Reggie Watts - PopTech 2011 - Camden Maine USA

“I think that there’s a certain truth to “controlling” — and that’s in quotes — the trajectory of your life. The whole idea — making choices and other choices sprouting off from there and leading to other consequences — I definitely believe that there’s a truth to that. It’s similar to a Choose Your Own Adventure. The good thing is you can always choose yourself back to a good place in life if you work hard enough. It might not be perfect, but it definitely is more on course with your potential.”

To say that Reggie Watts is a unique individual would be quite the understatement. He describes himself as homeless, as he chooses to lead a more “nomadic” lifestyle. Reggie is a comedian and a musician, though for the latter, he is best known for the improvised sets he creates on stage with his voice and a loop sampler. It’s like beat-boxing taken to the next level. Before Conan O’Brien got his current gig at TBS, Reggie Watts joined him on his comedy tour too.

And then, there is his giant hair. We can’t possibly forget about his giant hair.

In the quote above, he reminds us of a couple simple, but poignant truths. First, we may not have too much control over our initial set of circumstances, but we do have the power the choose how we react to them. This is why you should focus on areas where you are in control and can exercise your freedom to choose. Second, your choices will inevitably have a direct impact on any future decisions. If you choose to pursue an acting career in Los Angeles, you limit your opportunities to pursue skiing excellence in Switzerland.

He’s right. Life is like a Choose Your Own Adventure book in many ways. If you choose to follow the monster into the cave, you lead yourself into an entirely different narrative than if you choose to run away from the monster instead. I think we all cheated with these books, going back to explore the different possible paths, but you may not always have the opportunity to “choose yourself back to a good place in life” in the real world.

“It’s about following your instincts and your intuition and creating a great relationship with that. But also having that higher awareness — I should say “larger awareness” or “situational awareness” — because the comparison between the two leads to really really great, exciting choices. And sometimes, we all make mistakes, and sometimes they’re really bad choices, but at least we took a risk.”

There are all sorts of ways that you can define what is the “right” choice and what is the “wrong” choice in life. It is completely up to interpretation, but this idea of finding the delicate balance between following your instincts and tapping into the “larger awareness” of the situation could prove fruitful.

As important as it may be to gather up as much information as possible, it’s also true that we sometimes have to trust our gut. Even though you will inevitably screw up now and then, these experiences provide fantastic learning opportunities that will help you make better decisions down the road. You’ll make better choices both for yourself and for the world at large if you’re willing to take an educated risk every so often.

You can’t be afraid to experiment.

Reggie Watts currently stars with Scott Aukerman in the IFC TV series Comedy Bang! Bang!. It will be entering its third season later this year. To get a sense of the disorienting style of comedy that he does, check out his TED talk from 2012… it’s almost the anti-TED talk, really.