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Being Yourself is the Only Shortcut

So much misery is created by comparison. We think we can simply model, or replicate what works for other people.

I wish it was that simple.

Dudes with guitars. Photo by Gregory Berg. Camp Good Life Project, 2018

If there’s anything my teachers, mentors, and coaches drill into my skull, it’s this:

Our supreme gift of a lifetime is to be ourselves.

We shouldn’t waste time trying to be the people we look up to.

We get to be US.

My work as a coach is to not permit myself, or my clients to hide from that Divine Responsibility. If we all recommit daily to being ourselves, miracles great and small unfold for us.

As it turns out, the world has been waiting.


Every time I think I’m done with music— or it’s done with me— it grabs me by the ears and leads me back. Yesterday my friend Jonathan Fields shared a beautiful reflection to his massive listener base for his Good Life Project podcast.

He was sharing the story how we created the new acoustic intro pieces, interludes, and show bumpers.

His words were a reminder of something kind of important:

KC is a lifelong musician and creator.
He is just musical.
He lives musically. He thinks musically.”

Modeling others can work for certain behaviors, but thinking we can sustain whatever worked for someone else is crazy. They showed up to create their life for countless hours— in many cases years— for reasons we’ll never know if we “hack” their process.

The sketchy marketing philosophy around “hacking” came up on a recent podcast conversation with meditation teacher and author Susan Piver. I’ve never found being a hack to be a particularly useful, or attractive idea.

This is gonna sound so Gen-Xy, but in the ‘80s, the worst thing you could be labeled was a poser. This meant that if you were going to take on learning an instrument, you should put your time in and figure it out.

As a young bass player, I was more interested in holding it down like Flea, or Geddy Lee from Rush. I’m sure he’s probably a capable musician, but Kip Winger always looked ridiculous in his videos— dancing with, and licking his bass instead of playing it.

Do we need to figure out how to do things a little faster? Sure. But at the expense of getting good at whatever we’re doing?

I’m a huge Tim Ferriss fan, but I couldn’t finish the first episode of the Tim Ferriss Experiment TV show a few years back. He had crammed to learn the drums just poorly enough to play along with the band Foreigner. It all completely sucked. I was embarrassed for everyone, even the amazing Stewart Copeland who helped train Tim to suck in front of an audience.

I can respect the focus it takes to figure something out quickly, but we don’t deserve to play in all domains. There has to be some nut out there trying to hack brain surgery.

It doesn’t need to be the endgame of being a “master” that we’re after. It’s all about the great journey of becoming. The joy is found in putting the time in, improving, sucking, and then by our effort and God’s grace— eventually not sucking.

In the age of Instagram, you can find a billion “lifestyle designer” people calling themselves a coach. They’ve mastered the epic selfies next to blue water. Maybe a few of them have been properly trained to coach.

But what are they really selling? The myth of the shortcut? Or, I’m taking selfies next to blue water, and so can you?

Being you is free. AND… working with a real coach can help you unlock, and receive that Divine Gift on a more consistent basis.


A very cool, full-circle moment happened yesterday.

My Mighty Bro, mentor, and Mench (my Menschtor, if you will) Jonathan Fields included this in yesterday’s incredible podcast interview with soccer legend and activist for women’s rights Abby Wambach.

I’ve been a fan of the Good Life Project podcast forever. A few years back I had the pleasure of interviewing Jonathan for the final video series, before it evolved into the podcast we know and love.

Yesterday, Jonathan shared the story behind the new music for the show, which I played on the guitar he built by hand last year.

It’s pieces-parts of my song “Happy Little Life”, which you can find on Spotify and iTunes. Those guitar lines are what I call circular grooves. They percolate within themselves, and cycle through like little meditations.

Listen to Jonathan’s backstory on our musical collaboration below.

Listen and Subscribe to our new show, This Epic Life Podcast

I was always a bassist first, which means I approach any instrument like it’s a bass. So, why should building my business be any different? I can assure you I would’ve failed by now if I tried to build it like a business person. It makes more sense to approach it as an artist.

How I coach, market, consult, or create experiences is from an artist’s perspective. This is the sweet relief of pursuing Full-Life Integration.

We don’t have to do it like anyone else would do it.

It’s been a trip to hear from old friends and bandmates who heard my playing on the Good Life Project podcast (it’s immensely popular, and was even featured on the screen above Tim Cook during a recent Apple products launch event).

Somehow after all these years, the people who know me best recognize the sound of my hands on a guitar.

If you’re curious about the song Happy Little Life, I originally wrote it years ago when we were young, broke, and living in L.A. Life was a struggle, but it was also a really creative time.

You can listen below, and read the lyrics.


What stockpile of magic are you sitting on?

What have you always wanted to express, or bring to your work?

What’s in the way, and what’s possible if we remove it?

Let’s talk.


You’ve got a real familiar face
Whaddya say we pass a few years, someday get us a place?
And we became sort of legendary until today
Now if you really wanna move,

you’ll have to drag us both away

I don’t wanna say ‘stop”
Get it right
If it is goodbye, well we won’t fight it
It’s not the end of our happy little life

And anyway, whatever I say
It’s gonna feel that way

You’re not too easily replaced ya know
Some new couple downstairs has been stinking up the place
The dog’s been asking if you’re ever coming home again
I tried explaining that you moved

Think it’s finally sinking in
I don’t wanna say ‘stop”
Get it right
If it is goodbye, we won’t fight it
It’s not the end of our happy little life
And anyway, whatever I say
It’s gonna feel that way

It’s not the end of our happy little life

The same door that brought you from the street
will send you on your way, cuz this world keeps on revolving
I snuck in with you, blocked it with my feet
A few more laughs but you feel trapped

We cannot make it stop

If it is goodbye, don’t fight it
It’s not the end of our happy little life
It’s not the end of our happy little life
It’s not the end of our happy little life

And anyway whatever I say
I kinda feels that way


Words + Music: Kristoffer Carter
© 2010 Kreeahs Music, ASCAP | Produced and Mixed by Daniel Certa
Drums: Larry Beers, KC: everything else

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