John Akerson's Thoughts

Business, technology and life

How to Produce.

How to Produce
(Learning from George Carlin)

When George Carlin died a high-school dropout who passed away at age 71, according to his last interview and various obituaries, he had made 130 tonight show appearances, 23 albums(cd’s), 14 HBO specials, 3 books, and 1 Supreme Court Case.

IMDB lists George Carlin as an actor in 34 titles, producer for 34, writer for 25, crew for 11, and he played himself in 94 titles, and was in an additional 27 archive footage-titles.  He was the first host of Saturday Night Live, and finally, he was the first person, posthumously awarded the Mark Twain prize for American Humor.

How did he do ALL that?  He threw away his best work. I learned that from Louis C.K.

Take all of your very best work of the last year, and throw it away.

Louis C.K. is an awesome comedian. He didn’t learn his craft from George Carlin, but he learned about how to produce.  He talks about using the same jokes for 15 years, and realizing that EVERY YEAR, George Carlin was coming out with a new HBO special, a new CD, and entirely new material.  Louis says that he heard George say the secret to producing was to “Take all of your very best work of the last year, and throw it away.” If you throw away your best work, you have to start fresh. It forces you to dig deeper.

I haven’t made a post here in quite some time. I haven’t been producing. Time to clean house. Out with the old, in with the new and in with the BETTER.  How do you use George Carlin’s ”Principle of Production?”

Ask yourself:  What is your best work?  What is your current work? What are you known for? What have you invested your time and heart into?  Take that and cast it aside.  Wow.  That takes guts…

Do you have incredible courage, commitment and a passion for what you do?  If so, throw it away. Start Fresh. Dig Deeper.

March 9th, 2012 Posted by | Continuous Improvement, Life | one comment

  • Tammy

    Thank you for this perspective. You are right: It does take guts to cast aside our strengths. Only by doing that can we realize what a crutch they are, hobbling our thinking by putting on blinders which limit the possibilities we consider.