Alrighty, so why am I going to do the daily vlogging thing?
My personality is one of someone who is intellectual and very creative. For me the real challenge is to turn a creative thought into something that is consumable, some sort of product, whether it is a book or a video or a course or something. Looking back over my life, my most productive period was from about mid-2009 to about the middle of 2013 where I was writing a near daily blog. I often found the pressure of trying to produce something almost daily forced me into a mode where I had to produce something. I often started writing on a topic without any idea of what the actual answer was and many times I got answers to questions half way through a blog post where an idea would come or an insight would come, and that would be the solution.
So what I’ve learned about myself is I need a deadline, an adrenaline rush to actually kick start and propel the whole creative process for me. I think this is common to many creative people. I mean this is something I saw Louis C.K. say something about at his eulogy for George Carlin.
“I’m listening and they ask him how do you do all this material, and I hear him and he says well I just decided every year I’d be working on that year’s special. And I do the special and then I just chuck out the material and I start again with nothing. And I thought that’s crazy. How do you throw it away? It took me fifteen years to build this shitty hour. If I throw it away I got nothing.”
As an additional thought, writing is by no means dead, but everything is far more heading to video. And to be honest, I just love YouTube.
Alrighty so fast forward… (video fast forwards) …and then the beginning of 2016 I had my heart attack. (Wait. What?) And it’s about a year later from then. I’m almost coming up to the one year anniversary. So that just covered five years in one sentence. (Crap sorry, now I feel bad for fast forwarding). My focus has been primarily on writing about relationships and sex and marriage, and I’ve produced books and I do coaching and I’m pretty much successful at helping people improve their marriages. I have a really good skill set with that.
But what I’m starting to really increasingly find are people getting in contact with me too late. People aren’t contacting me until it’s a 911 situation. Which turns me into a marriage fire fighter. Rather than being a marriage firefighter, I would much rather be a marriage fire marshal where my role is work on prevention and make sure people don’t get into situations where it all starts burning to the ground. To actually ensure that crises don’t happen because I’ve been able to be proactive and preventative.
One of the things I’ve really learned over the last five, six years in particular, is that very often what turns into a relationship issue is really a life issue. It’s something to do with their whole life rather than the marriage.
A really classic example is when people years ago they bought the big, big house that they didn’t really have much business buying. They’ve struggled to hold onto it. Something else bad happens in their life. They have some kind of setback and then they slowly spiral into bankruptcy and foreclosure and it’s the bankruptcy and the foreclosure that does the real damage to the relationship. So by the time people are calling me then, the real problem was all the way back when they bought the house that was too big. When they got suckered into that. And it leaves me with little to do in terms of really being able to fix that problem at the end of it.
We live in this giant commercial ecosystem where we are encouraged and propelled to buy more, consume more, get more of this, wear more of those. You have to go to these places and have these things. It really does seem that every dollar we make is just being actively milked for as many pennies as they can get by a bunch of multinational corporations and the banks.
Meanwhile we’re just fed this smokescreen of disinformation about what we should be doing, how we should be doing it, and what we should commit to. We’re in this endless dopamine haze of new things constantly happening. We’re all checking our phones endlessly. Probably if you’re like me and everyone else you will tend to wake up in the morning and the first thing you do is check your phone. We’re in this haze of social media drama and hype.
Look at every new movie that comes out. There is a hype train that can last for six months or a year before the movie even gets to theaters. Then we go see the movie and afterwards we have this sort of post-event emotional crash, because ten dollars that we spent on a two hour movie didn’t take away the existential angst of simply being alive. (Luke Skywalker better have more screen time in the next movie. Been waiting since 1983 to see Luke Skywalker again. All that buildup and it only lasted ten seconds. That’s what she said. Subscribe or I’ll start using puns.)
In that ecosystem of more more more, now now now, check your phones dopamine haze, one of the few things that can actually bring us real happiness is our relationships. Because you can’t replace warmth and intimacy with another real person, who loves you, and is connected to you… by buying more things, having more stuff, checking your phone and being in this constant media cycle.
Speaking as someone that’s had a heart attack and has gotten to lay awake at night looking at the ceiling tiles in ICU, I can assure you that when you’re in that position you are not going to be worried about how many followers you have. You’re not going to be worried about the car you drive. You’re not going to be worried about whether you got to see the next movie that’s coming out. The only thing you’ll be thinking about is your family, your husband, your wife, your children.
So tying that all together, I’m going to start the challenge of producing some sort of daily vlog. And I think vlogs come in three main types. I think there are the ones that are mostly focused on feelings, the ones that are mostly focused on thoughts, and there are the ones that are focused on some kind of action and activity. I think over time I will probably be more focused on thoughts and as my health gets better it will slowly transition into more of an action vlog.
Overall I just feel better when I produce. I’ve noticed over the last month and a half when my production in videos has come up, I’m actually truly feeling better. Like I am doing the right thing. I’m feeling more energized. I’m feeling happier, like I’m doing what I should be doing.
I do have one big caveat though. What I’ve seen over and over again with the people that start daily vlogs is that they burn out and crash or have some sort of breakdown and I do not want that to happen to me. I’ve had my turn in the barrel at doing too much and having a big breakdown. So probably my Sunday vlog will be pre-recorded. I won’t be on a daily schedule with that. I still want to produce something but that’s probably all going to be prerecorded in the week ahead of time.
So overall, I’m still really interested in relationships, but going forward there’s going to be more about the world in which we have our relationships. So that’s the plan. Going to start it, going to see what happens. Right now I have a tiny handful of subscribers on YouTube and for you people, thank you so much for being here. I truly do appreciate it.
Anyway… I’ve got crap gear, no skills, no real planning. I’m still sort of recovering from a heart attack. And I will see you tomorrow.
“Certainty of death. Small chance of success. What are we waiting for?” -Gimli.
Video transcript is lightly edited for the blog. You won’t believe how much I say “and”, “so”, “sort of”, “just” and “that”.