The Bojack Horseman Journal....Chapter #1 by BoJack Horseman

What is a legacy? And what does it mean to live purposefully? These are questions all of us struggle with — whatever path our lives take, we want to make sure that what we do has meaning, weight and value. Sometimes that shows up in how we treat others, other times it shows up in the work we do, and still other times it appears as the activities and hobbies we engage in. Today we’re going to tackle what it means to make an impact in life by coaching a very special guest. He’s an actor, a stand-up comedian, the subject of a bestselling memoir and a serial TV star… and now, he’s come to us for help. 

Our journal-ee today is the one — the only — Oscar-nominated actor Bojack Horseman, whose titular roles in titles such as Horsin’ Around and award-winning drama Secretariat have helped him garner international fame. Despite his outward success, Bojack reached out to us because he is ultimately unfulfilled in his personal and professional life. Bojack believes every one of his accomplishments so far have yet to contribute to his legacy, and as a result he feels misunderstood and detached from his values. 

Today we’re going to try and unpack Bojack’s struggles in order to help him have more authentic, meaningful day-to-day interactions. Bojack has written to The Journal That Talks Back in order to get clarity around his situation — together, we’re going to read and react to Horseman’s relationships with fame, legacy, identity and more. Let’s start by reading Bojack’s first journal entry to us, and then we can work to help him move forward with his life in a way that feels purposeful and fulfilling.  

BoJack’s First Journal entry  

Entry One:

“BoJack, writing a journal. Here’s BoJack writing a journal. Journaling….NOW! Ok, BoJack Journaling…GO! (Sigh). I guess I can’t even do this whole journaling thing well. You know, I was an actor from a very famous TV show…but not much has happened since. Sure, I got nominated for an Oscar for my role where I played my hero, Secretariat, but that wasn’t even me. It was a CGI version of me. And that CGI me was PRETTY good, but it wasn’t even me. I’m not even good at being a CGI figure…so what am I good at? I can’t even do the thing I’ve always wanted to do. Maybe all I will ever be is that actor from that very famous TV show. How do I do something new? How can I do something special?” — BoJack H. 

First impressions: Ask More Questions 

Alright, we’ve got a lot to unpack here. Before we even begin to address Bojack’s concerns, it’s important to first ground ourselves in a proper coaching mindset. That means we need to take all of our previous beliefs, experiences and biases and leave them at the door. We also need to resist the urge to immediately try and provide solutions for Bojack. All we want to really focus on are the words Bojack has left us in his journal — by analyzing them in detail, we can get a better understanding of his unique struggles and mindset. So, how should we start thinking about coaching Bojack through his difficulties?

Before anything else, we should look to ask more questions about Bojack’s background that might help us understand what he’s going through. What has his lived experience as an actor been like up until this point? How have the roles and relationships he’s had throughout his time in the industry shaped his current views and beliefs? Moreover, what does he want to do professionally in the future — does he still want to be an actor, or is that not fulfilling to him anymore? Getting answers to these clarifying questions will help us better put our support behind Bojack going forward.

bojack looking in a mirror

Understand what something “new” or “special” looks like 

After we’ve gotten clarity about Bojack’s relationship to acting, fame and his accomplishments so far, it’s time to home in on the specific terms he’s using in his journal entry. Right now we’re on a mission to understand what “new,” “special” and other words mean to Bojack in his own mind. If we could follow up with Bojack, we might ask him what those words mean — and the conversation might go something like this:


“What would something special look like to you, BoJack?”


“I guess… I don’t know. A show that’s my show. Something that really is me. Something that people will remember me for forever. That’s what I want. A legacy. A future.” 


Alright. Now we’re getting somewhere. BoJack is saying that engaging in something “new” or “special” is akin to engaging in behaviors that will help him leave his mark on the world. In other words, he wants to leave something behind. That’s what’s important to him — and so far, acting in Horsin’ Around and Secretariat haven’t provided him with the kind of legacy he’s looking for. It’s important to note that these are his words, not ours, and that we’re purely looking to help BoJack come to these conclusions on his own. 

It's also becoming clear that Bojack is currently viewing his accomplishments so far as “all or nothing” type situations. Nothing feels like success to BoJack right now unless it’s liked by absolutely everyone — which, as we all know, is a pretty impossible thing to achieve. Because the reality is that nothing any of us do will be liked by everyone all the time. Not even winning an Oscar can guarantee that everyone in the world will like the art we’ve created. 

In order to get Bojack out of this black-and-white thinking rut, we need to ask some follow-up questions. For instance: is leaving a lasting legacy the only way to make what you do with your time special? Is it possible that you can still make a difference to those around you if you only impact a handful of others? And can you do something small that is still meaningful and worthwhile to you? These kinds of questions will help us get closer to the core beliefs Bojack possesses — and by getting at those fundamental beliefs, we’ll be better equipped to support him when he starts recontextualizing what a legacy means to him. 

Third: getting a better understanding of Bojack’s world

Now that we’re really starting to get an understanding of Bojack’s world, we can start digging into the really deep questions that might allow him to shift his perceptions about what a proper legacy looks like. For instance, now that we know that impacting others is important to him, we might ask: are there different types of legacies you can entertain? Is there such a thing as a day-to-day legacy? When you’re on your deathbed, and all your friends and family are with you, will it be more meaningful for them to remember you for your artistic contributions, or to remember you for the relationships you’ve made with each and every one of them? Is that a legacy in and of its own?

And what we’ll start seeing is that we’re getting Bojack to look at the impact he actually wants to have on people, rather than the one he’s been told he’s supposed to have on people. We’re also dissecting his concept of a legacy and breaking it into pieces: what does a long-term, medium-term and day-to-day legacy look like? How are they similar, and how do they differ? Taken together, we’re helping Bojack build a pseudo-dictionary of terms he can rely on to define what is meaningful to him. That’s how we can best communicate with Bojack about his current prospects and future. 

The last step: checking in after three months  

So — it’s been a few months since we first heard from Bojack, and during that time we’ve had a host of meaningful back-and-forth journaling conversations together. In that time, he’s redefined a lot of his previous beliefs and gained clarity about what he values when it comes to leaving behind the kind of legacy he can be proud of. And along the way, he’s made a discovery: beyond Bojack’s journey as an actor, director or person, his true “legacy” involves being able to teach acting students his craft. Here’s Bojack’s final journal entry after learning that he values his role as a teacher more than his job as an actor:

Closing Journal:

“You know, this whole journaling thing really isn’t that bad. I really got to enjoy some time as a professor working with some students. And I was their leader, their mentor, their director. Maybe, my something “special” wasn’t a show; it was me teaching others to make their own show. Teaching is the closest thing I have felt to the feeling I searched for all of those years. The skits and shows my students put on were actually not bad…sure, they aren’t Mel Gibson, but then again, what is?”

Final Thoughts

Good for Bojack! His notion of a legacy is now tied to the meaningful act of teaching others, and in many ways, he’s receiving a better physiological and mental response from instructing than he ever got when working toward an Oscar nomination. Now that he’s discovered where his true passions lie, it’s important that we continue to provide coaching in the form of unconditional support on his journey toward becoming an effective teacher. It’s up to us to keep talking to Bojack about his new legacy and what it means to him. 

Now that we’ve reached the end of Bojack’s official coaching cycle, it’s important to note that none of this would’ve happened had we made assumptions about his first journal entry. If we had simply tried to provide solutions instead of understanding where Bojack was coming from, we might’ve told him to just “get back on the acting horse” (yes, pun intended) instead of looking for different ways to express his desire to leave behind a legacy. Instead of providing him with fulfillment and satisfaction, we would’ve only led Bojack toward further misery and confusion. 

That’s the power of coaching — in the right hands, it can change someone’s entire life trajectory. Done wrong, it can lead to worse outcomes for everyone involved. That’s why it’s important to work with coaches that really try to understand where their clients are coming from. It’s our entire mission at The Journal That Talks Back to truly understand what our clients are telling us, and hopefully we’ve been able to help Bojack by listening and responding to his concerns with patience and thoughtfulness. 

But Bojack isn’t our only client. Check out our Character Coaching podcast to see how we’ve helped other titular characters — from Squidward to Dwight Schrute — or visit The Journal That Talks Back for more information about how we operate. 

Episode Transcript

Jon Rom: [00:00:00] Character coaching is an exploration of coaching principles applied to fictional characters by the host. Any likeness to real people or situations is coincidental. And none of the advice given is intended to take the place of real coaching. Learn more about getting accessible coaching at the journal that talks back.

Jonathan Friedman: I'm Jonathan

and I'm Jon

And this is Character. 'ching, 'ching, '

Jon Rom: ching

Jonathan Friedman: Okay, Jon. Now you can ask your question

Jon Rom: heads or

Jonathan Friedman: tails.

Let's go ahead.

Jon Rom: No. Okay. Just a second.

Jonathan Friedman: That's okay. Whatever it is on the floor, that's the answer it has to be.

What did you say? I wasn't listening.

Classic. I said,

Jon Rom: Did you say that? Okay, so you're first.

Jonathan Friedman: All

right, John. So here's a new journal. We got it, it's titled the BoJack horseman journal chapter one by BoJack H.

BoJack writing a journal.

Here's BoJack writing a journal. Journaling now. Okay. BoJack journal. GO!, I guess I can't even do this whole journaling thing. Well, you know, I was an actor from a very famous TV show and not much has happened since. Sure...I got nominated for an Oscar for my role where I played my hero Secretariat. But that wasn't even me.

It was a CGI me. And the CGI me was pretty good, but it wasn't even me. I'm not even good at being CGI. So what am I good at? I can't even do the thing I've always wanted to do. Maybe all I will ever be is that actor for that very famous TV show. How do I do something new? How can I do something special? By BoJack.

Jon Rom: So, so Johnny, that, that journal you read. I'm, I'm starstruck. I've never, I've never talked to a celebrity before, but I guess this is, this is as close as I'm going to get because we're talking to a real hero or someone who played a hero.

Jonathan Friedman: Yeah. I mean, Secretariat holy smokes, that's that, that's something really special.

I love that.

Jon Rom: Yeah. Well, okay. I guess we should jump. I think we should jump right into it. So the first thing we do, the first thing we always do is to check our story and get the story checking our story means that we take note of all of our own beliefs, experiences, and bias and focus directly on what was written in the book.

And then getting the story means that once we've acknowledged our own beliefs, experience, and bias, we can take the time to ask all of the questions and get all of the juicy details from the journal post.


Jonathan Friedman:  And I think that is one of the really important pieces, especially when we're looking at a journal for somebody who's, you know, really feeling down in the dumps, feeling that lack of motivation .As counsellors counsellors... Something we tend to do is we tend to jump to solutions and we try to jump right into problem solving.

And I think that the first coaching step is checking our own story and taking the time to remove our bias and to really hone in and focus on what, in this case, you know, BoJack is saying. Really allows us to not only develop a deeper connection with BoJack, but it allows us to get to the root problem a lot more quickly than if we just say, oh, BoJack, you know, like here's the three great tips on how to get motivated right now.

Jon Rom: Yeah. Like, and, and, and our first thoughts might be like, oh, you know, you're, you're a famous actor. Why don't you just keep on acting? Why don't you just keep on doing what you're good at? Like who cares? Who cares? If it's only one thing you're doing, it sounds like you're pretty dang good at it. Why can't that just be your low.

But that might not be a reflection of what the person is really trying to say. And, and what the story is really

Jonathan Friedman: about.

We have this idea, even with journal responding, we have this idea of pacing. And when we have a journal like BoJack, who is coming to us, you know, very slow pace, really deliberate and really trying to think out some really deep and heavy thoughts.

It's really important that for again, first we remove our biases and our own beliefs and not jump to solutions. But also meet them where they're at and meet them at that pacing, because that relationship, that first time we respond to this journal from BoJack is really the most critical piece.


Jon Rom: It's, you know, you never get a second chance at a first introduction.

And I would say that my initial bias is to think that celebrities have it made, you know, I think, I think that if someone put in that much. To do something that big, they should be able to rest on their laurels a little bit, but I'm just me now. Maybe, maybe that's my bias. It's easy to feel that way when you haven't done that.

But if you've been through that experience and you've had a big success, maybe everything afterwards starts to feel like it's not worth anything.

Jonathan Friedman: Exactly. And even in a case with somebody who comes to us as a notable celebrity, like BoJack from a movie like Secretariat, and from that very famous TV show, we still have to approach the journal in the same way as we would with any other client.

We really want to take that time, get to the nuts and bolts, and that starts by. Again, checking our story. But then as you mentioned, getting the story and asking some really important questions to really get all of the details, to really flesh out the story because a journal is a really important gateway to the deep rooted beliefs.

And the way we get to those deep rooted beliefs is by really understanding the full picture of the story.

Jon Rom: Jonathan, do you think that BoJack played one of the Olsen twins? In

full house...

Jonathan Friedman: no but he probably dated one of them

Jon Rom: He almost definitely dated one of them, for sure. I just, I, you know, he says his famous TV show, maybe.

I don't know. Maybe I just don't watch enough TV. I feel like I watch a good, a good amount, but I can't think of... The golden girls maybe?

Jonathan Friedman: Honestly, man, it was the nineties different, different, radical time. It was,

Jon Rom: yeah, it was a different time. I was, I was eating paste and I assume you were doing something similar.

So who can say what was on TV at the time? It's all a blur.

Jonathan Friedman: I mean, I don't think I've stopped eating paste, have you?.

The price

Jon Rom: of paste in this economy, Johnny c'mon, but, okay. So, so I guess, I guess the, the step to take is what don't we want to do here? What don't we want to, what don't we want to assume about BoJack?

Jonathan Friedman: So I think there's a few different pieces here that we don't want to assume when we're jumping in and asking our first question to really flesh out that. We don't, even though the BoJack seems low and seems, you know, he has that lack of motivation he's struggling to get started. We don't want to assume any diagnosis.

We don't want to assume any path to behavior, and we don't want to assume that he's actually getting involved in any damaging behaviors. Again, it comes back to checking our story and checking our assumptions about what that character is because our brains, as coaches, we're very creative. We want to sort of like, oh yeah, you know, BoJack must be going through something like this.

We want our brain wants to sort of solve that problem. We really want to remove all of that and get ready to ask our first question without any assumptions.

Jon Rom: Yeah.

Well, you know, you gotta, you gotta ask, you gotta ask yourself. If I don't know how this person usually reacts to feeling down in the dumps, then maybe that's something I need to know.

Maybe that's something that's worth asking. Like how does someone who has had this high success? Deal with the moments when they're feeling low and down about themselves, do they, do they bury it? Do they face it head-on? Does it happen a lot? Does it happen? Not too often? Like what do I want to know about the way that this person copes with feeling down on


Jonathan Friedman: So. Absolutely. And we might even want to know some other details that don't get to what we're probably already taking a guess at is the problem we, why we might want to ask, you know, what was that very famous TV show that you were on? What relationships did you build from that? What has happened to those relationships?

Since we can sort of getting a big picture of what that journaler is going through, or what was it like to play that hero of yours? Was the movie exactly like the book? Was it different from the book? How did you approach playing a character like that? And even getting some of those other juicy details, even though it might not directly seemingly be related to coaching, flesh out that relationship.

A bit more and it also validates and helps us to build that relationship with BoJack in this case.

Jon Rom: Yeah. You know, he says, he says, I can't even do the things I've always wanted to do, but you know, it's easy to assume that's acting, but he says, first of all, it's a plural. So who knows what's on that list?

Maybe it's worth asking a clarification question. What are the things that you've always wanted to do? Do they, do they, are they all in the professional career realm, or are you talking about personal accomplishments?

Both. I don't know.

Jonathan Friedman: Or maybe even trying out sales for the first time. We don't know.

Jon Rom: Yeah. Yeah, it could be, it could be a complete career change. That's on this person's mind. So an Oscar-winning actor doesn't have to always remain an actor. I think that's an easy and easy pitfall to stay in. We just need to clarify what direction they are in, are they even trying to head?

Jonathan Friedman:

It's about really taking a deep dive in this journal asking clarification questions and really flushing out the story because there's a lot here that we can grab on to. And actually, John, I'm super, super excited. If you don't mind, I'd love to take a first stab at asking a question to this journal.

Yeah. Okay.

Jon Rom: Go for it. Wait, what did you have in mind?

Jonathan Friedman: So one of the things that stuck out to me is that last line, how do I do something new? What do I do, how can I do something special? And one of the things I really want to know when I'm coaching is what does that vision of special or something new look like to that client?

And that doesn't mean. Hey, you know, I'm getting behind them and it's like, like, yo, you can do it. Like, you know, like just jumping to that motivational step. It's about really understanding what that special thing is to them. What would that look like to BoJack in BoJack's mind?

Jon Rom: I think, yeah. Well, I

think that's a really good question to ask because it kind of lends itself to what they've always wanted to do because you, you, you can, you can kind of make a connection between something they've always wanted to do, being what are they being very linked to, what they consider special, like what does special even mean?

It's a very good question. I was, I was thinking to ask what is it that makes them feel like the role that they played wasn't them? Because the, I think, I think the way that this person gets down on themselves is to disconnect themselves from their accomplishments. I mean, I think that we see that in the journal itself.

So you know, clarifying why they feel that way, that playing Secretariat, even though the CGI wasn't them and it doesn't really reflect what they're good at and who they are. I think it would be a good clarifying question.

Jonathan Friedman: Yeah, I think that's important because as you noted, this is, this is an Oscar nominated actor.

This is somebody who, you know, to everyone else's eyes is crushing it. They're doing amazing things. They've had, you know, a past successful career and they've come back to take the world by storm in a new movie, but BoJack isn't feeling good about it. He is feeling that disconnection and I think that's a really important


Jon Rom: So what, so let's say, let's say we're going to ask, we're going to go rule of threes. What else would you want to know about BoJack?

Jonathan Friedman: I would want to know a bit more about that past life from a very famous TV show. I mean, BoJack is sharing what that TV show was, you know, what was his life like back then?

And there might be some pain there for sure. And maybe we want to ask that question in a few different ways, but also there's a lot of history there with respect to probably how he wants to do something special. And I think getting more information around that life is critical to building up a coaching relationship.

And in this journal, he does refer to that famous TV show a couple of times. So it's a fair guess that we can bring that up with him. So something I might ask is, what was that very famous TV show? I'd love to hear more about your journey in that show.

Jon Rom: Yeah. So that's

interesting. It's an interesting thing.

You said you said that it might've been a painful, painful memory and I'm getting a sense of that. Not necessarily because he said as much, but I'm getting a sense of that. Moving on from something from a highlight in your life can sometimes be a really painful experience. And, and I was wondering if you picked up on that insight, that's why you're saying.

Jonathan Friedman: Yeah, exactly. And I think too, as a coach, I had my own bias there that, you know, he didn't share because it was pretty painful. I think, as a coach, I jumped into this, assuming that it was painful and maybe I'd be afraid to ask questions about that, but really we have to look at this journal for what this journal is.

This is BoJack showing up to a coaching relationship, talking about some of the pain he's been going through and some of his story. So I'm going to ask about that very famous TV show and really dive into some of the relationships, some of the history and really some of his experience. Cause I think that'll help us really understand maybe

what something special is with respect to that career, or maybe as you said, it's another career and we're going to leverage, contrast something that he didn't like to understand what he does like and what that's something special really is.

Jon Rom: You know, it sounds like we have three

good questions to ask BoJack let's send it his way and we'll take a short break and then we can hear what BoJack had to say.

Let's see, let's see if any of our questions spoke to him.

Jonathan Friedman: So John

I just got a reply from BoJack over here. Pretty excited. I mean, I guess that means the process works right?

Jon Rom: Yeah. I mean, hopefully the question, one of the questions resonated with him and he is interested in giving us his 2 cents.

Jonathan Friedman: Yeah. Let, let let's, let's take a look. So the question he responded to with what would something special really look like to you?

And his reply was, I guess, I don't know the show. That's my show. Something that really is me. Something people will remember me for forever. That's what I want. Legacy. A future.

Jon Rom: That's interesting. Interesting, Johnny, why don't you, why don't you walk us through what step two is, what, what, what, what are we going to try to do next?

Jonathan Friedman: So the next thing that we're going to do is start to work, to identify beliefs, and identifying beliefs means that we ask a question to see if what we think our client's beliefs are, are aligned with what they are. And I think in the question that we. What would something special really look like to you?

We started to dissect through some of that journal. And as we mentioned before, we had a lot of different thoughts about what BoJack was going through and what he thought something special could be. We spoke about how it might be like being in a show. It might be starting a new career altogether.

And here we understand sort of the deeper picture, which for BoJack is that. It's more than being an Oscar nominated actor. It's more than playing his hero in a movie. He wants a legacy. And my guess is when something doesn't work out exactly as he envisions it, that that's when he starts to depersonalise.

And that's when he starts to remove himself from the success. As you sort of noted before with him focusing on the CGI version.

Like Johnny,

Jon Rom: I don't want to alarm you, but I've watched a little little known musical, called Hamilton. You might've heard of it. You may not. It's indeed. off-Broadway net now not a lot of people know about it, but the idea of legacy is a really big thing in that show.

And, and the, the interesting thing about, you know, trying to build a legacy is that you always feel like every single thing you do is about planting seeds in a garden. You never get to see it's all about, you know, building this story that you don't even get to write. It's just written about you.

And, and I, it sounds to me like BoJack. It definitely subscribed to this idea. Like you said, that it's, it's all going to be a, it's an all or nothing game for him. It's going to be something remembered or it's going to be completely forgotten. And if it's not, if it's not a big hit, if it's not something that's hugely successful, if it's not something that people can automatically associate with his, with his face and his name and his and his brand, it's just not going to be special.

It's not going to be worth it for him and, and legacy the idea of legacy tied up into his self-worth I think can be A dangerous road to go down.

Jonathan Friedman: I think that. A really, really important point. When we look at somebody who even with some success sort of sees failure in everything that they're doing, what we want to do as a coach is not necessarily jumped to motivating them to do the task that they envision, but we really want to get behind them a hundred percent, 150, a hundred million percent behind their emotional wellbeing.

And we really want to work on that. How to get back up from failure over and over again, or what that person perceives as failure, because that's, what's going to help not only strengthen our coaching relationship, but strengthen their ability to focus on the success when it happens and how it happens, because there's a likelihood that things don't always go to plan.

And that's just kind of that, that's just kind of the nature of the beast, especially in something as. As interesting of a career as acting is.

Jon Rom: Yeah. Yeah. It's it's, you know, you got to ask the question is leaving a lasting legacy the only way to make what you do with your time special. Like if no one, if, no one, but like a handful of people know that you did what you did, is it, is it still worthwhile?

Jonathan Friedman: And I think. You're exactly right. I think what we have to do here, it's not, you know, Hey, you know, we asked a co a question around the initial journal. Okay. Question time has been done where a coach, it's time to jump to answers. Here, I think I really want to, you know, ask more questions. We're getting closer to the belief.

We understand that he wants his legacy, but we understand that every time he's trying to create a legacy, there's a sense of pain there. And what we really want to do is get closer to the pain. So John, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Like what, what's a question that we can now circle back and reply to this reply.

How do we sort of approach this?

Jon Rom: So I'm looking, I'm looking for that spicy nug, the way to kind of, to, to shake things up a little. And I think, I think it kind of flows into the, the next real part of it, which is, which is challenging the beliefs that we feel like we identified just like to find the crux of how BoJack views the problem.

And, and just bring to light the kind of assumption or pitfall in his belief system. And so I want my question to kind of, to, to rattle his cage a little, I want to ask, is there a way to do something special without it leaving a grand legacy? Can you do something small that's meaningful to you?

Jonathan Friedman: I love that.

And like also. Beyond this idea of doing something special for him. Cause we, we don't know what legacy even means yet. Legacy could be, you know, something that his immediate family say, Hey, you know, BoJack, you did a really good job there. It could be a bestseller book. It could be a show that gets a certain number of views.

It could be starting a podcast about coaching characters live on the air.

Jon Rom: You think, do you think Leonardo DiCaprio is going to be like on his deathbed and he's going to be surrounded by his loved ones. His family is presumably many, many 20 to 30 year olds. And they're going to be like, Leo, you did so much for us and you were so great.

The last thing we want to say to you is I loved you in the room. You were so good in Titanic you really were the king of the worlds. And then he's just like, thank you. And he just, and he passes off into the ether.

Jonathan Friedman: The heart will go on.

Jon Rom: Yeah. His heart will truly go on. It's an interesting idea.

Like what is, what is the definition of a legacy? When your career is, so based on you being known, does it have to be, does it have to be the things that you are known for in your career? And does it need to be the things that you were famous for? Like what if it's just, what if it's just the favourite, your favourite piece of art that you did?

Or what if it's adjacent to what you did? You know, it's, it's hard to say.

Jonathan Friedman: And I think on that note, I really want to go and understand a bit more about the different relationships that are going on in BoJack's life. Because I believe as a coach, that if we sort of start to help and understand the impact that project has on all the people around him for better or for worse, we can really start to understand.

What BoJack's, you know, smaller scale day-to-day legacy is what w how do people perceive him? How does he perceive how other people perceive him? And how can we start to focus on the little things that happen sort of beyond the career? Because right now, BoJack is attached. Or it seems, I should say that BoJack is attaching absolutely everything to having a perfect traditional movie that he wins an Oscar for that rubs everybody the right way.

And even in the case where somebody wins an Oscar. There are people who are upset by it. You can't make everybody happy. It's kind of impossible. And I hate to use that word, but it's kind of this really big expectation that we have that is really difficult. It doesn't always, or doesn't often work that way.

So kind of back to where we were before, where we really want to understand. All of the different pieces in BoJack's life and help understand all of those different impacts that he has and what we start to see, sorry, on one more tangent on the tangent, on the tangent

tangents, all the tangents, tangents,

tangents, I feel like there's like, like that's like an evil power ranger villain from back in the day, the tangent.

The tangent?

Yeah. I thought it was a Batman villain. The Riddler every minute, every movie has like 40 minutes. It has nothing to do with Batman. And you found out that the villain the entire time was just the tangent.

It's always developed the movies only going to be 50 minutes, but the tangent exactly.

Jon Rom: Robert Patterson. How long did it take to film the new Batman film?

We're Not done.Done


Jonathan Friedman: Robert Pattinson, the new Batman,

Jon Rom: I think.

Jonathan Friedman: Holy smokes.

Jon Rom: Oh yeah. Oh, that's those eyes though. He is the night.

Jonathan Friedman: Man, you know, from for, from Twilight to the dark knight. I mean, it, it seems exactly it works

canonically for him.

Jon Rom: He's actually progressing through the times of day. I think he's about to come out the other side and it's going to be morning .

Jonathan Friedman: Dawn

Jon Rom: Dawn. I had to watch that. It's just him.

It's just him watching

the sun rise,

Jonathan Friedman: John speaking of timelines and canonical stuff. What I really want to say is that as much as we're talking about these coaching steps, I think it's really important that no matter where you are in your coaching journey, The steps aren't necessarily sequential right now...

we're, you know, we're starting to really, really dig deep into BoJack's understanding of his world. We're thinking of some questions we have, but again, this is a great time to sort of check our own beliefs, check our own biases about, you know, the impact that he wants to have on people close to him. Maybe that's not the case with BoJack, but it definitely is.

Begs the question of asking him and other questions to identify the belief. Right. What does a legacy mean in the long term? What does it mean in the medium term? And what does it mean on a day-to-day basis? How are we acting towards our family and our people? And where is he himself feeling? The greatest impact?

Jon Rom: Yeah, we're building,

we're building a personal dictionary for, for BoJack and what those terms mean to him, because it's really going to make a big difference in how we talk about the idea of legacy. Like if, if we're thinking one thing and he thinks another thing, then you're not really communicating, you're just

kind of making assumptions.

Jonathan Friedman: And just like that the journal becomes the dictionary.

Jon Rom: The journal, the dictionary that chats with you is, is a sub product of the journal that talks


Jonathan Friedman: and it in a stunning plot twist and a

Jon Rom: stunning plot twist. Oh, maybe we should add, let's add, let's add a dictionary. In the future, the person just starts defining words based on what they think it means.

And we can just look up their definitions, their definitions of what those words mean. So we're never confused.

Jonathan Friedman: I love that. Like a legend. The legend has a legend. Yeah, the

legend of me. I, that already sounds like that already sounds like another movie title. Maybe this is going to be a movie podcast.

Who knows, man, that yet another stunning plot twist,

another stunning plot twist, man.

Jon Rom: Okay. So, it sounds to me like you're going to be, you're going to be journaling back and forth. You're going to be, you know, BoJack is going to be coaching and he's going to be writing down what he thinks about all these ideas. Do we, do you want to, do you want to come. To to see what BoJack has to say a few months down the line and we'll see what

had a way you made with him.

Jonathan Friedman: Yeah. So what we're going to do is we're going to do that whole three months later thing from the show about the yellow sponge, and we're going to ask BoJack some of those questions and we'll circle back really shortly. Stay tuned.

So now that we're back after our three month journaling adventure I wanted to sort of share some of the back and forth that's sort of happened through our process and by sort of following the coaching steps. And sort of always coming back to that place of checking my biases, checking my own beliefs, and really just focusing on asking the questions that came up from the journal.

We sort of started to understand that there's a, there's a lot more to this whole legacy piece. What was in that initial journal? Not everything about BoJack was actually about the Oscar. So John, if it's cool, I'm going to read this journal response that I just got in.

Jon Rom: Yeah. I'd love to hear. How's BoJack doing?

So here's

Jonathan Friedman: his most recent journal. You know, this whole journaling thing really isn't that bad. I really got to enjoy some time as a professor working with some students and I was their leader, their mentor, their director, maybe something special wasn't a show. It was me teaching others to make their own show.

Teaching is the closest thing I have felt to the feeling I searched for all of those years. All of these months, all of these days, these skits and shows my students put on were actually not bad. Sure. They are Ibsen. But then again, what is, and I think for me as BoJack's coach here, I'm really excited and interested to see that beyond BoJack's own journey as an actor, as a director,

or or really even as a person.

The legacy to him is actually being able to teach and for students to say, Hey, wow, Mr. BoJack, Mr. H is really, really cool that that's his version, or maybe we're starting to see it, that that's his version of a legacy. And that's really cool. And I think what it starts to show is that. That first journal that we read when we heard about the legacy, if we would have just jumped into, Hey, you know, you're an actor, like let's focus on motivating you so you can get back on the horse.

See what I did there, get that gun, get back on that horse and start acting again. We would have missed the whole point and maybe BoJack wouldn't have thought his teaching career at Wesleyan university to be so special.

Yeah, it's

Jon Rom: really interesting. It sounds like you guys got, you know, really deep into what it was that BoJack was actually looking to leave as a legacy.

And I'm curious, was the idea to teach something that he came up with or was it something that you kind of incorporated into the conversation and how did he even get there?

Jonathan Friedman: So, The entire time I've been reading and responding to journals. I've just, as I mentioned, I'm just asking you more questions.

I'm trying to really pick apart what legacy means to BoJack. I'm really trying to pick apart the impact that he's having on people in his day to day. This is back and forth and back and forth and back and forth for weeks. We're never just jumping right into coaching because as mentioned before, you kind of fall into those pitfalls and you might miss the whole point entirely.

And this whole idea of teaching comes from BoJack's feeling about the impact he has on other people. When he is teaching other people when BoJack is teaching people, that is when he feels his best. That's when he feels that his peak and to him in a way it's actually a better overall physiological and mental response to even, even being nominated for an Oscar.

And that's really interesting to me as a coach. And, you know, even in the story. BoJack is happier as a teacher than as an actor. So really what we want to do is what I want to do with BoJack is I'm going to continue reading and responding to his journals and I'm going to get behind him with all my force.

I'm going to like chest presses and military presses and javelin throw all of some sweet, sweet TLC behind him to sort of really hone in and focus on where we can put this teaching and where we can put that great feeling and all of the other areas of his life. That's really what I want to focus on with both.

Jon Rom: Where do you feel like you got, you got what principles did you, do you feel like you used in order to get him to that point where he feels coached and supported and ready to make a big change like that? Cause it seems like it seems like a big, you know, a gear shift, but you know, when I think about it, it does seem like you managed to find the crux of what his beliefs were telling him about himself.

Jonathan Friedman: The piece for me, when I approach these journals as BoJack's coach, is that I really wanted to dive deep into emotional resilience. I wanted to see his ability to not only bounce back from failure, but how his bounce back ability. Patent pending on the outward in my own dictionary is coming back again and again and again, and how it works.

And really we, as we notice in that first journal, was tying all of his success and his feelings of goodness around his ability to leave a legacy through the Oscar. And when we started to sort of dissect that and pick it apart and look at it. Really his legacy is more about leaving a positive impact on other people.

That's where we really started to do some of that really, really good directive coaching. So really it's about understanding what he wanted from his world and where we could look instead to get the essence of what he wanted. In all the places around him, as opposed to just the Oscar and the academy and movies.

Jon Rom: And I think, I think that must have been, that must have been kind of a a big shift in kind of the paradigm and how he in how he views himself, because so much of that original post was about, you know, And, and he didn't even kind of suggest that there was other things going on in his life, but it sounds like you managed to, to unlock some of those, some of those things for him.

Jonathan Friedman: That it's really great to hear, John.

I really appreciate that. Yeah. I'm really excited about where we're getting to with BoJack, but really the work doesn't stop here. It's about not only maintaining. That sort of baseline seeing the good in your own work and building self-esteem and building confidence and building all of those good things.

But it's about seeing for now for BoJack now that we kind of understand the crux, that core value of how leaving a legacy can feel good. I want to start helping him to have that experience everywhere he looks so he can have ultimate ease, peace, and joy.

Jon Rom: Really right on. Okay.

So I can't, I can't wait to hear back from BoJack you know, somewhere down the line, but it sounds to me like we're, we're getting to the point where we can bring up some listener, comments and questions and try to field some of those.

Hey Johnny, do we have any listener questions this


Jonathan Friedman: Well, John, now that you mentioned it, we do have a listener question and it's a, it's a pretty good one. I think it's something that a lot of us are starting to experience no matter where we're at in the world.

Jon Rom: All right. Okay. A lot of preamble for this.

I'm excited. I'm ready.

Jonathan Friedman: Hopefully this one lives up to the hype. This question comes from Fried.Mix and Fried.Mix asks, “with everything going on with COVID and many people feeling isolated and separated. How can we warm up our social muscles again and get used to interacting with each other again?

Jon Rom: Johnny, you know, I'm really excited for when a hundred years from now, they dig up this recording from our podcast and they say what's a COVID? And no one will remember that we spent all our time trapped indoors. Except for the little bit of time where we snuck out of the house to hopefully not get infected by a virus.

And yeah, it's, it's a hard time for sure. Johnny, do you have a, do you have any thoughts on this right off the top? Your.

Jonathan Friedman: Before we even dive into it. I just love the idea that somewhere in your backyard, where we are going to dig in a cap, a time capsule. Yeah. And we're only going to put character coaching episodes and they're going to be on floppy disks and somewhere, somewhere in the future, somebody's going to dig up those floppy disks.

First, say what the heck is a floppy disc? And then second say what the heck is a COVID?

Jon Rom: I liked the idea. I like the idea. 50 to 70 years from now, someone will reinvent the floppy disc, but it's, it's just all future tech and it's, and it's glowing and you, and you touch it to your forehead. And that's how you read onto the disc.

And you just put it into a cloud and that's what shows you what's on it. Like that's going to be the future of floppy disc technology. And we're going to use that to transmit our voice into the future.

Jonathan Friedman: Exactly. It's like every band right now is going on Tik TOK, and they're putting things out on vinyl and soon they're going to be going back to floppy disks and let's forget about floppy disks.

Let's get back to the matter at hand.

Jon Rom: Already forgotten.

Jonathan Friedman: Just a quick review because we do love tangents over here with everything going on with COVID and people feeling isolated. How can we warm up our social muscles again? So it, Fried.Mix is referring to obviously is that no matter where we're at in the world right now with COVID, there's this sort of lockdown or not locked down, especially for us over here in Canada and North America.

And A lot of us are getting really used to working from home, being inside a lot, not going out to, you know, shows or to restaurants. And a lot of us have kind of lost that, that flow. So John, I'd love to hear your thoughts. What are some ideas that you have about, you know, warming back up into that social interaction?

Jon Rom: Well, I see it a lot as a, when you're getting into a cold pool, you want to stick, you want to stick your, your baby toe in there. Then you, then you move on to the rest of the toes and then you get the part of the foot going and, you know, a few minutes, then all of a sudden you've got, you got a leg or two in there.

And then by then you can take the dive and really get back into things. I think trying to be as social as you was pre-pandemic. When things truly, truly open up and things get going again, it's going to be a shock to your system. And I think that you don't need to put yourself through that kind of change when you could ease yourself into it.

Jonathan Friedman: And I, I love that idea of sort of managing expectations going in and sort of having that plant focus on it. So rather than. A friend said, Hey, yo, you know, tonight, we're going to go bar hopping. We're going to go to three different concerts and we're going to take the subway and be home at 4:00 AM.

Maybe let's start with, you know, going to your local Boston pizza for a Pierogi pizza. Long before you're doing, you know, a whole stream of a million different things. And I know you love Pierogi pizza john.

Jon Rom: This podcast was brought to you by Boston pizza. Oh 1

1 day, one day, one day.

Okay. So, so, so here's the thing I know what I missed.

I didn't miss all of that. I was an introvert before the pandemic started. And I'm still an introvert, meaning that there were, there were some interactions that I did miss going, going to the local pizzeria and seeing the people there who know my name, miss that I liked I liked hanging out with my friends on a, on a balcony, overlooking the city and, and, you know, drinking craft beers, but I don't necessarily miss the club, which means that it's not going to be the first thing on my priority list when I'm easing myself back in. And I think having a list of what brings you joy and actually would lift up your spirits and prioritising those things instead of just going Willy nilly to every single thing that's available to you.

I think that's a good strategy going forward.

Jonathan Friedman: Absolutely. I think it's really about noticing that for many of us who are already experienced, you know, maybe some stress and anxiety about going out even before COVID or really just the idea of doing something new. Again, it's really about, you know, even taking out your journal, writing out what are the things, making a list of the things that you would love to do again, doing something that's really a high priority for you.

Something that really excites you. And just start out with that one small thing instead of sort of. Going with the beat going with being a victim of going out, because that's not going to be helpful for warming up at all. It'll sort of make it probably even harder.

Jon Rom: Jonathan, would you be mad if I spent every single Q and a.

Trying to sell people on writing lists because I feel like that's going to be the ongoing theme of a, of my answers. Write lists, make a list, make a list of something and you'll figure it out. Don't even worry about it.

Jonathan Friedman: I mean, you know how mad I get at you, John, but I think when it comes to this, I think I th I th I think I'll be a bit more forgiving.

I think it's a great idea. And as John was saying, it's always about taking out a pen, a paper Tablet, one of those cool pieces of digital paper that you can write on like real paper and write out a list in this case of the things that you know are really, really exciting to you, or even the a list of the things that really scare you about going out.

And once you have that on paper, it gives us sort of that opportunity to address those things.

Jon Rom: That's true. Yeah. Having it right in front of you and being able to see it is a very different prospect than sitting and imagining everything all at once and trying to sort through it all in your head.

Jonathan Friedman: Yeah. It's like that giant snowball. Like if you have a big snowball rolling down an avalanche, it's really, it's really scary. But if you break it up into little ones, you have a little fun snowball fight and each snowball is easier to Dodge. It's easier to address. And that's really the goal.

Jon Rom: Yeah. So if you have your questions that you want answered you can send us a question, email, email question at

You can also

Jonathan Friedman: follow us and reach out on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, my space, Yahoo answers, AOL messenger and FormSpring.


Jon Rom: Coaching is a production of The Journal That Talks Back™ a product of Frame of Mind Coaching™. To get accessible coaching for just $200 a month. Book, a free intake call Our music is the swindler by the original orchestra. Featuring Ian post. Our editing is done by one of the Jonathans on the show, which one will never tell.