Anxiety and ambition show up side by side. It’s been a crazy year. We are not as far as I want us to be; yet we are a lot further than I thought we would be. Getting up early, taking a moment to look up, say a thank you to life before having a chat with my anxiety and ambition and getting those two to work together has been the best habit I’ve discovered this year. It’s not either courage or fear. It’s not happiness or sadness. It’s an orchestra. Every emotion, every hope, every dream and every fear is all sitting there playing their own instrument. For me, prayer and gentle focus (start one thing, get distracted, realise I’m distracted, forgive myself and get back to it) are the conductor. However, whether you are chasing a dream or totally content in your current season, there is an idea I see everywhere that says you should always aim to be happy. That all the other players in your orchestra need to pipe down and happiness should be the only member of the band. I feel like that idea causes more unhappiness than we realise. At the time of taking this picture, I got bad news, I was also in the middle of a film and was holding a personal health challenge. I was happy, worried, a bit sad and hopeful throughout the day. A few years back I would have repressed most of those feelings. This time each one would be met with the same thought, the same conductor. A simple saying, said over and over: ‘This will make me better’ – a better producer, better friend, better man, better husband and, life/god willing one day, a better dad. To anyone feeling that they ‘should’ be happier, I wish you the same thing I wish for myself: a more skilful inner conductor who can work with whatever you currently have and when needed remind you to look up before you put your head down.
These two. Since I was about 13-years-old I have imagined a future version of a BAFTA/Oscar speech. Over the years, different people have entered and left that list. Jo and Kate will be on that list till the day I die. . .
A lot of us have dreams or goals, bigger than our environment, resources or backgrounds. The time you spend in the gap between where you want to go and where you are can birth all kinds of shit. My impatience with that gap has at times led me into quiet, potent bouts of depression. If you’re lucky, life will send you people (angels) who will see the future version of you in your current state and if you’re really lucky their conviction can outweigh your doubt.
Almost five years ago, I was sketching the dream of Stories Like Us out of the cafe owned and run by Jo and Kate, Canal Deli. Over the years of (occasional) free coffees, lunches and ’holy shit you didn’t!’ stories, I got my faith topped up and my dreams restored. Yesterday I pitched three TV shows at the BBC and got three follow up meetings. I’m still in the gap, but now there is a studio in Camden, a small team, batmobiles, potential studio spaces in LA, trips to TV sets and I’m getting ready to pitch to two of my dream companies next year. In ways that Jo and Kate will never understand, I take them with me into every big meeting I walk into. . . Here’s to those who support our dreams with whatever they have to give.
Back from LA LA Land. Waking up at stupid o’clock hungry to chase these dreams. We did more film work with Nolan Bushnell — who founded Atari, was Steve Jobs’ only ever boss, invented Chuck E. Cheese and who, in his late 70’s makes me feel all kinds of lazy. He’s building a new computer games studio with an ex-head VFX guy from Marvel Studios called Zai, who might be (is) the most effortlessly chill person I have ever met. Zai designed the Jarvis interface — you know that POV of Iron Man inside the suit, he casually made that.
Both guys talked about fear and passion. Fear, not as something to destroy but as an ally, something useful. Something to let them know to move forwards and to ask better questions along the path. Obviously, I loved listening to this. A month ahead of building the Stories Like Us / dream chasing roadmap and sorting through all of this content to make useful Dream Chaser content. Driving the Batmobile in the sun, having conversations I never want to end, taking my first-ever hike and sharing movie producer dreams with my oldest friend — LA I’m sold. Can we make it official? Dreams to chase.
It’s two days before and budget hasn’t been agreed, shooting schedule isn’t locked, a patient but understandably frustrated LA-based crew are waiting for confirmation. However, I’m on the plane, Batmobile is booked, Airbnb sorted, meetings booked and 20 hours to figure out the rest. Welcome to the dream chase. Build your wings on the way down. Hope and hustle. Stories Like Us LA edition continues. Let’s get it.
Life lessons from our cab driver. I could talk for days about the contrasting experience of Israel, but I feel like this man embodied it perfectly. Dotan, an orthodox Jewish man, philosopher, father, entrepreneur and a light chuckle in a human form. Dotan decided to recommit to an orthodox following of his faith after hearing what he believed to be the voice of God. On hearing this voice, he followed its instruction and in doing so he was able to take actions that saved his father’s life.
On meeting him, you instantly smile. It’s truly as if life compressed a chuckle and put it in a human form and then named it Dotan. On the first cab ride with him, I notice he turned off the meter 4 minutes before we arrived. No announcements, no speeches, he just turned it off. He wantsed us to save money.
Dotan had stories and facts about Israel all shared with wonder, fascination and love. We agree that we will hire him for two days and he took us on the best history trip ever. I watch him with waiters and people in the street and saw how he greets everyone like they are the most fascinating person in his world, along with his signature light chuckle. This man embodied wisdom, intelligence, hope, playfulness and kindness without seeking a pay off. Here’s to the Dotan’s of the world. Soul goals right here.
“The biggest returns will be out there in the fog. You have to train yourself to work while being scared. Most people won’t do that. If you can keep moving while feeling uncertain, while being scared, that’s where the biggest returns will be. I have learned this to be true of life and investing.”
– John Burbank, owner / founder of Passport Capital, self-made billionaire, and part-owner of the Golden State Warriors. This was taken from the Dream Chaser interview on the mindset and concepts behind his success.
That’s a wrap. California, we need to make this a permanent thing. Encountering new ideas and entrepreneurs way out of my league. Filming self-made billionaires, scientists and philosophers. Racing a batmobile. Feeling grateful and wiped out.
The first episode for the Dream Chaser podcast to come. We’ll be talking bitcoin, becoming a billionaire and the city of San Francisco with one of the owners of the Golden State Warriors. The highlight of the trip was hearing Firecracker aka Helen Moyes laugh after I almost drove the batmobile through the front of their house. Here’s to hope and hustle. Dreams to chase. Let’s get it.
Dreams on dreams: silly dreams, old dreams, new dreams, dreams that make me shy, dreams that are in touching distance, dreams that touch the edges of every insecurity I have and dreams that feel like returning home.
My love of dreams have a very simple explanation. At one point they were all I had. Ten years of false starts, empty promises, meetings that went nowhere, rejections and returning bouts of depression. Dreams kept me going through it all.
As I write this post, I’m sitting in the clouds flying to San Francisco dreaming of the next stage of the business, which is currently covering me and a team out there to interview one of my personal idols for the Dream Chaser podcast. He is a self made billionaire, a part owner of the Golden State Warriors and one of the real life characters the film The Big Short is based on.
After four years of visualising this exact moment, we got the paperwork signed and today we are interviewing him for the Dream Chaser podcast. So with nerves, excitement and total conviction I can safely say, “Hold on to your dreams.” You really never know where they will take you. Keep dreaming, keep chasing. Hope and hustle my friends. You got this.
New week, same dreams. Very inspired by our new work with Rory McGuire and Nikki Lilly. It’s time to double down and commit to telling stories and sharing ideas that will help, connect, entertain and inspire anyone with an old or new dream.
Podcast equipment has been purchased this week, studio sets are being built for the Dream Chaser news, updates and reviews channels and meetings with new app developers are happening. Here’s to letting go of fantasies and chasing dreams. Let’s get it.
Picking up the keys to our new office/studio with my spiritual advisor/prayer warrior/the best rice, peas and chicken provider and the sounding board to every good and bad idea that floats through my head and heart. Here’s to chasing dreams and celebrating those who shaped, guided and believed when nobody else did. Now let’s go get those Oscar/BAFTA outfits.