Next weekend, we will begin the 11th season of The Candid Frame and we're slowly working our way to our 400th episode. It is an amazing achievement, especially since there was a moment when I was thinking of giving it all up.
As I think about my goals for this new year, I think of the journey that this show has taken me on. It's a journey that has allowed me to experience success and failures, joy and frustration, confidence and painful self-doubt. It has been an experience that has taught me so much about what it means to make a dream a reality.
When I started to show, I knew little or nothing about producing a podcast, audio recording and editing or creating and maintaining a website. There was so much that I didn't know how to do, any of which might have resulted in TCF being just another wonderful idea that was left unfulfilled.
When I think of that, it's hard to believe that I possessed such strong determination. I too often focus on the things I aspired to do, but which I stopped pursuing. It's been too easy to define myself more by my failures rather than my successes.
But for whatever reason, The Candid Frame was an idea that I knew to my core would be successful. Despite my lack of knowledge and experience, I was sure that I could make it work. I would figure it out. I didn't see any the many obstacles as viable excuses for not making it happen.
Though, I did have my moments.
There where moments where my normal day job, personal issues, slowness of building an audience and endless technical problems threatened my commitment to the show.
It resulted in a gap in one of our early seasons, where I was debating whether I would continue. I was tempted to allow the show to just fade out as so many other shows had already. I was depressed and during such dark moments, it's easy to let go of things that actually have the potential of lifting one out of the darkness. Thankfully, I didn't make that mistake.
I scheduled another interview, I edited it and released it. And I not only continued to do that, but redoubled my effort changing TCF from bi-weekly to weekly. I was going all in.
And that for me has been the great lesson. At the moment that I could have just stopped and walked away, when I could have just decided to move on to something else, I recommitted myself and put in even more time and effort into it.
It was completely antithetical to how I was feeling, which was ultimately a good thing. I had to acknowledge those dark and negative feelings and recognize that I couldn't simply wish them away. They were going to be there and I just had to be okay with that. I just needed to get back to work, which is what I did. Now, I am entering the 11th season of an idea that popped into my head while stuck in Los Angeles traffic.
I revisit these memories and feelings, because I find myself struggling with similar challenges today. Though I take pride with what we've achieve thus far, I know that I want so much more for the show, my work and my life and that the only way for them to happen is to double-down yet again. I have to take risks, including some financial ones, in order to make TCF more than just "another podcast".
Again, I return to the things that I don't know how to do or that I don't have. I want to see those things as excuses for not pursuing my goals. I can just leave things as they are and just continue to tread water and try to convince myself that this will be good enough, but I know that's not true. So, I decide to hunker down and move forward.
I've learned as much from many of the guests I've had the pleasure to interview. Some have faced similar or even greater challenges in making their art their life, but they have demonstrated in their unique ways what it takes to to perceiver. It's a lesson that I am taking to heart as I begin another year.
It's an easier choice now than back then, thanks to the support of thousands of listeners from all over the world. It's people like you, who with your reviews, contributions and e-mails me have reminded me that I've created something more than just a podcast, something used to pass away time while stuck in traffic. I've contributed to creating something that encourages and inspires people to pursue their dreams, especially during the kind of dark times that nearly extinguished mine.
I am reminded of a quote by the great writer, Ray Bradbury:
"Living at risk is jumping off the cliff and building your wings on the way down".
I love that.
Time to build some wings.