ll consider it a very good year.

Performing

  • Record my fourth comedy album
  • Publish my second book (details coming soon)
  • Perform 500 times
  • Do a stand-up set on TV or Netflix that airs in its entirety (not a stand-up clip show)
  • Do two acting gigs (non-stand up) that air on TV
  • Perform at a NACA showcase
  • Perform at 10 colleges

Writing/Producing

  • Create 40 new minutes of material that I try on stage, turn 20 of those minutes into “A” jokes
  • Write 5/7 days of every week
  • Film a sequel to The Slice and create 4 more videos
  • Sell a TV show and get it on air

Learning

  • Take at least one acting class
  • Read 20 books

Financials

  • Earn $40,000 from entertainment related business income

Misc

  • Average weight 176 pounds or less

 

Top 5 Goals

  • Record my fourth comedy album
  • Publish my second book
  • Create 40 new minutes of material that I try on stage, turn 20 of those minutes into “A” jokes
  • Do a stand-up set on TV or Netflix that airs in its entirety
  • Sell a TV show and get it on air

2018 Comedy Goals Revisited

On January 1st, 2018 I posted my goals for this year. Since it’s the last day of the year, it’s time to go through them and see how I did. Black text is the original goal and bold text is how I did. 

Performing (1 out of 5 accomplished, and two half credits)

  • Perform 600 times this year, including 400 club spots
    Did not hit 600. I performed 505 times this year – half credit
  • Go on 30 acting auditions, get 3 callbacks
    Did not get to 30. Went on 22 auditions (not counting self-submission tapes), got 1 call back – half credit
  • Perform at 8 college shows
    Did less than 8 colleges
  • Do a stand-up set on TV that airs in its entirety (not a stand-up clip show)
    Did not do a TV set
  • Do two acting gigs (non-stand up) that air on TV
    Yes! Did an ESPN commercial and a Netflix Show

Writing/Producing (1 out of 3 accomplished, 1 incomplete)

  • Create 40 new minutes of material that I try on stage, turn 15 of those minutes into “A” jokes
    Goal accomplished
  • Submit 5 writing packets
    Did fewer than five packets
  • Sell a TV show
    Incomplete / pitches in progress
  • Have a consistent entertainment writing job for 8+ weeks
    No
     

Learning (2 out of 2 accomplished)

  • Take two acting classes
    Took two acting classes
  • Read 25 books
    Read 29 books

Financials (1 out of 2 accomplished)

  • Get my new album, The United States of Russia, to hit #1 on the iTunes or Amazon comedy sales rankings
    Yes! Was number one on iTunes comedy on and off for a few days.
  • Earn $40,000 from entertainment related business income
    Did not achieve

Misc (0 out of 2 accomplished)

  • Average weight 174 pounds or less
    Average weight was closer to 178-179
  • Do my morning routine 4 out of 7 days every week
    Did not do proper morning routine 4 days a week

 

Goals Overall – 5 out of 14 goals accomplished, plus two half credits, and one pending

 

Top 4 Goals (Out of 15) (2 out of 3 accomplished, one in process/incomplete)

  • Create 40 new minutes of material that I try on stage, turn 15 of those minutes into “A” jokes Yes
  • Sell a TV show Incomplete / Pitches in Progress
  • Do a stand-up set on TV that airs in its entirety (not a stand-up clip show) No
  • Get my new album, The United States of Russia, to hit #1 on the iTunes or Amazon comedy sales rankings Yes

“Subliminal” Quotes

I recently read “Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior” by Leonard Mlodinow. Below are the quotes I found most interesting. If you like them, buy the book and then read it.

“It can be difficult to distinguish willed, conscious behavior from that which is habitual or automatic.” (12)

“Research suggests that when it comes to understanding our feelings, we humans have an odd mix of low ability and high confidence.” (19)

“Research supports that “environmental factors” such as package design, package or portion size, and menu descriptions unconsciously influence us.” (20)

“Both direct, explicit aspects of life (the drink, in this case) and indirect implicit aspects (the price or brand) conspire to create our mental experience (the taste). The key word here is “create.” Our brains are not simply recording a taste or other experience, they are creating it.” (25)

“Deep concentration causes the energy consumption in your brain to go up by only about 1 percent. No matter what you are doing with your conscious mind, it is your unconscious that dominates your mental activity – and therefore uses up most of the energy consumed by the brain.” (35)

“Our unconscious doesn’t just interpret sensory data, it enhances it. It has to, because the dta our senses deliver is of rather poor quality and must be fixed up in order to be useful.” (46)

“When we are repeatedly asked to re-create a memory, we reinforce it each time, so that in a way we are remembering the memory, not the event.” (66)

“If your child’s fantasy is a ride in a hot air balloon, research has shown that it is possible to supply that memory with none of the expense or bother of arranging the actual experience.” (75)

“As humans, we are so prone to false memories that you can sometimes induce one simply by casually telling a person about an incident that didn’t really happen. Over time, that person may “remember” the incident but forget the source of that memory. As a result, he or she will confuse the imagnied event with his or her actual past.” (76)

“Whether or not we wish to, we communicate our expectations to others, and they often respond by fulfilling those expectations.” (113)

“Labeling children as gifted had proved to be a powerful self-fulfilling prophecy.” (114)

“It stands to reason that one can also adjust the impression one makes by consciously looking at or away from a conversational partner.” (122)

“One of the major factors in social success, even at an early age, is a child’s sense of nonverbal cues.” (124)

“When asked to rate men they can hear but not see, women miraculously tend to agree: men with deeper voices are rated as more attractive.” (130)

“Speakers with higher-pitched voices were judged to be less truthful, less emphatic, less potent, and more nervous than speakers with lower-pitched voices. Also, slower-talking speakers were judged to be less truthful, less persuasive, and more passive than people who spoke more quickly.” (133)

“A little speedup will make you sound smarter and more convincing.” (133)

“If two speakers utter exactly the same words but one speaks a little faster and louder and with fewer pauses and greater variation in volume, that speaker will be judged to be more energetic, knowledgeable, and intelligent. Expressive speech, with modulation in pitch and volume and with a minimum of noticeable pauses, boosts credibility and enhances the impression of intelligence.” (133)

“Though your evaluation of another person may feel rational and deliberate, it is heavily informed by automatic, unconscious processes.” (156)

“Desire for food and water is the strongest ideology.” (164)

“Your in-group identity influences the way you judge people, but it also influences the way you feel about yourself, the way you behave, and sometimes even your performance.” (170)

“We are highly invested in feeling different from one another – and superior – no matter how flimsy the grounds for our sense of superiority, and no matter how self-sabotaging that may end up being.” (174)

“Emotions, in today’s neo-Jamesian view, are like perceptions and memories – they are reconstructed from the data at hand.” (182)

“When nerve cells send a signal to the pain centers of your brain, your experience of pain can vary even if those signals don’t.” (182)

“An isolated pratfall such as the coffee-spilling incident tends to increase the likability of a generally competent-seeming person, and the anticipation of meeting an individual tends to improve your assessment of that individual’s personality.” (194)

“The “causal arrow” in human thought processes consistently tends to point from belief to evidence, not vice versa.” (201)

“Our unconscious can choose from an entire smorgasbord of interpretations to feed our conscious mind. In the end we feel we are chewing on the facts, though we’ve actually been chomping on a preferred conclusion.” (203)

“They show that when assessing emotionally relevant data, our brains automatically include our wants and dreams and desires. Our internal computations, which we believe to be objective, are not really the computations that a detached computer would make but, rather, are implicitly colored by who we are and what we are after.” (206)

“The subtlety of our reasoning mechanisms allows us to maintain our illusions of objectivity even while viewing the world through a biased lens.” (214)

“We choose the facts that we want to believe. We also choose our friends, lovers, and spouses not just because of the way we perceive them but because of the way they perceive us. Unlike phenomena in physics, in life, events can often obey one theory or another, and what actually happens can depend largely upon which theory we choose to believe.” (218)

Liked the quotes? Buy the book.

“Solve For Happy” Quotes

I recently read “Solve For Happy: Engineer Your Path To Joy” by Mo Gawdat. Below are the quotes I found most interesting. If you like them, buy and read the book here.

“What I realized was that I would never get to happiness as long as I held on to the idea that as soon as I do this or get that or reach this benchmark I’ll become happy.” (6)

“Happiness is the absence of unhappiness.” (19)

“Success is not an essential prerequisite to happiness.” (22)

“While success doesn’t lead to happiness, happiness does contribute to success.” (23)

“Unhappiness happens when your reality does not match your hopes and expectations.” (26)

“Happiness ≥ Your perception of the events of your life MINUS your expectations of how life should behave.“ (26)

“Once the thought goes, the suffering disappears.” (27)

“It’s the thought, not the actual event, that’s making you unhappy.” (28)

“It all begins when you accept the thought passing through your head as absolute truth. The longer you hold on to this thought, the more you prolong the pain.” (32)

“Happiness depends entirely on how we control every thought.” (35)

“With no thoughts, we return to our default, childlike, state: happiness!” (39)

“In the 1930s, the Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky observed that inner speech is accompanied by tiny muscular movements in the larynx. Based on this, he argued that inner speech developed through the internalization of out-loud speech. In the 1990s, neuroscientists confirmed his view.” (53)

“When it comes to thought, you should be in full control. Your brain’s job is to produce logic for you to consider. When the thoughts are presented, you should never lose sight of the question Who is working for whom?” (57)

“You just need to take charge and act like the boss. Correct Descartes’ statement all the way: I am, therefore my brain thinks.” (57)

“There are three types of thought that our brains produce: insightful (used for problem solving), experiential (focused on the task at hand), and narrative (chatter). Those types are so distinctively different from each other that they occur in different parts of our brain.” (57)

“As soon as you master the art of observing an idea and letting it go, your mind will quickly run out of topics to bring up. It can keep going only when you cling to an idea.” (61)

“Once when Aya was around five, she was crying while I was deeply engaged trying to explain to her why she shouldn’t cry about the issue that had upset her. In the cutest way she looked at me with tears in her eyes and said, “Papa, when I’m crying don’t talk to me about the things that make me cry. If you want to make me happy, just tickle me.” (65)

“To observe the physical world, you need to observe from a vantage point outside it.” (83)

“Our expectation that others will buy into our fake image is never satisfied – and we feel unhappy.” (90)

“The egoless child is still calmly sitting inside each of us. Buried in layers over layers of lies, egos, and personas. Happy nonetheless. Waiting to be found.” (93)

“Others will rarely ever approve of your ego because they are more concerned with their own ego than with yours.” (95)

“Entertain the idea that what you’ve spent your entire life learning may not be entirely true.” (117)

“While eternity is commonly understood to be a very long time, it really is the absence of time. It is timelessness.” (132)

“Every time you examine your thoughts you’ll notice that whatever you’re upset about is rooted in a past you cannot change or a future that may turn out to be completely different from what you express.” (141)

“Strive to achieve your goals knowing that the results are impossible to predict. When something unexpected happens, the detachment concept tells us to accept the new direction and try again” (151)

“As Oscar Wilde said, “It is all going to be fine in the end. If it is not yet fine, then it is not yet the end.” (155)

“There is nothing wrong with planning and trying to assume control. THe way we react when something unexpected happens is where we go off track.” (155)

“If you can afford the brain cycles to worry about the future, then by definition, you have nothing to worry about right now.” (172)

“Ninety percent of your long-term happiness is predicted not by the external world but by the way your brain processes the world.” (213)

“One day I realized that control is not to be gained at the micro level of every detail. It is not to be found in what I need to do, but rather in how I need to do every little thing I do.” (243)

“Please stop looking at what you don’t have. What you don’t have is infinite. Making that your reference point is a sure recipe for disappointment.” (249)

Liked the quotes? Buy the book.