111: Catching an Eel


00:00:00   Main recorder is going. Levels are levels are leveled. Okay. Show notes. We're good to go.

00:00:08   Great. Good to go for 111. One of the things I like about our show is I think that a lot of

00:00:13   people can go back and listen to any point of it and find something in the episodes that are

00:00:19   relative. I think a lot of our show is is mostly timeless. You know there are things that are

00:00:24   happening in our lives at that time but people can relate to them with where they are in their

00:00:27   own working lives. However, the kind of thing that is happening right now I don't think

00:00:34   is going to be as timeless and dates the show quite a lot and will date it into the future.

00:00:40   What I'm talking about is we're back in lockdown. So, you know, it's like I don't know if people

00:00:45   are going to be able to relate to lockdown in four years time. I certainly hope not.

00:00:51   But I'm back at home again.

00:00:53   - I have a big bias towards evergreen content.

00:00:58   I don't like to date things.

00:00:59   - Especially for this show.

00:01:01   Like it really, I think is a great benefit to the show.

00:01:05   People can go back, you know, it's like I said this,

00:01:07   I think when we did episode 100,

00:01:09   I actually really liked that we've only very recently

00:01:13   passed 100 episodes of the show,

00:01:14   even though we've been making it for 25 years

00:01:16   or whatever it is.

00:01:17   Because it still means that somebody coming to the show,

00:01:21   even now after so many years of doing the show that they can consume the whole thing

00:01:26   in what is not an obscene amount of time I think.

00:01:29   B: Yes and experience the rapid time warp of going through all of the changes in our

00:01:34   life and then catching up to the current point which I actually think can be a kind of useful

00:01:41   lesson to hear people talking about their working lives like in this accelerated way

00:01:46   like you can kind of gain something from that.

00:01:48   The span of like, I've had a great idea to that didn't work, which for us is like nine

00:01:53   months, but they can get through it in like five hours.

00:01:56   Right, right.

00:01:57   Or theme inauguration to theme completion, 12 episodes.

00:02:02   But, uh, yes, I completely agree that this, this year has been less of a timeless year and

00:02:12   another lockdown is less evergreen content,

00:02:17   or it may very well be evergreen content.

00:02:21   Who knows?

00:02:22   Because I feel like, God damn,

00:02:25   when I was talking to you last time,

00:02:27   I was very much in the, "Oh, it's all over mode."

00:02:31   (laughs)

00:02:32   And then we get lockdown two.

00:02:34   - Well, it's actually not lockdown two.

00:02:36   It's like lockdown, well, we had one in the middle,

00:02:40   but it wasn't really an actual lockdown, I guess.

00:02:43   - Yeah, no one took those seriously, Myke.

00:02:45   - I did.

00:02:46   - Right, isn't it? (laughs)

00:02:48   I'm glad you did, I did, but you know,

00:02:51   from my peekings outside,

00:02:54   people didn't take it super seriously.

00:02:56   And so this is lockdown too,

00:02:58   because it's the second big one.

00:03:01   So how has it impacted your working life, Myke?

00:03:04   - Yeah, so I'm back at home again.

00:03:06   - Okay.

00:03:06   - Just packed up the studio.

00:03:07   - Packed up the studio, what do you mean by that?

00:03:09   - Well, I always say to some people,

00:03:10   ask me, what I mean is I went there

00:03:12   and I collected up a bunch of gear.

00:03:15   - Okay.

00:03:15   - Then just made sure that, all right,

00:03:18   is everything off, all that kind of stuff,

00:03:21   'cause it's gonna be a while, right?

00:03:23   So I just went and took care of everything.

00:03:25   But I did that on the first of January,

00:03:27   which was before lockdown began,

00:03:30   because we could see where it was going.

00:03:34   And we had decided we were like grey style,

00:03:38   locking down because it was clearly getting out of control again.

00:03:43   We didn't know at that point why, right? Like we know now,

00:03:46   like the variants and all that stuff, like it was things were getting out,

00:03:50   out of hand. We've been,

00:03:52   we've been working at home for about three weeks ish.

00:03:56   It feels better this time than the other two times that I've made this

00:04:02   like transition from studio back to home

00:04:04   for a couple of reasons.

00:04:06   Set the office up a bit more permanently, tidied it.

00:04:10   I also brought home enough gear to continue streaming.

00:04:13   Like that was important to me

00:04:14   'cause that would have been a real bummer.

00:04:16   - Ah, okay, yeah, that's interesting.

00:04:19   That makes sense. - If I wouldn't have been

00:04:19   able to do that.

00:04:20   So I brought home enough gear to do all of that.

00:04:23   And I've got like a second like desk set up

00:04:26   like I would have at the studio.

00:04:27   So I still have like the desk where I record

00:04:30   in a desk where I do my work and do streaming from and stuff.

00:04:33   The other thing that does feel better is unlike the other times,

00:04:37   I do feel like there is an end in sight.

00:04:39   OK.

00:04:40   And it has not felt that way up until now.

00:04:43   You know, like there is hope now

00:04:46   for this ending in a way that there wasn't before.

00:04:50   You know, especially with the first lockdown where it was kind of like,

00:04:54   when do you think we'll be able to go back to, you know, like it was that was

00:04:58   were the kinds of questions that everybody was having, like I know we would talk about it, like

00:05:02   what's your best guess on this? And now, you know, the vaccination program is rolling out.

00:05:09   There wasn't one before, right? Like, especially the first lockdown, the like march to whenever it

00:05:14   was locked down. Well, vaccines take years, so settle in. Yeah, I mean that's true. I know my

00:05:21   thought early on was there's not going to be a vaccine, like from what I'd read it's like, oh,

00:05:26   It seems like no one's ever developed a vaccine for this kind of novel coronavirus before, so, uh, like,

00:05:32   I wouldn't- I wouldn't put money on "there will be one", so that has definitely been, uh, a nice surprise outcome.

00:05:38   So I see what you mean there.

00:05:40   And I can't wait to read tellings of this in years to come, of like,

00:05:44   "Well, if the entire world and its resources are focused on one problem,

00:05:49   you'd be surprised how fast we can move stuff forward", right? Like,

00:05:53   If every scientist in all of these fields are all just attacking one issue, stuff can

00:05:59   happen quite quickly, you know, like, which is, you know, it's a triumph and it's interesting,

00:06:05   but I look forward to retellings of this in the future of like getting a bit of a, like,

00:06:10   a 50,000 foot view on it. But yeah, I know that, like, you know, it was, I didn't know

00:06:16   enough about this stuff and it was a concern, you know, like, my hope would be that they

00:06:20   would work it out but I spoke to enough people that were like "I don't know" right and so now

00:06:26   that's the difference it's like yeah all right we've got many more months of this but I feel like

00:06:33   there is an end for me now and I just have to move towards that. I'm happy for you Myke I'm just

00:06:40   trying I'm trying to hold back the question of when do you think the end is and why? Like I don't

00:06:49   have a clear answer on that but I also feel bad for even asking you and putting that in your head

00:06:54   No I'm fine with it like I believe that in the spring I will be able to leave the house and go

00:07:02   back to the studio again but I know the situation will have not gone away

00:07:07   Ah okay okay so that's what you're thinking about is what's the timeline for

00:07:13   glorious reunification with Mega Studio?

00:07:16   Yeah and that's

00:07:17   You're thinking spring

00:07:18   I'm thinking like March, like maybe in March. And then my expectation is by the end of the year,

00:07:26   I will be able to get vaccinated. Right, okay.

00:07:29   But like it's it basically my... what I like now is I feel like I can see two end points,

00:07:36   which is what I want, which is like, when can I go back to how I was in the summer?

00:07:42   which was I could go to the studio every day and work from the studio and it was no problem, really.

00:07:49   And then by the end of the year, I believe I'll be able to get vaccinated and then

00:07:54   I'll be able to resume even more of a normal life for whatever that's going to look like after that.

00:08:01   But, you know, the idea of like being able to see friends and family, being able to go to restaurants,

00:08:05   like that stuff, you know, I have hoped that by the end of the year now, that's more of a

00:08:11   possibility than it has been up until this point.

00:08:14   Right, okay, okay, that makes sense, that makes sense.

00:08:16   Do you have any different opinion?

00:08:19   Uh, no, no, I just, I wasn't quite sure what you meant by being over, and so this is, I think,

00:08:29   like, you're expressing what I talked about before about, like, this importance of having

00:08:36   specific dates on the horizon or at least specific-ish dates that being in lockdown

00:08:44   and just being like "oh I guess this is for an indefinite period of time" is way

00:08:50   harder than "okay I'm gonna buckle down until March and I expect by March to be back

00:08:56   to this this particular state of things"

00:08:59   So yeah, my emotional state right now is vastly improved on my emotional state when we had

00:09:05   Locked down 1.5

00:09:07   Right. Okay, that's good because that was just like well, well what then you know, it's like, all right, i'll do it

00:09:13   But like what you know, like how long is this gonna last?

00:09:17   Where are we, you know, like it was that kind of feeling but now it's kind of like this is just a hump to get over

00:09:23   i'm gonna stay at home again for a few months and then

00:09:27   we'll be able to try and get back to where we were eight months ago or whatever, six months ago.

00:09:31   Okay, yeah, that makes sense. I don't have any real mental estimate on the timeline. I feel like

00:09:41   I'd back your statement that I would expect to be vaccinated by the end of the year, perhaps like

00:09:48   September maybe, optimistically?

00:09:51   September is my date too. That's like where I'm thinking.

00:09:55   The only reason I hesitate is because once the vaccine came out, I was with everyone I was talking to,

00:10:01   I was very optimistic about, "Oh, vaccine rollout will be way faster than people expect."

00:10:06   Because I think this is the kind of problem that humans are actually quite good at solving is,

00:10:11   "Okay, we've made the thing, now it's like a scale and logistics issue."

00:10:16   My only hesitation there is just I didn't quite properly parse in my head that there's two problems here,

00:10:22   which is manufacturing and distribution.

00:10:25   And then what I can categorize as the last mile,

00:10:30   which is, okay, we need to get like jabs into people's arms.

00:10:35   And that's the part where it seems like humans

00:10:38   have floundered quite a lot.

00:10:40   And so that's the only reason I just worry a little bit

00:10:42   is like that last mile distribution seems to be running

00:10:47   into a bunch of very unexpected barriers.

00:10:51   But that's my only caution of like, if I don't get vaccinated this year, that would be my expectation for like, what was the stumbling block?

00:11:01   It seems like the plans here are relatively aggressive if they can actually act the way that they're suggesting.

00:11:07   Yeah.

00:11:07   The army's getting involved, which makes sense.

00:11:11   [laughter]

00:11:13   That was a nice long pause there, but yeah, like you need, you know, you need people to actually-

00:11:17   Every time you say the army's getting involved, you know the situation isn't great, right?

00:11:22   I mean, I don't know what it's like in other countries, particularly, but I know that that

00:11:27   tends to be the thing here. It's like, there is a disaster of some impact and now the army's

00:11:32   involved. It's like, oh God. Like anytime the army is involved in anything domestic here, like,

00:11:37   the s*** has hit the fan in quite a significant way. And so that's where we are. And like,

00:11:42   I think I saw the Brigadier General, I think that was his phrase, which I just love that as a

00:11:47   title, Brigadier General, just sounds so fancy. If he says something like, you know, we have

00:11:52   logistical skills, we can try and get this done, but it is also kind of like building

00:11:58   a national supermarket in a month. And I was like, okay, I see that. Right, like I get

00:12:06   it. Good luck.

00:12:09   I hope you solved that problem. I'm glad it's not my problem. That's the feeling

00:12:15   there.

00:12:16   who's listening in speed mode to this in a two years time.

00:12:21   They know how it went.

00:12:23   - Yeah, they know how it went.

00:12:24   They're either thinking, oh, you know,

00:12:26   what are they talking about?

00:12:27   Or how relevant this evergreen content is.

00:12:30   But I'm glad you're feeling better.

00:12:32   - This episode of Cortex is brought to you

00:12:34   by Command Line Heroes.

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00:13:23   with the ISA bus. I got a sneak preview of season 6 of Command Line Heroes. The episode

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00:13:34   a young black woman trying to make her way through the scientific field in the 50s and

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00:13:49   that made this show really special to me. I think you should give it a listen. There are people whose

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00:14:01   on us as well. Our thanks to Command Line Heroes for their support of this show and Relay FM.

00:14:06   Little follow up on the Theme System Journal, Gray. Happy new year, happy new theme to everybody.

00:14:12   This is our first episode of 2021. The Theme System Journal went on sale for our last episode.

00:14:18   We sold out in a week, pretty much. It was unexpected. So, you know, we spoke about it

00:14:24   last time. We had a larger order than we've ever had before and we were putting them up and we

00:14:31   We figured we'd have stock for a while, but there was one thing that we said, was like,

00:14:35   you were gonna promote it on your YouTube channel, which we'd not done before, and we

00:14:38   genuinely didn't know what that was gonna do.

00:14:41   Basically we sold half in just under a week, and then the other half in two days, which

00:14:48   was after you put up your video.

00:14:51   Complete honesty, this far exceeded our best expectation.

00:14:54   Oh yeah, totally.

00:14:56   Like we weren't being foolish, we weren't being reserved, we really didn't think that this was gonna happen.

00:15:04   And I'll try and put it in perspective a bit.

00:15:06   So the order that we made was 75% of the total value that we have ever sold up until that point.

00:15:14   So I really thought that we would have enough for at least a couple of months.

00:15:19   Yeah.

00:15:20   But we didn't.

00:15:21   Yeah, no we didn't.

00:15:23   And also, I think with me promoting the journal on my YouTube channel, I think that is one of the most nervous I have been about uploading a video in quite a while.

00:15:36   Because I really had the feeling of, I must have messaged you a million times, like, I'm very uncertain, like, who knows how this is going to work out?

00:15:46   Yeah, it was this was all very weird for a lot of reasons.

00:15:49   Because like one, there have been lots of times where you have shared ideas with me

00:15:54   that you're working on, you maybe like show me a thing and so like, hey, what's your thoughts on this?

00:15:58   This was very different because like I was kind of actually involved.

00:16:02   Yeah.

00:16:03   Because this was our thing that you were making a video about and like you would run things by me.

00:16:08   And it was like it was it was a weird feeling for me like to be in that process with you.

00:16:15   and then we ended up putting up the video at a time that wasn't expected

00:16:21   and it went up on its own.

00:16:23   Everything about it was like this is weird and uncertain

00:16:27   you know like I think as I mentioned last time I kind of

00:16:30   got myself into a position in December where I was just working on too many

00:16:33   things and so there was supposed to be

00:16:38   a main video that was going to go along at the same time as the journal video

00:16:43   went up and it just, you know, I had a big phone call with you about it and we were talking

00:16:49   about options and like, "I don't think this is gonna work out." It's like, "I'm not gonna

00:16:53   have that main video ready." And I made the call just to do the journal on its own, which

00:16:58   even there, like just for someone who runs a YouTube channel, like you're always worried

00:17:02   when you do something different, like you just don't know how people are going to react,

00:17:06   which is a whole issue that's completely separate from, "I don't know how many journals this

00:17:11   video is is going to sell. I have no idea. Everything was so uncertain.

00:17:16   Like it might not make sense on the face of it but we actually believed that less people

00:17:21   could see the video putting it up on its own. Yeah.

00:17:25   Which is like a it's like a very weird thing that you were explaining to me from the YouTube

00:17:29   algorithm that if it like isn't what your viewers are expecting because it's not a full-on video

00:17:34   then they might not click it within the first few seconds.

00:17:36   Yeah, so there's a weird thing to explain which is the video has done better than I expected by about twice as much

00:17:45   but still probably half as many views as I would expect if it had gone out with the main video

00:17:52   is my like mental estimation of where it is.

00:17:55   And yeah, that totally is an effect that like YouTube is extremely sensitive to

00:18:01   and I hate this about YouTube, but I know it's a change that they've made

00:18:04   but like they're really sensitive to click through rates and retention in like the first

00:18:11   five or ten seconds for the very first people who are watching the videos and yeah so I thought like

00:18:17   oh man like this this could end up being shown to very few people if like the algorithm gods just

00:18:22   decide straight away that they don't like it. I mean not that it matters because and anyway like

00:18:28   this is all this this thing where we really weren't sure and if we were making the right

00:18:33   But it ended up being the right decision because if it would have gone out of a main video and got more views

00:18:37   we would have had

00:18:39   double than not amount of journals right like so it ended up being a

00:18:44   Weird chain of events that resulted in the best worst case scenario. Yeah

00:18:50   No, um, yeah

00:18:51   I'm very glad at the way it went out because again this this is another thing where if you're running a business

00:18:56   I always think of this thing

00:18:58   talking about like in economics and how do you price things and if you're a store, you always

00:19:03   want like a little line like that means that your price is just right if you have a really long line

00:19:09   like the price is probably too low and if you have no line the price is too high. And there's

00:19:15   something similar here where we have the inventory and what we don't want is a long line of people

00:19:24   who also then can't get the thing.

00:19:26   So it totally worked out that yes, the video didn't get shown to say twice as many people,

00:19:31   all of whom wouldn't have been able to get it anyway.

00:19:35   So yeah, we did really luck out with that.

00:19:40   But yes, I was the most nervous ever and I was sending you drafts of the script and I was like,

00:19:45   "What do you think about this, Myke?"

00:19:47   But it went out very well and I think we've both been very surprised

00:19:53   at how well it's sold. We just weren't expecting it, we really did think we probably had months of

00:19:59   inventory, but that turned out to not be the case. Again.

00:20:04   - Again. There is a difference this time though.

00:20:06   - Yeah.

00:20:07   - So, but the week this episode goes live, by the end of that week,

00:20:12   the next batch starts printing and that is unprecedented for us in speed. And this is one

00:20:19   of the the great benefits we've had in moving on manufacturing. The plan right now as it stands

00:20:25   right now is that we will have the same amount again ready to go to be shipped in early February.

00:20:34   So barring any hold-ups or shipping issues of which there could be many of both, we expect to

00:20:40   have more on sale in early March. Yeah and this does feel like okay we underestimated inventory

00:20:48   But we are finally in the position where when that occurs, we can restock on a reasonable time frame.

00:20:57   And we don't have any of those kind of problems before.

00:21:00   So that's a huge deal because it's also a thing that, you know, we think with the journal like,

00:21:06   "Oh, you want to use the journal for a season and then use it for the next season."

00:21:11   Like we want to be able to have the inventory ready for that.

00:21:14   and it feels like we're finally in that place where the journals are no longer one-off items.

00:21:20   I think you should feel hugely accomplished, Myke, at getting to that place. Like, you really should.

00:21:27   Myke: Yeah, I feel very good about it. This analogy I've been having in my mind for a while,

00:21:34   like, stock management, which is what we're trying to do, it's like trying to catch an eel.

00:21:40   like you can barely see it most of the time and then you you think you've spotted it and you try

00:21:46   and grab it and you do but it slips right out of your hand right it's just like it's like an

00:21:51   impossible thing like sometimes you think you've got it but you don't you know and it's like

00:21:55   i know people hear the numbers like why don't you just order more

00:22:01   and it i wished it was as simple as that right well yeah your eel metaphor doesn't work because

00:22:09   there's also the reason people go, "Why don't you just order more?" It's because like, well,

00:22:13   in this scenario, if you try to catch the eel too hard, you go out of business. So that's,

00:22:19   like, that's the problem is you have to catch the eel, but not too much.

00:22:26   It's like, oh, well, just put the eel in an eel-sized tub and you'll get it. It's like,

00:22:31   yeah, but now, now the eel's too big, right?

00:22:35   Yeah, so like that is constantly the flip side is order too much, bigger problem.

00:22:43   The dream is over, right? Like so as I said like I think it's a big number, right? 75%

00:22:49   of the total amount that we had sold up until that point and we had been selling them for a year and

00:22:56   a half, right? So we ordered a very large amount but it's very hard to try and predict buying

00:23:04   patterns. This is something that I was, I can't remember who I was talking to about

00:23:08   this, I was talking to a friend about this recently, and they said to me, you know, lots

00:23:13   of companies employ teams of people to make these decisions.

00:23:16   Okay, that makes me feel better because a thing that has been constantly niggling at

00:23:20   the back of my mind and I've searched for every once in a while on Google is like,

00:23:23   this feels like someone's PhD thesis is how to write a good algorithm for

00:23:33   predictive inventory, like this must exist.

00:23:36   Like there's gotta be a formula which, which like abstracts away all the details

00:23:41   of the business and can reduce it down to here's inventory, here's sales in X period

00:23:48   of time, and then here's the restock numbers for same, like what is the

00:23:53   algorithm to even this curve out?

00:23:55   Like it must exist.

00:23:57   But since you're telling me that companies employ teams of people to try to solve

00:24:01   this problem. My dream of "oh I just don't know the correct Google keyword to find the

00:24:06   solution to all of our problems" was just a dream and a fantasy that this does not exist.

00:24:11   Yeah, because it's like the scales are all messed up, right? Like we've been selling

00:24:16   merchandise for years, right? But the scales that we're selling these things on are completely

00:24:21   different and it's because it's a completely different type of product and the time of

00:24:25   year that we're selling it is different. The outlook of people makes a difference.

00:24:30   It's like, because we had some journals that we were selling at a discount, right?

00:24:35   Because we started selling them in August because it was so delayed.

00:24:38   And I guess people just didn't want to buy the journals in August in the pandemic year

00:24:43   of 2020.

00:24:46   And that was like a theory that I went in.

00:24:48   So like, we were nervous about ordering the amount that we ordered because we hadn't completely

00:24:52   sold out of the smaller amount that we'd ordered six months prior or eight months prior.

00:24:58   I was coming into it thinking like, no, no, I believe that people maybe abandoned their themes

00:25:04   because the world changed and they were like, I'll just do another one in 2021.

00:25:08   So I feel confident that this is a good amount.

00:25:11   And I was right, but not right enough.

00:25:13   And we talked about that decision a lot.

00:25:16   And this is also one of these things where I'm always aware, you have to be worried about

00:25:22   telling stories to yourself sometimes.

00:25:25   Yeah.

00:25:25   And, and this is a thing where I was aware that we, we were just like

00:25:30   making up stories about why.

00:25:33   So we said, oh, we haven't sold out the run of the first journals.

00:25:36   Uh, why?

00:25:38   Oh, maybe it's August and people don't want to, maybe it's the pandemic.

00:25:41   Like, but there's no data for any of this.

00:25:43   Right?

00:25:43   It's just like a little fairy tale story.

00:25:45   Yeah.

00:25:46   And, but, but the thing is like, you just know from experience, he's got feelings,

00:25:53   I don't think they have a high predictive output.

00:25:57   And so that's why I think both of us were also feeling cautious

00:26:03   about what we already felt like was too big of an order.

00:26:08   That was part of my feeling is like,

00:26:10   "Oh, okay, we haven't sold out version one."

00:26:13   Yes, maybe it's the problem of like,

00:26:17   "Oh, when you think a new Mac is coming,

00:26:19   you don't buy the old version."

00:26:21   version like oh maybe it's this kind of issue with selling like.

00:26:24   Oh yeah that was the other thing, I believed a lot of people were holding off because they

00:26:28   knew there was a version 2 coming. Yeah and like maybe that's true, maybe that's not true,

00:26:34   and the killer thing is we'll never know right, like we just have speculation,

00:26:39   but you just can't predict this stuff at all and again it's high stakes eel catching is what it is.

00:26:47   So everybody that bought one, thank you so much.

00:26:51   It is, you know, uh, I consider one of my greatest professional accomplishments

00:26:55   to this point that people bought it and they seem to really like it.

00:27:00   The feedback has been very, very good and I am so happy.

00:27:03   And if you weren't able to get one, we're very sorry.

00:27:07   We're working very hard.

00:27:08   They'll be back in stock soon.

00:27:09   If you're using one now and you're thinking, am I going to be able to get one

00:27:13   of these, we're going to have more in stock.

00:27:15   So hopefully if you're using the system, you'll be able to pick one up.

00:27:18   I guess, you know, I really don't like to say this, but I'm going to say it

00:27:23   like if you're using it and you think this is really great,

00:27:26   I want to keep using it.

00:27:27   Just buy one as soon as they go back on stock again, because then you'll know.

00:27:31   There's a lot of stuff that happens during these processes that we cannot.

00:27:35   Conceive of until they happen.

00:27:38   And you know, it's like what I'm saying, like we're

00:27:41   expecting to have these shipping in February, but

00:27:45   the factory could go into lockdown, right? I don't know, but it could happen and then we're gonna be waiting again

00:27:52   so-

00:27:52   I will just say Myke, I think

00:27:54   you- you are in the position of having

00:27:57   much more bloody first-hand contact with what the problems are.

00:28:02   I'm in the trenches on this one, Gray. I'm not gonna lie.

00:28:04   Yeah, you are deep in the trenches and

00:28:07   you have that hollow look in your eyes, right, for having been in that experience for a while.

00:28:14   My overview here is I feel very confident that we have, as soon as we get the next

00:28:25   order, we will have solved the problem of restocking because all of the major

00:28:32   uncertainties are now over, you know, people knew we were working on the second

00:28:36   version and that that has been resolved.

00:28:38   There was the uncertainty about the YouTube audience sales that has been

00:28:43   been resolved and the production timeline for order and restock has been dramatically shrunken

00:28:52   so that it's very achievable to now have an idea of like, okay, when inventory hits this number,

00:29:01   we reorder this number. And like, I feel like this is a solved problem going forward. So that's,

00:29:09   That's my feeling on it, Myke. I know you've been through a lot, but that's how I feel about this.

00:29:15   What I'll say is there's two places you can sign up. If we're out of stock at any point

00:29:21   on our product page at Cotton Bureau, you can put your email in and you'll get a one-time

00:29:26   notification for when we restock. But if you want to always know when there's restocks,

00:29:33   at thethemesystem.com there is just an email newsletter that every time we have them go back

00:29:37   back in stock again I send out an email to that newsletter to let people know so

00:29:40   depending on what your preference is if you just want to get it one time or you

00:29:44   want to know every time they're your options there'll be links in the show

00:29:48   notes above for those along with actually I want I will also put a link

00:29:51   in the show notes to an episode of the pen addict episode 441 if you are a pen

00:29:57   and paper nerd and you would like to know in more detail the exact

00:30:01   particulars of the journal why I made the choices I made which is like four

00:30:06   levels down the stack of nerdiness that I'm going to subject everybody to on this show.

00:30:12   Me and Brad broke it down on that episode and we kind of went into all of like, why

00:30:15   did I choose this grammage of paper over this grammage of paper and what are the, you know,

00:30:20   really like deep down, but if you're that type of person, that's out there for you.

00:30:25   All right, should we talk about our Yelly themes again? I always like to spend some

00:30:30   time in the next episode after we set them, like after they've settled in a little bit,

00:30:35   Because I don't know about you, but I really feel like the first kind of 60 days of my yearly theme,

00:30:41   there's like a lot of movement as it's kind of like solidifying for me.

00:30:46   Yeah, like I completely agree.

00:30:47   And I think there's the additional effect for us about making it public and talking about it, you know,

00:30:54   because again, I keep it a total secret, like, and I just talk to you about it on the show.

00:30:58   And there's always this process of explaining something to someone helps clarify your own thoughts.

00:31:04   and also just having it out there can sharpen things up for you. So yeah, I'm very happy to

00:31:10   revisit our themes in this early January. - Taking a lot of voyages yet?

00:31:14   - Yeah, I will just say not to revisit our opening conversation, but very quickly, when we did record

00:31:29   that first episode where I talked about Year of the Voyage, I did have it in my mind of like,

00:31:35   my theme was almost boring of like, "Oh, my theme is I'm gonna go outside sometimes?" and

00:31:45   this is almost boring to talk about because we were recording at, I think perhaps to the day,

00:31:53   my apex of optimism for the next year's worth of time.

00:31:58   And I was like, "Oh, this, this whole coronavirus thing is getting wrapped up."

00:32:03   And I almost had this weird thought of like, "I might've picked a really bad

00:32:08   theme that I would have to change because it's just like, it wouldn't really be

00:32:14   relevant in the next coming year."

00:32:16   But boy, oh boy, am I glad I went with Year of the Voyage because of like the

00:32:22   two sides of the coin and like the flip side of Year of the Voyage is like what

00:32:29   I was, what we were talking about before is like double down on spaceship you and,

00:32:35   and have set reassessment points or like set dates that, that you're looking for.

00:32:41   And the events of the world conspired to give them to me.

00:32:45   And I also like you, um, psychologically, I feel like I'm in a really good place

00:32:52   Because when Lockdown 2 was announced, I felt like, "Oh, okay.

00:32:57   This is exactly what I had prepared for."

00:33:00   That the flip side of this theme is, you know, this is not unexpected and you're

00:33:06   going to continue with this process of like working at home in a very space

00:33:12   deliberate way for set periods of time.

00:33:16   And so I think if I had not done that, I think the psychological feeling

00:33:21   could have been something along the lines of, "I was really optimistic that this was over,"

00:33:27   and then it was all snatched away at the last second, which would not have been a great feeling.

00:33:34   Again, I just feel very relieved about intentionally picking something that was quite

00:33:39   flexible. As part of this, one of the things that I've done was, after the Christmas break,

00:33:45   I decided to do the thing that I have wanted to do for the entirety of this lockdown period,

00:33:52   but just never wanted to do at any particular time, was a full and complete office konmari.

00:34:01   Like, I went to my home office, I took everything out of that office, brought it all into the main

00:34:09   room. This includes, like, in my home office I also have a closet which contains a lot of

00:34:14   of my personal stuff like clothing and additional equipment, it's like, bring it all out into

00:34:20   the main room. And I just went through all of it, like deciding, okay, I am going to

00:34:29   assume for the sake of this exercise that I will be working in my office for the next

00:34:38   year at home with no other place to go.

00:34:41   And like, with that in mind, what do I need to keep?

00:34:45   What makes sense to have in the office and what doesn't make

00:34:49   sense to have in the office.

00:34:50   And as always with one of these like tidying sessions, it was just a

00:34:55   really great thing to do.

00:34:58   Like it had been on my mind for months and months.

00:35:00   Like it bothered me that I had too much stuff that was just unorganized in here.

00:35:03   As you occasionally heard when I had to rummage through boxes to try to find

00:35:07   like, "Oh, where's that cable?"

00:35:09   And I probably decreased the amount of storage space

00:35:13   that I had by at least two thirds.

00:35:15   I have a nice little box with all of my audio stuff in it.

00:35:18   And it's like, "Ah, yes, this is the box

00:35:20   that contains audio stuff.

00:35:22   This is the box of all of the different wires.

00:35:24   And each type of wire is like

00:35:25   in its own separate little bag.

00:35:27   And here's the charging station for all the things."

00:35:29   Like, I kind of sort of had that stuff for most of the year,

00:35:34   but I gave it a lot of really serious thoughts.

00:35:37   And, you know, in the process of doing that, I also decided, okay, now that everything's

00:35:41   out of the office, it's way easier for me to think about how do I want this to be set

00:35:48   up, assuming that I'm going to be here for a year.

00:35:51   And it was just, it was just really clarifying.

00:35:54   And again, because of the theme is like, it didn't feel like a bad exercise.

00:36:01   It felt like a good exercise.

00:36:03   Also when you bring everything out, it's way easier to move stuff around or

00:36:07   like make brand new decisions.

00:36:09   And so I've totally changed the layout of the two desks in my space.

00:36:14   So I've kind of reversed my podcast slash writing station and the sound

00:36:20   booth that I use around it and like how the microphone is oriented and all of

00:36:26   this stuff from my initial tests say like, Oh, this is, this is a much better setup.

00:36:29   Like there's way less noise that gets on the microphone.

00:36:32   Works nicely in my office.

00:36:35   I have a new treadmill for the treadmill desk that is much nicer than the one I used to

00:36:40   have.

00:36:41   I don't remember if we ever spoke about the treadmill desk.

00:36:44   We did talk about the treadmill desk.

00:36:45   I think you were annoyed because I hadn't mentioned it because I had had it for like

00:36:48   months and then it came up at some point.

00:36:51   What I don't remember if we talked about is I did have a treadmill and then it like had

00:36:57   a small electrical fire one day and so I had to get rid of it.

00:37:03   No!

00:37:04   - Oh.

00:37:05   - Yeah, I can't, I don't think I've mentioned

00:37:08   that on the show, but.

00:37:09   - No, I even told me this, I didn't know this.

00:37:12   - Yeah, so.

00:37:13   - But it's like a small electrical fire on a treadmill.

00:37:15   Like what is that, what's the sound about?

00:37:17   - So I have to like, it's still the same case now,

00:37:22   but in order to, so I am sitting at the desk,

00:37:26   which is normally my standing desk for writing

00:37:28   where I have the treadmill.

00:37:30   Now with the old treadmill, I had to physically unplug it

00:37:34   from the wall and plug it back in and move it each time I wanted to do a podcast recording,

00:37:39   which is like a big pain in the ass.

00:37:41   But one of the times when I went to plug it back in, there was an extremely loud pop from

00:37:48   right under the front where the motor was and a little bit of light that I could see

00:37:55   coming translucently through the top of the case and a lot of heat.

00:38:01   And I grabbed my little fire extinguisher that I have in my office.

00:38:05   Luckily, I did not need to use it because I was just looking at it for a few minutes

00:38:09   and then the light dimmed and the smell of horribly burnt plastic filled the room.

00:38:14   And so that treadmill was no more and I did not order a replacement of the same model

00:38:19   of that treadmill and I got a different one.

00:38:21   Should I have a fire extinguisher in my office?

00:38:23   Yeah, you should have a fire extinguisher in your office.

00:38:25   You should totally have a fire extinguisher that is for electric fires and this is the

00:38:28   reason why.

00:38:29   Mm-hmm. Well, I don't have a treadmill.

00:38:33   Yeah, but I'm sure, like me, you must have a million electrical equipment stuff.

00:38:38   Yeah.

00:38:38   Right?

00:38:39   Yeah, yeah, yeah.

00:38:39   I mean, you know, again, if I look under my desk right now,

00:38:43   like the amount of things that are plugged into the extension cord,

00:38:48   even if any of them individually are not likely to catch fire,

00:38:51   like, you know, the extension cord itself is not a perfect piece of equipment

00:38:54   and it has a lot of draw on it.

00:38:57   So it's just a like, it's just a really teeny tiny one. You know, it's not much bigger than

00:39:02   two soda cans on top of each other and it's for electrical fires and I keep it in my office.

00:39:06   - You know how I don't like Qi charging? We've been through this, right?

00:39:09   - Yes, yes. - Belkin made a Qi charger that was

00:39:12   catching fire. I knew it was gonna happen. Said it the whole time. Apple was selling this Belkin

00:39:18   wireless charger and it started catching fire. - I mean, when you say catching fire,

00:39:22   is this the thing where people say catching fire and they mean shorting out?

00:39:26   or do they- you mean like flames?

00:39:28   "An issue with the power supply unit could cause the device to overheat and leave it

00:39:32   vulnerable to catching fire or shocking people."

00:39:34   That's what the product recall says.

00:39:37   Okay, that sounds like possible fire, but still quite alarming.

00:39:41   You know, it's like your treadmill only possibly caught on fire, but-

00:39:44   I'm very certain it was on fire inside, and luckily it ran out of air.

00:39:49   If you had seen a fire, how'd you know it was a fire?

00:39:51   You know?

00:39:52   I am counting the light of the smoke as fire.

00:39:54   [laughs]

00:39:55   >> It could've just, like, I don't know, got really excited.

00:39:58   Yeah, it definitely sounded like the treadmill caught on fire.

00:40:01   That's a, I don't like that.

00:40:03   >> Yeah, get yourself a small fire extinguisher

00:40:05   for electrical fires.

00:40:06   >> Yeah, no one gonna do that now.

00:40:07   >> Yeah, yeah, definitely do that, so.

00:40:10   But so like, as part of the office rethink,

00:40:13   like I got a treadmill that one, disconnects

00:40:16   without having to like physically plug it in each time,

00:40:18   there's like a wire that I can disconnect

00:40:21   in a different way, and also got a treadmill

00:40:24   that quite nicely actually does fold up against the wall in an easier way,

00:40:29   so that like, when I'm transitioning to podcast mode,

00:40:32   it's a much simpler process than it was before, which is very nice.

00:40:36   And also as part of this process,

00:40:38   I got new storage shelves that are much nicer

00:40:41   than the temporary stuff that I'd had before.

00:40:44   So I took this, the start of the year as a time to take

00:40:50   The year of the voyage brackets, like in spaceship you very seriously again, in

00:40:57   the, in the same way that I took it very seriously a year ago and I was, I

00:41:01   was really happy to do that and right now I feel the same way of like, oh,

00:41:06   thank goodness, like I got rid of so much crap that I didn't need in my office.

00:41:10   Everything that I do need is much more easily accessible.

00:41:15   The storage spaces that I have now look much nicer.

00:41:20   I also bought like 10 of these massive sunshine LED lamps

00:41:25   to place all around the office.

00:41:28   So it's like really bright inside, which is very nice.

00:41:31   - Your office is not that big.

00:41:33   It must be like the surface of the sun in there.

00:41:37   - Yeah, but you know, Myke,

00:41:38   I have these massive sound absorbing panels

00:41:41   that I build my little recording studio.

00:41:43   They're like, it's like looking into the abyss, those things.

00:41:46   Yes.

00:41:46   Yeah.

00:41:47   Those, those things are, are, are venti, black, you know, perfect light absorbing stuff.

00:41:52   So you need the power of several tiny suns to, to overcome them.

00:41:56   But it's just one of those things like, again, thinking about it quite seriously and try, and

00:42:02   trying to go through what haven't I liked about my office in the past year.

00:42:07   Yeah.

00:42:07   That was one of the things that was high on the list.

00:42:09   like, I can never get it bright enough that I'm happy with the situation. So I was like, "Okay,

00:42:15   brightness is my problem. What do I need? LEDs that have 10,000 lumens. Great. Give me 10 of

00:42:22   them." And I'll just pop them all over the place and now it's really nice, especially with the blue

00:42:27   walls. Like, I couldn't possibly love it more. So that was like the main big project of working on

00:42:34   redoing the office, and it took so much longer than I thought it would, but I'm really happy

00:42:39   that I spent the time at the start of the year to do that.

00:42:42   Yeah I think that's really great. I would definitely say that I have not put that

00:42:45   kind of effort in that you have. Like the amount of work I did was small for getting the office

00:42:51   set up again. I could imagine wanting to do this if I didn't have a studio, right? Like at the

00:42:57   moment, like Adina was asking me, like if I wanted to get some new things for the home office, like

00:43:02   she's like "oh like what about this, what about this, would it make you feel more comfortable?"

00:43:07   and I'm kind of like, I kind of refuse to want to spend more money on the home office

00:43:10   because I'm paying rent on a studio that I'm not going to, right? So like I'm like a little,

00:43:17   I'm like resistant to it kind of like on a principle level.

00:43:20   Yeah I totally get that.

00:43:22   Yeah but I've, you know, what I have done is just make it so I've made enough space to not feel like

00:43:29   I'm in this cave of an office which is what I felt like previously because it just felt like

00:43:35   everything was closing in around me being in here. So I have done some work, but I could imagine if

00:43:41   I was in your position where like, maybe me like a year ago from now, where I was just assuming that

00:43:47   I was going to be at home all the time, I could imagine doing what you have done, like really just

00:43:53   going back to the beginning, ripping it out and starting all over again.

00:43:56   B: And it's also easier to do that with the perspective of, okay, I have worked in this space

00:44:02   for almost a year. What have I liked and what have I not liked? And just trying to get rid of the,

00:44:07   you know, not like there was any major problem, but it was just a bunch of minor things.

00:44:12   But a bunch of minor things do cause annoyance, like they add up together. And so I'm really

00:44:17   happy to resolve it. But I agree, like in your situation, I wouldn't recommend the same course

00:44:23   of action. Like taking the time I took to redo my home office wouldn't make sense for you to take

00:44:27   that time to redo your home office. Like that, you know, they're just totally different situations.

00:44:31   M- The plan is that this room doesn't have any office stuff in it, like that was the

00:44:35   plan.

00:44:36   B- Right.

00:44:37   That's the dream.

00:44:38   M- That's the dream.

00:44:39   Maybe.

00:44:40   B- It's the dream.

00:44:41   M- Maybe.

00:44:42   2021.

00:44:43   I could do it.

00:44:44   B- 2021.

00:44:45   No home office for Myke.

00:44:46   M- Maybe.

00:44:47   B- Just one, one other little thing for my year of voyage in Spaceship U is also thinking

00:44:56   The one station, the one station I have never been able to really get a good hold on, which has driven me crazy all last year, because it's normally not a problem, has been sleep.

00:45:12   And it's been like, I've just found it sort of fascinating, but last year I've just was

00:45:22   never able to get into a consistent waking time and I just found it shocking. Like I'm not this

00:45:30   sort of person who sleeps in, but I've never in my whole life had more difficulty getting up at

00:45:38   the time that I want to wake up than I have in the last year.

00:45:42   And it's just been totally shocking on both ends of staying up later than I

00:45:48   intend to, or like waking up in the middle of the night and being awake for a while

00:45:54   and just sleeping in and not even consistently like waking up times keep

00:45:59   moving by an hour in either direction.

00:46:01   It's one of those things where it just sort of slowly happened.

00:46:08   I was aware of it all last year and I would talk to people sometimes about like, "Oh,

00:46:11   this is probably one of the biggest changes for me is this really this big frustration."

00:46:16   But I could never quite get it to work and I've decided like, "Okay,

00:46:22   that's one of the specific topics for again, this year, if I'm going to at the start of the year,

00:46:31   take it seriously and overestimate the time. It's like, I can't have another year of this.

00:46:38   No matter what the deal is, no matter how hard it is, no matter how much my brain really doesn't

00:46:44   want to get up when it's supposed to get up in the morning, like, I'm going to tackle this problem

00:46:50   and get this sorted because this is probably like one of the bigger things that I want to

00:46:57   accomplish under this lockdown situation that I want to be different from how it went last year.

00:47:04   So yeah, that's probably the next thing on my like actionable items that are coming out of the theme

00:47:11   reassessing at the beginning of the year.

00:47:15   - Mm, yeah, my sleep pattern's messed up big time.

00:47:19   - Okay, can I ask you a question? Have you had really vivid dreams?

00:47:25   Some, yeah. What I'll say is for me with dreams, I don't dream very often or at least I very rarely

00:47:36   remember my dreams. Like I wake up and they're gone. But I have had some dreams recently that

00:47:44   have stuck with me a little bit more which is abnormal. But I have heard this from a lot of

00:47:50   of friends are having what I would describe as COVID dreams, where it's like,

00:47:57   I'm outside and I'm freaking out, right?

00:48:00   Like I've been hearing a lot of that kind of stuff, which is like very clear.

00:48:03   Like, but I know this is what people do, right?

00:48:06   Like they, you're influenced, it's your brain being influenced by what's around

00:48:10   you and you're dreaming about it.

00:48:11   But I would say that I am, I don't know if they're more vivid or not than other

00:48:17   but I am having more dreams than I'm remembering

00:48:20   than I normally do.

00:48:22   - Yeah, it's interesting.

00:48:25   I've heard the same thing from other people

00:48:27   and it's one of the reasons why I sort of

00:48:29   wrote off the sleep thing is like,

00:48:31   oh, something's just different about sleep

00:48:33   and it'll sort itself out eventually.

00:48:36   But yeah, I don't know what the deal is.

00:48:38   If anything, if I had to predict ahead of time,

00:48:42   if someone said,

00:48:43   "Oh, you're gonna spend a year in your house."

00:48:46   Do you anticipate that the intensity and vividness of your dreams will increase or decrease in

00:48:53   that environment?

00:48:54   I would have bet a lot of money on decrease.

00:48:56   Like, "Oh, this is nothing.

00:48:58   This is super boring."

00:49:00   The number of times when I wake up now and feel like, "Oh man, I was really busy last

00:49:05   night," like, "in my dreams," is very high.

00:49:08   And it's just interesting talking to other people.

00:49:10   does seem like that has not been a universal phenomenon, but a very fairly prevalent phenomenon.

00:49:17   And I just kind of wonder what the deal is, but I've had enough of this.

00:49:20   [laughs]

00:49:20   I think it's one of the things that like you can see in hindsight, like I would have

00:49:24   agreed with you, like in the given this set of parameters, what would your dreams be like?

00:49:30   It's like, well, you have no stimulus, so they would be boring. But actually it's the

00:49:34   inverse. You have no stimulus, so your brain's like, "Oh, what can I cook up? I am bored."

00:49:38   [laughs]

00:49:38   [laughter]

00:49:40   Yeah, yeah.

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00:52:00   So how is your theme going in the beginning of the year?

00:52:04   Pretty good!

00:52:05   I think for me, there isn't really too much to be achieved in the short term, but what

00:52:14   I have enjoyed is keeping the idea of reinvention in my mind as I'm moving through life at

00:52:22   the moment.

00:52:24   And I think I've been able to kind of solidify some of my thinking around it a little bit

00:52:29   more.

00:52:30   So we've been watching a chef's table on Netflix, which is just like

00:52:34   Multiple series TV show we're gonna tell you the life of a famous chef or a successful chef

00:52:41   and the main thing that I noticed from watching these shows is kind of this idea of a

00:52:49   reinvention for these individuals

00:52:52   There is a formula like it was we were making a joke about it by getting to the ends of the show

00:52:58   Like every chef would have some success and then they would have a thing that knocked them back

00:53:04   And then they would come back and be bigger and better than ever, right?

00:53:09   And the knockback for them could honestly it wasn't necessarily that something terrible happened

00:53:15   Like they failed, you know, like some of them like they have rush on fail, but some of them would be like I

00:53:20   Believe that I am making this kind of food

00:53:24   Which is incredible and everyone loves it and they're doing great and then they meet some of a famous chef and they're like

00:53:30   You're not your foods not doing what you think it's doing

00:53:33   You are making like an imitation of Mexican food, you know actually respecting the ingredients

00:53:40   So then that person takes it to heart and then they go on like a vision quest throughout all of Mexico

00:53:45   And then they end up making the best Mexican food around right?

00:53:49   this is like a thing that plays out a lot in the show and I've been I was finding it very interesting watching it because it

00:53:54   Was like you watch these people get really good at a thing, but they're always looking for the next thing

00:54:00   They you they have the success, but they've always got that eye on well

00:54:05   I've hit this now

00:54:06   So now what and I really enjoy watching shows like this to see

00:54:11   the creative process for people like how they grow and express themselves and

00:54:15   And I like a show that highlights how difficult this process can be for people, right?

00:54:21   Of like, wanting a next thing, a more thing.

00:54:26   And this has helped me kind of like, solidify another phrase

00:54:30   that I'm baking into the year of reinvention,

00:54:34   which is the phrase "the second act".

00:54:37   Ooh, I like that.

00:54:38   That's the thing that I see all these people going through

00:54:42   and I think it's where I am in my creative life.

00:54:45   I've been looking at my last few years of themes.

00:54:48   Diversification, stabilization, refinement and shift.

00:54:52   These were the themes in kind of reverse order.

00:54:56   And I think that this thing about what is my next thing

00:55:02   has been something that's been bubbling up for a long time.

00:55:05   And I think for me it's not that I feel like I need to start again,

00:55:13   but it's that I am looking for another challenge.

00:55:18   And when I've been looking through my years of themes,

00:55:23   there's been this element of it the whole time,

00:55:25   like wanting to diversify myself and stabilize certain areas of my creative life,

00:55:31   but also looking for new creative expression and fulfillment.

00:55:34   And I think that it's circling around this idea.

00:55:40   And so I think that reinvention for me for this year is really the culmination of work that I've

00:55:49   been trying to do for a while. I cannot say that I will achieve this in 2021, but I think that I've

00:55:58   finally gotten to kind of like the knife's edge of something that I've been skirting around for like

00:56:05   four years nearly. And so kind of like finding other areas that I can find success in right now

00:56:14   feels like something that's important to me and with where I am right now with like my spread

00:56:21   of the things that I do I think I'm potentially finding that in the work that we're doing with

00:56:28   Cortex brand. The idea that we are trying to build out of this

00:56:35   selection of products for people that are like us, it's interesting to me and I

00:56:41   find myself being very engaged with it mentally. I'm enjoying the

00:56:49   problem-solving aspect of it and the risks inherent to it. There is

00:56:56   something in that which is very exciting and fulfilling. And I do feel like now we are

00:57:04   getting to a point where, I don't know why I keep coming up with animal-based metaphors,

00:57:10   but like grabbing the bull by the horns kind of thing is where we're getting closer to

00:57:15   that point of like, "Alright, well, we just got to do this thing." And it's an intimidating

00:57:23   thing but I think that that's kind of where I'm getting closest to of like, "alright,

00:57:30   so you've done this thing. You had a thing that you wanted to do and you wanted to be

00:57:35   a podcaster. That was your goal." And I have now spent more time doing this professionally

00:57:42   than I ever wanted to do it. So I feel accomplished here but I don't think that I would feel creatively

00:57:51   fulfilled just doing the same thing for the next 35, 40 years.

00:57:57   I want to do different things.

00:57:59   And one of the main differences for myself now to how I've been over the last 10 years

00:58:05   is I don't feel like I have to leave anything behind, but I feel like I need to have a different

00:58:12   mix.

00:58:14   And I've been kind of circling around this for years, but it's like, okay.

00:58:21   What is the next thing that Myke Hurley can do?

00:58:25   That's kind of where I am now. That's what reinvention is.

00:58:29   That's what this idea of the second act is.

00:58:33   And I think that maybe this year

00:58:37   I'm going to be able to make more significant

00:58:41   steps in this than I have been in the previous

00:58:45   few years because now I feel like I've really hit it.

00:58:49   So I've had a lot of clarification in my mind over the last few weeks.

00:58:53   Yeah, that's so interesting to hear because since we spoke about it last time, I've thought about your theme several times.

00:59:00   And I think it's because it's without a doubt my favorite theme that you've done.

00:59:06   Like hearing you talk about it, I've thought like, wow, Myke's really gotten something this year.

00:59:13   and like I like the way he was talking about it and this today has really solidified for me like

00:59:18   oh why have I thought like oh Myke picked for himself just like the perfect just a great theme

00:59:23   this is the best theme he's picked for himself so far and I think you're right it's because you have

00:59:28   been kind of swirling around these ideas for a while and you've articulated it now like you said

00:59:34   reinvention is is a thing that uh may take more than a single year to accomplish but I really

00:59:41   like that this is in your mind clearly. And I think the second act is a great additional phrase

00:59:50   to have to try to clarify to yourself like, "Oh, what do you mean by this?" And like you said,

00:59:54   it doesn't, it doesn't need to be something that's totally different. You don't need to

00:59:58   lead something behind. And that's why the second act is just a great phrase because it's like,

01:00:02   that's what happens in a story. Like there is a continuation, but also there are new things that

01:00:08   are different and so I really like it.

01:00:11   Because I feel like I've already entered my second act as a podcast creator.

01:00:16   Like I feel like I'm already there, like I've done that, like in that part of my career,

01:00:20   you know, like I'm very much in it now, you know, in multiple ways. Like one, just from going from

01:00:28   like being a person trying to make it happen into being a person who part runs a company that does

01:00:34   this but then that then also another level of last year being a person who is

01:00:42   now creating content that I'm asking people to pay me directly for.

01:00:48   That's like another part of this right of like this like second act of me as a

01:00:53   creator. It's like okay I've had this stuff and it's free and we support it

01:00:58   with ads and that's the business. Now I am also asking you like if you like the

01:01:04   work that I do enough that you want to support it and get more of it this is a

01:01:09   thing that we can do and like that I feel like that is like a second act for

01:01:15   me there as well but now I'm like all right but this is all still in the thing

01:01:20   that you've been doing for a decade let's go up another level you as a

01:01:27   a person who has ambitions and creativity, you need to look at something else, a completely

01:01:35   different field.

01:01:37   Can you make it work in something that is completely unlike everything that you're doing?

01:01:44   Not an adaptation, not like a little shift here or there, a different step into a different

01:01:50   type of podcast content.

01:01:52   talking like different business and so we have been moving towards this for a while but I feel

01:02:03   like it's an area that now I've kind of like I've made it like I've approached like a fork in the

01:02:10   road and I think I know where we're going. I know you like to build traditions into the

01:02:17   Cortex calendar. Are you going to give us the traditional mic time tracking report?

01:02:23   - Yes, and I've made it better this year. There's a chart. I've made a chart.

01:02:28   So I've provided this in the show notes for you and for our listeners.

01:02:34   It's my-- - Oh wow, you're really

01:02:36   getting fancy. - I know. So like previous years,

01:02:39   I've just included screenshots and then today I thought, wouldn't it be nicer if rather than

01:02:43   you going between one or the other to compare them, I can just create a chart for you to

01:02:48   show how things have changed year over year.

01:02:50   Ooh, I really like this. This is great. The state of Myke. I like it.

01:02:55   I know. There's one thing, look, before we dive into any particulars here, there's

01:03:00   just, there's like a massive element in the room that needs to be addressed to these

01:03:03   statistics. So in 2019, I tracked 918 hours of work. In 2020, I tracked 1506.

01:03:12   Ah, that's quite a difference. Why?

01:03:14   It's a massive difference. Well, there's a bunch of reasons. So there's small reasons

01:03:20   and there's big reasons. Like, I didn't travel, right? When I traveled, I didn't

01:03:24   time track.

01:03:25   Ah, okay.

01:03:26   But that doesn't equate for a 600-hour difference.

01:03:31   No, and looking at the charts, there's nothing on here that's obviously a 600-hour

01:03:38   difference either.

01:03:39   No, the difference is I worked a lot more in 2020.

01:03:44   I mean, we knew that, I've spoken about that.

01:03:47   Everything is up across the board

01:03:51   and that has just added to a 600 hour difference.

01:03:56   - How do you feel about that?

01:03:59   - I feel terrible about it.

01:04:01   - Okay.

01:04:02   - Because I didn't feel like in 2019,

01:04:05   I had all this time to spare, right?

01:04:09   You mean if we had talked to 2019 Myke and said, "Oh hey, could you increase these hours by what,

01:04:18   like 40%?" Like he wouldn't have responded, "Oh yeah, there's tons of slack in the schedule for that."

01:04:25   Yeah, like I would have been like, "No, I don't think I want to do that, thanks."

01:04:29   But you know, I've spoken about this, right? I spoke about it on our last episode,

01:04:35   I think maybe even a little bit on the one before, it was a, I feel like, mostly unavoidable

01:04:41   requirement this year. More was needed. You know, there are new entrants on this list,

01:04:48   there are entrants that saw a huge change in them. It is what it is. I don't, I couldn't tell you

01:04:56   what 2021 is going to look like. Yeah, that's what I was going to ask is, what is your prediction for

01:05:02   2021, given that I think if we asked current you, do you think you have say 40% more slack in the

01:05:11   schedule to give, I think you're going to answer no to that. No, I can tell you categorically I don't.

01:05:18   I think 2019 Myke would have said he didn't want to. Ah okay, interesting. Right? But I think,

01:05:25   you know, I could have found it. I don't have that kind of amount of hours in me.

01:05:31   I would expect my prediction now is that 2021 the number will be in between these.

01:05:38   How do you feel about that?

01:05:40   I'm fine with it for now because I think it's continued to be what is needed

01:05:45   and also that there are just some things that won't change.

01:05:48   So some of the clearer differences are in show prep, podcast editing and podcast recording.

01:05:55   Right? So they're the biggest bars and those biggest bars have gotten bigger.

01:06:01   One of the reasons for that is my shows that take the most time now take more time to make.

01:06:08   Does that make sense?

01:06:10   I feel like Cortex doesn't fit in that category, right?

01:06:14   Or are you including all of the additional stuff for the membership?

01:06:20   Like is that what you mean by like all of the shows across the board?

01:06:23   It's you're including the membership because you have an additional category on here,

01:06:28   which is membership, but you're not tracking the show extras.

01:06:32   - Right, that is administration of membership, right?

01:06:37   - Ah, okay.

01:06:38   - And so I also expect that that number

01:06:40   will be vastly lower now, because most of the, what,

01:06:44   60 hours in that was in getting the new system

01:06:48   off the ground.

01:06:49   I don't do the ongoing maintenance

01:06:53   of the membership program.

01:06:54   That's Steven's part of the business,

01:06:56   but when we were starting off with our new system,

01:07:00   I was much more involved in that, in helping them.

01:07:04   We were talking about it more, meeting about it more,

01:07:06   that kind of stuff.

01:07:08   - Okay, that makes more sense.

01:07:09   - And so I expect that that number will go down a lot,

01:07:12   but the membership content for my shows

01:07:15   is included in podcast editing,

01:07:17   podcast recording, and show prep.

01:07:19   - Okay, all right, that makes more sense.

01:07:21   I don't know why, just the way it was worded on the chart,

01:07:23   I assumed membership included everything you were doing

01:07:26   for the membership, which included the additional content

01:07:30   and editing, which in retrospect is crazy.

01:07:32   Like that obviously shouldn't have been the case, but.

01:07:35   - I can see why someone would think it, right?

01:07:37   And like, this is one of those things,

01:07:38   like everyone's time tracking setup,

01:07:41   or like even their productivity setup,

01:07:43   basically only makes sense to them, right?

01:07:45   'Cause it's what makes sense to your brain

01:07:48   and everybody else is completely different.

01:07:50   So that also then puts you in a more difficult position for getting back to say sub a thousand

01:07:58   hours of tracked work because yeah, like there's things on here.

01:08:04   Also like Mega Studio I expect will have not so much of a bar next year for the time that

01:08:09   was put into it.

01:08:10   Like that's a one-time investment along with the membership admin.

01:08:14   But yeah, so you've signed yourself up for and it visually looks like, I don't know,

01:08:22   would you say like 20-25% extra work across the board for all podcasts with the membership

01:08:29   program now as part of them?

01:08:31   Would you say that's about right?

01:08:32   Yeah.

01:08:33   Hmm.

01:08:34   I'm fine with it because the membership program has been a success.

01:08:38   Okay.

01:08:39   So you think that's a sensible increase in time per unit of recuperation from that?

01:08:45   Yes.

01:08:46   Okay.

01:08:46   I'm just, I'm, I feel very suddenly aware of looking at these charts of bigger

01:08:52   numbers in the context of reinvention.

01:08:56   Like I, like I am just thinking of Myke needs reinvention time.

01:09:00   And, and so that's, that's just what, that's just sort of what's on my mind here.

01:09:03   is like, oh, okay, you have signed yourself up

01:09:06   for more work across the board for podcasting

01:09:11   and just trying to think about other projects for you,

01:09:15   where are they gonna go

01:09:16   or where are you gonna find time for it?

01:09:18   - I mean, it's going to, ultimately, I mean,

01:09:21   I guess mean that I have to make tougher decisions

01:09:24   in some areas and that's just gonna have to be a thing

01:09:28   that I need to deal with if and when.

01:09:32   I mean, for all I know, a lot of the growth in time

01:09:37   has also been in establishing new processes

01:09:39   to handle the production.

01:09:43   Like it took me a while to really get my head around

01:09:47   what is the most efficient way to produce

01:09:51   this second version of the show,

01:09:53   and I am getting way faster at that now.

01:09:55   - Okay, let's get to here. - 'Cause just from like

01:09:58   a management level, right, like I'm dealing

01:10:02   with two versions of the editing project, two files,

01:10:06   two parts of our publishing system, right?

01:10:09   And getting that system down took me a while

01:10:15   and I know I'm getting faster at it,

01:10:17   but like what I can never get away from is

01:10:21   it will always take more time to prepare the shows

01:10:23   if there's more content,

01:10:24   it will always take more time to record them

01:10:26   and it will always take more time to edit them.

01:10:28   And that's fine, for right now that's fine.

01:10:32   I just need to see how it shakes out in the long term.

01:10:35   - What do you think about your time spent

01:10:37   on the one-off things on this list?

01:10:39   Like, I'm looking at this mega studio

01:10:42   and I'm also looking at the things

01:10:44   that have massively increased, like streaming.

01:10:47   - Yeah.

01:10:48   - Streaming was nothing in 2019

01:10:50   and it's a much bigger thing in 2020.

01:10:53   So how do you feel about those things that exist

01:10:56   which didn't before?

01:10:57   There's a funny one here, which is also events,

01:11:00   which is dramatically increased in 2020.

01:11:04   - Yeah.

01:11:05   - Yeah, well, what I'm wondering is like,

01:11:07   where would have been the WWDC on 2019?

01:11:12   Like that went away, but you know, events has gone up.

01:11:16   So I'm just like, I'm kind of curious about these ones

01:11:19   in particular where bam, there's stuff in 2020,

01:11:23   which basically didn't exist in 2019.

01:11:26   - Yeah, yeah, I know, I was waiting for events.

01:11:29   I was waiting to see if you pick up on that one,

01:11:31   'cause it doesn't make sense, does it, right?

01:11:33   - No, no. - There were no events in 2020.

01:11:36   - I assumed events is like the podcast-a-thon,

01:11:40   like that's what I was assuming that was.

01:11:41   - That is exactly what it is.

01:11:43   - Okay.

01:11:43   - This is one of the ones hit by travel.

01:11:45   So my 2019 events would have been massive,

01:11:49   but I don't track when I travel.

01:11:51   - Okay.

01:11:52   - But I was tracking the podcast-a-thon stuff,

01:11:54   'cause I was at home for it all.

01:11:56   But I also was tracking like the planning of it

01:11:59   differently, I think I would have, honestly,

01:12:01   the thing was that we spent a lot more time

01:12:03   on the 2020 event than the 2019 event.

01:12:05   - Right.

01:12:06   - Because not only did we have to plan it,

01:12:08   we had to plan it all over again, right?

01:12:10   When all the plans changed.

01:12:12   So live shows and all that kind of stuff,

01:12:16   I didn't really track that kind of, those really in 2019,

01:12:19   because I was handling all of that

01:12:22   while I was mostly not at home, right?

01:12:25   When I was not working at home.

01:12:27   So that is a thing which is large, 63 hours,

01:12:31   and that's all of the planning

01:12:33   and then the execution of the event.

01:12:35   And I also had to do a lot of like

01:12:37   getting the environment ready.

01:12:40   Like all of that stuff may not be in the 2021 thing.

01:12:43   I don't know.

01:12:44   Streaming for me is, I mean, I track it as work

01:12:48   because I feel like it's time that should be tracked,

01:12:50   but it's like, it's a hobby.

01:12:53   It's how it feels.

01:12:54   So it's in my work tracking,

01:12:57   but it doesn't feel like work at all.

01:13:00   So that going up will improve my mental health.

01:13:04   - So what's your reasoning for tracking it

01:13:09   if it feels so different?

01:13:11   - I just want the data on that.

01:13:13   - Okay.

01:13:14   - Because like when I come to look at this list,

01:13:17   it makes me happy to see those numbers there

01:13:20   'cause I know that like that makes me feel good.

01:13:22   So I like to see that I'm putting more time in it.

01:13:25   - Okay, that makes sense.

01:13:27   It makes me happy, it's a perfectly valid reason.

01:13:29   I like that. - Yeah.

01:13:30   Mentorship is a new one on there.

01:13:32   I don't think we think this is the thing

01:13:33   I've actually spoken about all on the show.

01:13:35   I don't even know if it's something

01:13:36   that me and you have spoken about.

01:13:38   I started a mentorship program back in like May

01:13:42   or something like that it was,

01:13:44   where I'm working with a group of people

01:13:46   that are trying to get their kind of start in podcasting.

01:13:50   So this is a thing that I've been doing,

01:13:53   mostly on a monthly basis.

01:13:55   and is a thing that I look to continue to do into the future.

01:13:58   It takes a lot of time to make something work like this.

01:14:02   And I feel like it's something that I need to continue getting better at as a

01:14:05   person leading a group like this.

01:14:07   But that's the thing that didn't exist before and it's the thing that's going to

01:14:10   continue from there. And again, it's like,

01:14:13   is it work like the rest of my stuff is? Not really,

01:14:17   but it feels related enough and I want to get those numbers in there.

01:14:20   I want to see what I'm spending time on it.

01:14:23   there's something that didn't exist before.

01:14:25   Can you explain to me more about the mentorship one?

01:14:28   I feel like I don't have a good understanding of

01:14:32   why did you pick up this project and what is it for?

01:14:36   So this is a program that I created

01:14:39   kind of in like May or June of last year

01:14:42   to work with people who are underrepresented

01:14:47   in the type of podcasting that I do,

01:14:49   which is, you know, mostly technology shows, but in my kind of area, effectively like conversations,

01:14:59   they're like talking shows, right? I can't really help people that want to make shows that are

01:15:04   really heavily produced, like they have music in them and sound like they belong on American

01:15:09   Public Radio, but there are lots of people that want to do the types of shows that we make,

01:15:16   but want to get a head start, want to get a hand.

01:15:18   And I have experience and can share it with people.

01:15:21   And I put out a call on social media and I had lots of people apply.

01:15:26   Like I had like a,

01:15:26   an application system and I work with a group of like nine or 10 people.

01:15:31   And we are in constant communication. We have like a, uh,

01:15:35   a private group, a Discord group actually, not Slack.

01:15:39   A Discord group.

01:15:40   Yeah, that's the way to go.

01:15:41   Yeah.

01:15:42   And we meet on a monthly basis where I give what I've like jokingly dubbed in

01:15:46   the group, like little lectures about a certain topic, like I'll pick a thing.

01:15:49   And we'll talk about it and we'll answer questions about it.

01:15:53   And then in the in-between times, I hope these people that with questions that they

01:15:58   have about trying to get their project started.

01:16:00   Hmm.

01:16:01   That's, that's really interesting.

01:16:02   That's really interesting.

01:16:03   And yeah, I don't, I don't think you've, you've mentioned a peep

01:16:06   about this to me all year.

01:16:08   Like, I can't believe that you've, you've like kept this secret

01:16:11   me this whole time. (laughs)

01:16:12   MATT: Well, I think it was one of those things where I meant to mention it to you and then

01:16:17   didn't, and then it was like, "Is this something that you'll just never find out about because you

01:16:21   don't use social media?" And the answer is yes. (laughs)

01:16:25   CB; And then it's funnier this way. (laughs)

01:16:27   MATT; Yeah. I've been working on this project for about six or seven months. Yeah, we've had

01:16:33   like six or seven Zoom calls with the group. And it's been really interesting to have this stuff

01:16:39   to share with people and it feels like it's like a it's a lot of responsibility you know because like

01:16:46   you kind of go into these things and you're like I feel like I have stuff to say like am I actually

01:16:53   helping these people right and it's something that like you know I've tried to keep small because

01:16:59   going into it I had no idea how much time it would take to help people go go through this kind of

01:17:06   a process. But you know I kind of feel like that there is an element of like

01:17:11   you've got to kind of be the change you want to see in the world and it felt

01:17:17   like to me the right thing for me to do. It was something I wanted to do to

01:17:25   help people out that wanted help. You're doing like group calls with everybody at

01:17:29   once that's what you're doing? Yes we have a group call once a month. And so

01:17:33   that's when you're giving the mic lecture? Yeah that's when the lectures

01:17:36   begin. And then...

01:17:38   [Laughter]

01:17:39   You're the professor of podcasting is what you are.

01:17:41   I guess so.

01:17:42   That's what you're doing in those situations. That is high stakes. Like honest to God, looking

01:17:48   at your prep time, like I can't believe you're able to do what you said, six or seven Zoom

01:17:53   calls? Like I would be so nervous having to be the professor of podcasting.

01:17:59   It was, it was, man, I was like, before the first one, like sick with nerves.

01:18:05   Oh, I bet.

01:18:07   And that's honestly like one of the reasons they became what I refer to them as like lectures is because when I get nervous like this I just can't stop talking.

01:18:15   So I went into the first one expecting to have more of a conversation, but I just couldn't stop myself talking.

01:18:25   And then over the following ones, it became more of a conversation, but I do go, I mean,

01:18:31   I go into them with like, I have this information that I want to give to you.

01:18:34   So I will talk through everything that I've prepared and then we can have a conversation about it.

01:18:39   And that sense would have been like the way that I have felt comfortable in giving this information out is like,

01:18:45   I have all this stuff locked away in my brain. I will share it with you.

01:18:49   And then hopefully that will spark a conversation or dialogue.

01:18:54   it does feel like a very different thing to add into the list.

01:18:58   Yeah, it's related to the fact that you've been a podcaster for 10 years, but it's a-

01:19:04   it's not a new project like it's a new podcast, it's a totally different thing.

01:19:09   And like, preparing even little lectures or trying to like prep what topic do you want to

01:19:16   talk about ahead of time, like, yeah, that's- that's- that's no joke, so congratulations on

01:19:22   getting that done and I and and also for keeping it from me for all of this time you sneaky sneaky mic

01:19:28   Aha! I've kept the secret! You never know what a mic's up to he's doing sneaky sneaky things

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01:21:25   I asked on the Cortex Witter account for people to send in some questions for us for a yearly

01:21:31   themes focused to ask Cortex in case there are people I know that are maybe starting

01:21:36   off on their yearly theme journey or have heard the episode, maybe it's their first

01:21:41   yearly themes episode and they're still trying to get their head around the yearly

01:21:44   theme they want to approach for the year. So got a lot of great questions and I thought

01:21:49   we could maybe tackle some of them before we finish the show today. First one comes

01:21:54   from Chris. What do you think about having several themes and what do you think about

01:21:59   stacking themes?

01:22:03   Stacking themes?

01:22:04   I saw this was like having themes that overlap.

01:22:08   Okay I mean like stacking seems fine if that's what that means over overlapping.

01:22:13   Yeah.

01:22:14   I feel like I am in a terrible place to make a comment about what do you think about having

01:22:19   several themes this year because like I have the theme where it's a coin and there's two

01:22:24   sides and but each side also has the long and short part of it like I'm in this weird

01:22:30   position where I'm not like four things going on at once.

01:22:33   I think it's maybe better in this instance for us to look into our past, right?

01:22:37   Because we've both had years that have had multiple themes in them.

01:22:40   Yeah, yeah.

01:22:42   I would say like, in general, the newer you are to themes, the stronger I would advise

01:22:53   towards one rather than several.

01:22:56   Or the, you know, the thing that we've also talked about, like sub themes, which is more

01:23:02   like an idea that relates to the main idea but I mean I don't know how you feel about

01:23:09   it Myke but I would be cautious about having two that are not related to each other. That's

01:23:17   sort of my thought about this.

01:23:18   Mykey - Yeah I think if you're gonna have multiple things that ideally should be some

01:23:23   kind of relation to them otherwise it's a real pro move. You've got to be experienced

01:23:30   of yearly themes to try and want to hold two of them at the same time.

01:23:33   Yeah and even with that like I'm cautious to even say like oh it's a pro move like oh

01:23:39   when you reach seventh Dan in themes you'll be able to tackle two at once.

01:23:44   I'm just I'm a little suspicious because I do think that there is some advantage to your

01:23:50   brain kind of can't keep two things going on in the background in this way that themes

01:23:56   are.

01:23:57   like the very light touchness of themes is beneficial for there to be like one.

01:24:04   So I'm just cautious about the several themes idea.

01:24:09   Marcia asks, "How much writing do you do about your themes?

01:24:13   We hear your thoughts about it, but how much do you write down?

01:24:17   How much gets put into your journals?"

01:24:18   I feel like you're the person to go for this one, Myke.

01:24:21   Yeah.

01:24:22   So when I'm coming up with my theme, I write a lot about it.

01:24:27   getting a lot of thoughts out and trying to really express everything, I will then

01:24:33   distill it. So one of the ways that I distill it is talking to you about it,

01:24:37   right? When I bring all of my thoughts to the show, it helps me kind of

01:24:43   process them and then what actually goes in my journal is a distilled version of

01:24:48   it. So kind of the theme is summed up in a couple of sentences and then I will

01:24:52   have like six bullet points as like these are the things that ladder up

01:24:56   under that. So I think that there is a lot of benefit in doing both, like really trying to

01:25:01   get everything written down somewhere and then you review it and try and distill it down to

01:25:08   some digestible phrases that I then write into my theme system journal.

01:25:14   So the theme system journal for you is the primary point.

01:25:19   Yeah.

01:25:19   It's interesting because, like, I think for me if we're talking about

01:25:24   where is it most often for me at top of mind is in my OmniFocus I often have a, like,

01:25:33   a folder which has the theme name and I'll sometimes put projects in there. So this is one

01:25:40   of the places where, depending on how actionable it is, I do try to sort out projects by, "Oh,

01:25:46   this is a year of clarity project or this is a year of less project.

01:25:50   Or I'll also just have reminders pop up for me in OmniFocus as like, this is

01:25:57   an item to think about because this is what you want to have your mind focused

01:26:03   on for like this particular theme.

01:26:05   It, and they can be, this is, this is a little dumb one, but it sort of relates

01:26:11   to the, like it's partly clarity is where it originally came from and it's also

01:26:16   related to the Spaceship U stuff, but so

01:26:19   when I'm looking at my to-do list, there's a little item at the top

01:26:23   which it's not a to-do, but it just says

01:26:27   "inside before outside" and

01:26:30   the idea that that's trying to remind me of is like, okay, you need to do your

01:26:36   core work of

01:26:38   writing and research which is like internally generated

01:26:44   before you start doing anything that's related to the outside world.

01:26:48   And so is that a to-do item?

01:26:51   No, it's not a to-do item at all, but it's, it's like a distillation of an idea

01:26:58   that if you do this in the reverse order, if you try to look at the outside stuff,

01:27:02   go on the internet, look at things.

01:27:05   I'm even cautiously including some kinds of research in this as like external

01:27:10   thoughts, if you try to do the outside stuff before the inside, it's like,

01:27:14   It never goes as well during the day.

01:27:16   So this is like a point to follow.

01:27:18   So I put some of those things on my own task list.

01:27:22   The second thing for me, which is a little different this year that I'm

01:27:27   trying to do as part of the, the year of the voyage is my journal use has

01:27:33   always been, I think what I've called tactical in the past, just, just like

01:27:38   my tactical coffee, nuclear weapons for going to conferences, my journal

01:27:44   use has always been, "Okay, I'm on a graycation or there's a specific period of time."

01:27:49   And it's like, I'm going to use the journal as a super focusing tool for

01:27:55   these three weeks and themes can be involved then. But what I'm trying to do with Year of the Voyage

01:28:05   is, again, thinking about it over the course of a year, I'm trying to extend this tactical use.

01:28:14   to a significantly longer timeframe.

01:28:18   And so I am doing the daily journaling and daily themes

01:28:24   with the idea that this is going to be over the course of the year.

01:28:29   And in my brain, this is the dumbest thing, but it has totally helped

01:28:33   and has made it consistent so far since the start of the year,

01:28:38   is transitioning it from like, "Oh, it's a journal!"

01:28:41   a journal and I know that I tactically journal, but now this is a completely different concept.

01:28:47   I have to enter the ship's log every day because I am completing this voyage over the

01:28:53   course of a year and it's not a question about am I tactically using this thing, it's

01:28:59   just no. Part of your job as captain of spaceship you is like you've got to fill out this

01:29:05   ship log and it has some questions about how well have you done on these various things.

01:29:10   So this is my mental reframing and attempt to make it like just a daily thing that becomes

01:29:20   a kind of non-optional daily thing in the same way that I was successfully able to turn

01:29:25   exercise into a non-optional daily thing.

01:29:28   It's like, yeah, yeah, Tactical Journal Use.

01:29:31   It's been great.

01:29:32   It has been literally life changing.

01:29:35   But if I'm expecting and planning for this upcoming year to be like another year of Spaceship

01:29:44   U, this is an element that is going to be part of that for the upcoming year.

01:29:50   So those are my thoughts on it.

01:29:53   Basically use a journal or have it somewhere else that you know you're going to be looking

01:29:58   at it recurrently.

01:29:59   BK asks, "How do you find words that speak to you? My theme for 2021 is 'year of later

01:30:07   becomes never'. This is an attempt to reduce procrastination, but it's a bit wordy."

01:30:12   It is a bit wordy. It's totally a bit wordy.

01:30:14   You can't really rally yourself around a phrase like that, I think.

01:30:17   Yeah, "year of later becomes never" is not great. It's like, you know, there's

01:30:24   rule for naming dogs, which is that you want a name that you're comfortable yelling loudly

01:30:30   across a park. You know, like, if you wouldn't yell a name loudly across a park, it's not a good

01:30:35   dog name. I feel like themes are a bit like, you should be able to yell it as a battle cry,

01:30:43   is the same kind of thing. And so, I look at something like "year of later becomes never."

01:30:48   I would translate that into something like "action", right?

01:30:52   "Year of action" is way more like battle cry-y than "year of later becomes never".

01:30:57   Now, I think "later becomes never" is an excellent little phrase, like if you are journaling or

01:31:06   you're writing out what you're thinking about the theme, that can reinforce like what do you mean

01:31:11   by action.

01:31:12   - It's part of the description.

01:31:14   - Yeah, like you've had the second act, right?

01:31:17   Like that's a phrase that kind of clarifies for you what do you mean by this.

01:31:22   So I mean the answer to how do you find words that speak for you is...

01:31:27   I think this is part of the question of like how do you find a theme is

01:31:37   you just have to have something in your mind that's like, okay, you know, I'm

01:31:42   trying to think about reducing procrastination and you just sort of

01:31:46   of have to sit with it for a while. I think it has to just brew in your mind for a little

01:31:58   while and you just kind of... something will come to you that is more concise if you keep

01:32:06   thinking about it. But you don't need to have a deadline for yourself of "Oh, I want to

01:32:14   start the journaling system right now, and so I need a name of a theme." It's like, "No, no,

01:32:18   it's okay. You can just have this on your mind and you can start working out, like,

01:32:23   what are you trying to do?" And I think in that process, you'll find something that- that speaks

01:32:31   to you that is more concise. But I think the- the action point here, or the actionable point here,

01:32:38   is that a concise title does not need to be fully descriptive. So don't fall into that

01:32:47   trap. I think if you've listened to Myke and I talk about our own themes, it's why we need

01:32:53   an episode and a half for both of us to fully explain what do we mean by these couple word

01:33:00   phrases.

01:33:01   Question from Thomas. I set my theme based on some goals I already had, then added more goals once I set the theme.

01:33:08   Am I doing this wrong? Or is thinking about what you want to accomplish first a good strategy?

01:33:14   This is exactly what I did this year though. Like I-

01:33:18   Okay.

01:33:18   There have been years where I've had the word or the idea before I've had the things that come from it.

01:33:24   And then there have been other years where I've had a selection of things.

01:33:28   and then when I look at them all together, I realize a common theme.

01:33:32   So I don't think it's necessarily wrong.

01:33:37   I would say it does tend to help with an overriding idea,

01:33:40   but sometimes if you just get all of your thoughts out there,

01:33:43   you can see there's a connection between them and then that can become the theme.

01:33:47   I think that that's a perfectly valid way of starting this process,

01:33:52   especially if you're new to it, I think.

01:33:54   Yeah, it's a funny question.

01:33:55   Like I wasn't actually really sure how to think about it at first, but I mean, I guess

01:34:01   in some ways I'm doing the same thing. I feel like I don't have very many explicit goals,

01:34:07   but like the themes often are the result of a question like, "What is it that I'm trying

01:34:15   to accomplish over the next year?" Which is another way of saying like, "What is it that

01:34:19   that I want to do.

01:34:21   Or actually, I do have actually an explicit example of this,

01:34:25   which is that this year and last year,

01:34:28   there has been an internal, like my company theme.

01:34:32   And that has been very explicitly like,

01:34:36   "Here are the goals.

01:34:38   What is the word to describe these goals?"

01:34:40   So for my company, like totally,

01:34:43   that's the way it's been done of like,

01:34:44   "Goals, goals, goals.

01:34:46   What's the word to describe these goals?"

01:34:48   So, um, then yes, I think that is a totally fine way to do it.

01:34:52   You're not doing it backwards or wrong.

01:34:54   Adam asks, well, Adam has an opening statement before the question,

01:34:58   but it's important for it.

01:34:59   Uh, I'm continuing my year of health.

01:35:01   I started getting in shape in mid 2020, thanks to cortex and themes.

01:35:05   I'm down 30 pounds for the first time of years, and I've held a consistent

01:35:08   workout routine and I'm eating better.

01:35:10   Congratulations.

01:35:11   Yeah.

01:35:12   Congratulations.

01:35:12   If that, if that is what you were like, this is clearly what you're going for.

01:35:15   and I hope that you're happy with the progress that you've had.

01:35:19   Like, a lot of it is like eating better, feeling better is the most important part.

01:35:23   The question is, when or how do you guys consider a theme to be done?

01:35:28   What do you think about that, Myke?

01:35:30   Sometimes I just change over because the year is a new year, right?

01:35:36   You know it's done because it's time to record your theme episode of the podcast.

01:35:40   Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

01:35:42   But there are, you know, there are things that I bring along with it if there's something that I feel like I haven't completed yet, you know, so like I will adapt something maybe

01:35:51   Understand what needs to be achieved from it and move it forward

01:35:56   Straight up there have been things where I was like I didn't do that

01:36:00   I was trying to do it for a year and I didn't do it. So i'm leaving it

01:36:03   Like i'm gonna leave this thing behind now

01:36:07   It was part of my yearly theme. It did not get achieved

01:36:12   if it was something that I had in my mind for an entire year and I couldn't make it happen then

01:36:17   I'm gonna let it go. This is maybe not a thing for me right now. But at the same time if you've

01:36:23   had a year and you're happy with the progress that you've made but you still want to continue working

01:36:28   on it keep it going. There was what was it year of order two that was something you did once I think

01:36:36   or was it comma me or something?

01:36:38   I don't remember.

01:36:40   (laughing)

01:36:42   - It was year of order and year of reorder.

01:36:44   - So what was, there was one,

01:36:45   there was a theme that you had,

01:36:47   which had a comma in it at one point.

01:36:49   - Look, I have this commas, there's parentheses,

01:36:52   there's two sides, there's always like a catch, right?

01:36:56   That's the way it works.

01:36:58   I think even the very first one,

01:36:59   which was the year of less,

01:37:00   it was like year of less brackets me.

01:37:02   There's always something like right from the beginning.

01:37:03   - That was it, it was,

01:37:04   I think it was year of less comma me.

01:37:07   I think that was the-

01:37:08   (laughing)

01:37:10   - Yeah, I think my thought on this is,

01:37:12   if you have had a theme and it hasn't panned out for a year,

01:37:17   like you feel like it hasn't worked well,

01:37:20   probably it's better to think about it in a different way.

01:37:26   And like, I'm the person who didn't do that

01:37:29   with year of order and year of reorder,

01:37:32   with I think mixed success out of the two of those.

01:37:36   So I think there's a way in which like,

01:37:38   if the theme isn't working for you for more than a year,

01:37:42   I would say don't keep pushing that rock up that hill.

01:37:45   Like that's not a great idea.

01:37:47   But I'm with Myke that if something is going well,

01:37:50   there's no reason to cut it short.

01:37:51   I would put it this way.

01:37:53   It's like a theme is done when you find yourself

01:37:58   thinking about the next one.

01:38:02   And I think that is, that is likely to occur when the current one either just

01:38:08   no longer applies because you have changed or the situation has changed, or it has

01:38:12   simply become part of your thinking.

01:38:15   Like I think about the themes a lot at these decision points.

01:38:20   I think it is a tool to help focus the way that you make decisions.

01:38:27   How are you going to spend your time?

01:38:28   What are you going to do in this moment?

01:38:30   and it can just become a background part of you, like it did for me with Year of Less, where

01:38:37   it's just a natural thought for me now always, like, do I need to be the person who does this

01:38:44   thing? And I don't need to constantly think about that anymore, it's just built into the way I make

01:38:51   decisions. So I think when you find yourself thinking about what the next one is going to be,

01:39:02   that's a sign that the theme is over. I guess I don't like the phrase "done" because "done" is

01:39:12   the kind of language you would use with a goal or a target. Or a resolution. Yes, or a resolution!

01:39:18   "Excellent, Myke."

01:39:19   Yeah, that's like,

01:39:20   "Why am I having such a hard time with this question?"

01:39:22   That's what it is.

01:39:23   It's like, "I don't like the language of done."

01:39:25   Done implies like a completed state.

01:39:28   And themes are more of these background processes,

01:39:33   high level general navigation stuff.

01:39:38   So they're useful while they are useful.

01:39:41   They're not completed states.

01:39:46   I want to share a selection of some of the themes that were sent into us as the

01:39:53   opportunity to help inspire people who may be looking for something for

01:39:58   themselves for this year.

01:40:01   Blake says, "I'm a week into my first yearly theme, the year of intention.

01:40:06   Intention is such a popular one.

01:40:07   I feel like every year I see a lot of people talking about this.

01:40:10   I'm hoping to use this year to turn off my autopilot and be more intentional

01:40:15   thoughtful with what I eat, how I spend my time, what I purchase, what I own, and the

01:40:19   words I choose and how they affect others.

01:40:21   Yeah, I always love that one.

01:40:23   I think I've mentioned it in years past, but I do feel like intentionality is just a great

01:40:29   starter theme.

01:40:31   It touches on everything, it makes you think about your life, it doesn't have to be towards

01:40:38   trying to specifically accomplish anything.

01:40:41   I always love intentionality as a theme, but perhaps that is because I am always fighting

01:40:47   the war on unintentionally and tracking my unintentional time.

01:40:51   So I love that one.

01:40:52   I'll always love Year of Intention or Intentionality as a theme.

01:40:55   AO: I think Year of Intention and Year of Less are like starter pack.

01:41:01   If you're struggling and one of those two, pay attention to what you're doing or do

01:41:06   less of what you're doing.

01:41:07   Like they're really great starters.

01:41:10   Brian is doing the Year of Discomfort.

01:41:13   Growth doesn't happen when you're comfortable

01:41:15   and I'm going to stop avoiding situations that scare me.

01:41:18   No bones about it.

01:41:20   This is more dark, I think, than yearly themes tend to be,

01:41:25   but I actually really liked it.

01:41:27   - It's not dark at all.

01:41:28   That's a very actionable one, right?

01:41:30   That's a great like clear decisions.

01:41:34   - A word like discomfort is not typically the type of word

01:41:39   that we see in yearly themes, but I very much like it.

01:41:44   I think there's a lot of interesting stuff in there,

01:41:47   but it is definitely in sound different

01:41:51   to the type of thing that we would normally see, right?

01:41:54   - Yeah, okay, I get what you mean.

01:41:56   I like it because when you've talked about themes

01:41:59   being north stars, what this immediately makes me think of

01:42:02   is a book I know I've mentioned in passing on the podcast,

01:42:05   which is "The War of Art,"

01:42:07   which is talking about the creative process and how you can use your own resistance to doing

01:42:15   something as the compass that points toward what should you be doing. So I really like Year of

01:42:23   Discomfort because it has that same attribute of you know when you're feeling discomfort,

01:42:33   So it can really highlight, is this a moment when you want to try to grow and push out of your

01:42:40   comfort zone? Because you're not going to not know when you're uncomfortable. And, and like,

01:42:46   so I really like that one. I like that one a lot.

01:42:48   Brandon, my yearly theme is Year of the Muscle rather than starting new things like hobbies or

01:42:54   activities and working out muscles I currently have physically, mentally, and getting better

01:42:59   at my existing hobbies. Oh, interesting. That's not where I was expecting it to go.

01:43:03   go from here. Neither was I, which is why I included it because I loved it because it

01:43:07   really threw me out. I was like, "Oh, Brandon wants to get swole this year." It's like,

01:43:11   "Oh, maybe that's part of Brandon's focus, but that isn't all it is." I like that. That's

01:43:18   a nice twist on your muscle. Nijali says, "My yearly theme is one, focus on becoming

01:43:27   proficient at one thing at a time. I have lots of new stuff being thrown at me this

01:43:31   year and focusing on one tool, one method is helping me do my job and keep my sanity.

01:43:36   Oh yeah that's that's another great one I like that I like that a lot.

01:43:41   Don't do too many things at once. Also is something I struggle with too many things at once

01:43:47   year of one is a is a good good theme I like it a lot.

01:43:51   Graves says 2021 is my year of connectivity. Quarantine and lockdown calls me to not reach

01:43:57   out to friends and family as much, but I'd like to reconnect and make more connections

01:44:01   in a safe way as I move into the workforce.

01:44:04   Also another theme that I think perhaps very many people can feel like might be a nice

01:44:10   thing to do this year.

01:44:11   Yeah, it's definitely a 2021 theme that one.

01:44:15   Marianne is working on the year of balance.

01:44:17   Too much stress on social media, too much bad food, too much TV.

01:44:21   I want to consider other thoughts, add in a few constructive activities and allow for

01:44:24   more calming walks rather than 10k run or nothing attitudes.

01:44:29   Lewis That's a really good way to put it.

01:44:32   Chill walks versus 10k all or nothing.

01:44:34   I like that.

01:44:35   I like that.

01:44:36   Matt Yeah, I like that phrase too because it's

01:44:37   like allow yourself to do some calm stuff rather than like if this isn't perfect I'm

01:44:41   not even going to bother.

01:44:43   Lewis Yeah, that's good.

01:44:45   Matt And Lewis says, "My theme for 2021 is the

01:44:48   year of novelization.

01:44:50   Firstly, and most importantly, I want 2021 to be the year I finally finish writing a

01:44:56   novel, but I also want to try branching out into new creative directions, maybe trying

01:45:00   streaming or making other game videos.

01:45:03   >> That's interesting.

01:45:04   I think it's a, it's a little more like actiony and goally

01:45:09   than I'd like themes to be.

01:45:11   But you know what?

01:45:13   People have the novel inside of them and we can all be

01:45:18   the authors of our own lives.

01:45:19   So good luck to everyone with your themes in 2021.