Skip to content

Surprise Life Coach: Stephen Colbert’s (Not So) Simple Insight

Are you choosing to live a happy, fulfilled life?

That’s right, studies have proven that ninety percent of the factors that make the difference between a happy life and an unhappy life are factors within your control. One life hack proven to help unlock your best life is setting, pursuing, and achieving goals.

But you don’t have to take my word for it; many other people are proving this point every single day. They are setting goals, doing the work and building the life of their dreams.

Don’t Take My Word For It, a new Operation Melt blog series, shares how other people – people just like you – are choosing to achieve happiness through their goals.

Yes, you can choose a happy life, but don’t take my word for it!


Before we jump into today's post, I offer you this "dad joke" as a light "amuse-bouche" to entertain your mind before we get serious. Like any other amuse-bouche, you may hate it, but it is worth every penny you paid for it, right?

Why does a chicken coop have two doors? 
Because if it had four doors, it would be a chicken sedan.

Surprise Life Coach: Stephen Colbert’s (Not So) Simple Insight

Surprise Life Coach explores the goal success strategies, tips and mindsets found in the most unlikely places. From television shows to movies to music to books and more, life coaches are all around us, hidden in the most unexpected places. If we pay attention, we can reap the rewards from this free coaching.

Through most of the 2010s, Jerry Seinfeld produced an online series (now available on Netflix), Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. In this series, Jerry picks up a popular comedian in a vintage car, and they would drive to a coffee shop or diner. Then, over coffee, they would discuss comedy, Hollywood, and life. The series is funny, interesting, sometimes touching and generally insightful.

In an episode called Cut Up and Bloody But Looking Good, Jerry sat down with late-night host Stephen Colbert to discuss comedy, life and manliness.

Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee - Stephen Colbert

During this episode, Colbert was recounting a story in which somebody asked him which of several paths she should follow in a particularly challenging life situation. That’s when he shared a powerful insight with her:

“Think of the thing that you least want to do. That’s probably the right thing to do. And you know it. Which is why you don’t want to do it.”

Wow! There are two big life lessons in that one short statement.

You already know, but don’t trust yourself

The self-improvement industry is worth about $13 billion and has nearly doubled over six years. One reason for this prolific growth is that many of us are seeking answers. We want to know how to change ourselves so we can live the lives of our dreams. So, why does this make the self-improvement industry so big?

We believe we can only find answers about ourselves from an outside source.

But this isn’t true.

For many of us, the answers to our questions about happiness and fulfillment are already inside us. We simply need a little bit of introspection and soul-searching, and we can find the answer. Some quiet time, meditation and journaling may help us connect with those answers inside our brains.

When we struggle to find those answers, we may need a bit of external support, but in a different form. Our focus should be on getting to know ourselves better (see Most Important Homework) and learning how best to connect with ourselves. This is way different than looking for external answers for what will bring us happiness.

Hint: a coach could be an excellent partner to help you connect with the hopes, dreams and goals inside you just looking for a path out.

The right path forward isn’t always easy

The second ah-ha embedded in this advice is the more challenging one.

Knowing the path forward isn’t the same as accepting it.

How often have you known the right path to take, yet you keep seeking advice and guidance from others? Why? Were you secretly hoping they would give you some other path, maybe even a shortcut? We’ve all been there!

What holds us back from following that path that we know is right for us? Often, it is fear that gets in our way.

Our brains are wired to protect us and keep us alive. No matter how much we know something is the right path, there are copious amounts of uncertainty along that path. The brain perceives that uncertainty as a potential threat and uses fear to keep us where we are.

The antidote to fear keeping us frozen is courage. Courage doesn’t mean the fear goes away; it just means we do it anyway. Once you know the right path forward, commit to doing it. Write your commitment on a piece of paper and hang it somewhere you’ll see it.

Use your visible commitment to remind you that you are doing the right thing and challenge your fear. Then keep moving. But stay alert and be on the lookout for any signs you need to course-correct along the way. Remember the words of Maya Angelou, “do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”

You’ve got this!

Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee - Stephen Colbert

Thanks to Stephen Colbert for being this month’s Surprise Life Coach with this eye-opening guidance. It is amazing how we can find life coaching in the most unlikely places if we just pay attention.

Do you need a little help finding those goals that are inside you? Do you want a partner to help you build a roadmap to success? Are you looking for a proven process to help you stay the course despite your fear? Please don’t leave it up to chance (or even the surprise coaches all around you); it is time to talk to a professional coach. I’m here for you, and I believe in you! Click here to learn more about my coaching services.

Meet Coach Tony

My name is Coach Tony, and I am a coach, author and project manager on a mission. I am working to build a world where no goal ever dies of loneliness.

I almost allowed one of my biggest life goals to die without ever being attempted for forty years. My goal almost died, not of failure but of loneliness. But, I took a risk and leveraged a simple, logical process that helped me wildly exceed my goal. 

I transformed my life, and you can do the same with the help of Operation Melt. 

Operation Melt provides engaging, practical content and hands-on coaching to inspire, motivate and equip project managers and other left-brained high-achievers to pursue and accomplish their biggest goals. 

Breathe new life into your goals

Download my free ebook to learn how to create goals that actually work and get the jump-start you need in life!

Breathe new life into your goals

Download my free ebook to learn how to create goals that actually work and get the jump-start you need in life!

Published inDon't Take My Word For It