123: 2022 Yearly Themes


00:00:00   I'm recording in two places now.

00:00:01   I have been recording this whole time.

00:00:03   I'm just gonna let it run.

00:00:04   There you go.

00:00:04   Let me close this map of Hawaii.

00:00:07   Pull up the show notes.

00:00:09   Pull up my notes.

00:00:11   Take my hands off the keyboard.

00:00:13   Excellent.

00:00:13   Don't mess up anything.

00:00:14   Sit on your hands.

00:00:17   Yeah, hands off the keyboard.

00:00:18   Back up slowly.

00:00:20   Ready to record.

00:00:21   Sir, do not approach the keyboard.

00:00:25   Can you believe it's the last episode of the year?

00:00:27   No.

00:00:28   I just had that feeling.

00:00:29   Like, I looked at the date on the top of my computer here and it said it was December.

00:00:34   And I was like, "Wow."

00:00:36   Like, that just feels unexpected even though I knew it was coming at the same time.

00:00:40   Yeah, well, I mean, that's what happens when your year is only four months long.

00:00:44   So, uh, it's quite—it gets to the end of it quite quickly.

00:00:47   Not entirely sure what that means.

00:00:48   What does that mean?

00:00:49   That is my mental estimation for how subjectively long has this year felt.

00:00:54   Ah, yeah.

00:00:54   I think this year has felt like it is four months long.

00:00:57   I was really trying to pin it down, like, three months, that's too dramatic.

00:01:01   Five months is almost half a year and it doesn't feel like that, so I'm going with four months as

00:01:07   it feels subjectively like it's been about four months long this year.

00:01:11   - Well, Edina mentioned this, what we've been traveling.

00:01:14   It's like, really, our year started in August when we got our second shot.

00:01:19   That's when our year actually began.

00:01:22   It's when we started doing things that weren't that one same thing.

00:01:25   - Yeah.

00:01:26   And so it really has been like four or five months of an actual different year.

00:01:32   And so it feels like it's gone by quickly.

00:01:35   Because it feels to me, like in my mind, I tell my- like I think like,

00:01:39   "Oh, I have been vaccinated for all of 2021."

00:01:42   But I haven't been. It was August.

00:01:46   So yeah, I think it has got that- weirdly has actually got that feeling to it.

00:01:50   Yeah, yeah. I'm just trying to do the math in my head,

00:01:52   head and I think I've been quad-vaxxed for just about that amount of time so yeah that's

00:01:57   that's how long the year has been.

00:01:58   I don't want to talk about this again. I don't want to talk about how many vaccinations you've had again.

00:02:03   I think about it. Anyway yearly themes time for 2022.

00:02:09   Yearly themes time.

00:02:10   All right so what is a yearly theme? So this is the fifth time I think that we've done this?

00:02:15   I don't know maybe.

00:02:17   Which is kind of an incredible thing. I want to give a very quick overview. I will say

00:02:20   at this point, the best place to get a primer on what is a theme is to watch Grey's YouTube

00:02:26   video, and I'll make sure that that's in the show notes. Was that last year that you

00:02:30   made that video?

00:02:31   I don't know, when is time? I think that's two years ago?

00:02:35   Was it more than four months ago? Then the answer could be yes.

00:02:38   Three years ago? It might have been three years ago, I don't know.

00:02:41   But basically with our themes, we look at what we want to achieve and focus on in a

00:02:47   a year. Themes can be shorter but we tend to think of them in about a year's time

00:02:51   on this show. We look at our working lives, our personal lives, we think about what we

00:02:55   want to change, what we want to continue, and create a theme around that. And then the

00:02:59   theme acts as a guide for us through that time. It can be a phrase or it can be some

00:03:04   key outcomes. Thinking about where do we want to be in a year from now. Themes are not the

00:03:09   same as resolutions because they are not strict goals that you have some kind of success or

00:03:13   failure in. So for example, one of my favorite is saying like year of health is much more

00:03:20   kind to you than I want to lose 20 pounds because if you lost 19 pounds, you failed

00:03:26   on your resolution. But if you only get some of the way with the theme of the year of health,

00:03:32   you've still made good progress. It also allows you to adapt throughout the year. Like maybe

00:03:36   instead of looking at weight or fitness, you look at mental health. It's still part of

00:03:40   your health and you can still make those positive steps towards what you want to be working

00:03:45   on rather than feeling like you have to have completed one very strict and set thing.

00:03:49   >> DAN Yeah, I like to think of it as a unifying idea for the year. This is a phrase that means

00:03:57   something to you and that you can have like thoughts collect together underneath this

00:04:01   this umbrella and I particularly like them especially over the last couple of years because

00:04:06   they can be very flexible and adaptable depending on what's going on in your life or what's

00:04:12   going on in the world.

00:04:13   And what I personally value about the yearly theme process is it gives me an opportunity

00:04:19   to kind of take stock of my life like on a yearly basis and really think about what's

00:04:23   working and what isn't and what I want to change about it. And then on these episodes

00:04:28   which we've been doing for five years, we assess how our previous theme has gone for

00:04:33   the current year and talk about what worked, what didn't, and what we're going to set our

00:04:37   new yearly theme to be. So that's what this episode's going to be today.

00:04:40   Alright. I thought we could maybe talk a little bit

00:04:43   about how we choose our themes. Okay.

00:04:48   Because I've kind of made a note of it this year that I've established a process at this

00:04:52   point. And it kind of runs the whole year through and then in the last couple of months

00:04:57   of the year gets kind of brought together. So, you know, I journal every day. As I'm

00:05:03   journaling, I'm talking about how I'm feeling, you know, writing that down. And as we kind

00:05:08   of get maybe to halfway through the year, I start to make like mental note of the things

00:05:13   that I find myself writing often. You know, this could be like, such and such things going

00:05:18   well, such and such thing is frustrating me, etc, etc. And as these things start to pop

00:05:23   up more and more, I start to add some thoughts to an Apple note around kind of like October

00:05:30   time and so I create my yearly theme note for the next year and I start adding lots

00:05:35   of random thoughts and phrases and ideas like if I feel something about my work, to even

00:05:40   just randomly walking around the day like oh I have this thought, I just put it down

00:05:44   and I just start adding and adding and adding to this Apple note and then what I actually

00:05:49   you did last week is I will open that note up and read back through everything

00:05:52   and start to see what patterns are emerging and I start to bring it all

00:05:57   together and then can build a theme around it. So for me it's very much a

00:06:02   throwing everything in and seeing what is there and then I use that to craft

00:06:07   what my theme will be because a lot of the time I'm talking about my

00:06:11   frustrations in that note and I start to see like oh actually this could be

00:06:15   related to this, and this could be related to this. Let me craft something around that

00:06:20   to see if I can try and make this part of my working life better.

00:06:22   My traditional method has been something of a vision quest during summer travel, under

00:06:28   the stars that it comes to me. Obviously that didn't happen this year, so I've actually

00:06:33   kind of cribbed, because you mentioned this offhandedly last time we spoke about having

00:06:38   a running note that you were adding stuff to, and since we spoke I created a note in

00:06:43   Obsidian and dumped just like a ton of thoughts that I'd had there and collected some little

00:06:48   random stuff that I'd written down over the year in Apple Notes and sort of put it together

00:06:52   in one place. And I've been having that just open up automatically just like in a little

00:06:58   sidebar whenever I'm working in Obsidian on other projects so that I can see it there.

00:07:04   It's interesting, I think I'm going to continue this through the year because whenever we

00:07:08   do these episodes, very often one of the questions people have is, how do you keep reminding

00:07:15   yourself about the theme over the course of the year? And I really like this as having

00:07:22   an always visible, like, working document. So I think I'm going to keep up with this

00:07:30   little habit of just having a little narrow sidebar just when I first open Obsidian, you

00:07:35   you know, oh, here's that document about the year theme.

00:07:38   And you can just look at it and think about it for a second

00:07:41   and kind of remind yourself of what you want to be doing.

00:07:44   - Yeah, a lot of people create a visual reminder.

00:07:46   Like I know we have a lot of listeners

00:07:49   that maybe make a desktop wallpaper

00:07:51   that's related to their theme in some way,

00:07:53   or they write it down on a piece of paper

00:07:55   and stick it on the wall or put it on a whiteboard.

00:07:58   Or honestly, for me, my journaling reminds me of it

00:08:01   because it's written in the front of the journal.

00:08:04   So I think about it.

00:08:05   I think about my theme whenever I sit down to work on my theme system journal.

00:08:09   But I think having some kind of reminder, whatever it is, is good, especially in the

00:08:14   first, I would say three months of the year.

00:08:17   It can be really helpful.

00:08:19   So you're just internalizing what it is that you're working towards.

00:08:23   Because I know that sometimes in the beginning of the year, I struggle with the transition

00:08:27   between from one to the other.

00:08:28   So having that reminder there is is pretty helpful to me too.

00:08:32   So shall we review our years, Myke?

00:08:34   Can you remind me what your 2021 theme was?

00:08:36   My 2021 theme was Year of the Voyage.

00:08:40   I was wanting something that would be specifically flexible.

00:08:44   So it had a dual meaning for me.

00:08:46   It was voyage in the sense of the Spaceship You video that I made about

00:08:53   when you're in a constrained environment, maintaining the routine and the separate

00:08:57   borders of your working spaces and your living spaces and your recreation spaces,

00:09:03   that all of this is really important. So, Year of the Voyage was partly about,

00:09:07   "Hey, this whole situation isn't over yet. Don't lose track of what you're doing."

00:09:15   And sort of maintain the routines and what's worked so well for you in the past year.

00:09:21   And then the flip side of Year of the Voyage was, it was hugely important to me that no matter what happened over the rest of the year,

00:09:30   I was going to find a way and make time to go visit my family in America because it had just been way too long.

00:09:40   So normally, like, I wouldn't include a specific target like that in a theme.

00:09:47   I think that does sort of go against what we set out in the beginning, but it was just too important for me not to do it.

00:09:55   do it. It's like, I'm going to make this happen, and I don't care how much effort or how inconvenient

00:10:01   or how much time. I've got to make this happen, and I'm deciding at the beginning of the year

00:10:06   that this is going to be a thing. Especially not knowing, like, what is it going to look

00:10:11   like in the future? Doesn't matter. You have to make this happen one way or another. So

00:10:16   that was my theme. I would rate Year of the Voyage as two-thirds a big success and one-third

00:10:24   of failure. So the way my year went is that the first third was a big success in terms

00:10:31   of year of the voyage. I did do what I set out to do, which is just maintain those routines,

00:10:38   which I just thought were really important when you have a limited radius under which

00:10:43   you're operating. But it did fall down in the middle, which I have labeled the swamp

00:10:51   of uncertainty for my year. So I did have this like, I mean I can really pin it, the

00:10:57   swamp of uncertainty started the moment I saw a particular shark statue in London and

00:11:04   it ended the day that I uploaded the second unexpected Tiffany video. That is like the

00:11:15   the perfect bookends of when was this middle unhappy time of the year? Oh, Sharks to Tiffany,

00:11:22   that's when it was.

00:11:23   S - Voyages can be affected by sharks. This is a well-known thing.

00:11:28   B - This is very true, yes. If your voyage is going to be affected, sharks are definitely

00:11:33   a possibility. So, I think there's many reasons why I kind of fell down in maintaining my

00:11:39   routines and a whole bunch of my, like, work structures that I had been really great about

00:11:45   over the past year and a quarter just didn't hold up for me. Like, it was a bit of a perfect

00:11:50   storm of different intersecting things. And the main one is just this was the time of

00:11:57   year when maybe the pandemic was coming to an end, but maybe not, and I kept trying to

00:12:06   do the planning for going to America, but it kept having to get pushed back. And also

00:12:12   both of these projects were extremely uncertain in how, if at all, are these videos going

00:12:21   to be finished. They were both just unusually difficult, unusually uncertain projects. And

00:12:26   then combined with the uncertainty about traveling, if I'm going to be here or not, it just ended

00:12:32   up being like a really terrible time. And I'm gonna say something that sounds like so

00:12:38   obvious it's going to sound really dumb, but I feel like I really in retrospect learned

00:12:45   the lesson that you have to pay attention to when you're in an uncertain period of time.

00:12:56   And this is when the routines are way more valuable, not way less valuable.

00:13:06   So I think I started telling myself, "Oh, I don't need to make sure that I'm waking

00:13:13   up at the same time because I might be in America in a few days and then it won't matter.

00:13:18   Like I'm going to need to adjust the time anyway."

00:13:21   And I think like there's always some lazy part of your brain which is looking for excuses

00:13:29   not to do the things that you know are good.

00:13:32   And I think I've really come out the other side of the swamp of uncertainty with a very

00:13:38   sharp sense of notice when this is happening.

00:13:44   And be aware that this is exactly the time to step up the alert of keeping your routines

00:13:52   together and not like letting them slide because you think that they don't matter because this

00:13:58   time is uncertain.

00:13:59   No, this is the time it really matters.

00:14:02   And I don't know, I think that sounds super obvious when I say it that way.

00:14:06   But just going through the experience in this human way kind of made it more visceral to

00:14:13   me than it's been in the past. It wasn't a great time, but I feel like I came out of

00:14:18   it with a really clear lesson. And also as a little bit of a sidebar, this is one of

00:14:25   the times when the journal really helps, like our theme system journal really helped me

00:14:30   kind of exit the swamp. I did a bunch of my tactical journaling at the end of the Tiffany

00:14:36   any project. And, you know, this is just thinking things through, having to put them down in

00:14:44   words on paper, formulating like the set of questions that I want to be asking myself

00:14:52   every day, you know, in the journal and like making a little note with the circles. All

00:14:57   of this like really helped kind of pull me out of it and go, "Okay, you need to come

00:15:01   back out of this time in one way or another, so it was very helpful there. So that was

00:15:07   my like one-third failure of the year. But it was in the middle, and then I did accomplish

00:15:14   the main thing, which was voyage to America. I don't have words to express how grateful

00:15:23   I was for the experience that I was able to have with my family this summer. Obviously

00:15:28   the circumstances that led up to it were terrible, but I would never have, under normal circumstances,

00:15:40   been able to just dedicate that much time to family time. I think I ended up being with

00:15:47   my parents... I have to double check the calendar at this point, but like something like six

00:15:53   weeks and...

00:15:54   Yeah, it was a long time.

00:15:55   I haven't spent that much time with my parents since I lived with my parents back when I

00:16:01   was in high school.

00:16:03   Uh, like it's really true.

00:16:05   Like I was going back through and trying to think like, "Oh, in college did I spend

00:16:08   that much time?"

00:16:09   But it's like, "Actually, no, never that much time straight in a row."

00:16:12   And it was just really fantastic.

00:16:14   MATT: And you can't complain about that, right?

00:16:16   I know that, you know, that maybe there's a world where if you wouldn't have had so

00:16:19   much trouble with those two video projects that you wouldn't have stayed that long.

00:16:24   B: Yeah, that is also true. I have a slight other note about that which kind of contributed to that,

00:16:28   but yes, for sure also the fact that the the swamp of uncertainty was a really bad time

00:16:35   gave me good reason to just say "hey chill out man, relax for a while, just enjoy this."

00:16:42   And also as I mentioned with the journal, like you know, one of the little you know,

00:16:45   check and review that you're doing this every day things that I had at the back, like,

00:16:49   I found it a really useful exercise just to order them from top to bottom of like, hey,

00:16:55   the one that you write at the top is the one that you absolutely have to hit.

00:17:00   Like that is there's no exception to that.

00:17:01   And then they're in decreasing importance of like, okay, if you get down to if you hit

00:17:05   the 10th one, that's great.

00:17:07   But it's not you know, it's not a necessary one.

00:17:09   And it's an interesting way of ordering the daily page.

00:17:12   I've never thought of it that way.

00:17:13   Like for me, they're all like of equal importance, really, like, I just got to hit all of them.

00:17:17   But that's a really interesting way of doing it, of like descending in importance.

00:17:22   Check these off if you get halfway through, you've still done a good job kind of thing.

00:17:25   That's interesting.

00:17:26   Yeah, I'd never thought about it that way either.

00:17:28   I think all the years we've been doing this, I thought of it the same way you did, of them

00:17:32   as being equally important.

00:17:35   But I think I wasn't in a place where I could look at 10 things and be like, "Yeah, I'm

00:17:40   gonna do all of these."

00:17:41   Like, it was very, "No, I'm not gonna do all of these."

00:17:44   I like it.

00:17:45   I might do something like that because I know I want to redo mine for next year, which I

00:17:49   haven't done for a couple of years, but I'm not exactly sure how I'm going to do that

00:17:51   yet.

00:17:52   So I might use this as a starting point.

00:17:54   It's so interesting to me that you haven't changed them for a while.

00:17:56   Like I feel like that to me is actually one of the most valuable things is is like rethinking

00:18:02   those questions.

00:18:03   Well, I see a way that I've used them is not so much for the theme.

00:18:08   It's actually secondary to that part.

00:18:10   It's like you've always got to think about your theme.

00:18:13   That's great.

00:18:14   these 10 set, well for me, these nine set of things

00:18:17   that you have to do just to make sure you're being

00:18:20   the person you wanna be every day.

00:18:22   But I'm thinking I might start tweaking them up

00:18:24   a little bit, 'cause I have space for extra ones anyway.

00:18:27   But you know, it's just basically like keeping contact

00:18:30   with your friends, be a good husband, right?

00:18:32   Like add something to your business.

00:18:34   That it's like it's just, they're very simple to me,

00:18:37   but it's like you gotta hit these every day

00:18:39   as like this is only the beginning of a successful day

00:18:43   if you've hit a portion of all of this.

00:18:46   Rather than, you know, but I might switch it up

00:18:49   because at this point I've gotten pretty good

00:18:51   at doing something in all of those areas, so.

00:18:53   That makes sense.

00:18:54   I would suggest trying it out in the ordering.

00:18:56   Like, or at least I was in the right mental space

00:18:59   that this is exactly what worked for me.

00:19:01   And the thing that I put right at the top

00:19:04   was quality time with family.

00:19:07   It's like, this is the whole reason I'm here.

00:19:09   This is a big target for, you know,

00:19:12   what had to happen with this theme for this year.

00:19:15   And so it was great.

00:19:17   And it worked out just perfectly.

00:19:19   And I mean, I've mentioned it before,

00:19:21   but it was just a literally magical time teaching

00:19:25   my mom how to play Magic.

00:19:27   And she would get obsessed at night and play the game.

00:19:31   And then we'd wake up in the morning,

00:19:34   and she'd have just a ton of questions.

00:19:36   And we'd want to get right into it.

00:19:37   And then my dad would be kind of laughing

00:19:40   at the two obsessive weirdos in the house.

00:19:43   [LAUGHTER]

00:19:43   Look at these couple of nerds.

00:19:45   Yeah, exactly.

00:19:46   Doing this for hours and hours.

00:19:49   It was just great.

00:19:50   I could not have asked for a better time.

00:19:54   It was a peak experience of my adult life,

00:19:57   the ability to spend so much time with my parents

00:20:00   that I just haven't had in years.

00:20:01   So it was unspeakably great and just a huge success

00:20:07   for the end of the year with regards to the year of the voyage.

00:20:13   I think that I know you, I can tell you're a bit up and down on this one because you

00:20:17   had a tough creative time but ultimately that part, what you did at the end, that was the

00:20:24   whole point of the year anyway.

00:20:25   It was like allowing you to get to a point where you were able to make a trip and you

00:20:30   had such a good time on that trip.

00:20:32   It feels like it was a full success to me, your theme this year.

00:20:35   You know, this was all of it, right?

00:20:38   Like it was all laddering up to allowing you to be able to take this time and you did it

00:20:42   and it was great and you've made the most of it.

00:20:44   Yeah, I mean, even though I say I would regard the year as one third of failure, I also wouldn't

00:20:53   do the year differently precisely because it all led to this perfect ending of the year.

00:20:58   So and also I have this funny experience where those two videos, sharks and the Tiffany video,

00:21:05   particularly the second one, I almost never watch my old videos, but I really like those

00:21:12   two.

00:21:13   Like I actually think, oh, they came out great, both of them.

00:21:16   And so that is still also a nice upside that, oh, this unusually terrible working period

00:21:23   has actually produced, I don't know, two of my real favorite videos.

00:21:27   The videos, it's like, this person almost killed me.

00:21:30   What is it, dead person almost? You know what I'm talking about, right?

00:21:33   Like the behind the scenes. That's a classic for me.

00:21:36   Yeah, that's what I mean. It's that one and the sharks, I feel like.

00:21:39   Those two are really great.

00:21:40   Oh, okay. So you actually, because when you say like the project,

00:21:43   there was two videos to the project, but you mean the second one?

00:21:46   Yeah, I mean the second one.

00:21:47   Oh, okay then. Then yes, I agree. I think that the Grey in the Real World kind of video,

00:21:53   like, that's I think my favorite video you've done this year.

00:21:57   Close to me with sharks. I love sharks too.

00:21:59   Yeah, so there's, you know, there's totally something to The Tortured Artist.

00:22:03   Where it's like, "Oh boy, look at this great work that came out of someone's miserable time!"

00:22:08   "We would just like to see you suffer." That's kind of it, really.

00:22:13   I look back on this year and I wouldn't do any of it differently, because I think it all

00:22:20   worked out, even the part of it that I would regard as kind of a failure in the middle.

00:22:27   I'm still glad for it and it worked out. So that's my review of the 2020 Year of the Voyage.

00:22:34   2021.

00:22:35   Oh my god, Myke.

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00:25:12   [BEEP]

00:25:12   How was your 2021?

00:25:14   I was so apprehensive of sitting down to do this part.

00:25:19   Oh yeah?

00:25:20   I don't know what it--

00:25:20   I feel like I hadn't done a good job.

00:25:22   That was-- in my mind, I was like,

00:25:23   I just felt like I had not done a good job of my yearly theme.

00:25:26   And I didn't want to re-listen to the part of the episode

00:25:31   last year where I spoke about what I wanted my theme to be.

00:25:35   Like I was really putting it off and putting it off.

00:25:38   But once I actually sat down and went through it,

00:25:41   I felt better about it than I had initially anticipated

00:25:45   I would.

00:25:46   And I think really for me, the reason for this was

00:25:49   I had lost sight of the fact that my yearly theme this year

00:25:55   was more about setting groundwork for future years

00:26:00   and put way too much stock in about the way that I'm feeling towards the end of the

00:26:04   year of Overwhelm, when really it actually kind of makes sense.

00:26:08   And I think it was just in our episode last year we spoke a lot about how big my theme

00:26:13   was, and we spoke about how there was this element of groundwork.

00:26:18   So listening back to it made me remember that, and I felt a bit better about it.

00:26:21   ALICE; Remind me, what was the name?

00:26:23   SEAN-MARK WILKINSON The Year of Reinvention.

00:26:24   - Right, right, right.

00:26:27   - And I think maybe I suffered with a bad name in the end

00:26:31   'cause I'm not reinvented, but that wasn't the point.

00:26:35   The point was to start that process

00:26:37   and I think I kind of got lost in the idea of like,

00:26:41   well, I'm not a changed man.

00:26:43   'Cause that takes a while.

00:26:45   But the year of reinvention was more about setting

00:26:48   some steps in place to move towards changing

00:26:52   a lot of my work life.

00:26:53   And I do feel that now that I've actually sat down and done the review,

00:26:57   which is why I think it's important to do the review because now I've changed my

00:26:59   perspective on my year.

00:27:01   I feel like I have actually set myself on the path to being this future

00:27:06   progression of who I want to be. And I've moved everything forward.

00:27:09   Nothing's completed from the year.

00:27:10   Everything's just moved forward in the direction that I wanted.

00:27:13   And I feel like I made some meaningful progress.

00:27:15   Can you give me some examples?

00:27:16   Yeah. So I had a bunch of objectives, uh, of like things,

00:27:20   areas that I wanted to focus my attention on.

00:27:23   One was completing Mega Studio.

00:27:25   And this was kind of like my,

00:27:27   I'm going to America, that you had.

00:27:30   Of like, there is actually, I believed an end point

00:27:33   to this when I started it.

00:27:34   But it actually turned out that that wasn't the case

00:27:36   as the year went on.

00:27:38   So one thing that I loved about when thinking

00:27:40   about my studio is I spent the full year there this year.

00:27:44   Which I had not done previously.

00:27:46   So I was able to work there as much as I wanted

00:27:49   for an entire calendar year.

00:27:52   And I would say at this point, the studio is kind of as complete as I would feasibly want it for now.

00:27:58   There's like a couple of items of furniture that would be nice to have,

00:28:01   but ultimately what this year has done is proven what we really want in an outside space.

00:28:07   That at the moment, Mega Studio only really works for me, it doesn't work for me and Adina.

00:28:13   And so now it's kind of like, alright, like we've worked out the way that we would want to have an outside studio space.

00:28:22   And ultimately we do need it to have a couple of rooms

00:28:25   or at least one office room for me to record in

00:28:29   and then a larger space and also like our own bathroom,

00:28:32   our own kitchen, which is all stuff we have to share

00:28:34   in the building that we're in right now.

00:28:36   So really I don't think 2022 is the year

00:28:40   where we actually change this,

00:28:42   but it will be the year where we start to put some plans

00:28:45   in place for maybe 2023 of moving to a new studio space.

00:28:50   - Hmm.

00:28:51   But having Megastudio has been the biggest, most positive change to my work in maybe five

00:28:58   years.

00:28:59   Really?

00:29:00   I love it.

00:29:01   I love having a place that I go to and I do all my work there and I come home and I don't

00:29:09   do any more work.

00:29:10   Like this sounds so simple.

00:29:13   It sounds so simple but I know I get it.

00:29:16   You know, I had worked for so many years

00:29:19   just in the second bedroom of the house and the living room,

00:29:22   which kind of just meant I worked everywhere

00:29:24   all the time whenever.

00:29:25   And there is just something so nice about having that space.

00:29:30   There are so many things that I do.

00:29:32   There are things that I don't do

00:29:33   because of having this place of like,

00:29:35   well, I could record this extra show,

00:29:38   but it means I have to go to the studio on the weekend

00:29:40   and I don't want to do that, so I'm not going to do it.

00:29:42   That kind of stuff has just been so great for me.

00:29:45   And while I do still have the emergency gear at home,

00:29:49   I don't like to use it.

00:29:50   I can still edit at home if I want to,

00:29:53   but I don't really want to.

00:29:54   I want to go to the studio and do it

00:29:55   because I like the environment more.

00:29:57   It just feels nicer, it's bigger, it's more open.

00:30:00   You know, there's more light, there's more air.

00:30:03   I have some space, I have things set up

00:30:05   in like a comfortable way.

00:30:06   I don't feel like I'm cramped in.

00:30:08   Like it really has been super good.

00:30:10   So I'm really happy for it.

00:30:12   And I'm also happy that we have had this space.

00:30:16   It hasn't been too much of a disruption

00:30:18   and it's allowed us to learn more of what we would want

00:30:22   in a future space.

00:30:23   Like it's been a good first step

00:30:24   in having an out of home office.

00:30:27   I really love having a commute again,

00:30:29   like all these little things,

00:30:30   which I just, you know, I'd let them go for like seven years

00:30:34   it had been since I'd had this in my working life.

00:30:37   And I really have enjoyed the change.

00:30:39   Like when I think about myself now, you know,

00:30:41   I was like a kid when I used to do the commute and stuff.

00:30:44   I didn't really know what I wanted then.

00:30:46   - Yeah.

00:30:47   - You know, like I was in my 20s

00:30:48   and I was still kind of working stuff out

00:30:51   and I also hated what I did

00:30:52   and didn't see any of the value

00:30:54   that can be drawn from that.

00:30:55   And so now I feel like I've grown up

00:30:59   and I've changed so much.

00:31:00   Having that separation and everything that comes with it,

00:31:04   I think works pretty nicely for me.

00:31:06   So very happy with that part.

00:31:07   I imagine a lot of people have recently realized that the commute and the physical separation of space,

00:31:16   there's a lot of advantages to that. And while you might think, "Oh, I don't want to have to do that,"

00:31:22   and it's nice to not have to, there are some big advantages for having a place that you go to,

00:31:29   which is the work, and then you have a transition back home and the work is not done at home.

00:31:35   It's a huge psychological advantage.

00:31:38   - And I have no doubt that it's like a similar thing

00:31:41   is there's just been a bunch of people

00:31:42   that have realized they want the exact opposite

00:31:43   now that they've had it.

00:31:45   And this is more kind of like,

00:31:46   I've just had that experience the same as everybody else,

00:31:49   but in a different way,

00:31:50   because it wasn't COVID related me getting the studio,

00:31:54   but I've just had a similar experience to many people

00:31:57   of having had a change in the way and where I work

00:32:01   and I've learned something new that I love from it.

00:32:03   - Yeah, it's interesting to hear you say that your review

00:32:06   is more successful than you thought going through it,

00:32:09   because this is also a case where when you say

00:32:12   you spent a full year at the studio, I think,

00:32:15   no, Myke, surely that can't be true.

00:32:17   You've only recently gone, but it's not true.

00:32:20   - I didn't realize this until I sat down to do the review.

00:32:23   - This is the exact reason why it's super useful

00:32:26   to actually write down and track things.

00:32:29   Because if you had asked me how long you've been

00:32:31   the studio I would say, "Oh, a couple months at most?"

00:32:34   - Just a couple of months.

00:32:37   - Yeah, yeah.

00:32:38   So like, I'm really happy to hear that that,

00:32:40   both that you've done it and also way more importantly,

00:32:44   at the end of the year during the review,

00:32:47   you realize that you've done it.

00:32:49   - Yeah, that's the most important part.

00:32:51   - Yeah, that is way more important in some ways.

00:32:54   - If a tree falls down in the studio

00:32:56   and no one's around to hear it,

00:32:57   was I ever at the studio in the first place?

00:33:00   I don't know. It's an unanswerable question. These are life's great mysteries. What isn't

00:33:04   a mystery though is I did visit your studio and it is awesome. Like I'm so jealous of

00:33:11   it. It is crazy to me that you're thinking about a mega-er studio in the future on a

00:33:17   2023 timeline, but hearing you talk it through it totally makes sense.

00:33:22   Yeah, I don't need more space. Like the amount of space that we have is great. It's like

00:33:27   more than enough, we just need it to be separated.

00:33:29   And there isn't really a great way to separate

00:33:32   what we currently have, 'cause the ceilings are so high,

00:33:35   like putting in any kind of fake walls or partitions

00:33:37   is just not gonna do the job.

00:33:38   But hey, if you like my studio so much,

00:33:40   the unit next door is available.

00:33:42   - It's too long of a commute.

00:33:43   Otherwise, Myke, I would, but it's too long of a commute.

00:33:45   - For you it is, for you it is.

00:33:47   For me it's great.

00:33:48   - It really feels like your place

00:33:50   with the way everything is set up,

00:33:52   with the equipment, the way things are laid out,

00:33:55   the way it's designed, your adorable little like quarantine space taped out in the beginning.

00:34:01   That is an Idina invention.

00:34:03   The whole thing is great. I just love it. So I'm very happy that you've spent the year

00:34:08   there. And I'm also very happy that I was able to actually see it in person and check

00:34:12   it out. And yeah, it's great. I'm so happy that you did that. And you've got space for

00:34:18   all your stuff.

00:34:19   So one of the other things was doing something new. And again, I feel like I've ticked this

00:34:24   This works quite a lot with keyboard related stuff and Twitch streaming.

00:34:27   I've really been loving this.

00:34:28   It's one of my favorite things that I've done in 2021.

00:34:32   I stream basically once a week and we have a great set of people that hang out and we

00:34:39   build keyboards and customize keyboards and it's just been a really great hobby and I've

00:34:45   loved learning the new skills that come from it.

00:34:48   And that comes from learning streaming stuff and also just learning how to do these electronics

00:34:55   projects.

00:34:56   Basically, we stream every Friday and I really like that it's at the end of the week and

00:35:00   it's one of the things that I look forward to the most in my week.

00:35:04   And I'm also really happy that after having done this for basically a year, it still just

00:35:10   feels very much in the hobby camp.

00:35:12   It never moved over into work.

00:35:14   It doesn't feel like it at all.

00:35:16   And it just feels like something that I do

00:35:18   to just hang out with some people

00:35:19   and just spend some time, some fixed time

00:35:22   doing something that's just for me that I enjoy

00:35:25   that I don't think I otherwise would have.

00:35:27   I think if I didn't have the idea that I'm gonna stream it,

00:35:30   if it wasn't on my calendar,

00:35:32   I wouldn't spend the time doing it.

00:35:34   But this is also something that if I have

00:35:36   a spare moment to myself,

00:35:37   I might tinker with something for a bit.

00:35:38   But having the time on my calendar every week

00:35:42   to sit down and play with this stuff,

00:35:43   I think has been really valuable.

00:35:44   and I'm really proud of the skills that I've learned

00:35:48   over the last year with this.

00:35:50   - That's all you need to do?

00:35:50   - No editing of any kind is really good.

00:35:54   I don't make YouTube videos about the keyboards either,

00:35:57   which is something that I could do if I wanted to.

00:35:59   I could make a YouTube review of a keyboard,

00:36:02   but I don't wanna do it

00:36:03   because then it's just gonna feel like work.

00:36:05   So spontaneity of it and the fact that not really,

00:36:08   I don't really prepare,

00:36:09   I'm not sitting down and writing down ideas on my streams.

00:36:13   I might have a thing I wanna do,

00:36:14   but it's a totally different thing.

00:36:15   Oh, I want to work on this project on Friday.

00:36:18   Great, I'll get it ready and then I'll go for it.

00:36:20   But it's not, none of the processes that I go through

00:36:24   for my podcast recording at all, cross over into this.

00:36:28   I can't even use a completely different computer for it all.

00:36:31   I can't use my gaming PC or my streaming PC.

00:36:33   Like it's all different.

00:36:34   I have a different part of my studio for it.

00:36:36   It's all very, like this is just what this is for.

00:36:40   And I think that that separation of it

00:36:42   has made it feel just really great

00:36:43   and it just continues to feel like a fun project, not a work project.

00:36:47   Yeah, because you do have that desk that's on the opposite wall for this.

00:36:51   I didn't realize that was your gaming computer.

00:36:53   Yeah, it's kind of split into two.

00:36:55   It's a really large desk, and the left side of the desk is just streaming and keyboard-related

00:36:59   stuff, and then the right side of the desk is kind of where I spend most of my time working

00:37:04   where I'm not recording, because the desk is just huge.

00:37:08   So it works great for it.

00:37:09   Like, I've got these kind of two stations that I sit at at the studio.

00:37:13   Yeah, but you can split a desk in two and make one side the one side and the other side

00:37:18   the other side. But I just I think I didn't realize that the computer over there is also

00:37:22   the gaming computer. I feel like that's a really good way to do it so that it's just

00:37:26   clearly like, oh, this is where I do the fun stuff. And that includes the keyboards and

00:37:30   it's not the it's not professionalizing it. That's interesting.

00:37:33   And that Windows is where I do all my fun. Mac OS is where all the work happens.

00:37:40   But isn't that how everybody thinks of the operating systems? Windows is for funsies and Mac is serious and button-down.

00:37:47   I think that's the reputation.

00:37:49   I think that's the long-standing understanding of those two. Yeah, I think you're right.

00:37:53   So I have a few more. Building new norms was the thing that I wanted to do and I still think that I've got work to do on this.

00:38:01   You know, one of the things that I spoke about and I feel very set in is less overall travel.

00:38:06   I do not envision ever going back to my 2019 travel amounts in a year.

00:38:11   And one of the things that I really want to focus on is different travel to what I was doing before.

00:38:18   So basically more travel for pleasure, less for work, which means vacations.

00:38:22   I only took one vacation in 2021. It's incredible. I'm actually at the end of it. I'm on it.

00:38:27   I'm on it now. But I let it go way too long before I did this, basically the entire year.

00:38:35   You know, the last vacation that I took was in January 2020 and then in end of November 2021.

00:38:41   That was stupid, honestly. To do that, I didn't need to do it. I felt like I had to do it,

00:38:48   but I didn't. I could have taken more time off in the year and a half, the two years,

00:38:53   but I didn't do that. And I feel like this trip has reminded me of the value of proper vacations.

00:39:02   And so I'm not gonna let that happen again.

00:39:05   Yeah, I think you're a little hard on yourself for going so long without a vacation in this period of time.

00:39:13   Like, I don't know. I think you're a little harsh on yourself with that and it's extremely understandable why.

00:39:17   I could have taken a week. I could have taken a week or a couple of long weekends.

00:39:22   Like, I could have done that.

00:39:23   Yes.

00:39:24   But I didn't do any of that.

00:39:25   You're not wrong. I just think it's a very understandable time period for that to have happened.

00:39:30   But yeah, you're not wrong that if you're thinking about it in terms of a week, you could have done that.

00:39:34   If this was just random time, then I would be way more upset at myself.

00:39:39   Like, I would just think that I was an idiot.

00:39:40   Like, if it's just like...

00:39:42   And then I would 100% agree.

00:39:43   2017 to 2018, I just didn't take any big gains.

00:39:47   Like, what is wrong with you?

00:39:48   So, you know, I've learned that going forward, I need to do this.

00:39:53   It's very important to me.

00:39:55   I feel so much more refreshed about going into next year than I did like two weeks ago.

00:40:02   You know, two weeks ago my whole world was crumbling down, you know, like,

00:40:05   and now I feel much better. Like, I'm going like as well. When I get home, I am like crash landing

00:40:12   into a busy work period, but I feel more prepared for it. In a way that if this was just the amount

00:40:19   of work that I've had starting Monday from a regular week, I would feel absolutely terrible.

00:40:25   But now it's just like, no, this is just a busy, I've just got like a busy couple of weeks before

00:40:29   Christmas starts and it's fine, you know, I'm going to be able to handle it. I've built up

00:40:34   enough energy now, I'm ready to go. But that's because I've taken this time and it's been very

00:40:40   valuable for me. So I'm not going to let it happen again where, I mean, really it's like,

00:40:46   it's also the prioritization of relaxing time, of overworking time is one of the big things that

00:40:51   I'm going to focus on when it comes to travel now. Can I ask what the reasons are for less

00:40:56   work travel? Like is it specific if like I think this is good right that you're saying oh you want

00:41:03   to you want to travel different more vacations less work but what's the reasoning for the

00:41:09   decrease in the work? Working travel is just for me. Okay. Vacations are for me and my partner.

00:41:16   Right, okay. And if I'm just traveling for work, I get an enjoyment out of that, I get a refreshment

00:41:22   out of that, but it's only benefiting me and I don't think that's fair. And it's, you know,

00:41:31   it's not that I won't do this stuff, I will, but basically all of my travel prior to the pandemic

00:41:37   was just for work stuff. And there needs to be a way different balance for that. And also,

00:41:44   I do get more benefit out of just pure vacations. And I can mix these things up, right? And I have.

00:41:52   This trip has been vastly vacationed, but I've recorded a couple of shows. We've met with some

00:41:57   friends and stuff, and friends that I also work with, right? So there's always that mix there.

00:42:02   But the way that this has balanced has been way more vacationed. It's right. We've been

00:42:07   been away for like 17 days and there's been maybe two days where there's been

00:42:12   work stuff going on. That's been really good. That's vacation. I've enjoyed it

00:42:16   immensely and I think it's important for me to have that time as

00:42:20   well so that's what I kind of want to focus on going forward and I feel like

00:42:23   I've set that up. This is one of those things where like I was thinking well I

00:42:27   haven't I don't really feel like I have a plan for what this stuff looks like

00:42:30   but it's fine because I've started taking the steps this year to enable

00:42:34   that to occur in future years. You know, like this is one of the areas where I

00:42:38   feel like, oh but I don't really have an idea of what I want when it comes to

00:42:42   like new norms, because it's what it's more than just travel, it's a lot of things.

00:42:45   But really I do feel like my mindset has changed this year, where I feel like I

00:42:51   am in a space where I feel like I'm open to changing things that I have otherwise

00:42:57   felt were just the way that things were. And so now I feel like I'm much

00:43:04   more open in future years to adapting what my life looks like.

00:43:09   There are a couple of other things that I can breeze through I think.

00:43:13   Direct support was one and I'm super happy with how membership's been going.

00:43:16   The base and security that it's provided has been really wonderful.

00:43:20   Now I do feel like I have a level of security in my income that I didn't have before and

00:43:25   in a time which still continues to be in flux, like the advertising part of the business

00:43:30   is always up and down.

00:43:31   and it's been up and down all of 2021.

00:43:33   And I continue, I reckon it's going to continue to be the same global supply

00:43:37   chain, et cetera, et cetera.

00:43:38   So having the direct support model and the membership has been really great.

00:43:43   And I do feel like this year I've gotten a much better handle on what the

00:43:48   content is and what goes where for the shows where I do this stuff.

00:43:52   So I've been really happy with that.

00:43:53   And I feel like I've gotten the mix under control,

00:43:55   which I'm really pleased with.

00:43:57   I wanted to think about my relationship to the internet.

00:44:00   I don't really feel like I've done anything different here.

00:44:04   I know I use Twitter less, but I still debate as to whether I want to use it all, but cannot

00:44:10   let go of my grip on it.

00:44:13   So that's just, I think that's just going to continue to be an ongoing question in my

00:44:17   mind.

00:44:18   I feel like my news intake is far better.

00:44:21   Like I feel better informed and I also feel like I have way better filters for myself

00:44:25   feels like I see a new story,

00:44:27   and I feel like I'm better at filtering it

00:44:29   through my own brain,

00:44:31   and working out what I think it means,

00:44:33   rather than what it tells me it means,

00:44:35   which I think has been a valuable skill that I've learned.

00:44:39   - Okay.

00:44:40   - Honestly, this is mostly to headlines.

00:44:42   I feel like I'm handling headlines way better.

00:44:45   Like I see a headline and I'm like,

00:44:47   "I don't think this is true,"

00:44:48   and then I read the story and I'm like,

00:44:49   "Oh yeah, no, they were inflating that."

00:44:52   Like I feel like I've gotten a way better sense,

00:44:54   a gut sense of this stuff, which I'm pretty happy with.

00:44:57   And the last area was product development.

00:45:00   And this was one of the ones where I was like,

00:45:04   "Oh, but I didn't do the thing I wanted to do."

00:45:06   Like we've been working on a new project

00:45:09   and it's something quite new and ambitious

00:45:11   compared to what we've been doing.

00:45:12   It's in the same ballpark,

00:45:14   but it was really starting something completely from scratch

00:45:17   and it's been in development for a year

00:45:20   and I really wanted to have it for sale now,

00:45:23   but there have been unexpected stumbling blocks.

00:45:25   But ultimately the product is becoming better and better

00:45:28   the longer we continue working on it.

00:45:30   That was something I really wanted to have something else

00:45:33   this year, but it just wasn't able to be worked out.

00:45:36   - Yeah, I know that was your target for this,

00:45:39   but this also I think is a case where you did heroically

00:45:44   under the circumstances for how far along this product is.

00:45:48   So I think you still get full points for this,

00:45:50   even though, yeah, we wanted ideally to be announcing a new thing now, but just the realities

00:45:55   of the world did not allow that to happen.

00:45:58   So I think I'm giving you full points for product development for sure this year, even

00:46:03   though it's going to be a little bit later than we otherwise anticipated.

00:46:06   So this is kind of where I am with the theme of like, nothing major happened, but movement

00:46:13   was in all of these areas.

00:46:16   And so that's why like in my review, I realized, oh, you know what, I did a better job of this

00:46:20   than I thought I did.

00:46:22   And so after completing the kind of looking back,

00:46:24   I felt pretty good in it.

00:46:25   But it just maybe this wasn't really a theme

00:46:29   that like I've had before,

00:46:31   where I felt like where they kind of was like,

00:46:34   oh, when I'm done with this,

00:46:35   I know I'm gonna feel different.

00:46:36   That's how kind of every other theme has been for me.

00:46:38   And it's actually my theme for 2022 is focused around that.

00:46:43   But really 2021's theme,

00:46:45   I should have actually given it a different kind of name.

00:46:48   It should have been like the year of groundwork

00:46:49   or something called the Year of Foundation

00:46:51   rather than the Year of Reinvention.

00:46:53   That phrase really threw me off

00:46:55   as I was going through the year

00:46:56   and I don't think it did a good job with the name.

00:46:59   Because the, you know, reinvention seemed to suggest that

00:47:02   by the end of it, I'm a new man.

00:47:04   It's not as simple as that.

00:47:06   'Cause by the end of it,

00:47:07   I have actually set myself up to become a new man,

00:47:10   but that's gonna be a longer process.

00:47:13   And so if I could go back,

00:47:15   I would actually call this the Year of Foundation

00:47:17   or the Year of Groundwork.

00:47:18   feel like that would have made me feel way different about the theme overall. I think

00:47:23   it was just poorly branded. How are you even debating between those two names?

00:47:28   "Foundation" is such an awesome name for a theme that's got to go on the list for people of like,

00:47:34   "Hey, are you considering a theme? How does 'Foundation' sound to you?" Like, that's great.

00:47:39   I might go back and re-edit the episode. Just like every time, "Foundation" just comes in every

00:47:44   - Every time, year of, foundation.

00:47:47   Really bad ADR.

00:47:49   - Yeah, that's a fantastic theme.

00:47:52   That's definitely gotta go on the list of suggestions

00:47:54   for sure and it's gotta be in bold.

00:47:56   That's the only way to say it.

00:47:57   Oh, what's your theme?

00:47:58   Foundation.

00:47:59   No even year of or anything.

00:48:02   That's such a good one.

00:48:03   - It breaks out.

00:48:05   - Take that people and go run with it.

00:48:07   And you know what the best way to run with it is?

00:48:09   - Oh, there he goes.

00:48:11   - By buying a journal, theme system.

00:48:14   - Contextmerch.com.

00:48:17   So we've been talking about the theme system journal a bit

00:48:20   and this is where we're gonna pitch you

00:48:22   on why this is important.

00:48:23   So the journaling part of the theme

00:48:27   is a very, very important part for me

00:48:29   because it gives me the ability to take some time

00:48:32   to look at myself every day, think about how I'm doing,

00:48:36   think about what I'm focusing on,

00:48:37   think about what I want to change.

00:48:39   Not only does it keep me on track with my theme,

00:48:42   It serves as a reminder for my theme

00:48:44   and also helps me plan my next one.

00:48:46   Right, this is what I mentioned earlier,

00:48:47   that my practice of journaling every day

00:48:50   helps me highlight the areas in my working and personal life

00:48:54   that I wanna change for the future.

00:48:56   I see what keeps popping up.

00:48:57   For me, like, for example, a really good one,

00:49:00   and I'm gonna talk about this in a bit,

00:49:01   I have a section in my journal every day

00:49:03   where I talk about something that was bad in my day

00:49:05   or something that's frustrating me.

00:49:07   Far too often I wrote, I feel like I'm too busy

00:49:10   or I feel like I'm overwhelmed.

00:49:11   I kept noticing that I was writing that a lot.

00:49:14   So it was like, okay, I need to address that.

00:49:17   And it's the thing that I feel like

00:49:18   if I wasn't writing it down,

00:49:20   if I wasn't like verbalizing it,

00:49:22   I don't think I would be able to pin exactly what it is

00:49:24   that was making me feel not great,

00:49:26   but I was realizing it was overwhelming.

00:49:28   And it was the practice of journaling every day

00:49:31   that helped me uncover this feeling,

00:49:34   which I can then use for creating my next theme.

00:49:38   So I really love it for that stuff.

00:49:40   I'm still gonna make the pitch that I'm thinking of a younger version of me who would be listening

00:49:48   to this and listening to your pitch that you would do this every day over a long period

00:49:56   of time.

00:49:58   Younger version of me knows he's not gonna do that.

00:50:01   And so I still make the pitch that like what the journal is great for me for is this tactical

00:50:07   journaling.

00:50:09   I like it because it's, over time, it's become much more like an object, which is the "hey,

00:50:17   you're serious now" object of you want to change something and you're going to intentionally

00:50:26   work on it with this thing.

00:50:29   And like, I really do mean it, like it helped bring me out of a funk at the end of the swamp

00:50:35   of uncertainty by just going through, writing down the items that I wanted to track every

00:50:41   day, prioritizing them by what matters, like what are the things that I absolutely need

00:50:47   and want to do.

00:50:48   This time in particular, I really like the exercise of thinking through what counts as

00:50:53   a full circle and what counts as a half circle for like partial credit for this thing and

00:51:00   full credit for this thing.

00:51:03   And I find using it really intensely for a period of one to two to three weeks, it never

00:51:12   fails to help really change my mental mindset.

00:51:17   I just love it for this.

00:51:18   But I think you're making a really good example of why our product is good.

00:51:23   Because we created this product together and we use it completely differently.

00:51:27   Because that's how we made it.

00:51:29   We made it to be customizable, that it fits into how you want to work.

00:51:35   Maybe you want to journal every day, maybe you just want to pick it up for a three week

00:51:38   period to journal.

00:51:39   And it works because we don't date it, right?

00:51:41   Like it's not meant to make you feel bad because you don't address it every day.

00:51:46   Yeah, no, we definitely use it differently because – and also it is just very funny

00:51:50   – every time you mention that thing about where you write down something that didn't

00:51:53   go well, I hate that.

00:51:55   I hate that so much.

00:51:56   I'm always like, "Don't do that! That's a terrible idea!"

00:52:01   But you know what? The point is, it works for you.

00:52:04   Whereas my pitch instead for those two boxes at the top,

00:52:08   especially if you want to elevate your mood,

00:52:11   is the thing that always annoys me with how effective it is,

00:52:14   which is writing down things you're grateful for.

00:52:18   And it makes me so angry how effective it is.

00:52:22   but it's like the top box in the morning,

00:52:25   write something that you're grateful for.

00:52:27   And the next little box right below it,

00:52:30   save it for the end of the day.

00:52:32   And at the end of the day,

00:52:34   write something that went well during the day.

00:52:36   And it's like, God damn it, it sounds so dumb,

00:52:39   but it is so effective.

00:52:41   - So I recommend people, they can go to theme-system.com

00:52:45   and we have examples of what people write

00:52:48   in the journaling pages.

00:52:49   And these examples are actually built

00:52:51   on these two ways that we journal.

00:52:53   So there is like, there's one from me where in the four boxes

00:52:57   I write something that's good, something that's bad.

00:52:59   What am I thinking about?

00:53:00   What am I looking forward to?

00:53:02   And then there's one that you came up with

00:53:04   what you're personally grateful for,

00:53:05   professionally grateful for, what's on your mind

00:53:07   and what's your most important task, right?

00:53:10   So they're built on actual examples

00:53:12   that the two of us put together,

00:53:14   just as the kinds of things you can use the journal for.

00:53:17   - It's super flexible.

00:53:18   That's why the boxes don't have any labels.

00:53:20   I feel I've not not not to congratulate ourselves Myke, but I do think we we hit a really sweet

00:53:26   spot of just enough structure on the pages that you can make it work for you in the way

00:53:34   that you want it to.

00:53:35   So with the theme system journal you spend time reflecting on your day while writing

00:53:40   in the journal pages.

00:53:42   Then you keep track of some key points that you want to hit every day in the daily pages.

00:53:45   This is what we were talking about earlier on that we have these basically they look

00:53:49   like checklists and you can mark off if you've completed them, maybe you can color them in

00:53:54   like you can shade them in for if you've completed it or half completed it during the day. And

00:53:59   you know we were talking about I use it as a way at the moment of like these are the

00:54:03   nine things if I do these every day, who I want to be and Gray uses them as like I have

00:54:08   this set of things that I want to do but I order them in importance. And so like this

00:54:12   is the kind of stuff we were talking about earlier, you can track these two things, you

00:54:15   and write about how you're feeling

00:54:17   and have something quantitative that you can tick off

00:54:19   or mark off every day.

00:54:21   The Theme System Journal is made of quality materials.

00:54:24   It took us years of work to get just right.

00:54:27   And we use them constantly as do at this point,

00:54:31   thousands upon thousands of other cortexes.

00:54:33   So you will be in very good company if you pick one up.

00:54:36   - One of my favorite things is whenever I show someone

00:54:38   the Theme System Journal, happens every time.

00:54:40   I hand them the journal, first thing they say,

00:54:43   "Ooh, feels so nice."

00:54:46   Like, yes, that's the result of years of work.

00:54:48   (laughs)

00:54:49   - It's funny how that happens, really.

00:54:51   But it really, look, the whole thing is made to,

00:54:54   I think, a very high specification and standard

00:54:56   that I set.

00:54:57   You know, it is, it opens flat 'cause it has a semi,

00:55:00   like it's like a kind of soft hardcover.

00:55:02   It has some structure, but it opens flat

00:55:04   and it's flexible, which I like.

00:55:06   The paper's really good and it works

00:55:08   with a whole variety of pens.

00:55:10   I try to, basically everything that I own

00:55:12   and I'm really happy with the results.

00:55:14   So you can buy yours today, go to cortexmerch.com

00:55:17   and you can pick one up.

00:55:19   You can buy one or you can subscribe

00:55:21   and get one every quarter, or you can read more about it

00:55:24   and see more examples of how it works at theme-system.com.

00:55:27   As we stand right now, we have more in stock

00:55:31   than we've ever had at this time of the year,

00:55:34   but every single time we've sold out.

00:55:37   So who knows, right?

00:55:40   You know, we have more being made right now, but we never know what's going to happen.

00:55:47   So if you think you might want one of these, or if you think there's somebody in your life

00:55:51   that you might want to pick one up for the holidays, cortexmerch.com.

00:55:55   And if you like setting a theme for your upcoming year, you should have one of these.

00:55:59   Yes.

00:56:00   So we're really trying to make it so that everyone who wants to get a journal this year

00:56:03   can get a journal this year.

00:56:06   But again, just like I said last time, I'm going to re-emphasize, if you're listening

00:56:12   to my voice right now and you think, "Oh, I'd like to get a journal for myself," or

00:56:18   you think, "Ooh, I know someone this would make a great stocking stuffer for," order

00:56:22   it right now because I'm going to promo it again on my YouTube channel.

00:56:28   So if you're listening to the Cortex Podcast, you have the heads up before like a bigger

00:56:34   So go to cortexmerch.com right now and get your journal if you want to make sure that you have one for the new year.

00:56:44   Before we get to the themes proper, Myke, I have a bit of a interregnum theme topic here just to discuss.

00:56:53   to discuss. For the last two years I've had a kind of secret business theme that I've

00:57:03   been working on.

00:57:04   Haha! Secret theme!

00:57:06   Yeah, it's a secret theme. We talk about our themes for ourselves and I've just had

00:57:12   this secret business theme which is really related to the YouTube channel over the past

00:57:16   two years and I thought, well this might as well be a place to review it. I have never

00:57:20   really talked about it, partly because I just didn't know if it was going to work at all.

00:57:24   My business theme for the YouTube channel that I started really just after I did my

00:57:31   very first major Patreon push where I said like, "Oh, I'm not doing sponsorships on the

00:57:36   channel now and I'm just going to be patron and member supported."

00:57:39   That kicked off a theme where what I wanted to try to do on the YouTube channel was to

00:57:47   decrease the average time between real video uploads.

00:57:53   Now I was trying to be very clear with myself, I'm like, I'm not setting deadlines here,

00:57:59   because I hate deadlines.

00:58:01   Did you say that looking in the mirror?

00:58:03   Yes, listen, listen, you're not going to give yourself a deadline, because you know what

00:58:09   you hate more than anything?

00:58:11   Deadlines.

00:58:12   You know what makes you not want to work?

00:58:14   Deadlines.

00:58:15   So don't do that.

00:58:16   Instead, what we're going to do is a two-year running average.

00:58:21   So if you're going to track anything, you're going to make yourself a little spreadsheet,

00:58:24   which is exactly what I did, and I started every video upload tracking a two-year running

00:58:30   average of what was the average time between videos.

00:58:36   And here we are two years later, and no one in the world has noticed, but I was very pleased

00:58:44   because when I started the average was over 50 days between what I considered to be like real

00:58:51   videos and I finally hit the target that I wanted to see if I could hit two years later with the

00:58:59   upload of the Tiffany video which was to get that two year running average under 30 days between

00:59:07   something that I considered to be like a real video. Look at you, that's a big difference.

00:59:12   Yeah, again, I think because I operate on basically geological timescales for a YouTube

00:59:18   channel, no one noticed what was to me like a tectonic difference in sort of working pressure,

00:59:25   but I was very pleased to have actually hit this. I think this is also a case where it's like,

00:59:30   the stars aligned in various ways to make it a little bit easier for me to work over these

00:59:35   previous two years than the two years prior to that. But I mention all of this because

00:59:41   The goal of it was never like, "Oh, this is a thing that I want to maintain."

00:59:45   It was more like, "I want to see if I'm able to do this over a long period of time."

00:59:49   And I'm mentioning it now because in some ways it's a little bit of a prelude to where I am with

00:59:56   the 2022 theme because I think I mentioned it a bunch... I can't remember if it was last episode

01:00:04   or the previous episode, but I kept using this phrase like "tapped out" that after this year

01:00:12   I felt really tapped out. And I kind of want to introduce this formally as an idea which is

01:00:18   it's separate from the concept of being burned out. I feel like burned out has a has a really

01:00:27   precise meaning of like you've overworked and you're like resenting what you're doing

01:00:34   and you just you just feel like totally used up in a really negative way and that's not

01:00:42   the way I feel at all but I do feel like I got myself into a position of having really

01:00:50   on the YouTube channel that I was a bit tapped out after the last main upload.

01:00:56   And the difference there is I feel like I've never liked the YouTube channel more than I

01:01:03   currently do. Like, I really wanted to work on it, but I just I made a decision not to do any work

01:01:10   when I was visiting with my family, and I thought, "Oh, when I come back to the UK, then I will get

01:01:18   right back into things. But spoiler, I did not. Like when I returned, I just still for a little

01:01:26   while found myself completely incapable of getting back to work. I think it wasn't helped because

01:01:33   when I returned I went straight into a conference, which was the first time I had socialized with

01:01:39   anyone in like two years, and then I suddenly met like 120 people and was really exhausted by that,

01:01:45   especially basically stepping right off a plane, but nonetheless I felt really just tapped out

01:01:51   and I've only just in the last two weeks really started to get back into things because it's like

01:01:58   "OMG the end of the year is coming right up and like I need to get a video out before that is over"

01:02:04   But it's left me in this funny place where I have now, without a doubt, had the biggest

01:02:14   continuous break in my working life, you know, since summers in high school, I think.

01:02:23   Like that's probably the the biggest comparison there.

01:02:26   So I find myself like entering 2022 having finished off this.

01:02:34   but I think was good, but is this kind of strange interregnum.

01:02:38   And it just makes me think, like, quite unintentionally, YouTube has,

01:02:45   just in the entertainment world, ended up being like this weird 10, 12 year long experiment in

01:02:52   constant production without seasons.

01:02:58   Like, when you think about people who work in the real entertainment industry,

01:03:03   TV shows operate in seasons, right? Movies and other projects are created in a big burst,

01:03:11   and then there's often a break. And I think kind of no one noticed or just sort of slowly crept up

01:03:19   that YouTube has become this huge booming part of the entertainment industry, but there is no

01:03:28   season break ever just because of the way that it's structured. And I think that that's

01:03:34   that's been good for content production but maybe bad for people. So I don't know, I don't have any

01:03:43   solid thoughts around that right now but it's just it's just been on my mind that like

01:03:48   maybe there should be dedicated downtime instead of like an accidental downtime where it's like

01:03:55   like, "Oh boy, you've really worked a bunch and now you're tapped out and you're sort

01:03:59   of accidentally taking down time over a long period of time." But I don't know, it's just

01:04:04   something that's been on my mind and I feel like I'm just entering what's supposed to

01:04:10   be new theme season in this weird in-betweeny state.

01:04:15   MATT: Well, I'm pleased you hit the little theme that you have for yourself of reducing

01:04:20   that timeframe. I'm also pleased that you realize that you can do it but you don't need

01:04:26   to do it. I think that that's a good thing. You know you have this, so if for any reason

01:04:32   you feel like you must or need to change for a period of time you can, but also knowing

01:04:38   that it's not imperative for you to do so and that you haven't built your business in

01:04:44   in such a way that it requires the timeframe to decrease.

01:04:49   'Cause I know a lot of people in YouTube,

01:04:51   right, you're talking about that,

01:04:52   like they build large teams around them

01:04:54   and they have home machines that run

01:04:56   that require the feeding of the beast,

01:04:59   but your business isn't made that way.

01:05:02   But it's good to know that if you ever need

01:05:04   to turn up the dial you can,

01:05:06   but also remaining core to yourself

01:05:09   that that's not who you always want to be.

01:05:11   I think that that's two valuable things

01:05:13   you've taken away from that.

01:05:15   - Yeah, yeah, and I think the YouTube channel

01:05:18   was under attentioned in some ways,

01:05:21   and I mean, it also, it just has been interesting

01:05:25   that while I think basically none of my viewers

01:05:27   have noticed at all, it is the case that it feels like

01:05:30   the YouTube system has noticed,

01:05:32   and so the numbers for the channel have been great

01:05:35   over the last two years with even just like this,

01:05:37   not major, but just slight shift in the frequency.

01:05:42   I think part of that is just simply also you like more uploads mean there's sort of more

01:05:47   lottery tickets that one of them does really well.

01:05:49   But yeah, so anyway, I don't know, I felt a little bit like, oh, I had this secret business

01:05:53   theme that I was working on and like, tee hee hee, updating my spreadsheet, and I just

01:05:57   never told anybody about it.

01:05:58   And it was always like, oh boy, look at that.

01:05:59   The number is slightly going down month by month over two years.

01:06:03   And when I did actually see like, oh, wow, the two year running average hit 28 days with

01:06:09   Tiffany video for the videos that I count as real. I was like, "Wow! That's amazing!"

01:06:15   Like, I'm really happy about that. So I did just want to mention it in this little interregnum section.

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01:08:15   So what's the real theme then?

01:08:17   Okay.

01:08:18   2022 theme.

01:08:20   I think this is going to be my most nebulous theme ever.

01:08:28   So the name is New Dawn.

01:08:31   Oh.

01:08:32   Oh.

01:08:33   It's an interesting name.

01:08:34   Yes, but of course I have secret brackets in there because I know that's always what you

01:08:38   like.

01:08:39   So New Dawn has been my like short working title.

01:08:43   That's the name for the note in Obsidian.

01:08:46   But the full title for me is "New Decades Dawn" brackets again.

01:08:52   S: Wait, "The Year of New Decades Dawn Again."

01:08:55   BH & H: [laughing]

01:08:57   S; What is that?

01:08:59   What is that?

01:09:01   BH & H; No, it's "New" open parentheses, "Decades" close parentheses, "Dawn" square

01:09:08   brackets, again close square brackets.

01:09:11   That's the way I have it written in my text document.

01:09:13   The year of new bracket decades dawn bracket again.

01:09:19   Yeah, I think that's very clear, right?

01:09:21   No, I'm there now.

01:09:22   Here, I can message it to you so you see how it's properly formatted.

01:09:27   I would like that.

01:09:28   Although you can ignore the backslashes because that's necessary formatting for

01:09:31   Obsidian to say that it's not an actual link to somewhere else.

01:09:33   So there you go, very clear.

01:09:35   Yeah, that's just what you need.

01:09:39   Yeah, so... I don't-- I'm just gonna be-- I'm gonna be straight up about it.

01:09:44   So this is one of these times where I feel like I have come to the episode about the yearly theme,

01:09:50   and I do not have clearly solidified ideas.

01:09:55   I think part of that is just the year has felt like it's gone incredibly fast,

01:09:59   and I think part of that is this funny interregnum period where I'm just coming off

01:10:07   a huge working break. And like we talked about last time in State of the Apps, there's a lot of

01:10:13   stuff where it just feels like, "Oh man, I've been really out of practice with a lot of what I

01:10:19   consider to be my normal life. I haven't really been using my to-do managers. I haven't really

01:10:27   been tracking time. I haven't been tracking projects in various ways." It just feels like

01:10:32   there's been this real big gap. But I also think that that's kind of an opportunity. And

01:10:40   the thing that happened this year that I feel like I've only just really begun to process

01:10:48   is realizing that I really have been on YouTube for 10 years. And so part of what my

01:10:58   idea for this theme is, what does it really mean to think about the next 10 years of my career?

01:11:09   Now, it's a funny thing to say, because I'm in the entertainment industry, and so careers are

01:11:16   very uncertain. On a knife's edge, at all times.

01:11:20   Yes, it really is true. Part of that is quite seriously thinking about, okay,

01:11:26   what are the bounds of this career? And again, I feel really fortunate that I have found work

01:11:36   that is well suited to my personality and my temperament and the kinds of things that interest

01:11:43   me. And I would love to keep doing this, but I was trying to be very serious about it. It's like,

01:11:50   Like, okay, the projections that I've kind of made are 20 more years of doing this is

01:11:57   my optimistic, great outcome.

01:12:00   Ten years is like the median prediction.

01:12:03   And five years is I feel like is the very pessimistic prediction of, oh, no, something's

01:12:10   gone wrong.

01:12:12   TikTokers or GPT-5 have taken over the world.

01:12:16   And like your career is just totally irrelevant.

01:12:18   Who knows?

01:12:19   I really like what I do and I just I find myself thinking about it in these two ways that like

01:12:29   on one hand I feel like I have a really solid base like I've been lucky to build up this audience over time

01:12:39   And on the other hand, I feel like, oh, if you're really serious about trying to think

01:12:47   about a 10 year horizon for what you want to do, you also can't take any of that for

01:12:53   granted.

01:12:54   There's no guarantee that it continues to last.

01:12:57   And so that also means you have to be really serious about what does it mean if you're

01:13:05   deciding here that you really want to do this for another decade. In the same way that when

01:13:12   I started a decade ago, also after a big break, I had to be really serious about what does

01:13:20   this mean that this is my career now? Like, what do I have to do in order to make this

01:13:25   work? And so that's why I have this idea like new decades dawn again, is it really feels

01:13:33   like this is a mirror time to when I started 10 years ago. It's after a big break. I'm

01:13:42   obviously in a much better position now, but I also think I need to take it very seriously

01:13:51   because I don't know, in some ways, over time, it's just kind of felt very natural that like,

01:14:03   "Oh, YouTube is what I do."

01:14:06   And in the way that you forget your past selves, it starts to feel like, "Oh, this is the

01:14:11   thing that I've just always done, right?

01:14:15   This is quite natural.

01:14:16   I've always done this and it'll just always be here."

01:14:20   It was like, "But no, no, no, no.

01:14:21   This is a good time to wake up and seriously think about it again."

01:14:26   And I wish I had more solid thoughts around this theme, but I actually feel like this

01:14:36   is really not something to rush.

01:14:41   Which is why I mean that thinking about this theme kind of is the theme for the year.

01:14:49   Think about the next long-term phase of your career.

01:14:55   And I also just found myself thinking about a lot of things on a much more multi-year

01:15:03   timeline now.

01:15:04   You know, it's very funny that for you one of your things is, "Oh, much less travel,"

01:15:10   right?

01:15:11   But for me the decision has been much more travel.

01:15:13   Like my wife and I have not traveled very much at all in like the time that we have

01:15:19   lived here.

01:15:20   And so we've set a real horizon on like, okay, we need to consciously, over the next

01:15:27   several years, travel more.

01:15:31   And we were also thinking about, do we move out of London?

01:15:37   Where do we want to spend the next big chunk of time?

01:15:42   And we have actually decided that we don't want to move right now, but we have we've

01:15:48   out of like, we will re-evaluate this question in two years. Like we'll come back to this

01:15:56   and then see like, is moving something that we want to do or is it not? But this is like

01:16:03   a lot of the things that's been going on for me is just thinking about things on multiple

01:16:09   year timelines in a way that I just haven't before. On one hand, I have this feeling like

01:16:17   I'm starting from a very solid base.

01:16:21   I have this career.

01:16:22   I also have on the business side,

01:16:24   I've mentioned over the years of like

01:16:26   how much of a pain in the butt it is

01:16:28   to try to like set up business processes in the background

01:16:31   and like get all the paperwork sorted.

01:16:33   And this year has really proven

01:16:37   that we got all the systems right

01:16:40   and the way that they're supposed to be.

01:16:42   - Notion nation, baby.

01:16:44   - I know this is going to sound crazy

01:16:45   that it's a multi-year process to get paperwork in order, but I will again say, if anyone

01:16:51   listening to the sound of my voice is an American living abroad, and you think there is any

01:16:56   chance at all that you will be self-employed in the future, do not ever do that while you

01:17:03   are tax resident outside of the United States.

01:17:07   It will be a living nightmare for you for multiple years.

01:17:13   That's very actionable advice.

01:17:16   That is the most actionable advice I can ever give.

01:17:19   Listen American expats, you will go on the internet and you will read from people,

01:17:23   "Oh, there's no problem, there's tax treaties between..."

01:17:27   Don't listen to any of those people.

01:17:29   They don't know what they're talking about, they're in situations where they're just employed by someone who is handling it all.

01:17:36   The moment you step outside of the normal system, it is a total nightmare for you.

01:17:41   But anyway, all of this is to say like, last year we thought that we had like finally gotten an entire system in place

01:17:47   so that everything just works really nicely and

01:17:50   I just had my end-of-year meeting with my assistant and it's like, great! Everything did work perfectly! Like this

01:17:57   long-term

01:17:59   background nightmare is truly and finally over. It's all set up, all the bits are working,

01:18:06   Everything with Gray Industries, everything with Cortex brand.

01:18:09   It's all very complicated, but it's working and it's fantastic.

01:18:12   And it, it really feels like great.

01:18:14   I have put behind me one of the biggest problems that I had had, which always

01:18:22   kind of made the whole YouTube business feel a bit improvised, like who knows

01:18:28   what we're doing, you know, but now it's all set.

01:18:30   One of the other things that's been on my mind is again, thinking of this

01:18:36   as a mirror time to when I first started, is reevaluating my YouTube channel and my

01:18:45   YouTube business in the face of what YouTube and the internet currently are, not what I

01:18:56   remember them as being slash wish them to be.

01:19:01   And so part of this is I've been real mopey over the last couple years about changes with

01:19:09   the way the algorithm works and changes to thumbnails and like a bunch of stuff about

01:19:15   like boo hoo I wish YouTube was different.

01:19:18   And I really have this strong feeling of suck it up dude like that is over.

01:19:25   And if you're serious about trying to do this for another decade, you've just got to put

01:19:30   that aside and think about like the reality of maintaining a career in the face of intense

01:19:39   global competition in an established industry. And you know what, when you think about that

01:19:46   in a real serious way, I think it becomes easier. I think I had just let myself get

01:19:52   mopey about it slowly over time in a way that I hadn't like called myself out over. This

01:20:01   is what I mean by like being serious about it again, kind of waking up from "oh, YouTube

01:20:07   is just what I always do" and it's like "no no, this is a thing that you have to work

01:20:11   for" and so that's part of what I'm thinking about.

01:20:15   This feels like a very like um, I can't think of a better phrase but like you're slapping

01:20:20   yourself in the face kind of thing.

01:20:22   up.

01:20:23   Yeah, a little bit. It is sort of funny, like, I actually think really pushing the goal of

01:20:27   trying to increase the frequency between videos, while it's not something that I'm trying to

01:20:33   maintain going forward, I think like that sort of started directing my thinking towards

01:20:39   this.

01:20:40   Yeah, I can draw a line between the two things that you've been talking about, because one

01:20:43   of the things that you said is that when you decreased the time period, you saw that YouTube

01:20:49   favoring you again and then when you think about like alright I should

01:20:55   actually be taking this seriously and doing what a youtuber should do like

01:21:00   that's the line where like really you can as a youtuber say as we do many

01:21:05   times we like bemoan the platform or what they do it's like I just want to

01:21:09   make the videos I want to make and you can do that and you have done that and

01:21:12   that's great but if you decide no I want to participate in this thing that I'm a

01:21:18   part of it is all about doing the things that the system wants you to do to serve

01:21:23   the videos in the way that they want that's what all big youtubers do right

01:21:27   they're like we focus on this we focus on this and you've been doing more of

01:21:31   that and you're getting the results so you don't have to go all in and make

01:21:36   like two uploads a week and you got your shit like but there are things that you

01:21:39   can do to be more serious about being a part of the platform and you know we

01:21:45   spoke about like titles and thumbnails like that's an important part and the

01:21:50   frequency the algorithm seems to like it's like I can draw a line between

01:21:53   those two things of like oh when I did this thing I saw a benefit I'm actually

01:21:59   now gonna try and be more serious about how I approach this I think it's

01:22:03   interesting I would say that there are many ways in which I was actively

01:22:09   bucking the system yeah out of like kind of spite it's like I think I get it I

01:22:15   I get it. It's like I was the same, you changed, and I don't like it.

01:22:18   Yes. Yes, that's exactly right.

01:22:22   Yeah, I used to be able to depend on my subscribers to always see my videos, and now you've changed.

01:22:27   Well, I'm still just gonna call my video "Exploring Ticoi," and I'll just, you know, it's like,

01:22:32   no, that's a terrible title, dude. That's awful.

01:22:35   That last video, calling it "Someone Dead Ruined My Life Again,"

01:22:38   there's no way that didn't have a huge impact on the number of people actually watching it, right?

01:22:44   It's a behind the scenes video that got more views than the video.

01:22:47   Yeah, and I think my, I can't remember exactly what it was, but the original title I wanted to give it was something like

01:22:53   "The Poem Project", right? Which is like, oh god.

01:22:56   Ooh, let me click it!

01:22:59   Yeah.

01:23:01   Read me a poem, Gray.

01:23:02   Yeah, exactly. It's like, that's... I almost couldn't engineer like a worse title, right? This is terrible.

01:23:08   And one of the things that has helped draw this to my attention is a new business theme,

01:23:16   which I am going to mention here, because I think part of what happened in the past is,

01:23:23   you know, subscribers used to really matter on YouTube, and then they made a bunch of changes

01:23:26   and subscribers don't matter. And that's fine. And I was always like, I came to the conclusion,

01:23:32   like, subscribers don't matter. And I think in some part of my brain, I kind of went,

01:23:37   So nothing matters was the rest of that sentence. Every time I was saying like, Oh, subscribers

01:23:42   don't matter on YouTube anymore. I think there was a silent so nothing matters. But I realized,

01:23:49   Oh, I actually can have a target, which is my next business theme, which is a multi,

01:23:57   let me just be very clear is a multi multi year target is called a billion or bust.

01:24:06   I would like, as a career goal, to get to a billion views on the channel.

01:24:13   My lifetime views over 10 years is just about 700 million views, and extrapolating it out,

01:24:22   it's like, okay, I think I'm on track for hitting that in something like five years.

01:24:29   Can I bring that down to four years?

01:24:31   That's cool.

01:24:32   That would be great.

01:24:34   Three years?

01:24:35   you know, that'd be fast, but you know what? It's an actual target, and it actually feels

01:24:42   really- even though I don't like goals, and even then I still use the word like target,

01:24:49   I prefer the word target, but this really is a goal, and it's nice to have a career

01:24:55   goal that's an actually measurable thing.

01:24:57   - Well I think it's good, because you can have this thing up there, of like a thing

01:25:01   you want to achieve and then your theme this year is the beginning of trying to get to

01:25:07   what that eventual goal would be, that target.

01:25:10   Like the theme of, I can't even remember the name, new decades dawn, but now I understand

01:25:16   it, I do actually understand it now of like, this is me recommitting and in that recommitment

01:25:24   it's the beginning steps towards achieving this big business target of a billion. Because

01:25:31   I mean, if you just make videos for the next 35 years, you'll probably get there. But wouldn't

01:25:38   it be great to do it as you say in four years? Yeah, and it's more that it feels nice and

01:25:44   motivating to have a meaningful number to track. Like, the subscriber number is not meaningful on

01:25:52   YouTube, it is a vanity number, but somehow it never dawned on me that like, "Oh, the total

01:25:58   views on the channel is a meaningful number." And it would just be nice when I have to describe like

01:26:07   what I do in a sentence to be able to say like, "Oh, I run a YouTube channel that has a billion

01:26:13   views. Great!" Like I think that's a nice one sentence pitch. I will say though, Gray, saying

01:26:19   I have a YouTube channel that has over 700 million views, it's still also really good.

01:26:24   I'm not saying it's bad, I'm just saying a billion is a great number.

01:26:27   Bigger numbers always good, right? Big numbers, you're always looking for bigger numbers,

01:26:32   but yeah, I get your point. It's also faster to say billion rather than 700 million.

01:26:38   Exactly, and I think there's some way in which when you're saying the number with more digits,

01:26:42   it sounds like you're being much more of a tryhard sort of person, like it just sounds

01:26:46   sounds better than say Billie. Over 744, right? Like, oh, so it's 745, is that what you're

01:26:52   saying? Yes, exactly. This is also a clear example of what do I mean by, I find myself

01:26:59   thinking about multi-year goals, and this is totally a multi-year goal. I'm very happy

01:27:06   to have it. I'll also just say there's another sub part of this for me, which is the "again"

01:27:14   a double meaning here, which is the pandemic for me has, again, personally mostly been a huge

01:27:23   net positive in my life. 2020 was without a doubt one of the best years of my adult life,

01:27:31   and 2021, while I would describe it as a highly variant year, it's also not a year I would want

01:27:38   to do any differently.

01:27:40   - Highly variant? That's a real phrase to use for 2021. I feel the same.

01:27:46   - Whatever, I'm sticking with it. It's been a highly variant.

01:27:48   - Yeah, you do go over it, man. It's all yours.

01:27:49   - I was like, "Should I rephrase it? The variance has been quite high,

01:27:53   but that doesn't make any difference. It's still the same."

01:27:55   But the one thing that I really feel like I resent the pandemic for is it took away

01:28:03   what was my goal at the start of two years ago, which was that I wanted to do more gray goes

01:28:11   outside. And I was like, I was gearing up for, you know what I want to do more stuff in the real

01:28:17   world. I want to go to places I want to try to see stuff. And like I lost that I really did.

01:28:24   It was just terrible timing. And so the again, part of it is, I want to start this up again.

01:28:32   It's a funny thing to do, but it also fits within the multi-year timeline here, because

01:28:40   I feel like I'm trying to start up a sort of career within a career on the YouTube channel.

01:28:47   I've tried lots of times filming a bunch of stuff in the real world, the vast majority of it has not

01:28:55   worked out and has never appeared on the channel. Some of the things that I've done have gone up

01:28:59   up there but they've all been sort of weird and random and this also feels like I either

01:29:08   want to solve this or I want to put this to bed and be like you know what this isn't a

01:29:14   good use of your time don't try to do the real life stuff.

01:29:17   This is also another one where I'm kind of giving myself two years to really make a decision

01:29:25   about is this a good use of my time?

01:29:29   Does this make sense to do?

01:29:31   And maybe at the end of the two years, I discover,

01:29:35   you know what, going places is good for me personally

01:29:38   and I shouldn't waste my time filming.

01:29:41   Or maybe two years from now, I decide,

01:29:44   oh, this is actually like a great use of my time.

01:29:46   But right now, I just don't know.

01:29:49   But that was the thing that I really wanted to do

01:29:52   at the start of the pandemic.

01:29:54   and it was taken away from me, that opportunity.

01:29:57   So I'm booting that one up again.

01:30:01   - I'm pleased 'cause I love those videos.

01:30:02   I always enjoy the videos where there's like that mix

01:30:05   and where you're outside doing stuff.

01:30:07   So I look forward to more of it.

01:30:09   I know it's hard and I know it's like a different

01:30:11   set of skills and they're tricky to make

01:30:14   and they're tricky to get right,

01:30:15   but I always enjoy them when you do them.

01:30:16   - Yeah, I mean, we can talk about this another time,

01:30:18   but I'm very-- - I think so.

01:30:20   - I don't know what these videos are yet.

01:30:23   I love the sharks video, but I feel like that isn't even really a Grey Goes Outside video,

01:30:27   that's just its own weird thing. You've seen a video that I'm working on now which is also

01:30:32   very stylistically different and is its own weird thing, I don't know. But I want to solve this one

01:30:41   way or another, and possibly solving it is deciding like it just doesn't make sense, I don't know.

01:30:47   but this is a multi-year project that I want to really get working on and yeah so that's the

01:30:54   again part. Yeah that's the again part. Pretty big theme this one. This reminds me of my last

01:31:02   year theme so my advice to you is don't get lost in it. Yeah I think we may need to discuss that

01:31:10   yeah, because I feel like it is without a doubt my most vague and unclear, but also feels really

01:31:17   important. So I'm very happy to revisit your experiences with this. And yeah, we can talk

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01:33:10   relayFN. Tell me about your theme Myke. Okay I'm gonna start off with the name

01:33:15   which is the year of structure. Hmm. I was tempting to go gray on this and I have

01:33:21   bracket and unstructured but I decided not to do that. That doesn't make any sense. Because I don't like the brackets I always

01:33:29   think of what is it year of less comma me.

01:33:32   That's the one that I always like to just have one word.

01:33:35   And I've really struggled with the word, but I think you'll see why I got to it.

01:33:39   So my kind of description for the theme is that I feel like I need a better structure

01:33:47   in place to handle the various responsibilities that I have in my life.

01:33:50   And also carving out and allowing for more unstructured time.

01:33:56   I feel like I have a, I think, pretty desperate need at this point to have more space in my life

01:34:02   while also balancing the things that I want and need to be working on.

01:34:06   Over the last couple of years, I feel like I have lost some of the grip on my responsibilities.

01:34:14   Like they just continue to stretch in all directions.

01:34:17   And I feel like at this point I have way too many disparate things going on.

01:34:23   and I feel like I need to do some work to get everything back in order,

01:34:27   pare some things down, and find space in my schedule so I can better serve all of the

01:34:33   things that are the most important. So I want to have this unstructured time to allow me to

01:34:39   come up with new things that are related to the most important things that I'm doing.

01:34:44   And I feel like I need to spend a bit more time looking at the wider picture of all of this,

01:34:48   rather than focusing on small aspects which is what I've tried to do in the past like fix this

01:34:53   small thing reduce this responsibility and surely it will make space when I actually think I need

01:34:58   to spend time looking at the overall wider picture of this. One of the traps that I fall into when it

01:35:04   comes to reducing my time is realizing that I want to do this and try to make changes at the end of

01:35:11   the year. It's a terrible time to do it because you have not allowed yourself time to set up for

01:35:18   for the next year.

01:35:19   So if you decide, hey, I want to get rid of this project,

01:35:23   it's too late at that point to do it in November.

01:35:26   Like, I think mentally that's how we think,

01:35:29   oh, well, just because it's before the next year,

01:35:32   but by November, you've already started the preparation

01:35:34   for the next year.

01:35:35   Everything's in motion at that point.

01:35:37   So I am planning on doing the work in 2022

01:35:42   to enable this for late 2022, 2023 onward.

01:35:48   So my plan is to work on the structure,

01:35:52   where I can make improvements,

01:35:54   and start the process for making those improvements

01:35:58   for next year.

01:35:59   Because if I decide now I want the year structure,

01:36:03   it's too late for me to make all of the changes

01:36:05   that I might want to make for 2022.

01:36:08   So 2022 is working on what do I do for the future,

01:36:13   but near term when it comes to making structure.

01:36:18   - Okay, can you give me a specific example

01:36:20   of what you think you're going to be doing

01:36:22   in the first half of next year?

01:36:24   I feel like I'm having a hard time,

01:36:26   which is terribly unfair of me with my really vague notions,

01:36:29   but I feel like I'm having a hard time making concrete

01:36:33   what it is that you're trying to achieve here.

01:36:37   When you say you want more unstructured time,

01:36:40   does that mean more time not working?

01:36:43   Is that what that translates into?

01:36:45   - No, so one of the things that I think will help

01:36:47   is I can run through some of my outcomes for this,

01:36:49   for like what I think are like the things that I would get.

01:36:52   So like, and the first one is,

01:36:54   I want more days with less to no appointments in my diary,

01:36:59   less stuff on my calendar, right?

01:37:02   So these are days where I can be more reactive

01:37:05   to things that are coming up,

01:37:07   but also having large chunks of time

01:37:09   to tackle bigger things, bigger projects.

01:37:12   Like I wanna sit down and work out the layout

01:37:16   for a new journal project, right?

01:37:19   Like, let's just imagine I have something where I'm like,

01:37:21   "Oh, I wanna rethink a new way of looking at things

01:37:25   "from a wider lens," right?

01:37:26   And I can sit down and be like,

01:37:27   "What would that look like?

01:37:29   "How could we make?"

01:37:30   Like, I wanna have that time to sit down and like,

01:37:34   "Oh, I've got the afternoon here.

01:37:36   "What do I wanna think about today?"

01:37:39   Like, I very rarely have that kind of time.

01:37:41   Usually it's like, "Oh, I've only got two hours,

01:37:44   "and then I've got three shows."

01:37:46   - Okay, okay, so that's one of the things

01:37:49   that you're trying to achieve is larger blocks of time

01:37:53   without interruptions.

01:37:54   - Yeah, that are just for me to turn my attention

01:37:58   to whatever it is I wanna turn my attention on

01:38:01   rather than my calendar telling me

01:38:03   what my attention is supposed to be on.

01:38:05   - I mean, I can get behind that.

01:38:08   Your calendar always looks like a nightmare to me whenever.

01:38:09   - It's horrible, yeah.

01:38:10   So this is like creating the structure for less structure.

01:38:15   So like I am creating a structure for unstructured time.

01:38:19   - Does this mean that you're going to be trying to

01:38:22   pile up more shows on recording days

01:38:25   or are you going to be trying to do actually less

01:38:28   or delegate more or like what are your thoughts

01:38:31   on how to actually achieve this?

01:38:33   - Let me tell you at the end of 2022.

01:38:35   - Okay, yes, please don't let me rush you.

01:38:38   I'm just--

01:38:39   - Yeah, but this is the point is I don't know yet.

01:38:43   - You don't know, right.

01:38:44   there might be some things, it might not be shows, but things I have to give up.

01:38:49   [sigh]

01:38:49   Okay, okay, I feel like I'm getting this, because I really liked your point,

01:38:54   and you're totally right that at this point in the year, the next year is already sort of locked in.

01:39:01   I have a funny example that I want to travel more, I feel like I haven't really thought about what my

01:39:07   next year's travel schedule should look like, but discovered in my monthly meeting with my assistant

01:39:14   that next year I am already booked for more days away from home than at home without me even

01:39:21   noticing. And it's like, oh, okay, schedules just get locked in without you even noticing.

01:39:27   And if I wanted to have next year be like year of relaxation, tough nuggies, I would need to next

01:39:34   year, start planning for the year after to be your relaxation. So that's what you're

01:39:40   going for here.

01:39:41   All I know is right now I have the feeling.

01:39:44   Okay, I get it.

01:39:45   And I need to do the work on it.

01:39:47   Right, okay.

01:39:48   Like, I was talking to a friend of mine and they were saying like a similar thing like,

01:39:53   "Oh, I have some stuff that I want to reduce, but it's too late." And I was kind of like,

01:39:58   "Yeah, that's- that's- this time of year is terrible for this." Like, I feel like this

01:40:02   this every couple of years and I feel like at this time, it's like, well, it's too late

01:40:06   to make your decisions. And as well, I haven't even worked out fully what the important areas

01:40:13   are. And it's also like, I, you know, like basically everyone, I feel like I've been

01:40:20   in this holding pattern for the last year and a half and I have these large areas that

01:40:25   that I wanna make forward progress on

01:40:29   and I've stalled on them all.

01:40:30   And now I wanna move all of them at the same time.

01:40:34   So it's like my home, my studio, family, and the business.

01:40:38   And these things have all had to in some way be held

01:40:43   and I wanna move them all,

01:40:44   but now I wanna move them all at the same time.

01:40:46   And that's a lot.

01:40:47   So if I wanna focus on these family areas

01:40:51   and maybe moving to a new home,

01:40:53   I know I've got to reduce some of my work commitments

01:40:56   to enable that as a thing.

01:40:58   - Right.

01:40:59   - So I've got to do this like balancing act

01:41:02   of these things this year.

01:41:04   But what I've learned from 2020 and 2021

01:41:07   is just adding things on top is not a great way to do that.

01:41:12   There has to be a reduction.

01:41:16   Couple of the other areas that I want to focus on

01:41:18   when it comes to the year structure.

01:41:20   So I have my calendar, right, as one.

01:41:22   My second is I want to make my to-do list smaller.

01:41:25   Because I have noticed, I have developed a habit

01:41:29   of opening to-do list and just staring

01:41:32   at my upcoming tasks.

01:41:34   I just open and I look,

01:41:37   and I'm just looking at what I have.

01:41:39   - Looking like a small animal trapped in headlights?

01:41:42   - I think it might be something like that.

01:41:44   But I just feel like I'm just opening it and looking at it

01:41:47   and I'm scrolling through and see,

01:41:49   in a way that I don't think is helpful.

01:41:52   And I feel like I am adding too much stuff.

01:41:57   So I have a thought and I add it.

01:41:59   I have a thought and I add it.

01:42:00   And it all goes into my own to-do list.

01:42:04   And I feel like there's two things

01:42:05   that I want to handle here.

01:42:06   I want to have less stuff bouncing around in my brain

01:42:10   that feel like there's a need for constant things

01:42:13   to be added to to-do list.

01:42:14   And that comes from reducing some responsibilities.

01:42:18   The other is this idea of relying on other people to do things.

01:42:26   I need to start loosening my grip in certain areas

01:42:32   and letting work get done without me needing to be involved in it.

01:42:36   People that have responsibility, allowing them to just handle the responsibility

01:42:41   and trusting that the work will be done.

01:42:43   There's a couple of things here.

01:42:46   is one just like, just trying to relax and like, let go a little bit.

01:42:50   His vacation's actually been pretty good for me on that one.

01:42:52   Where I've realized again that like, I work with a selection of very talented

01:42:57   and competent people, I can trust them and they will get the work done.

01:43:01   I don't need to have a hand on it all, all the time.

01:43:04   I think I need an assistant again, cause I don't have one.

01:43:09   Right.

01:43:10   Well, yes, you had one.

01:43:12   I had one.

01:43:13   my assistant became the vice president of sales at Real AFM because that's what

01:43:17   she's best at.

01:43:18   And that's like another thing of like the sales portion of the business to be

01:43:23   handled by the vice president of sales and respecting the logical structure in

01:43:27   our company, right?

01:43:29   That I don't need to have my hand so much on that and that's the thing that

01:43:32   we're working on together.

01:43:33   But I think I also need somebody to help me with more basic tasks again.

01:43:41   And so this is like, so that goes back to

01:43:44   what's one way I make my to-do list smaller?

01:43:46   Is that some things go into Slack

01:43:48   for somebody else to handle.

01:43:51   - Right.

01:43:52   - So this is like trying to work out now, okay,

01:43:55   'cause this is why it's like this is the whole year project

01:43:58   is all right, so I've realized maybe I would want

01:44:00   to have an assistant.

01:44:01   What would this person actually do?

01:44:03   I don't know.

01:44:04   I need to work that out.

01:44:05   Right, so this is the idea of like,

01:44:10   I'm realizing these things, these areas that I think

01:44:14   will be very helpful for this year structure.

01:44:17   - Right.

01:44:18   - But I need to work out what are the movements

01:44:21   that need to be made for that to actually make sense

01:44:24   for me in the long term.

01:44:25   Like I've realized this area that I want,

01:44:28   and now I need to start putting the pieces in place

01:44:32   to make it a reality.

01:44:33   - Right, and yeah, okay.

01:44:35   And so that makes sense then, like you need to spend

01:44:38   time to get an assistant to be able to start offloading all of this stuff to make the end

01:44:45   of next year and the year after much better. But getting an assistant is a big project.

01:44:50   MATT: Exactly. Well, if I even start looking for that, what will this person do for me?

01:44:54   Like I need to actually really – and we did that before with Carrie when she was coming

01:44:57   into the company – like what are the roles in the sales organization that require assistance?

01:45:03   and we went through that process and I worked that out.

01:45:06   But like this person, this assistant,

01:45:08   I actually think it's for me,

01:45:10   it's not for any of my individual things.

01:45:13   It's not for Relay FM, not for Cortex brand,

01:45:16   it's for any of the stuff that might come up for me.

01:45:19   It could span all of that, but I need to think about,

01:45:22   do I need someone to help me with these various tasks?

01:45:25   This is what you have somebody to help you with, right?

01:45:29   - Yeah.

01:45:30   - So like, I know that your assistant works with you

01:45:32   for your stuff, your assistant works with me

01:45:35   and us for Cortex brand.

01:45:36   Like I think I maybe need someone

01:45:38   who's a little bit more involved in various areas.

01:45:42   - Yeah. - Possibly.

01:45:43   Then there's a couple of other things,

01:45:45   big focus on Cortex brand is I wanna put more effort in,

01:45:48   even more continued effort in 2022

01:45:51   on design and development of products.

01:45:53   If I was, you know, you have your billion,

01:45:55   you have your target.

01:45:58   My target is three new products in 2022.

01:46:03   - Okay.

01:46:05   - We have some stuff that we're working on.

01:46:06   Some stuff is harder than others.

01:46:08   I think this is an achievable goal, but we have to see.

01:46:12   But I want the time because I want the time

01:46:15   so I can sit down and work this stuff through

01:46:18   because as well, like one of the reasons

01:46:20   I feel like I need this space again

01:46:23   is trying to realistically grow our business here,

01:46:27   I need more time for it.

01:46:30   - Yeah, and especially the product design side,

01:46:35   trying to create something new is not something

01:46:39   that you can do in 90 minutes between two podcasts.

01:46:44   Because it's just, it isn't possible.

01:46:46   And so yeah, if that's something I can see that,

01:46:51   that if you're wanting to do more of the product design,

01:46:55   you have to create more unstructured space in your calendar.

01:46:59   - 'Cause I'm like, I'm really excited about this stuff.

01:47:02   It's a great pleasure for me to do this kind of work.

01:47:06   It's so different to anything I've ever done before

01:47:09   and I love doing it.

01:47:10   But like the design of the product

01:47:12   that we've been working on through 2021

01:47:15   came from an afternoon

01:47:17   where I had a whole afternoon to myself

01:47:21   And I sat down with my iPad and I started drawing out

01:47:24   what I thought this thing could look like.

01:47:25   And then I had this idea at the end of it.

01:47:28   And I want more of that kind of time.

01:47:30   A couple of other things.

01:47:31   I wanna continue my trend of health and fitness,

01:47:34   continuing to build this into the structure of my life.

01:47:37   It was an unexpected thing that occurred to me in 2021.

01:47:41   This was something that I wanted to focus on

01:47:43   in the way that I have been.

01:47:45   And I feel like I've built a great base

01:47:47   to continue moving forward on.

01:47:49   and I want to continue making that just a part of me.

01:47:52   - I'm glad to hear that.

01:47:53   - Yeah, it's been unexpected,

01:47:54   but I'm very happy with the results so far.

01:47:56   - Yeah, I mean, and if I can say,

01:47:58   when we finally met up in person, most recent time,

01:48:03   I gave you a hug, you physically felt different.

01:48:06   So you should be very happy about that.

01:48:08   - Thank you, I will say if you hugged me now,

01:48:10   you would physically feel a vacation, but.

01:48:13   (both laughing)

01:48:17   But I know the steps that I would take to get back to where I was.

01:48:22   And I find for me, vacation wait, I lose it quite quickly.

01:48:26   I've always kind of been that way.

01:48:27   But right now I feel like I've been on holiday.

01:48:30   That is definitely true.

01:48:32   Like when we did that hug, I was also at my most puffy, I've

01:48:36   just come back from America, wait.

01:48:38   Puffy's a good way to describe it.

01:48:41   Honestly, America makes me puffy.

01:48:43   It's totally impossible.

01:48:44   But like, I made that call.

01:48:45   I was like, you know what?

01:48:46   I'm going to be in America for a while.

01:48:47   it's fine, and then so it's like,

01:48:49   but I came back and I hugged Myke and it was like,

01:48:50   oh boy, this guy has been on the fitness train, I am not.

01:48:55   But you are right, like, yeah,

01:48:56   it does fade away relatively fast

01:48:59   as far as those things go.

01:49:00   - Once you get back into your kind of regular routine.

01:49:02   - Yeah, but I'm really glad to hear

01:49:03   that you're continuing with it.

01:49:05   Like it just, it seems like you've really found something

01:49:08   that works for you and obviously it doesn't fit in

01:49:11   with the name of the theme in some ways,

01:49:13   but it's a great little like sub thing to continue onward

01:49:16   and to keep in mind over the next year.

01:49:19   - And then this is an interesting one.

01:49:21   I had this thought while sitting on the beach.

01:49:24   Structured time off.

01:49:26   I used to work in a company that had

01:49:27   allocated vacation days.

01:49:28   You got like 25 days a year,

01:49:30   and you had to take 14 of those days in a block.

01:49:33   You had to take a two week vacation,

01:49:34   and then the rest of it you could take whatever you wanted.

01:49:37   And I was thinking about this compared to

01:49:40   the idea that a lot of tech companies

01:49:42   have of unlimited vacation time.

01:49:45   And it's been basically, there's lots of articles

01:49:48   and studies to prove this, and I believe it

01:49:50   from talking to people anecdotally.

01:49:51   When you have unlimited vacation time,

01:49:53   you do not take enough vacation.

01:49:55   - Oh yeah, for sure.

01:49:56   - You feel like, how do you book it?

01:49:58   And also the company culture is not built to handle it.

01:50:03   Because like when I used to work in the bank

01:50:06   and we had that two week vacation,

01:50:07   everyone took that two week vacation.

01:50:09   So everybody knew how to handle somebody else's

01:50:12   two week vacation.

01:50:14   - Right.

01:50:14   - Because we all took them.

01:50:15   So built into the company culture was this idea of a two week handover.

01:50:20   So you finish products to the point that you can, then you hand them over to your colleagues

01:50:24   for a two week period and everyone takes it.

01:50:27   But if you're on limited vacation time, how does that work?

01:50:30   I'm going to take two months off now.

01:50:32   Is anyone going to handle this work?

01:50:34   It doesn't work.

01:50:35   So I also realized that traveling, vacation, traveling, vacations, whatever, helped me

01:50:42   stay grounded in a weird way. Like, leaving makes me feel... I don't know what it is,

01:50:48   but it adds this thing that I enjoy. And it hasn't been possible, it still won't be like

01:50:53   it was I think for a while, for quite a while, but there are feasible breaks/stations that

01:50:59   I can take. So, my plan is to decide an amount of days I take off every year and do it.

01:51:08   So, I will have allocated vacation days that need to be taken every year.

01:51:14   Maybe it's 25 days, maybe it's more, maybe it's less.

01:51:17   But I will set them, and I will take them, and that will be a part of the structure of

01:51:20   my year.

01:51:21   I will book them with myself, book them in my calendar, let people know that I work with

01:51:26   them and I'm going to be doing this, and do it.

01:51:28   May I strongly suggest that this is one of the areas of responsibility for your assistant?

01:51:34   Well currently, this is an area of responsibility for my wife because Adina very much agrees

01:51:41   with this and really likes this and wants to enforce this on me.

01:51:46   Okay right.

01:51:47   Look, the important thing is you have an enforcer and if Adina is the enforcer, that's great.

01:51:53   It also fits with the kind of responsibilities that Adina has with our business that we run

01:51:57   together here in the UK.

01:51:59   Because weird stuff, right?

01:52:01   Like all of that stuff that Greg was saying earlier about working with companies, it's

01:52:05   complicated.

01:52:06   So we have a business here in the UK where we handle all the stuff that we have coming

01:52:10   in from our various companies, et cetera.

01:52:11   It's like very complicated.

01:52:13   But she helps me with running all the finance part of that and a lot of logistical stuff

01:52:19   that I need to handle.

01:52:21   And so she feels like this actually fits quite neatly with what she would keep her eye on.

01:52:27   Plus wants to make sure I do it.

01:52:29   So this is probably a job that she will handle for me.

01:52:33   And then the last thing that I wanted to think about, and this one feels really complicated.

01:52:38   So like I don't really know if it's something that I'm going to do, but I just thought about

01:52:42   it which was, you know, I've spoken about siloing communication, the idea of having

01:52:49   different places for different types of communication.

01:52:51   And I've really liked that my Cortex brand email all goes to a separate email account,

01:52:57   I can, it's a separate email app.

01:52:59   So like I can, when I want to be in that,

01:53:01   I can be in that and I can close it when I don't.

01:53:04   I am wondering if I can silo my personal stuff

01:53:09   away from my Relay FM stuff as well now.

01:53:12   So my notes, my email, and my communication

01:53:17   for the three things that I care about are all different.

01:53:20   So personal Relay FM, Cortex brand.

01:53:22   'Cause my Relay FM stuff and my personal stuff,

01:53:26   They're all in the same place.

01:53:27   And I think it might be nice to separate them out and have like three different

01:53:32   areas. But I do not even know if I can feasibly do this or if I will like doing

01:53:37   it, but it's just also something I'm going to keep in my mind, I think. Again,

01:53:41   structure, it's all part of structure, you know?

01:53:43   Right. I mean,

01:53:45   are you talking about like separating it out in terms of like even like iCloud

01:53:49   access? Like, oh, you'd have a different iCloud account for work notes.

01:53:52   Is that what you mean?

01:53:53   I don't know.

01:53:54   - Yeah, okay, you don't know, you just, okay.

01:53:56   - Like I'm imagining maybe I would use the Apple Notes app

01:53:59   for Relay FM stuff and then a different place

01:54:02   for personal notes, for example.

01:54:04   - Right, right, okay.

01:54:05   - And like I use, maybe would use Spark

01:54:08   for my Relay FM email and like a different email app

01:54:11   for my personal email.

01:54:13   So I can more easily be in the right modes,

01:54:16   the right apps at the right time.

01:54:19   - Okay, I see what you mean.

01:54:20   - 'Cause I have that with Cortex Brands.

01:54:21   Like if I wanna do Cortex Brands stuff,

01:54:23   right I open the GM, whatever app on you know, I lose like MimeStream on my Mac and

01:54:29   Kraft and that's all of that stuff you know, but if I want to do relay FM stuff

01:54:36   it's like well here yeah but here's also my travel confirmation and my Amazon

01:54:40   email like you know it's all like mixed in. I see what you mean right. And I

01:54:44   never really thought it was a thing that I needed but doing it with Cortex brands

01:54:48   has made me realize that I actually can't find value in having it separated

01:54:52   like that. So I'm thinking about what that might look like too, but that's much more

01:54:59   a maybe kind of thing. It's definitely at the lower and the very bottom of the kind

01:55:04   of the commitments and the outcomes that I want. So kind of in summary, the Year of Structure

01:55:09   is about understanding what I need, what I want, who can do it for me, and what it will

01:55:14   take to put it in place.

01:55:15   >> Okay, I like it. I feel like this is, maybe this is the theme of yours that's taking me

01:55:20   the longest to get, but I think it's a very, like it's very reasonable.

01:55:26   I think you really identified a problem with the timing of the way we think about things

01:55:33   and the actionability of changing the next year.

01:55:36   Yeah, this one took me a really long time to work out.

01:55:41   Because it started with some feelings, like this feeling of too busy, too overwhelmed.

01:55:48   And then I had to work out what that meant, what that could look like.

01:55:51   Then I was like, oh, OK, so I'll just my year is about getting everything in order.

01:55:56   It's like, well, no, but I actually don't know what I need yet.

01:55:59   So I need to build this structure

01:56:02   over 2022 to enable me to be more effective and better going forward.

01:56:08   And things could start to fall into place quite quickly.

01:56:11   But I'm giving myself the entire year

01:56:14   to build my new work structure because my work has become more complicated now.

01:56:20   And I've not really taken time to look at all of my various responsibilities and work

01:56:27   out what they actually need to be the best that they can be.

01:56:29   Well, I think we both have some high level stuff to work on next year.

01:56:34   That's why I actually really liked hearing yours because I could see that there were

01:56:37   some parallels in that both of our themes are these ideas for future years.

01:56:46   Yeah, exactly.

01:56:47   And like a reframing of what we do rather than like, oh, I'm gonna just focus on this

01:56:53   one little thing, which is maybe my health, or I'm just gonna focus on this one little

01:56:56   thing which is maybe my knowledge intake or whatever.

01:57:00   We're doing like advanced themes now.

01:57:03   That's where we are in 2022.

01:57:05   I like that, like let's pitch it that way.

01:57:06   We're doing the advanced themes for sure.

01:57:09   We've been doing it for five years now, you know, like we're in like, what is it, like

01:57:12   themes 102?

01:57:14   Is that the advanced class?

01:57:16   Is that how it works?

01:57:17   It would be 201.

01:57:18   201?

01:57:19   Okay, we're in themes 201.

01:57:20   I think it's interesting every year, sort of see if we're at the same place or if we're

01:57:24   at different places and I think this is a byproduct both of the fact that we have been

01:57:30   doing the themes for a while, but also just the reality for both of us of where we are

01:57:38   in our careers, and also a bunch of increasing complexity. Like, we've both made our lives

01:57:43   more complex by starting a company together in addition to doing the podcast together,

01:57:49   and so I think it makes sense that we both are now having this longer term, more meta-thinking

01:57:58   kind of work to do.

01:57:59   If you are setting a theme for yourself, we would love to know what that theme is.

01:58:04   Please leave that in the subreddit or you can send them to us on Twitter.

01:58:08   We would also love if you have questions about setting themes and you want advice.

01:58:14   If you use #AskCortex, you can send those in to us.

01:58:18   If you're in the Relay FM members Discord, you can use ?askcortex

01:58:22   and they go to the same sheet that we can draw some questions from.

01:58:25   because we'd really love to know.

01:58:26   I mean, I always find value in the January episode

01:58:30   kind of talking more about this stuff.

01:58:32   We always do some reflection.

01:58:33   So I would love to bring in some Ask Cortex questions

01:58:36   and maybe share some theme examples that we've liked

01:58:39   that we've seen people sharing maybe on Reddit

01:58:41   or in Discord.

01:58:42   So please send those in.

01:58:44   And don't forget to buy a theme system journal

01:58:46   or cortexmerch.com.