I love David Letterman’s Netflix show, “My Next Guest Needs No Inroduction.”
He interviews people he finds fascinating. As a former reporter, I love a good interview. And as a person, it’s wonderful to watch celebrities be raw, vulnerable and real with Letterman, who is not shy about asking difficult questions. In every episode, Letterman proves that no matter how famous you are, or how much money you have, we are all the same. And we are all overcoming something.
In the show’s newest season, Letterman interviews Dave Chappelle, who I believe is one of the greatest comic geniuses. He is right up there with Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Jerry Seinfeld. These guys, including Chappelle, live on a different level because they’ve tapped into their God-given gift. When you live on a higher plane like they do, your creativity just flows, almost like it’s downloaded to you. It’s like a songwriter who writes a song on a bar napkin in five minutes, and the next week it’s a Top 10 hit. Chappelle just nails it. Every. Time.
After I saw the Letterman episode, I was inspired to write a post to encourage you 1. to watch it and 2. be more like Dave Chappelle because he only does things that serve his highest self; he lives a simple life in Ohio; and he is authentic and speaks his truth.
Serve Your Higher Self
Letterman wasted no time asking Chappelle about “Chappelle’s Show,” which he famously quit in 2005. Chappelle said he was doing a sketch about racism, and heard a crew member laugh at the “wrong thing.” He instantly knew he had to quit the show.
SO HE DID!
Even though he walked away from the money. Even though it could have been the end of his career. Even though there were legal issues because he broke a contract, and lawyers don’t like that.
He quit because the show was not serving his higher self. How many of us would have the guts to do this? Dave Chappelle did it with far more consequences than we would have.
His actions made international headlines, caused legal and money problems. When you quit — your job, your marriage, your shopping addiction, drinking alochol — it may be a big deal in your family or in your community, but the folks in Germany won’t be talking about it. You, most likely, won’t have lawyers or people in your industry say this is the end of your career. If Chappelle did it, you can do it. What an amazing freedom to live like this.
Chappelle does not live the Hollywood life you would expect him to. He lives with his wife and three children in Yellow Springs, Ohio, population 3,487. It’s where his dad lived, and where he grew up part of the time because his parents were divorced. Since he is connected to his highest self, his ego does not demand a big LA lifestyle to show off. He is giving his kids a normal life. They are involved in the community, and the town protects the family’s privacy, he said.
When you live on a higher plane, you don’t need all the trappings to satisfy your ego that wants to stick it to your college nemesis who married a doctor and always tells you about her lavish lifestyle. Your higher self is only focused on sharing your gifts with others, not accumulating all the things.
What can you do to simplify your life? Your schedule? Your kids’ schedules? Your house? Your stuff? If Chappelle can live in small-town Ohio, you can simplify your life.
Be Authentic; Speak Your Truth
Chappelle says what he believes, and you know exactly where he stands. At the end of “My Next Guest…” he shares some profound thoughts about racism and police brutality — just watch it. His words are better than I could ever explain here. And he shares his own experiences with the police, which are shocking. Does he offend people with his straight talk? Yes. But it’s not his jokes that offend you. You may think it’s his jokes, but it’s not.
When you live authentically and speak your truth like he does, most people don’t like that. It’s a threat to their ego. Egotistical people want everyone to stay in a lane that society made up: don’t speak out; don’t talk about politics; don’t say that because it will offend Aunt Sally; don’t quit a successful TV show; don’t get divorced. And if you dare to do any of these, people will mock you, gossip about you and tear you down — see Oprah, Hillary Clinton, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. When you live your truth, though, you have to be comfortable with people taking offense because of their own lack of self worth. But you also won’t give a flying F what people say because your inner self does not need approval. Chappelle does not lose sleep because you think he is offensive.
Thoughtful and Profound
During the interview, I was struck by Chappelle’s answers to Letterman’s tough questions. Chappelle is so thoughtful, profound and funny. Only a genius can pull these off at once. And I think it’s so refreshing because so many people who dominate the headlines these days are far from thoughtful, profound and funny.
I long to be as thoughtful as he is, especially about topics that make us uncomfortable. (I have no problem with uncomfortable topics, but I am less calm when people try to misstate facts.) But Chappelle, of course, knows that being uncomfortable is where the change comes. It’s why he focuses on the uncomfortable topics in his comedy routines. He is a genius who shares his gift to help our souls evolve.
“When I see your work, I’ve never seen anyone better,” Letterman told him at the end of the show.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could live on the same plane as Chappelle and have someone say such a thing before this big adventure ends? It’s time to try.