Long Live the Future King by Scar

Have you ever wanted something so badly in life, only to see it go to someone else? Maybe it didn’t even go to someone who deserved it. Maybe the thing that you deserved — a job promotion, a relationship, a raise or something else — went to someone who’s never worked hard for that thing a day in their life. 

It feels like life just comes easy to that person, and that they never have to try to achieve things. Things just happen for them. Like they were born into success. Meanwhile, you’re stuck wondering how you can clinch that goal you’ve been waiting for, even though it’s not coming naturally to you. 

This is the exact position my client is in today. Some of you might be familiar with him: his name is Scar, and his desire to lead and preside over other lions (or, uh, people…) consumes him. He’s constantly thinking of ways he can rule, and always upset that the older, stronger Mufasa was granted leadership in his place. How can Scar be happy despite not being king? Is there a way for him to coexist alongside those whose possessions he covets?

To get help, Scar reached out to The Journal That Talks Back for some coaching advice. Today we’re going to read what Scar wrote to us and respond with some practical advice that can help him leave the doldrums of his current situation and develop a new, more rewarding outlook on life. 

Scar’s first journal entry

Entry One:

“Life's not fair, is it? You see, I... well, I shall never be king. And you... shall never see the light of another… I digress. While he is out there on the savannah doing that thing…what’s it called again… AHHH yes… RULING, I am here RRRRotting in a cave staring at little toucan-y things that are so funny that I can’t even bring myself to eat them. What’s my problem? I want to rule! The kingdom will never be mine because Mufasa (that oaf) is older. But it’s clear as the stars on a desert night that I would be better. The kingdom, the savannah, the leadership… should be mine. My time will come, but I’ve been so focused on that, that I don’t know what I should do in the meantime. Just continue to languish in this garbage heap that is my home? Become a chef? Take up painting? Start… hunting? Maybe get a *shudder* job? It’s TRRRRRRULY overwhelming to even think about.” 

Analysis: 

So, I don’t know how many monarchies still exist on Earth, but it looks like Scar’s a part of one of them. And that’s cool. Despite the rarity of his situation, his problems are pretty universal: he’s feeling jaded because he can’t do the one thing he really wants to do. Meanwhile, others are doing that thing right before his eyes. That’s something we’ve all experienced. 

The thing is, Scar doesn’t seem like a necessarily incompetent person. He seems capable. Smart. Cunning, even. But there’s a disconnect here, because he doesn’t seem to be working toward his goal of becoming king right now. Right now, it sounds as though he’s sort of sitting at home, waiting for his moment to be the next big leader — the next Jeff Bezos or Richard Branson — while not necessarily engaging in the prerequisite steps required to pull that kind of leadership off. 

But we don’t want to assume anything about Scar, and we certainly don’t want to brand him as lazy or uninspired. In fact, our goal here is to assume positive intent always, so even if Scar seems like a sort of abrasive guy (his name is Scar, after all…), we’re going to believe that Scar is being amicable in his goals to lead. 

So, upon first contact, I’d say we should pose a few questions to Scar. We might ask him what his other skills are that he’s cultivated so far. And what would a new start really look like to him? Rather than (in his own words) languish about while waiting to be king, is there something Scar can reflect upon that might change how he views his current time spent not ruling?

Let’s pose these questions to our favorite misanthropic lion (I mean, PERSON) and see what happens.

Next: reexamine the definition of exciting 

Question:

“When you think of a new start, what do you think of that really excites you!? What do you find TRRRRRRRULY overwhelming, specifically?”

Reply:

“Oh look at you, caring about what excites me. I guess that’s what you’re here for after all. Don’t mind me, I’m just famished. Curse you Mufasa. Anyways, I like the idea of being a ruler! I don’t know how I can be more clear, but as much as that excites me, it troubles me that the spot for ruler is taken. Curse you Mufasa. Where else can I find the rulership I so desire, without being king?”

Analysis:

I like where this question took us, because it’s given us a lot of information about Scar’s goals and initiatives. We’re learning that Scar is definitely a person who’s a self-starter and very motivated, which is awesome, because that’s kind of a rare thing. 

But we’re also learning that while the other things he mentions are fun side projects for him (cooking, hunting, painting), his real passion is becoming king. And it’s funny, because I think this is something that a lot of us experience in our life: we really want one thing, but we go and push that “thing” into a box with a very narrow definition. For Scar, being king means needing to rule over everything right now. It’s the equivalent of starting your own business and then deciding that a successful business means building a rocket ship and going to space (here’s looking at you, Bezos). It’s kind of a false comparison, right?

Because in reality you can still have the essence of the thing you want without mandating that you get something out of reach. Even if we can’t get in a rocket ship today, most of us can still go to the planetarium. And so in Scar’s case, I think there might be ways to rule… without actually ruling over the entire savannah. 

Now that we know more about Scar’s true desires, let’s pose one last question to him. I want to ask him if there’s other ways and spaces to find the rulership he desires. Where can Scar be a ruler, and what might ruling look like to him?

The check-in: redefining leadership

Follow-Up Question:

“Ruling can be many different things…but to me it sounds like the idea of leadership is exciting to you. Where can you find leadership, or working collaboratively with the other animals in your environment?

Closing Journal:

“While I wouldn’t say I enjoy thinking of other ways to do things, I will say that that is an interesting question. Is there more to being a ruler… what does it mean to be a leader? I guess maybe I can start practicing with some of those rank hyenas around here. They are always fussing about… could be they need some new mo-ti-va-tion *mwhahaa*. Could be interesting…could be very interesting!”

Final Thoughts:

Look at that! What I find really interesting here is that Scar is doing what all great leaders do: he’s looking for opportunities all around him. And I think that leads us to some conclusions. 

What we’ve learned here is that while Scar might be a little abrasive at first, he’s actually really open to the concept of shifting his internal ideas of what it means to rule. By accessing the tools around him and experimenting with leadership, Scar’s been able to transform a period of languishing into a period of innovation, and I love to see that for him. And that transformation happened in just a few journals! 

That’s great for Scar. So, my advice to anyone struggling with the same kinds of issues he’s been having might be similar. Your situation isn’t the same as Scar’s, per se, but I think it’s important to take stock of whether or not you can still have the essence of what you’re looking for without sticking to a narrow definition of that thing. Meanwhile, you can start to put the pieces in place to achieve that “larger thing” so that you’re still heading toward your North Star.

If you want more personalized advice like this, you might enjoy signing up with The Journal That Talks Back! I’ll even do you one better: I’m one of the main coaches involved at The Journal, so if you like the way I approach my clients (fictional or otherwise), we’ll probably get along well together. So either head on over there, or listen to our podcast episode all about Scar to get an in-depth picture of how we turned the antagonist of the savannah into an adorably ambitious lion (…person…). 

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 thejournalthattalksback.com.

Jonathan Friedman: I'm Jonathan

Jon Rom: and I'm John. This is character coaching, coaching, coaching,

Jonathan Friedman: ching, ching, ching

Jon Rom: Alright, Jonathan, are you, are you prepared for this, uh, for

Jonathan Friedman: this man? I don't think I'm ever prepared. I'm just totally kidding. I'm prepared. I have it right in front of me. I have this great journal from this dude named Scar, um, which is honestly a, really, really cool name. I mean, I

Jon Rom: think it's, uh, it's, it's gotta be his given name, right.

Because I don't think anyone's ever been nicknamed Scar. I think that's just the name you get when you're.

Jonathan Friedman: Yep. The parent looks at, you and says, wow, what a, what an incredible wavy, I think I'm going to need. It's cool. It's like

Jon Rom: calling your shot from the other side of the court. It's like this kid, this kid will have irreparable skin damage.

At some point

Jonathan Friedman: in calling it its name will be a Scar. Honestly, I wouldn't mess with that kid on the playground.

Jon Rom: If you name your car, Scar your Scarf. And someone keys it. Does that add to the name or does it detract from the monetary value of your vehicle?

Jonathan Friedman: Well, Scars cars, Scar Scars car.

Jon Rom: I

Jonathan Friedman: say that three times.

Jon Rom: I tried, I tried for a second, and Scars, Scars, Scars, Scars, Scars, Scars. Hey, what happened to that podcast? Oh, it's pretty good for a few episodes. And then they started saying car and Scar. And it became unlistenable.

Jonathan Friedman: Our drop-off rate when went through the roof. Yeah. All right, John. Well, I got this journal here from Scar it's titled long, live the future gig.

All right, I'm going to give it a read. Is that cool? I'd love to hear it. Is that finally? Okay.

Jon Rom: Finally. Okay.

Jonathan Friedman: Life's not fair is it? Do you see? I, well, I shall never be king and you shall never see the lights of another. I digress. Well, he is out there in the Savannah doing that thing. What's it called again? A yes.

Ruling. I am heat rotting, in a cave staring at little Kenny things that are so funny that I can't bring myself to eat them. What's my problem. You ask, I want to write. The kingdom will never be mine because Mufasa that oath is older, but it's clear as the stars on a clear desert night that I would be better.

The kingdom, the Savannah at the leadership should be mine. My time will come, but I've been so focused on that, that I don't know what I should do in the meantime. Just continue to languish in this garbage. That is my home. Become a chef, take a painting, start hunting, maybe get a job. It's truly overwhelming to even think about it, yours truly Scar.

Oh my goodness. That I don't know why I looked at those areas and went like total Transylvania.

Jon Rom: That was dripping with gravitas. My

Jonathan Friedman: gosh, thank you so much. I'll hopefully finally get that Emmy daytime, Emmy award that I've been wanting the PA the podcasting, Emmies. Is there a podcast Emmy’s?

Jon Rom: There's a Webbies I think.

Jonathan Friedman: Fantastic. Well, we'll apply.

Jon Rom: Yeah, we'll try to get a campaign going for that one time you said are good. 

Jonathan Friedman: Thank you so much. So we have this journal. And there are a lot of different things going on, John, what are, what are some of the things that stood out to you when you heard this journal? Other than my, uh, amazing attempt at rolling RS,

Jon Rom: you know, I don't, I don't know how many monarchies still exist on the earth, but this person hails from one of them and, uh, he's gotten, he's gotten into became, he wants.

Uh, and, and he's even got a bit of a self-assurance. He seems, he seems pretty self-confident his time will come, but it's the meantime that's troubling him. Like, what do you do while you're on your way to your greatest goal? How do you, how do you spend time, uh, you know, languishing at home, waiting for the future?

Jonathan Friedman: I think it's really interesting because I, nobody is born and then says, you know, um, is automatically the leader of a giant company like Amazon, or, you know, is going to space like Richard Branson. There are a lot of steps between now and there. And it seems like scathe r is just hanging out at home, waiting for his.

Or his space X to happen.

Jon Rom: Yeah. He seems like, he seems like he wants to get to the top of the ladder and he's almost there, but where, where does he, where does he go from here right now? You know, what are the steps between a and B and also, what do you do when you're not, when you're not chasing that paper, you know, on that grind, what do you do when you just, he wants to take, become a chef, take a painting, start hunting.

He seems like he's unemployed. There are so many options in front of them. He seems disorganized, but, but maybe that's an assumption. I don't know. I, you know, and I think, I think the important thing to do here is to, is to start at the beginning where we, where we have to check our stories and take note of all our beliefs and experiences and biases because we want to directly focus on what's in the journal of.

Jonathan Friedman: Yeah. And as you noted before, he might be unemployed, there might be a bunch of different things going on. He might be disorganized, but these are all assumptions. We have to sort of take a step back and come back to get the story, asking all of the questions, getting all of those juicy details, the juicy grubs, as, as I've heard them grubs and those spicy nuggets,

Jon Rom: the nut

Jonathan Friedman: grabs the grub nugs.

Jon Rom: Grab nags. That's a great band name. The grub. Next is a fantastic band name. Hey, what do you, what do you think about people who are, uh, this, this high up the ladder? I feel like, I feel like there's been a lot of talks these days on social media and how there are no ethical billionaires and there's no, there's no, uh, true modesty and power anymore.

Jonathan Friedman: What do you think? I think it's like a lot of things in our world. They're sort of that, you know, what you're born with and we all have, you know, different. Ranges of privilege and abilities and different talents. And it's what happens in your day-to-day, that sort of unlocks those. And for sure there are those barriers that different people are given.

And in this case, um, just being a younger brother is a barrier for Scar that gets in the way of his leadership. But for me, as I'm thinking about this journal, I become increasingly curious about. You know, what are some of the things he can put into place to start practicing that leadership? You know, even if we look at these billionaires going to space, and I recently watched that space X documentary, like space X is a whole different dream that, you know, went through a bunch of failures.

It took a long time for it to get off the ground literally and figured. And it's hard to know how something gets from an idea to full fruition. And obviously I'm sure, um, to be that wealthy, to be that rich, you don't really know what goes on behind the scenes and sure. We can take some guesses as to the ethics of how they got there.

Um, but yeah, uh, I don't, I don't even know where to start. That's it? That's a huge question. I know

Jon Rom: it's a, it's a big one. And I think this is a good example of one of our principles, which is to assume positive intent, because I feel like my bias here is that, uh, this, this person who is aiming for the top might be, might be stepping on a lot of heads along the way.

And if we're going to help them, we got to, we got to kind of put that out of our mind. And take them at face value. And I, and where's where I'm trying to find the positive intent in the, uh,

Jonathan Friedman: in this journal here. I think there's, I think something that happens a lot and, you know, I'm not in that category of wealth, so maybe I'm, you know, taking a shot in the dark here, but I think that there's a fast track to growth, which, you know, a lot of us as entrepreneurs.

Are looking on YouTube and looking for these, you know, fast ways to grow. If you just like do this very specific ad strategy, or if you do retarget, or if you do all of these different things, you'll be like, go fast, like grow. Your business will grow. And in corporations you have this chance to sort of competing with your peers, to get your way to, you know, get to the top.

And I think stepping on those heads is it almost happens naturally, but I think through practicing the skills that you need to be great, you can sort of also get there, although it might happen more slowly and looking at this journal, looking at, um, you know, a younger brother who wants to rule, but can't because of his, his, uh, you know, his blood.

I think that I want to look at all the skills, look at the essence of what he can have, which is to be a leader, and see where he can sort of practice that across the board. You know, do you need to be the king of a Savannah to be a ruler or can you start your own business, maybe Scars getting into crypto?

Jon Rom: Uh, yeah, I mean, it's, it's a heck of a time to try to get into crypto. Uh, lately. So that means that he be starting at the ground floor, uh, all over again, to try to work his way up and, and make his way in the world. Okay. So I think, I

Jonathan Friedman: think if you hold up, hold up, hold up, hold up, hold up. What would you call crypto in the Savanna?

What would the name? Oh be,

Jon Rom: …Grub coin is pretty good. Grub coin.

Jonathan Friedman: Got to get those Grub coin

Jon Rom: And it like, it's a picture of like a beetle upside down. Like that's the digital image that is associated with it. Um, but it wouldn't trade for very much,

Jonathan Friedman: not yet, but it might, you got to invest early.

Jon Rom: Yeah. Oh yeah. Uh, the returns would be slow yet

Jonathan Friedman: satisfying and then finally Scar can get a new one.

Jon Rom: The Scarf. Okay. So I think the positive intent then is that this person wants to be in charge and there's nothing wrong with that. Um, and that they are already sort of looking elsewhere in their life to know I've been so focused on his time coming that he's not sure what to do in the meantime. I think I think that intuition that he has that.

Take a back seat, uh, from this ambition to, uh, hone their skills and become something great on their own. Right. Without the kingdom is something we should lean into and something we should

Jonathan Friedman: encourage. Yeah. I love that. So if you could think of any question that you would want to ask Scar, cause I need a bit of help here.

Where, where would you start? What kind of question would you want to ask him, to get those, the juicy grubs, the grub nugs.

Jon Rom: Did you see grabs? What are you good at? What do you get good at? What, what what you ready have? You know, other than, other than training than trading grub coin, what are your skills?

What do you, you know, you feel so assured that you're going to be the king of the Savannah. How are you going to be the king of your own story?

Jonathan Friedman: I love that. And I think one of my favorite things about applying for jobs is that it gives you a chance to reflect on the things you're good at.

And you write out what about those skills could be important to both you and the place you're applying to. But what you're suggesting is taking kind of a personal inventory and writing a personal resume in this. About what our Scars skills. That's difficult to say what our Scars skills, especially with my lists,

Jon Rom: Scars, Scars, skills, Feldman, and sales,

Jonathan Friedman: you know, um, he Scarfed, wow.

So many SS as Scar said you know, should he become a chef? Should they take a painting? Started hunting. Those are all great skills. Are those things that he's been doing for a long time and has a lot of skill and has kind of just, you know, left off by the wayside while he's been, you know, hanging out in his cave, playing call of duty, or are those things that he just wants to do, maybe take a class and maybe get a job, which Scar also referred to what kind of job is exciting.

What's unique to Scars skills. So I love your idea. Taking that personal inventory for me. Um, the question that I came up with when I was reading this is when you think of a new start. Cause I, I think I'm taking a bit of a jump, but I think that's okay. In this case, when you think of a new start, what do you think of that excites you?

What do you find truly overwhelming specifically for me, I want to see what makes Scar tick, what keeps the day exciting for him, and also. He talks about being overwhelmed. I want to know what's overwhelming to Scar because maybe, you know, going into classes right away after hanging out in a cave for what could be years, we don't know might be a really difficult thing, but maybe it's time to start slow, or maybe it's time to jump full force with your passion.

That's really what I would want to, uh, dive into. I think I think being

Jon Rom:  think I think being overwhelmed and, in the context of the current climate and the world can, can get a bad rap because you can be overwhelmed when there are too many thoughts in your head, but there's, sometimes you can be overwhelmed by there being too many options, too many paths before you that seem equally viable.

Maybe this is a very skilled person. Maybe this person could be pursuing a lot of things. And I like your question a lot. I like. You, uh, your PR you know, that there might be a lot of roads ahead, but you're curious what it, what is, what is Gar passionate about what gets their, their blood boiling?

What gets there, you know, what gets their goat, um, or, or, or another animal that probably lives in the Savanna.

Jonathan Friedman: I think one of the things that a lot of people would say when they see this journal is they would look at somebody who's not necessarily self-motivating. And we know that there's nothing that he wants more than to be a leader and to rule.

And I think taking the time to dive there first and take a look at that as a, as a key skill. Cause especially as you're saying in this climate with COVID with everything else that's going on in the. Having that self-motivation is, you know, that's, that's even a differentiator. That's a really important skill being a self-starter having things that, um, you want and things that you can, you know, when you're trying something on, you can envision yourself doing and Scar can do that.

Jon Rom: All right. Okay. So, so I guess, I guess, you know, for the sake of the rule of threes, the other question I'd want to know. Is, uh, what is Scar afraid of, you know, what are, what are the things that are holding him back? Because usually, when someone is reluctant to pick a path, it's also, it's also, they're trying to avoid what they see somewhere along that path in their mind.

So I wonder, you know, what's what stopped him from, you know, already. Taking up painting or hunting or, you know, working, uh, and, and earning a wage. What's, what's been hit the barriers in his life.

Jonathan Friedman: Yeah. I love that. And I love the difference, the differentiation between overwhelming and fear because overwhelm could be, we don't know if Scar has, you know, some other, uh, Factors in his life that are also going on at the same time that make thinking of the future difficult could be, you know, a truck trauma or something like that.

But also, um, fear of the future could be it's, it's a different thing. So I think that's great to differentiate those two. I think what I'm going to do is I'm going to ask my question, cause I think it kind of encompasses all of the questions. Uh, which is when you think of a new start, what do you think of that excites you?

And what do you find truly overwhelming specifically? So I'm going to go ahead and send that to Scar. Um, you know, I think he's still hanging in, out in the cave, so I'm excited to get here. Reply post-haste. 

Jon Rom: What's a, what's the wifi like in K what do you think? The wifi cave situation?

Jonathan Friedman: I dunno, but it's been around for a while. So I feel like if you, like, I feel like you have to build it into the walls a bit more. You might need an extender. Is that what they're called?

Jon Rom: Oh, the same thing you think he's plugging one of those range extenders into the cave wall. The electricity, cave, wallet, electricity to get that signal all the way deep in

Jonathan Friedman: it could be.

It could also be that a Mufasa. We won't talk about him much, but it could be that he, uh, you know, created like a global wifi system for the Savannah to create some more equity. Yeah. It's uh,

Jon Rom: it's, it's the infrastructure of the. That we're not, I don't know if it's, we need to ask about it. Cause that's obvious most important

Jonathan Friedman: thing.

That's and we also, already got a journal, so we know there's why. Oh yeah, no,

Jon Rom: obviously. Oh, you could also be on that, on that LTE network, the cave, LTE network,

Jonathan Friedman: 5g 6g. What are we on now? Um,

Jon Rom: I am on zero G. There's no grass. There's no grass. Yeah, exactly. Yeah.

Alright.

Jonathan Friedman: So enough dilly-dallying. I'm going to go ahead over and send on this question and, uh, we'll be right back, um, to see what's.

And task. Okay. So, John, it looks like we have it answered from Scar, which is pretty exciting because a lot is going on in this guy's mind. And I think it's cool that he's taken the time to journal. I think that's, a key feature of fantastic leaders.

Jon Rom: It's, you know, it's, it's the frequent journalist.

Tend to have a lot to say and want to get down to business. And we, we know we stand that. We appreciate it.

Jonathan Friedman: We stand. And also, you know, we know Scar probably watches Oprah and Oprah's an avid journaler. So he probably got it from that. I,

Jon Rom: I honestly, think that uh, if you're watching Oprah, then you're probably journaling while you're watching.

Jonathan Friedman: I wouldn't do anything different. I, I watch Oprah all the time. That's a pretty good show. Okay. Gonna stop talking about things that I don't know about and I'm going to carry on. All right. Here is Scar’s follow-up to us. And again, just as a reminder, the question was when you think of a new start, what do you think of that excites you?

And what do you find truly overwhelming specifically? Oh, look at you caring about what excites me. I guess that's what you are here for after all don't mind me. I am just famished to pursue Mufasa. Anyways. I like the idea of being a ruler. I don't know how I can be more clear, but as much as that excites me, it troubles me that the spot for the ruler is taken curse.

You move fossa. Where else can I find the rulership? I so desire without being king back to you, your majesty, uh, that, that was passionate.

Jon Rom: He's hungry, literally and figuratively he's hungry.

Jonathan Friedman: What's interesting about reading and responding to journals is that sometimes you hit the nail on the head. And sometimes by asking questions like what we asked Scar, we get a little more clarity about what's going on.

And this one line, you know, we feed that Scars really ing with putting food on the table. Uh, which is a very critical issue. And also we're finding that he wants to be a ruler chef, the painter, those could be hobbies, but it's the leadership he seeks. And this question, where else can I find the rulership?

I so desire without being king, I think is amazing. I love that question because. One of my favorite concepts is getting the essence of what you want. A lot of us kind of look for these really big things in our life. And we kind of put up a wall that if we can't have that, if we can't, you know, buy a rocket ship and go to space, you know, we can't have anything it's that or nothing.

And in most of our cases, We can, you know, go to a planetarium and learn more about space and d ourselves with space. And that would be getting the essence you're surrounding yourself with what you want without having exactly the thing. And what I love about this question, that's so beautiful is where else can I find the rulership?

I so desire without being king? I think it fits right into that. It's where else can he find rulership or I'm going to, you know, take a jump from their leader. Without being king, could it be again, you know, starting a cryptocurrency company, uh, grew up going, it'd be, um, opening up, uh, a shawarma restaurant.

Could it be, you know, doing guided tours of the Savannah, um, and have, you know, a few employees and you teach them how to do the tours to that be rulership or leadership. What do you think, John?

Jon Rom: I, I think I see your point and I, I always note that when people. Are geared towards leadership are, are looking for leadership.

It's usually going hand in hand with wanting recognition. They want to be recognized for their contributions, their skills, and their ability. And, you know, it's, it's, I would want to, I'd want to identify the belief system that. Scar here has because I want to know this. He believes that he needs to be a leader to be recognized.

Is there, is there room for him to work collaboratively, to be part of a team, to be part of something bigger than himself and be recognized and not be the leader? Or does it have to be, does it have to be a position at the top to be?

Jonathan Friedman: Yeah, where can Scar exhibit those traits of great leadership.

So we can take time to look at what are the different skills, what are the different leadership skills that Scar currently has? Maybe he's had experience working in a management position at an American Eagle or something like that before. Um, maybe there are just some ideas and some vision that Scar has that he would like to, um, explore a bit more.

And what I love about it. Um, the questions we're asking is that if we would have just said, you know, Hey, let's explore leadership skills at the beginning, we could have taken that guest, but we also saw that Scar was talking about being a chef, that he had some struggles with his brother that he wanted to make a painting without clarifying that first and sort of, you know, getting all of the details.

We wouldn't have been able to make a fair. Um, the assumption that this is really where the crux was and when we're identifying and challenging beliefs, we're looking for, as we were calling it before that juicy grubbed, the spicy nug, we're looking for that belief, which in this case is that he Scar might feel that he can't be a ruler without being king.

I'm asking that question, where else can I find the rulership? I, so desire allows us to sort of challenge and dig deep. Where else can we find that rulership?

Jon Rom: Where can Scar be a ruler? Where can Scar be a ruler? What can it mean? What can it mean? What can it mean? What could it mean?

Cause it's, you know, you ever noticed how he, he even listed primarily independent things. Primarily I'm, self-driven a chef, a painter, a hunter. Those, those people don't usually have bosses. They aren't told what to do. It sounds like, it sounds like autonomy is, is, goes hand in hand with the need, for recognition.

Then, the desire to rule to lead. It's very much coded in, in what he

Jonathan Friedman: wants. Yeah. And I think there's, there's that piece. A lot of people, I think they want leadership, but also that autonomy and being able to see your vision out as opposed to other people's visions is really important. And I think that's very entrepreneurial.

That's very much, um, a mindset of seeing that you want to see your vision out and lead other people to fulfill yours. And I think that's awesome, but that's, that's an extra layer to leadership. It's a bit more, it's a bit different as leadership doesn't necessarily mean feeding your workout. It might mean, you know, coming up with a creative solution to do something, but it's different than fulfilling your vision.

And what you're kind of noting is that Scarf probably has a, has a big vision, which probably would. His desire to be king.

Jon Rom: He just can't, he just can't wait to be king. And I think that is going to inform all the things that he does in the meantime, even if it's a side project, even if it's something that he's doing as his side hustle, this is going to be in the back of his mind.

And so instead of divorcing those two things, I say, let's, let's lean into it. Let's make his, his, uh, ambition part of what he does. Even in his, uh, NSI

Jonathan Friedman: project. Yeah. I love that. And I think some people, I think this happens to me when I go sometimes and ask people for their advice and their thoughts on some big vision I have, sometimes I get told, you know, like just don't worry, it'll happen.

Hakuna, Matata, all of that good stuff.

Jon Rom: I don't speak. Um,

Jonathan Friedman: Can you translate that? So, it means no worries. So Haley, oh, I believe, I don't know. Maybe that may I took that too far, but I'm pretty sure it's Swahili.

Jon Rom: Okay. Cool way. So like any listener,

Jonathan Friedman: correct me if I'm wrong.

Jon Rom: No worries for today. Or like, just

Jonathan Friedman: like the next week I recently saw this quote on my Twitter that means no worries for the rest of your day. I don't remember who that was from, but, uh, that's why I wanted to bring that up in this episode specifically.

Jon Rom: I think, uh, I think no worries for the rest of your days would probably put us out of job.

Jonathan Friedman: That's true. But, uh, thank you. Thank you, Twitter-verse for the nice thought. Yeah. Um, so here's the question I think I want to ask Scar and I think it kind of helps it encompasses some of what we were talking about. Which is ruling can be many different things. But to me, it sounds like the idea of leadership is exciting you.

Where can you find leadership or work collaboratively with the other people in your environment?

Jon Rom: Okay. All right. So, uh, I understand, so we're, we're basically where we're opening his eyes to opportunities for leadership outside of his main goal. I like that. I like that. I feel like it's leaning into his, uh, we're capitalizing on the fact that he's so seemingly single-minded about this, but it could translate into a lot of different projects, a lot of different desires.

Jonathan Friedman: So many S's in this episode. Um, yeah, I think we have these coaching steps that we're always talking about. Checking our story, getting the story, identifying beliefs, challenging. But sometimes if somebody like Scar in this case asks the question, where else can I find the rulership? I so desire that without being king it's okay.

As a coach to kind of just take that for what it is and expand on that. Because my vision for Scar as his coach is that he feels easy, breezy, beautiful cover Scar about all of his leadership stuff that he wants to do. And if he's opening the door to that idea, which is awesome. And hopefully, you know, our coaching was a part of that.

I want to dive right in there and see where we can go and see what that vision of leadership and become.

Jon Rom: There's no one that there's nothing wrong with confidence, but it's good. It's good to challenge that confidence and by challenging beliefs, sometimes it just means. Prove it show me, you know, what, what do you got?

What do you get in mind? What's the, uh, what's the, what's the newest idea that you're coming up with talking to me. That you, you get excited about and that you're interested in, you know, maybe, maybe it's talking to a coach that is really, is really what is needed to stimulate that confidence to turn it to action.

Jonathan Friedman: I love it. I love it. So I'm going to go ahead and send that to Scar. We know that, uh, his wifi has been blazing fast so we can get, uh, get something back from him pretty, pretty soon. So, uh, yeah, I'm going to send that over and I'm excited to see what.

Jon Rom: Let's do it.

Jonathan Friedman: 

Yeah, we've both. And I just was thinking about this was we both played Pumba in different Renditions of my father's doing LiKingIng. 

Jon Rom: When were you Pumba?

Jonathan Friedman: When I was 10 years old at center camp, we did lion king in the summer presentation of center camps, the lion king. And, uh, yeah, I was Pumba and we didn't get like a Pumba costume.

We were each given like $20 to go to value village. Um, something that sort of fit the bill, like in the color scheme, the hornbill, the hornbill. Exactly. And I remember just wearing this brown turtleneck and brown overalls and I had to wear, my Fanny pack with all my epi-pens and my big chunky Coke bottle glasses.

And, uh, yeah, I was Puma. I crushed. Oh, no doubt at the time it didn't feel

Jon Rom: okay. So I understand, I understand how your dad's brain works. He sees the name Jonathan, and he's like

Jonathan Friedman: Puma, that's it? This is Zulu from Puma. Yeah, I think it's anonymous.

Jon Rom: Wow. I can't believe, I can't believe I had never known this.

The value that we share, we share where the character

Jonathan Friedman: brother. I think when you did lion king, I was doing sound and lighting. And I, I remember that the light, the lighting console exploded after like hours of me, 13-year-old, me trying to figure out how lighting works and it exploded. And the vice-principal of our middle school was there and she was very, very unhappy.

Come on. I'm just having, I was just a young warthog. No. Yeah. I

Jon Rom: mean, well, you know, it's the, uh, it's the promise of a young set designer and lighting coordinator and lighting director that probably disappointed the vice-principal cause she was, she was looking at your potential and then saw it go up in, uh, iridescence.

Jonathan Friedman: And iridescent. It was.

Jon Rom: right in your face where you like w I would have, honestly, I would have just walked away. I would've just been like Nope,

Jonathan Friedman: goodbye. I'm doing well. I remember what happened was they wanted the play to meet a certain budget and lighting and sound can get expensive. If you hire someone to do it, especially at a school, like to set everything up, there's a big.

For whatever reason. I don't know like the kahuna is on me at 13. I said, don't worry, I'll do it. So my dad and I went to long and McQuaid, we rented all of Cosmo music in Richmond hill, Ontario. We rented all the stuff and I had no idea how to set it up. There are so many wires, like hundreds of pounds of wires and lights.

And we had to get the custodian to get up on this 30-foot ladder to hang up the lights. And we had to wire it to the board in the back of the room and the cables weren't long enough. And then we needed to get extension cables and there's like hundreds of pounds of wire and these expensive sound and light boards being put in the hands of a 12-year-old with no experience just to save a couple of hundred dollars.

Oh, my gosh. And yeah, my dream of being light and the sound person went up in smoke quite literally. Hey, listen. That

Jon Rom: was also my, um, the end of my acting career. So I know how you feel. That was a Puma was the last time I was ever on a stage. And I believe it was soon after that my voice, my voice drop happened.

And so what was once a cute, um, tenor was becoming. Gravelly, uh, on attractive unpolished baritone. And the highlight of my entire acting career is still my singing. Can you feel the love tonight in Hebrew? Uh, and getting a laugh out of my, uh, my acting chops. So, so you know, it, it's, it's the path not taken for both of them.

But I think, uh, I think the way things turned out, we both, uh, we both shook out to be where

Jonathan Friedman: we ought to be. Yeah, no, no. We have a podcast now we have a

Jon Rom: podcast. I think that's the eventuality of any stage mishap or, um, uh, peaking too early. Is that you

Jonathan Friedman: end up with a podcast. Yeah. So, okay. We, send it back to Scar.

I just got a notification on my phone. We got, we got a, got a reply. I want to read it. Let's see what happened, Amy. Here's what Scar said. Well, I wouldn't say I enjoy thinking of other ways to do things. I will say that it is an interesting question. Is there more to being a ruler? What does it mean to be a leader?

I guess maybe I can start practicing with some of those rank hyenas around. They are always fussing about it, could be, that they need some new motivation. Well, ha could be interesting. Could be very interesting. So I don't know what the heck he means by hyenas. Uh, maybe that's like in the Savannah, that's just something you like.

It's the main thing you say to the people around you, or maybe it's a, maybe it's a compliment. Maybe I'm just making another.

Jon Rom: I think it's another way of saying chuckleheads, you know, it's a bunch of, a bunch of goofs offs in the area is he's gonna, he's gonna pull them up, uh, to his level and get them motivated to do something, uh, something big.

Jonathan Friedman: And for all of you, American listeners, chuckleheads is something we call each other and Toronto. Why don't you worry about that? And apparently, it's what, uh, that's, that's how you refer to someone in the Savannah, but it's as a hyena, same thing. Yeah. The same

Jon Rom: word. That guy is such a hyena

Jonathan Friedman: in such a chucklehead.

We have to check the head. Exactly. We should do one of those. Do you remember the key and Peele sketch, uh, anger translator? When one of them was, I think, uh, the peel was acting as Barack Obama and he was saying nice things, nice things. And. Was translating it to anger. It was like an anger translator thing.

So if something was I'm feeling good about what's about to happen in the policy. And then the key would say I'm really like, and then swearing and yelling and stuff like that. So I think that's kind of what's going on here. We're talking about, you know, chuckleheads but we.

Jon Rom: Oh, I thought you were going to say, we need a Canadian aneurysm translate.

Where I'll be, you know, I'll be saying, oh, sure. But that's a great idea. And then you'll say I approve of your idea.

Jonathan Friedman: Yeah. Maybe that's what I was trying to get up, but I just couldn't get thanks, coach, John.

Jon Rom: Hey, that's what I'm here for. It sounds like, it sounds like we're tiptoeing near to, to Scars.

Next step. It sounds like he got from very luxurious, very ambivalent. Towards his, uh, his next steps to just about ready to go out there and start making moves. What do you think?

Jonathan Friedman: Yeah, I don't know what the heck luxurious means.

Jon Rom: Cause I want someone is not, uh, a big, a fan of musical theater and theater as they purport to be then.

Jonathan Friedman: Yeah. I'm so sorry. But yeah. Um, I think what's ting here is, um, Scars looking for opportunity. W around himself in the resources around himself to start experimenting and playing what it means, playing with what it means to be a leader. And I think that's something that all great leaders do.

It's not just about, you know, creating something out of thin air that's part of it, but great leaders' access to the resources around them. And you know, if he's living with these chocolate heads or these heightened. I think it's a good opportunity for Scar to start putting some of his ideas together with, the people around him.

And I think that's awesome. I think that's a great, um, way to think about it.

Jon Rom: That's why I'm gonna, I'm going to add a fun new segment called what did you learn today? Jonathan. What did you, and what was your takeaway from this? You know, I feel like coaching is such a two-way street and you ended up picking up new lessons for yourself.

Uh, when you do it, what did you pick up from Scar? What did you, what did you take away from this, uh,

Jonathan Friedman: experience of yours when you were saying, what did you think of a Jonathan where you're talking about yourself in the third person or asking me, uh,

Jon Rom: though I do usually speak with the Royal Jonathan.

I was referring specifically to you, uh,

Jonathan Friedman: Perfect. Um, I love the idea of there being a Royal council of Jonathans. Well, who knows maybe,

Jon Rom: maybe Jonathan's are meant to rule as well. Maybe we're, uh, we're in a very similar situation. A Scar, one of us is meant to rule the other one has meant

Jonathan Friedman: to drill.

I think one of the things I learned from this experience with Scar is that at the beginning, I found him a bit hard, like hardheaded, a bit stubborn, and I'm that way too. And I think. His openness to shifting the idea of what it means to be a leader around in his head from, you know, who knows doing what to become king, to sort of accessing the resources around him, to experiment with leadership.

I think that's such a shift and that happened, you know, in just a few posts. And I think that's incredible. And I think something that I want to start experimenting with myself is. Being more open-minded to change, but also working quickly through change, you know, let's just try it, see what happens if good.

Yes. Move on if bad, then try something else. Yeah, I think that's great. How about you, John?

Jon Rom: Well, it's, you know, I feel like a person who spends their entire life sitting on their hands is going to have a lot of cobwebs to shake off when they start making big moves and being motivated. But. Scar went, went from wanting to do, and we, I feel like we subtly called him on it.

And I think that that's what got him, uh, got him grew in and moving towards his, his goal of ruling to be a leader, uh, is to, to be able to recruit others to towards the same goal and Scar had that sort of that constant. Fully understood from the beginning and all he needed was a little kick in the butt to get them going.

So I'm excited. Hey, maybe, we're going to hear big things from Scar, uh, through the journal, through the N

the

Jonathan Friedman: news who knows through journal one and a half through journal two, they might come in different orders. Who knows? Yeah, but I feel like

Jon Rom: the songs in the journal too are going to be low-key better than the songs in journals.

Jonathan Friedman: One and a half is the best, you know, uh, maybe a song about digging a tunnel. Like, I dunno what the heck that means or who digs tunnels this time. But, uh, man, I feel like that'd be a bop.

Jon Rom: Yeah. Well, you know, it's, uh, it's a wheel of fortune when, uh, when you think about it with the songs that you end up getting in your

Jonathan Friedman: journals.

So how did they get the rights to that? So let's, uh, let's switch things up a bit. Uh, jump right into some listener, comments, and questions. We got a few and I'm excited. Well, I'm excited to see what happens with Scar in the future, but let, let, let's see what's going on with some of our listeners.

Uh, I have a couple of questions here, but we're going to dive into one today. Uh, John, are you ready? I'm

Jon Rom: my body is ready.

Jonathan Friedman: So we have, um, I'm not surprised. Are you on the edge of your seat?

Jon Rom: I, I honestly think that I should just sell the chair on Kijiji and get a slightly less wide chair so that at the very least, I know I'm not giving up so much real estate by being on the edge of my seat

Jonathan Friedman: constantly makes sense.

And especially in Toronto, real estate's expensive. Yeah. Um, okay. Let's, let's jump into the. So we have a question from Brian and his question is how do you start acting when you're struggling with anxiety? I think that's awesome straight to the point. Kind of question,

Jon Rom: a fellow thespian, my goodness.

person. So much, so much theater talk this FSA.

Jonathan Friedman: What does lugubrious mean? Again? Means

Jon Rom: sad or droopy read a book.

Jonathan Friedman: Oh, sorry, Brian. I didn't mean it that way. I just was really curious about what lugubrious. So, how do you deal with it? So, first I think it's important too, for anybody who's listening. When we, when we're talking about anxiety, um, there's a lot of different facets that happen with it.

And it's really important to define first what we mean by feeling anxious. Cause it could mean, you know, being a little fearful about a situation, just have to feel anxious versus having. An anxiety disorder or going through anxiety frequently, having a high baseline of anxiety all the time. So I, I think, um, something that's a really good exercise is first to take out a journal and just ask yourself that question.

What does anxiety mean to you? When do you feel that anxiety? How often do you feel that anxiety? And obviously, it's really important to share if, uh, if you're feeling anxiety, you know, more than. EV every so often, and it's a constant experience. Don't be afraid to like talk to a doctor, talk to a professional and just ask the question about, you know, like, Hey, I'm feeling a bit anxious.

Here's what happens when I feel anxiety. Here's what it means to me. Here are my journals from the past, you know, months about me feeling anxious. And I'm wondering if I could get your thoughts about it.

Jon Rom: Yeah. And more, more specifically, this could be performance anxiety, which is a, it's a subtype of, of, of social anxiety, where you just can't seem to get the words out, get you, get yourself going B, feel normal and, and balanced when you're in a position where you have to perform.

And as an actor, I can imagine that would be pretty difficult, pretty difficult to deal with, but, that is something that can be done. Uh, by going to a doctor, but if it's more of a background, background anxiety, that's very specific to this situation, but it's not stopping them from doing the job.

Then I wonder, I wonder if we could, we could coach them about how to get yourself at the moment, get yourself, catch yourself, feeling anxious.

I

Jonathan Friedman: love that. I think the idea of. Noting what things it feels like, notice where it's happening, and then see what the steps are to get from here to there. Maybe it's taking some smaller steps to act, maybe it's, uh, practicing in front of your friends or maybe a partner or maybe a family member beside them, and then practicing with them in front of the room being, you know, by yourself, reading a monologue to people.

And then maybe after that, Try it out with some acquaintances or try it out at an acting class before going on stage.

Jon Rom: Yeah. Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Jonathan Friedman: Yeah. Um, share a personal story. I struggle with social anxiety and one of the ways, is one of the things that I wanted to do, I've always been a musician, always played in bands, but I've always been kind of behind the.

And a few years of Joe, uh, Joe, a few years ago, I joined a metal band where I was the vocalist and I was screaming one of those screamo guys. And you see, like for me, the first time I ever streamed life, I remember somebody told me after that my eyes were closed. I wasn't even facing the audience half the time.

Uh, taking the time to get comfortable with screaming. You know, I made a couple of Tik TOK videos about it. Um, I was showing my screaming off in a few other sorts of situations with, you know, my girlfriend at the time and with some of my friends and I even remember going to karaoke with John and a few other people.

And I busted, I th I think I was like screaming over, uh, take on me or something like that. And it was a lot of fun, but just experimenting with all of those differences. Um, helps me to be comfortable with that voice and that part of being in my skin. And eventually, after like a year of practicing that way, I was the first one, you know, jumping off the stage and getting the crowd all riled up before COVID.

So I think it's all about noting where you are and taking, you know, um, acknowledging the small steps that you can take in between here and there.

Jon Rom: I love that story, Johnny, would you say that, would you say that screaming over. Take on me was your aha moment.

Jonathan Friedman: I think it was exactly my aha moment. I think there's, I think that's the greatest pun I've ever heard.

It's really

Jon Rom: good. It's very wholesome. It's wholesome that, that you were able, to gain that confidence on stage. And I think both of us have been in the. Performing arts, uh, in some capacity or another, we could both speak to a little bit of stage fright and how that's manifested. I've always had a very physical manifestation of my stage fright, where I feel, uh, I feel sick and queasy and shaky, but there's something about, there's something about letting all that go.

When you walk onto the bright lights that you just get into the habit of when you let yourself be very vulnerable onstage and offstage and as much as possible. And I think, I think your story speaks to

Jonathan Friedman: that. Thanks, man. I appreciate you sharing that as well. And I think what you said brings up kind of a really important facet to what we were talking about before.

A lot of people are anxious about being vulnerable and taking that first step to show, you know, maybe a talent that you haven't showcased before. Um, and I, I think that's another awesome way to look about it, look at it. And I think that you know, again, just taking those steps to try being vulnerable.

Um, around people who are close to you and some sort of build-up can be helpful. Or for some people it's just, you know, taking the plunge of doing it once and then it's just, it becomes second nature over time. It's different for everything.

Jon Rom: Yeah. And I think it's, I think permitting yourself to not be perfect is a really, is a really big part of that to just let yourself, uh, do your best and have fun is a huge part of performing.

Um, and, and we don't know if this person is doing. Uh, for their job or casual fun, but regardless you got it, you got to have fun with it because if you're stiff, that's going to translate to how you are on stage. So letting yourself kind of be free and loose and letting the anxiety, uh, flow out of you, like so much acting God, given, acting talent is as important.

I love that.

Character coaching is a production of the journal that talks back is a product of frame of mind coaching to get accessible coaching for just $200 a month. Book, a free intake call  thejournalthattalksback.com. 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.

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