Maybe like myself, quarantine has offered you a break from your busy daily routine. For many, it’s gifted us some precious hours we can use to stop and reflect, rather than continue charging full-speed at whatever is in front of us.
This blog is a summation of points and ideas that have stuck with me from recent content I’ve watched or read during the quarantine period, I hope in some small way these thoughts and ideas may be of value.
It is the idea of being a ‘valuable person’ which most of these thoughts centre around.
It’s interesting how nowadays in the modern social media climate much our ‘value’ is derived from our level of engagement. I forget which particular podcast I was listening to where much-admired creator “Casey Neistat” discussed how in the last few years, the creator’s overall influence has become much more important than the creative content itself.
When the traditional ‘vlogging’ video style rose to prominence, I struggled myself to understand why these shaky, badly composed videos gained such a huge audience. As a filmmaker you spend so much time obsessing over every little edit point, getting the perfect colour on every shot and making a smooth seamless viewing experience. But yet a young teenager with a point and shoot camera and iMovie was creating far more ‘valuable’ content than I was.
As you grow older you come to understand what was ‘valuable’ about those videos was not the quality of the filming but it was the authenticity the audience craved, it was the inside look into the real lives of these people we’d only seen before in polished/over-produced content.
It was the creator we cared about, not the content.
Ricky Gervais recently appeared on Fearne Cotton’s ‘Happy Place’ podcast and spoke of how…
“There’s a new form of narcissism, there is an uber narcissism and that’s because like breeds like”.
I’m sure many of us in our own social media portrayals have adopted something from a person we admire, or presented ourselves in a way that we had seen someone with a bigger following doing, even if perhaps it didn’t really portray an authentic version of ourself. I know I for one have been guilty of that in the past.
(You can read the full article covering Ricky Gervais’ appearance here — https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8260433/Ricky-Gervais-says-social-media-breeds-uber-narcissism.html
In approaching our content production, whether personal or professional, is all too easy to think of what we ourselves are gaining out of it.
We think first and foremost of how we look, the image it gives off, what the audience thinks of us. In accumulating hundreds and thousands of likes, we think of the influence we can gain and the potential opportunities and rewards this might bring to us and how because of this we are somehow a person of worth. A valuable asset that companies can use to market their products.
But my intuition says that to be a person of worth, at the core of every action you make is a desire to help others.
Having been involved in the freeskiing world for the last decade I was very excited to hear legendary skier ‘Simon Dumont’ was starting a podcast called “Ascension”, sharing lessons he’s learned in his career. Whether or not you’re a freeski fan, it’s an interesting and valuable listen.
In a recent episode he talked about his mindset he applies to everything he does in life, whether that’s something he’s working on or something as simple as doing the dishes.
He simply hopes to leave whatever he’s doing in a better situation than when he approached it.
And this struck me as an incredibly simple but powerful motto for life.
Modern life is an ever more challenging place to navigate and maybe like me you’ve struggled with the idea of what your purpose is in life and what you need to achieve.
But perhaps this simple idea is all we need. Whether you’re having a conversation with a friend, working on a project or publishing some content. Think when you walk away, will the situation be better than it was when I approached it?
My intuition says sometimes this can be a simple and obvious action, for example you help a friend with a problem they’re having, but sometimes this can be more subtle.
Maybe you shared a joke that made someone laugh when they’re going through a difficult time, maybe your content offered them ten minutes of distraction and enjoyment that made them remember the good things in life. Maybe in sharing one honest, authentic moment in your life it can help someone struggling and obsessing about trying to live up to the unrealistic expectations that their social media feed is plastered with.
Whatever it is, if you approached your own output with the core goal of offering value to other people not with your own self interest in mind, whether you get zero or a million likes, you can be forever content in your actions that your intent was to do something helpful for someone else.
Perhaps if nothing else, the person who spends every day trying to leave this world in a better situation than when they came into it is the ultimate definition of someone of great worth, regardless of the amount in their bank account.
So remember, be a person of Worth, not just wealth.
I wish you every success,