What started as a post trying to articulate my recent thoughts, and make sense for myself how I want to grow, turned into a “2017 goal making” post. That wasn’t the intention, but I will go with it.
I was going to title it, in The Age of Missed Opportunities. I changed it to what you see above. Do More. Create More.
Living in the Age of Missed Opportunities
Sometimes I feel like I am living in that era.
I made my first video a couple weeks ago. Like, my first real video. One that I actually took the time to collect footage of, edit, tweak it, edit it some more, find music, find new music, realize the whole video was crap, start over, export it, and publish it. It was a painstaking effort, learned a new skill along the way, which I realize I need more practice at. There were also moments I wanted to just say screw it and stop.
But the next morning, I showed the video to my kids, and seeing their reaction and appreciation for the video, made the entire thing worth it.
I should back up and explain what this video is about and what inspired me to do it.
3 Weeks Earlier (and also 5 months earlier)
This was a video about the journey we experienced as a family where a friend dropped off a dog at our home (as a joke/prank??). We played along for a couple weeks and fostered the dog because its master was dying from liver cancer and it had no where to go (since that time, the owner of Wonder passed away).
At some point during the experience, and if I am honest with myself, months earlier before, I started to reflect as one sometimes does and realized that I was becoming frustrated with sharing. I, like many of you, live in the age of sharing. Arguably, some people, myself included, overshare. No such thing as “Fakebooking” for me. What you see is what you get. Then again, I have some friends that don’t do much online at all. I am probably a weirdo to them.
Creating Fleeting Moments or Memories?
Platforms like Facebook and Instagram, I will call these “memories”, are mediums for broadcasting moments. We share these moments of our lives, collect likes and hearts, and then over time, those moments get buried in our timelines. Like a photo album on the shelf, they are still there for us to rediscover when we want.
Sometimes for fun, I like to scroll back on my Instagram feed to remember some of my fondest memories and see what inspiration I can gather from recalling past memories.
Then there was the birth of live platforms like Periscope and Meercat, as well as Snapchat and Instagram stories which go away after 24 hours. I will call these “fleeting moments”. These are the fleeting moments of our lives that we project. These are memories that go away, never to be seen again.
Fleeting Moments make Bad Lasting Memories…
I shared on a recent interview that Instagram stories were one of the most interesting tools I had been playing with. I liked that I had an easy platform to say silly things, and connect with people. And I especially liked that you can be a lot more free on “stories” because it ultimately goes away.
This belief was challenged when I found myself creating specifically for Instagram. After all, the audience is there, right? And they ego bait you by showing you the viewers. Despite the people who message comments, you know how many people are “enjoying” your content. (disclaimer: they might not actually enjoy it, but they are certainly scrolling through it, that much I know for sure.
But then I had this experience with the pug.
I posted the entire thing on Instagram stories, but only to loose everything (read: I would have lost all everything, but I actually saved all the videos because I was already starting to reevaluate).
I became frustrated that this story was simply… going to go away. I want the significant moments in my life to be remembered forever. This odd experience with the dog was something I want my children to remember. Not just a picture. I want them to recall their reactions.
How many times I recall going to Walgreens to develop film. The excitement you experience when you pick those pictures up, barely even being able to leave the store without looking at them?
Today, I undoubtedly take far more pictures and videos than ever before thanks to my phone and modern technology. Yet, I can’t remember the last time I printed pictures and told my story in an album. I almost never make a video of it. All my photos get automatically uploaded to Google Photos to grow old with cobwebs. My Google photos is a graveyard where photos go to die.
And This is Where I Reflect On Missed Opportunities
Every single image or video that is tossed aside is a missed opportunity. These are countless moments that I should have done something with but didn’t. These are my regrets, and my own potential energy that was never made kinetic… (hell yeah high-school physics class).
Soul searching for me brings out lots of ideas.
This has become crystal clear to me recently with my experiences using Instagram. With all the incredible innovation and additions that Instagram is adding to their platform, they are creating a culture where long form content isn’t valued (to some extent). What I mean by that is, Instagram stories are a TON of fun. I have been having a blast with them, and I get pissed when the app crashes and I can’t upload the video. When that happens, I find myself using my camera and then retroactively uploading the video. But I think the focus is off.
I need to spend more time living in the moment and creating memories of them for later, rather than creating fleeting moments which are destined to evaporate.
So that’s my 2017 goal.
I didn’t realize I was doing this until I did it, but apparently I am goal setting for 2017. But it’s kind of a vague goal. And it’s really 2 different ones which share the idea of going beyond.
I am summing it up in 3 words:
My Goal this year is to do more. Experiment more. Stop getting stuck in the mundane. Stop getting stuck in the rhythm of the daily grind. Think beyond that. Push yourself more than you have ever pushed yourself.
Create more. This year was a great year. An interesting year. I accomplished a ton and made significant contributions to my family, work, professional development. But I do feel like I didn’t create enough. There were too many unfinished (or unstarted) blog posts. To many presentations that were never pitched. To many concepts that weren’t executed on. To much unpublished footage and photos and too manay moments that went to the digital wasteland.
This is the year of doing more and creating more.
This is a work in progress.
This is only the beginning of this post.
This is the start of whats to come.