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Episode 28| YOU HAVE THE POWER! (To Take Control)

Updated: Nov 4, 2021

This show is the last of season 2 and today I will encourage you yet again to take control of your life and work and dreams and ambitions by adopting the productivity techniques that I have talked about here on this podcast. Call it a motivational talk if you will, but by recapping on some of the key techniques I have introduced here, I will show you how you can gain back control of your life and take positive action to move forward.

As usual, I will do a quick recap on last week’s episode before moving on to the main subject and that show simply recommended 5 more awesome and mostly free apps which are useful for improving your productivity.

One thing I have discovered since releasing it is that Apple no longer has the Call Recorder app I recommended in their store, but I have linked in last week’s show notes to several similar apps in order to cover this. Sadly it does seem that Apple is charging for a number of apps that you get for free on Android but I guess that’s the way they roll.

If you missed the episode then please go back and check it out as there are some awesome apps in there that will make your life a hell of a lot easier. I’ve wasted too much time on apps that are supposedly good for productivity but have turned out to be not much use in the long run. What I can guarantee is - if you adopt and utilise any of my suggestions, and it’s worth noting is that they are largely free to download and use, that you will thank me later. Can I just add that if you would like to recommend your own favourite apps for productivity for inclusion in a future episode then please get in touch as I’d really appreciate your input on this topic.


Kenneth Branagh’s definition of success, he says, is CONTROL. This doesn’t mean that he’s a control freak - it just means that he wants to be driving the bus. In his career, in his personal life, in whatever he does. I believe that if you don’t actively take control by assuming a level of higher level thinking as I talked about in episode 1, then the chances of you getting where you want to go in your life, or in your career will be near zero.

Getting yourself to a place where you are in CONTROL is the basis of this episode.

It’s all too easy to get yourself into a state of mind where you feel trapped. Where you feel like you are missing out on your dreams or your goals and ultimately in your happiness because of a decision - or a series of decisions you had made along the way. Those decisions, oftentimes made out of necessity, which were the correct things to do at the time, might ultimately leave you with a feeling of dissatisfaction or indeed, downright unhappiness with where you are now in your life or your career. You may feel that although you are successful and happy in one area of your life and work that you have lost control or direction in another.

I’ve called today’s show YOU HAVE THE POWER, but I was very close to calling it SAVE YOURSELF. You see buried under the weight of the day to day distractions, commitments, fears and anxieties that you find yourself sometimes lost or trapped within, it really is only you and ONLY YOU that has the power to get yourself out of trouble and back on track.

My feeling is that unless you actively work to defeat these distractions and negative emotions that they will drag you down. They smother your hopes and dreams and cling to your time and your mental energy like barnacles – You have to take the hammer and chisel that the productivity techniques I talk about here offer you, and chip away these problems, one at a time. Once you start to do that you will soon get back control and create the ability to steer things in a direction of your choosing.

Motivational writer and philosopher Steven Redhead says that you must “Start living by taking back the control of your life now! Create a life more in tune with your true desires.”

There are a few parts to that statement I want to reiterate. The START LIVING part is essential – When you start to consider the larger picture, everything that follows will be driven by what you learn from it, and that can only happen if it goes hand in hand with the second essential part - CREATING A LIFE WHICH IS IN TUNE WITH YOUR DESIRES and I would add your VALUES. If you are unhappy, stressed, frustrated or simply lost, then you may feel that the life or career you’d hoped for is slipping away or is already so far out of reach that you have given up.

You must remember though that stress and worry over your problems, depletes your energy reserves, solves nothing and actually blocks you from thinking about solutions.

In the very first episode of the podcast I said that you should begin to work ON your life and career at the same time that you find yourself living and working IN it - and to do this you needed to develop that HIGHER LEVEL OF THINKING I mentioned a minute ago. I believe that we all have the power to take control, to a degree at least, over our lives but that it is only possible if we engage our minds in strategizing how to do it.

Author of ALPHABET SUCCESS Tim Fargo said that “Who you are tomorrow begins with what you do today.” and that “If you want to get ahead you must slow down and focus”.

Fargo’s advice to “slow down and focus” is the key to getting back control. Look back to my episode on KILLING THE MICROWAVE MINDSET for more advice on slowing down btw. With well thought out, focused strategies we can create long term plans to achieve what we seek in life.

Author Steve Maraboli says “Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don't.”

Now productivity encapsulates a large degree of positivity, but sometimes I have to offer advice that is more of a REALITY SLAP than a positive affirmation of what you would like to hear.

After I made my feature film, which was distributed by Cineworld and had some success, I was told by the main Scottish film funding organisation, that they would not fund my project development because someone else already had their backing and as someone new to the game there was simply nothing for me. They actually told me that they would NEVER fund me which was quite aggravating, but it was a REALITY which at least they were honest about.

The reality slap I ask you to accept is that there is such a thing as SUPPLY and DEMAND. Everyone, right off the bat - can’t be the Director, or the Cinematographer, or the Writer, Designer, Lead Actor or Actress as these are limited positions.

Some roles have tons of demand, while others have very limited demand. I don’t mean don’t aspire to that role, just don’t be shocked if the job isn’t there for you when you go looking for it and don’t be shocked if you have to be a camera assistant for a few years before the first opportunity comes along for you to be the DP.

Remember that nobody owes you anything. Just because you want a position doesn’t mean someone is required to give you a job. You must demonstrate you can create value for people, or else they’ll find another person to get things done. Creating value means learning things other people don’t know btw. It means doing things other people aren’t willing to do. It sometimes means working for free to demonstrate you’re capable of performing. It means taking on tasks no one else wants and turning them into something better. It means working harder than everyone else. It means demonstrating you’re worth keeping around and worth paying for.

And I want to just hammer this one home a bit further with this quote from Gary Vaynerchuk - “A penguin cannot become a giraffe, so just be the best penguin that you can be.”
And one more by Charles T. Munger – He said “To get what you want, you have to deserve what you want. The world is not yet a crazy enough place to reward a whole bunch of undeserving people.”

I wanted to make that point as there’s a fine line between confidence and delusion – and it’s important you recognise this. If you are getting hot and bothered about getting nowhere fast in your life or career, then persistence and patience maybe useful allies on your journey.

If you’ve listened to this podcast for a while you’ll already have the productivity techniques at hand to help you clear the space in your life, your work, your time and your energy to take a breather for a wee while, make a plan and get yourself moving again… this time - in a direction of your choosing. I’m referring to the earlier Tim Fargo quote of course - “If you want to get ahead you must slow down and focus”.

I’ve just spent 6 weeks (amongst other things it’s fair to say) writing, producing and hosting this podcast for which I receive no payment whatsoever but I’ve CHOSEN to do this and with that choice comes satisfaction. By assuming a position of Higher Level Thinking I realised that I at certain points in the year I can now afford to work on my own creative projects, this being one of them. I accepted that I don’t have full control over my year. That I can work on other cool and interesting projects with cool and interesting creative people during the larger part of the year to earn money and pay bills, but in the quieter parts of the year I have a tremendous opportunity to advance my own creative endeavours when my work is quiet.

I am not sitting on a pile of cash here, but to a large degree at least I am in control of my own life and work.

I don’t think there’s a one-size-fits-all answer to this question but I’d like you to ask yourself - WHAT DOES SUCCESS MEAN TO YOU? It’s something you simply must consider if you genuinely want to take control and move forward. WHAT EXACTLY ARE YOU TRYING TO ACHIEVE? I can’t help thinking of Simon Synek’s book FIND YOUR WHY when I talk about this SO perhaps you should also ask yourself WHY YOU WANT WHAT YOU WANT?

If you know what you are trying to achieve, and why you want to achieve it, then you will be able to determine what success will mean to you.

Making these decisions will mean that you can focus on what really matters.

Peter Drucker says “Nothing is less productive than to make more efficient that which should not be done in the first place.”,

and what we are getting down to here is what I talked about in episode 3. That to give yourself the best possible chance of success, you need to PRIORITIZE WHAT IS IMPORTANT OVER WHAT IS NOT. Considering, as I said before, WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL AND WHAT YOU CANNOT will also save you a lot of wasted time and effort.

I could go into a number of other factors here, but that’s what the full podcast episodes are for.

A contender for chief amongst the lessons here is that - you must look out for toxic people who will get their claws into your time and energy and ensure that your own dreams always come SECOND. Listen to Episode 24 for advice on that one, or Episode 18 for advice on protecting your mental energy as that’s way up there in importance too, but I’m going right back to episode 2 to give you the final piece of advice on gaining control…

You have to - have to - HAVE TO – Learn to say NO.

Zig Ziglar says “The first step to getting what you want is to have the courage to get rid of what you don’t.”

I’ve written a note on my board for season 3 to do an episode on PEOPLE PLEASING which is a big problem for some of us, and it ’s likely a huge problem for you if you have trouble saying NO to people.

Here’s the thing though. Unless you can find the strength within you to start saying NO to things that do not further your own dreams or goals in some way, then you will forever be putting your own dreams and goals second or third or tenth in line to someone else’s and you will NEVER gain control of your own life, or work or creative endeavours.

Go right back to episode 2 and have a listen, it’s one of my earlier ones so forgive me if it’s less polished but check it out and take note as YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST LEARN TO SAY NO - you must get over this in built need to people please as the cost is too high.

STOP WORRYING ABOUT UPSETTING PEOPLE – If they do get upset because you say NO is that someone you even want in your life anyway? Your life won’t fall apart because you’ve prioritised your own things over theirs.

STOP FEELING GUILTY – Why is saying NO to someone causing you this guilt? Saying NO to someone isn’t a moral issue. Saying NO to someone isn’t doing anything wrong – so why feel guilty about it? The fact is that saying NO is doing something right for you, and in the long run saving you stress through overwhelm of over commitment.

Stella Adler has a quote for actors which I think I can hijack for general use on this point. She said – “You need a kind of aggression, a kind of inner force. Don't be only one-sided, sweet, nice, good. Get rid of being average. Find the killer in you.”

Maybe you need a bit of that killer instinct to get what you want too.

James Doohan, who played Scotty in Star Trek served as a captain in the Canadian Forces and led men into battle on D-Day, said later in life that he didn’t want control, he just wanted to be told what to do. He said he’s spent his military years ordering people about and when that career ended he just wanted to be the best actor he could be.

At a glance that may seem that he didn’t want control but he made his decisions along the way, became the best actor he could be and he was happy. Remember that to be in control you don’t have to be the boss.

“You can influence, direct and control your own environment. You can make your life what you want it to be.” Napoleon Hill, unquote.


As this is the last episode of the series, their likely won’t be any more than the odd inbetweenisode for about 3 months, so I think that’s plenty of time for me to give you a major Call To Action.

If you want to gain control over your life, or your career, or your training, or your creative projects, or free time, or whatever you set your mind to then take the steps I have discussed and that I list here now to do so. Remember too to write all it down as when you take that action it greatly increases the odds of your succeeding in your endeavour.

  • DECIDE ON WHAT SUCCESS MEANS TO YOU. Decide what you are trying to achieve.

  • SAY NO TO ANYTHING THAT DOESN’T FURTHER YOUR DREAMS, GOALS AND AMBITIONS. This will find you time you thought you never had.


  • MAKE A PLAN. Write it down and stick to it.Slow down.



If you follow these steps and you will gain control, slowly but surely over your life. Take control and make your life happy.


Internationally renowned psychologist Irene Kassorla said, “The pen that writes your life story must be held in your own hand.”

So if you feel trapped, restricted or cornered in some way don’t worry. This too shall pass. Take the steps I suggest to gain back control. You’re going to be ok. Everything is going to be alright.

Thanks once again for taking the time to join me on this season. I hope it’s been beneficial and enjoyable for you to do so. I’ll take this opportunity to recommend a few filmmaking podcasts which you may find of interest. Check out Alex Ferrari’s awesome, Indie Film Hustle, Ian O’Neill’s How They Did It Filmmaking podcast, The Filmmakers Podcast which has a number of presenters, but I’ll give a shout out to Giles Alderson as he’s a great supporter of this show, and finally the very first podcast I listened to, the brilliant, Dave Bullis Podcast as I’ve been looking for an opportunity to plug it all season and it’s a great show.

Next season I’m considering splitting the show with a new format of 6 interviews with productivity authors and 6 solo shows, but you’ll just have to wait and see what happens. It will come around in approximately 3 months and if you’re very lucky you will get a bonus inbetweenisode or two in the break.

Please follow the show on Facebook @filmproproductivity or on twitter @filmproprodpod if you’d like to stay up to date with what’s going on. I also have personal accounts on Instagram and twitter @fight_director.

Now, take control of your own destiny, keep on shootin’ and join me next season on Film Pro Productivity.

The music you are listening to right now is Adventures by A Himitsu.

You can view the show notes for this episode at

PLEASE get in touch via the contact page on the website if you would like to suggest new topics for the show and I encourage you to use the Speak Pipe Voicemail service there as I love to hear who is listening – it’s completely free to use.

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Thanks: A Himitsu Music: Adventures by A Himitsu Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported— CC BY 3.0 Music released by Argofox Music provided by Audio Library ––– • Contact the artist:


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