H.I. No. 3: Four Light Bulbs

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"Four Light Bulbs"
Hello Internet episode
Episode 3 on the podcast YouTube channel
Episode no.3
Presented by
Original release dateFebruary 11, 2014 (2014-02-11)
Running time50:40
Episode chronology
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"Copyright Not Intended"
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"Feedback on Feedback"
List of Hello Internet episodes

"H.I. #3: Four Light Bulbs" is the third episode of Hello Internet, released on February 11, 2014.[1]

Official Description[edit | edit source]

Brady & Grey talk work / life balance.

Show Notes[edit | edit source]


Other[edit | edit source]

Fan Art

Grey: There we go!

Brady: You've been practicing, I can tell.

Grey: [laughs] I have, I have. All today I was like "don't blow it, don't blow it".

[HI theme]

Brady: So I have learned my lesson from last time, and I realize we have to start with follow up from episode two.

Grey: Yes.

Brady: But how can we- again, we've got the same problem as last time, haven't we?

Grey: Yes, but we- but we also have the same benefit as last time, which is: I have edited the audio and have been displeased. Uh, so-

Brady: I don't think that's ever going to change, but go on then, what were you displeased with from episode two?

Grey: Yeah. So episode two, we talked about copyright and I opened by saying how I found my own copyright YouTube video,- the argument was unconvincing to me at the end.

Brady: Yes.

Grey: And, I think if you- you know, I'm imagining because these still haven't gone live, we haven't gotten feedback, but I'm imagining that if someone is- is hearing that, they're then expecting that I'm going to blow them away with a rock-solid hour-long thesis that is like the perfect convincing argument for why copyright has to be limited, and I think the last show was not that at all. I listened- I listened to me and I thought "I'm still not convinced by what I have just said".

Brady: Well, maybe you're just not completely clear on your position, you know, there's nothing wrong with that, you're just kind of a bit in the wilderness.

Grey: See, that makes me angry just to even hear you say that, because-

Brady: [laughs]

Grey: [laughs] While- while- while I am very open to changing my mind, I know what my position is on this, and I'm just continually frustrated by my seeming inability to articulate a clear consistent message on why copyright should be limited. So,-

Brady: So what, are we going to like, do the copyright video again, now? Sorry,-

Grey: No.

Brady: -are we going to do the copyright podcast again now? What are- what are-

Grey: No, no. [laughs]

Brady: You're just having bit of a winge that you're not happy with yourself.

Grey: My follow up is: Convincing this of previous podcast, I'm giving that a thumbs down. I'm- that is- that is a follow up: I am not impressed by my own argument, again, on this same topic. Um, so I wanted to just follow that up and get that-

Brady: So anyone listening to episode three before they've listened to episode two, you're basically saying "don't listen to episode two".

Grey: No, no, do listen to episode two, right? Because, I want you to listen to it, and then maybe we'll figure out some sort of feedback form, hear what people have to say about it. I would be curious for feedback, because this is, uh, this is a totally different format, right? This isn't- I'm just sort of showing up and- and we're talking about stuff, and it's not super prepared, so I'm- I'm very curious to see how people react to this. And since this is our third episode and probably the last before it goes, uh, public,-

Brady: Yeah.

Grey: -I would be very interested to hear what people have to say about the first three in particular, so...

Brady: Brilliant.

Grey: OK, second- second piece a follow up for me,-

Brady: Yeah.

Grey: -also about copyright,-

Brady: Yeah.

Grey: -is I did the same thing again, which is I said something that I didn't mean to say, and listening to me say it in the audio is incredibly frustrating. So first time I- I- I- called the Economist newspaper the Economist magazine,-

Brady: Yeah.

Grey: -and in this one, something that really bothers me is, when you talk about, uh, we were talking about newspapers taking our videos and uploading them to other people's sites,-

Brady: Yeah.

Grey: -and I use- the word I used to describe that was "stealing".

Brady: Right.

Grey: And I try so hard not to use the word "stealing", because I- I don't think that that- that is a fair word to use. That is a more harsh word than what it really is. Um, you know, it should be "infringement".

Brady: [chuckles]

Grey: They infringed on my videos.

Brady: [chuckles]

Grey: But- but in the- in the heat of the moment, it's so hard not to say "stealing" even though if I was- if I was writing an article or I was writing a script for a video, I would never let that slip in there, I would never say stealing.

Brady: But isn't that just because you're being a bit like, wishy-washy and, like, when you hear in- policemen interviewed on the news they never say "the robber ran away", they always say "the suspected offender decamped in an easterly direction". Like, aren't you just being a bit soft, I mean, is it not actually stealing?

Grey: I think it isn't stealing, right? Because, if we're- if we're having like a hierarchy of crimes, stealing is a worse thing than infringement, because "stealing" implies that the newspaper not only copied my video, but they also took money right out of my wallet, and in "infringement" means that, you know, because of their use of my video, I may have lost out on earnings from those- those views, right?

Brady: Hmm.

Grey: Or from licensing fees,-

Brady: Mm-kay...

Grey: -but that's different from actually, like I'm minding my own business, and suddenly I'm down money because of their actions. Um, so that's why- I think- I really do think it's- it's- because copyright is kind of getting everywhere, right? You know, it- it affects more parts of technology, I think- I feel like it is important to try to establish in- "infringing" as a word to use to describe a particular kind of activity. It is not stealing, it's not the same. So,-

Brady: OK.

Grey: -that was- that was my second point.

Brady: OK. I uh, I-

Grey: Are you bullied?

Brady: -that is clarified.

Grey: Are you bullied into it?

Brady: That- that is clarified, um, you know, I think you're being a bit overly cautious but, you know, that's one of your defining qualities, so-

Grey: Mm-kay. and then-

Brady: -I'm comfortable with that,-

Grey: All right.

Brady: -and you've made your case.

Grey: Yes, thank you.

Brady: That's two bits- anymore feedback?

Grey: Well, uh, I don't have- this next one's not exactly feedback, but I want to tell you that I took your recommendation, and-

Brady: Mm-hmm.

Grey: -I watched "The People vs George Lucas".

Brady: Ooh, yeah, oh, give me a quick review?

Grey: Quick review I would say: It is enjoyable, but it is also terribly uncomfortable to watch, because it might strike a little too close to home. Um, you know, because it's- it's these interviews of people who are getting really obsessed with Star Wars, and who were really nerding out over a whole bunch of details, and... watching that kind of thing, it just makes me feel like "Do I look that ridiculous when I get upset about this? I too have gotten into, like, heated arguments over midi-chlorians", and the way the film is edited-

Brady: [chuckles]

Grey: -like it's- it's edited in a way to make it seem really comical,-

Brady: Yeah.


Grey: -and that's why it's also sort of uncomfortable to watch, is because, like, I'm seeing the person on- on- on- on the film talking about how midi-chlorians just change the whole nature of the Star Wars universe and they're really earnest you know but it it is cuts to be a funny movie. So that's why I would say it's it's really uncomfortable to watch but also also in Dr. I said I'm not sure that something I mean it's been a while since I watched and watched highly sure I agree I mean there are a few people who I guess are having fun poked at them when they when they go really over the top and you know dress up as Chewbacca to go to the movies and but I don't always think those people that are really passionate about the film and talk about Mad Koreans and all that. I kind of think maybe so myself and I didn't mind so much but. Two points. It's an interesting point. Yeah I definitely I enjoyed it and I'm glad for the recommendations but I would say that it was it was similar to the Trekkies documentary is this the same kind of thing but for Eric Wright I haven't watched that one yet maybe that's my homework. Yeah I would recommend it. I would recommend it but for me it's that same kind of like enjoyable but slightly uncomfortable because maybe it hits a little too close to home. But anyway so that was I was a little thing I want to follow up on. Thank you for the recommendation. Grange great you have to watch that Bobby Fischer chess one I've been recommending to you but I'll say that as homework another day is on my list as I was talking mentors to watch. Great follow up is that it. Yeah I think that I think that that's up at this time. That's that's good but I don't think I have too much follow up I have. I have listened to a podcast number two and that I think I have any follow up. What to pay to stop listening and complaining and then decide what to do. This episode is brought to you by Squarespace the all in one platform the makes it fast and easy to create your own professional web site portfolio or online store for free trial and ten percent off go to squarespace dot com and use the offer code hello internet. That's hello internet. All one word. I'm really happy to have Squarespace sponsoring this episode of the show because I have been using Squarespace for years I used to go to all the trouble of building my own web site by hand typing code into the keyboard and keeping it updated and live and it was just such a hassle. Eventually realize that I couldn't spend the time learning how to be basically my own web developer so I spent a while looking at different web hosting services and tried them out and Squarespace was the best by far. They basically took a huge amount of work off my hand I don't have to worry about up time or any of the kinds of headaches that come with running my own web site. It just works all the time. So if anyone ever asks me about starting their own website I without hesitation point them to square space just a couple of the reasons are. First they have a ton of great themes that you can use and they're very easily customizable so you can tweak it to look just however you want. And once you've done that kind of like magic it also just looks great on mobile devices to where websites can tend to just look awful if they haven't been designed for it. Square space just handles all of that for you automatically so you can go to hello internet dot F.M. Which of course I'm running on Squarespace and it'll look just fine on an i Phone which would not be the case if I was making it myself. They also have a great drag and drop editors so when you're building your own Web site you can just pull in images and movies from your desktop and put them wherever you want and resize them and it just is so easy and if you run into any trouble they have just an amazing support team that works twenty four hours a day seven days a week. I want to send an e-mail at six A.M. London time which is the middle of the night America time. I can still count on getting a response amazingly fast if you're thinking at all about starting your own website. Seriously I cannot recommend Squarespace enough. And it's so cheap. It starts at just eight bucks a month which is frankly ridiculous for how much you get for that amount of money and if you sign up for a year they throw in a free domain name as well. If you have any hesitation you can just go to square space and sign up for a free trial no credit card required just begin to build your website immediately and see how it would look and when you decide to sign up for Squarespace which you will just make sure that you use the offer code. Hello Internet so that they know you came from this pod cast and you get ten percent off. So again I want to thank Squarespace for their support. Square space it's everything you needed to create an exceptional website. What are we talking about what what what what's on your mind. So today I think the thing that I kind of want to talk about and this might be very scatterbrained So what we'll see how it goes. But the thing that I want to talk about is something that has been sort of loosely on my mind for the past two and a half maybe three years and it is the notion of work life balance class balance. Yeah I am. I must say this scares me because I'm not a good person to talk to about work life balance. I mean I'm I'm notoriously by those around me I think I'm very bad at this I think talking to me about where life balance is is like talking to the Cookie Monster about healthy eating and I know I'm not good in this area. You feel that your your work life balance is unbalanced. It is severely unbalanced in favor of work really. Yes. How many videos have you put up on You Tube I think it's getting towards about two thousand. It is a lot it is a lot of video and how many I have to preface this with. It active how many active channels which you say you have that active really active ones. It's about half a dozen but I do have a debt I don't have a bad Doesn't that I think pop videos and I'm bringing a couple back to life in a moment. But anyway yeah I have I have a lot of things on the go but you know that's not why I have a bad work life balance I think if I had just one You Tube channel I would probably have a bad work life but you think it would make no difference. You were just there there would be two thousand videos on that single channel of the supposed to spread it spread across a half dozen Quite possibly I think I mean I think I work a lot because I enjoy it a lot. But anyway. Do you have a good work life balance. So my answer to this is also no but I'm I'm I'm coming at this from the perspective of I think that the whole notion of work life balance is kind of feel good B.S. I'm I I don't think that this is an achievable thing in the way most people mean it when they're talking about work life balance. You're going to have to elaborate. OK. So I think very often when people are talking about work life balance they're kind of talking about you know having it all right you have this this great personal life that is fulfilling with family and friends and activities and hobbies and you are also a person who is excelling in your job right you're doing great work. And I think that people like to talk about work life balance and trying to achieve work life balance because that it is an amazing ideal. It's like the platonic ideal of what you want your life to be. But I think that that scuttles to the side difficult decisions that have to be made about. Now you're going to spend your time and your energy so that that that is the kind of basis of the argument that I kind of want to make today. So I'm trying to be sure to be clear here you are are you talking about the amount of time you dedicate to work versus your life or how successful you can be at one you know you can either be a rubbish friend and family member and a brilliant new chamber a bit of a media to You Tube or and a family friend man. I lay out my analogy partly because this came up with another You Tuber who we know recently and a lot of times people start out sort of not believing me on this and then by the end they can sometimes can convince themselves I want to lay this out and my the analogy that I make is this right let's you know you as a human are able to produce a certain amount of energy and activity sort of like a motor and just for simplicity and math sake let's say that your output is one hundred watts of effort at any particular time. Yeah. And I think that basically the whole scope of human activity falls into the four possible categories that are before you like for one hundred watt light bulbs. OK. And those four light bulbs are labeled family friends health and work. OK And so from my perspective I really truly believe that this analogy is basically true that you have a hundred watts of power that you need to make decisions about how you're going to distribute them across all four of these light bulbs. And so you can have all four of them on at twenty five watts each which is not really great for any of them in particular. Or you can start making decisions about where do you. We want to either focus your energy and then of course that also means making harsh uncomfortable decisions about where you're going to cut from these various light bulbs so that yeah that's that is that is my kind of my kind of statement and I often get people arguing against me that that that's not true at all. To go with that analogy the the criticism I think that would be made of me is as follows. There are people in my life a belief that I should devote my my motor to my work. Lightbulb. Ten hours a day and have it Sean brought into everything I can and then switch that off completely and switch on those other light bulbs and stop worrying about them. But if you have a poor work life balance you are never willing to switch off that work like the hope and that's my problem I can never switch that live off whether I'm just thinking about it I'm thinking about what I want to do tomorrow how I want to change a video or I'm sneakily checking You Tube comments and things like that. So I'm happy to go with your lightbulb and note that I think my definition of work life balance is not how much Gulotta give H.B.O. It's just should you switch certain bulbs off at certain times. Why it is that what you're saying he's saying to us which these ones are for and it sounds like you're more saying I'm going to have my work shining seventy five percent and my family wanted ten percent and that is apparently at these levels as yet host to switching them on and off but this goes to one of your videos that we were talking about the sort of the sum of an infinite series and they have an infinite series of ones and zeroes right that you take the average of that is serious. Yes as I was called and there is yes. OK And Thompson's length is also the analogy. OK tonsils. Look it up on the edge that people are not in the file. Preferably Yes I'm sorry I'll record that now and I don't know a number of people don't use the Internet go to you know dot com slash number five hundred. Exactly as a fan. So the way I'm going to get around your argument about the switching of the motors thing is I'm just going to project a typical week as an infinite series of weeks and reduce your switching to an average if you see what I'm saying right so OK you know you are spending one hundred percent of your eight hour day on work and one hundred percent of the eight hours after work on a family that averages out to be fifty fifty that gets on I'm doing away with your one hundred percent of a thing in a particular time. It is very difficult sometimes to let go of work in moments when you should. Yeah right that is that is not an easy task to do and I have definitely come across that as well. It's it's impossible to watch T.V. With my wife and not to some extent be thinking about potential things that I could do in video or if we're watching something even moderately interesting I could maybe this could be a video and then you're not fully there and it's hard to be present. Absolutely one hundred percent of the time. So my argument is that even if you even if you could make a switch between fifty percent work in the day fifty percent family at night. If you are choosing a fifty fifty distribution and now you have allocated zero percent to friends and zero percent to health. Yeah right. So you still have to. You still you have to do this negotiation between views for areas and I think it is it is uncomfortable to try to think about your time and attention in these ways because nobody wants to give up on any of those categories. But I think I think. It is best to make really clear decisions about what are you going to try to do. How much are your friendships worth to you. How much is your family worth to you how much is worth work work worth to you and make decisions about that. And I guess one of the reasons why it's it is just been on my mind in particular this month is because I've been really aware that for basically the past two years my health light bulb has been at literally zero nothing at all done in the realm of health and that was a very conscious decision when I was starting my You Tube career like I was actually thinking about it in terms of these four categories and I had discussions with my wife about it and it was like we're just going to kind of ignore the health one while we're in this sort of rocky transition to self employment. So you kind of said to yourself you know I'm not I'm going to not eat well or X. or You know I exercise and you made a conscious decision to stay and let things go away from you just sort of said I'm doing you know I'm going to be unhealthy that that is exactly right. That was that's extraordinary isn't it. But I mean I am unhealthy I am that person so I always tell myself I'm not going. OK OK right. But so this is this is exactly what I am. I'm very interested in sort of the science around decision making and cognition. And there's a lot of evidence that points to those kinds of thoughts in the back of your mind that sort of like feeling guilty that you are not acting in a healthy way that that really erodes decisionmaking in other areas over a long period of time and so I can honestly say that it was kind of it was kind of a liberating experience to be able to say. Look I'm just going to this lightbulb is going off at some point in the future we're going to reevaluate that situation. And for me that is now this time you realize this isn't a good thing that I look like. Like deciding to do something that's bad doesn't make it good for you so you can make you make it sound like a crazy person. You are the one making the venom not me not my regular lineup. What I mean is is that I was I was choosing not to feel guilty about a lack of exercise or particular food choices. I wasn't making a positive decision that said you know chocolate cake every day all day. Right that's a different kind of thing. But if if I was just grabbing like some junk food for a snack I wasn't going to feel guilty about that. And but that doesn't stop those calories going in your body or developing or white going on you know not at all right. I totally agree right and that is that is like a consequence that has to be paid for a particular decision. Yeah. And also over roughly the past two years so we're talking like my huge career I would say that my. A friend light bulb has been turned down to maybe like five percent of energy which is shamefully low and I feel guilty about not having spent enough time with people that I would want to spend time with and also my wife what my wife lightbulb has been lower than it should have been right sort of the family light bulb. Yeah but that was all because I was putting a lot of energy into the work and I honestly don't think if I hadn't made the conscious decisions to take her. I'm down putting energy into these other areas and not feeling guilty about it. I'm not sure that I would have been successful on You Tube in the necessary time frame and I don't think that my decisions are necessarily good advice for generally for people to take right on. I'm not sitting here and advocating everybody should put all of their energy into work but I was in a particular situation where I Needed You Tube to become self-sustaining within a particular period of time and I don't think if I had divided my mental and physical energy across a whole bunch of fields that that would have happened in the right time frame. OK that is kind of my thought but I'm not. My point is that I think under certain circumstances it is helpful to think about things in a very conscious very deliberate way and to eliminate guilt in other areas of your life. If you need to focus on one area very intensely. Well I'm not buying that you're not buying it tell me want to buy. Well I understand the logic of what you're saying and it sounds familiar to some things that I say in my life you know I often make the argument that my obsession with work is the reason I've enjoyed a modicum of success with my work and that's kind of what you're saying you're saying you know because I've devoted so much energy to work I've become more successful. But I think deciding not to be guilty about neglecting important things doesn't change the fact you are neglecting them and when you neglect things you hum them. Yes So if you have a car and you decide not to service or to pour oil in or anything for a while but you make. A conscious decision not to feel bad about that. That doesn't mean that eventually the engine is not going to seize up and the car will break and I think if you neglect your health or you neglect your relationships just because you're not feeling guilty about it doesn't mean you're not damaging them and I think that is what people like us should bear in mind and I find this very funny because I often have conversations like this with fellow You Tube is when I see how obsessive they are and I say you know what you should think about the other aspects of your life and the funny thing is I then don't practice what I preach and I'm probably the worst offender preaching preaching is not going to do the processing. So I don't think I'm being highlighted is one of the not I but I think I think what I just said I think just because just because you're conscious of that neglect and you've made a decision to neglect it doesn't mean that neglect couldn't be harmful. Do you disagree. No I completely agree and it's one of the areas where I think that analogy with light bulbs doesn't pan out perfectly because I can't I can't remember where I first heard this analogy but talking about interpersonal relationships as kind of like bank accounts in the sense that you know if you spend time with someone you're kind of investing into this friendship bank account and there may be times when you're not available or you're not being a good friend and you can kind of draw to some extent on those previous investments. But at some point the bank account runs out right and then it is a redeemable at that point right you reach like friendship bankruptcy. Yeah. And so I I am totally with you on this. I agree and I think that part of making hard decisions in life is coming to grips with areas in your life which you're sort of willing to possibly have damage happen. And that's why when I was focusing mainly on You Tube You know I'm going to probably through the course of conversation have a bunch of numbers that don't add up to one hundred percent. But but let's let's just say that basically like eighty percent of my effort was on work and sort of twenty percent was on family you know because right I I am very happy with my marriage and not willing to risk long term damage to the marriage. Yeah right and so that lightbulb can't be zero because that like that is consequences that I'm not willing to accept. But in a in a period where I have a lot of a lot of things that need to get done in a limited amount of time and energy to do them if I'm not willing to make any sacrifices on the family side of things and I need to have an enormous amount of energy into the work side of things. Something has to get cut. And that's that's where I sort of find this this analogy is useful and in the thing precisely the thing you sayings vs the thing that you think is the impossible dream is to be hugely successful at work and maintain those other. The aspects of life. Hugely successful is what yeah to the best friend in the world to the best has been in the world to be a rich athlete with incredible Six-Pack and making the best videos in the whole world. Yeah it's physically impossible to do everything. I honestly think that that is the case now that there are some people who have great success in very many fields and I'm always very interested to read about people who have become successful and what they get up to. But I think that that is that is definitely the case you can't be the best friend in the world all of your friends and the best husband and the best at work. An incredibly healthy all the same time. Yeah of course you can't that's what's called balance work life balance right as you decide how much weight to apportion to the different things right. But I guess I guess what I'm saying is that apportioning equal balance to all things ends up in kind of mediocre results in all of them. Yeah and I think that that is totally fine. Right I do not begrudge anyone who says I twenty five across the board. I think that is a totally reasonable decision that you think it leads to mediocrity. I think it is very hard to be exceptional if if you are dedicating equal energy across the board. But I also think that that's that is perfectly reasonable to do. You know it's you know it's just a very I think people should just be aware of the decisions that they're making. Right and so if you if whatever the field of work that you're in if you want to try to be incredibly successful at that field you're going to have to make in the beginning difficult decisions about what other parts of your life or you're going to cut. And I get. I don't know if it's frustrated but when people talk about you know wanting to do something but not not recognizing or not being willing to give up other areas of their life that's that's sort of frustrating for me to observe and I think that that thinking about those areas very consciously is helpful. Right. You know if if you're not willing to make the sacrifices then I think you should also not feel guilty about not doing whatever it is you want to do right becoming an Olympic skier. Don't feel guilty that you're not working on your Olympic skiing if you've made like a twenty five percent across the board decision for how to allocate your energy. No pain no gain. Yeah I guess so but I like this decision matrix I like no pain no gain is vague right. Like no nurse this isn't matrix is really specific and easy to understand here. Here's a board here's some dials if you want to turn up any of the one dial all the other dials turn down right now to decide where you're going to go with that. And again as it has been on my mind this month in particular because I do I do feel like I have finally gotten to the stage where I can turn down my business dial a little because I need to turn the health dial back up and I have been very aware of that this month where. He's now sort of changed my diet to try to be healthier and I've taken out more time to exercise. He joined a gym. Well actually I have I have yes I have joined a gym is the short answer is this the first time you've ever joined a gym. No it is not the first time I ever joined a gym because I used to join a gym and then feel badly about not going and prior very very prior to my You Tube career I used to have a more across the board setting of my priorities and I used to like cycle around London all the time and I used to have no engaging hobbies unlike all of that just went away. You know as as You Tube took up more and more time so when you would like that when you were more across the board were you happy. OK that's a difficult question to answer because the straight up answer is yes but I can also say that I was always trying to do additional work on the side which might be something that we talk about more in detail in the future but I had like a number of little side businesses that I was trying all through my professional life. And you know I was I was dedicating to them perhaps an insufficient amount of time to make them successful and they weren't. And that's because I was busy going around London on my photography hobby right taking pictures of all kinds of stuff like if you look me up on flicker like you can see a record of all of these pictures that I took and then you can see that it just abruptly stops. And that's and that's partly because I just have not had time or energy for photography hobby. Now that you've tweeted us. Yeah you know for this past couple years you've been you choose I'm ashamed. I hear yeah. I would say that I am I would say without a doubt I would rather be where I am now and having to kind of claw back some of the damage that was caused from ignoring my health for a while then be where I was before with a more even balance across the board. You are a man of science that a man of logic. Surely you don't think it is a good way to live to neglect your body for two years and then fix your body up and neglect something. Surely you must see that that's not the ideal way to operate. I think I see the problem there is with your your word ideal and I like I totally agree. I would rather have the level of fitness that I had five years ago. Then the level of fitness that I have now. But I am realistic and I think that I would not be where I am today if I had not made decisions about sacrificing time particularly in health. You know and also when the friends category. Right. But ideally I would not want to do that like I sit here today and I can say that I am like genuinely sad that some friends that I used to be in touch with more that I'm not in touch. It's now and that's a very hard thing to ever fix. But I guess the ideal test for the thesis you are putting to us today is to look at the most successful people in the world and say that a fat divorced and have no friends. That is an excellent question because on that because on the same as you and because I have you know I neglected my health and relationships because of my obsession with work. I kind of justify it the same way you do and I say well any success I've had is because of it and I don't know if you if you spent two hours a day or less thinking about work or switched off your computer earlier and went out with your mates and went for a run would you not be successful. Really this gets into some complicated things about the nature of work and the kind of work that I think we do in that that many people who are self employed do it necessitates that that particular lightbulb is turned up higher than it would normally be. Yeah. And so I agree with that. I agree with that. You know for example I have spoken with a number of friends who are not self employed and the general consensus of what everybody loves about the job is that when the workday is over they don't care anymore. Yeah it doesn't matter. They don't have to think about it anymore because they'll go in tomorrow and then the work will be there and they and they are paid to work a particular period of time and then days over and it doesn't matter anymore and that's a huge psychological relief that you give up if there is theoretically always something more that you can be doing. And the other thing those people forget is like I have a lot of friends that work in. Tell me how stressful that is. But if the camera breaks that's someone else's job to fix and if we're not to go out and if the computer stops working that's the I.T. Department and someone else does this and but when you work on your own and everything is your problem. Yeah and those problems never go away. Yeah this is again first world problems rather well so we are one people businesses. But my my point is that you know I don't know exactly where this number is but I think if you are a one person business of any kind in order to keep that running I don't think you know just to pick a number that the work lightbulb can ever be below fifty watts. Right it can't be below sort of half your energy no matter what you do because everything is your responsibility you know in a one person business so one thing I want to come back to this analogy and I know I know that at the start and then you pulled a grandee series on me in coming back would may have it but the thing I think is the debate to be had for people like us is can do we switch the bulb off. Do we switch the work of seven pm or eight pm and switch to the wife you know your wife Bob on all your friends album. And can you ever turn that work bulb off because that's the thing that's put to mail all the time by my math the critics in my life it's not that I work too much. In fact said to me I work more hours if you want to wake up early or work like I don't mind but have a stop time and partly that's for maintenance of your relationships and your friendships and your health. Isn't that the argument that's put to me again I'm making other people's I don't know here is that doing that is good for your workers well it gives you kind of a refresh that's healthy to stop thinking about work for a while and when you're talking about these light bulbs you know I'm sort of imagining even when you're at the movies with with me to see G.P. Greyer. In mates at the pub that your work will be stewed dimly on you know ten watts and the thing I think may be healthy is switch that powerful together if you can. Well I think the thing that I'm about to say you will sympathise with which is that I do not really have the ability to do that at this stage. Yeah right I I am not quite able to do that. I'm I'm going to guess I'm going to make a guess about a personality here but I'm going to guess that you are not a person who plays video games. I am not OK today many years ago but I just can't get into them anymore. That's true. Yeah so I'm still the person who plays video games. OK And IMO I am very much aware that one of the reasons why I do still like to play video games is that it's one of the very few activities where I can say that I'm genuinely not thinking about work. I will play and it is totally absorbing and I feel like I don't have. Any kind of work thoughts going on in the background and that that is enjoyable and is one of the reasons why I don't have benches on Reddit in a few places but almost always a day or two after I release a video which is always a huge push at the very end to get that done. I basically take two days and I'm not doing anything I'm just going to sit here on this computer and just play a game you know for the next day or two like this is this is my weekend now and I have to like reset my brain. OK but I find that the no other activity would do that even if I preferred that it would you know if if I took like a mini holiday with the Mrs I would still be kind of thinking about you know what are all the comments that are coming in where did it get linked to how is it being received. God what's the next thing going to be the next thing right which is always a huge concern of course now the very irony of this this whole situation is that the games that I play. Most all of variation of some kind of work simulator I do not play like a first person shooter games but I play a game that's in the same category right here in the G.P. Grew the bigger the game where you have to make a You Tube video before time runs out. Yeah it's like you know Sim City you are the MER right. Or symbolisation you're in charge of this whole civilization now micromanage a hundred cities right. Or the one I've been playing recently which is very good I recommend is prison architect and like you're in charge of a prison right. You have it it is very good. When I found recently is very engaging. But that's my only escape from thinking about work to some extent at any time is basically by playing a virtual work game which I am sort of aware is is a strange thing to do but it really does it just it like it absorbs that part of my brain completely and like here's some pretend work. Go play with that and that's the only kind of way that I can get a break from thinking about my actual work to some extent all the time. Let me ask you this and I have to if it's too personal just tell me but it begs the question and those around you you know family friends loved ones and all that. What did they think about your work life balance. So I would say speaking on behalf of my wife. She is a great woman and I think there is there is no way that I could have gotten through this sort of period of trying to become self employed and working on You Tube if it wasn't for her incredible understanding and I am very lucky that I married a woman who is very perfectly happy with time to herself and also is really aware of needing to to kind of leave me be at certain very intense work. Periods so for a sort of reference it earlier but whenever a video comes out the sort of three or four days prior to that are the busiest I ever am because I'm just doing all the animation and those are huge and this is this is not an exaggeration. Those are usually four days of I wake up and I'm animating or editing the audio until I fall asleep and I sort of do that four days in a row and my wife knows she's just not going to see me during those times and if she does see me I'm not a very chatty person. Yeah and she's OK with that and I think if I had if I had married somebody else I think that could be really bad for a relationship over the long run. So I I think it depends a lot on who you surround yourself with and some people are going to be OK with kind of disappearing for long periods of time and sometimes it's not OK And I think I probably I don't want to get into too in specifics but like one of the more difficult times was that I usually spend the summers with my parents in North Carolina. So I go to the states and I visit them. And this last summer the whole suburb will project my sort of fund raising project. Yeah. They happened to coincide with the time that I was spending with my family you know for a dedicated several weeks. There's a big overlap in the Venn diagram. Yeah and normally you know my parents don't live here and so I'm very glad and I feel very fortunate that I can go see them for several weeks at a time but that stubble period just happened to be an incredibly intense period of work. Yeah that just soaked up all of my time and so I was in a I was in America you know maybe it was for for six weeks and you know four and a half five of those weeks I was not really available to the people around me. And again my parents are great. They sort of they understand but that's that is a totally difficult time because in my mind it's like OK we're here I'm supposed to be turning up the family light bulbs to like very high right. I'm physically here it's a dedicated strength at such a time. Yeah but such is the nature of work that sometimes it will it will invade those times and there's just nothing that you can do about that. And yeah it's it can definitely be very hard. Do you ever wish you were back you know nine to five or something on that. No I don't I don't. Even with all the even with all the trade off that I've had to make I'm very happy to be where I am now. But it's I think it's just it has been difficult and it has shaken my faith in the existence of a real work life balance. Even though I'm sort of trying to even out those knobs to the best of my ability at this stage at least with regards to the health knob of turning that one back up a little bit put into the gym lift weights run. I'm just I can't imagine you in the gym just if you may for just a second but what do you think I do in the gym. I definitely think he'll listen to podcasts. I don't I don't listen to pod briefly. Yeah he must have some kind of electronic device involved somehow and you know of course of course right on there with my i Phone I'm keeping track of everything on my i Phone in the listening listening to terrible usually electronica kind of music. None yet that surprises me. All right so no no no podcasts and you should use the kind of I can imagine you getting into the weights I can imagine you just in some pretty heavy weights lifting weights yes. Pretty heavy no one at this stage but yeah that's that's what I'm doing I sort of. As you can imagine I spent a lot of time trying to research making changes to a more healthy lifestyle before I decided to do anything. It's like well I don't know anything about this right let like let me actually research stuff and I came I came basically to the conclusion that if you if you want to try to turn around things in a relatively short period of time the best way to do it is with strength training which surprised me because I would have been the idiot. You know being like stupid sexy Flanders' I'm running on the treadmill and turns out like no that doesn't really help you in a shorter term right that might be good in the long term but not not in the short term and then the second thing is they get all of these crazy diets all over the whole world of all of these variations of things that you can do I feel like well what are some what is science have to say about this and the thing that is common to like every crazy diet in the whole world is basically hey you know all those carbohydrates you eat. Don't eat them right there like the worst possible thing that you can eat and so basically those are the two changes that I made like I'm trying to do weights at the gym very very slowly. Yeah and I'm trying to cut carbohydrates out of my diet which is way harder as I said I was very high because they're also I say yummy but they're oh so everywhere. Yes that is that is the thing is is I never quite realize how much I eat that is basically pasta or bread but that but this is where like just to briefly touch on that analogy again. I am super aware of this month that while I've been making this transition my my energy and my ability to do concentrated bursts of work is much lower and that's partly that's partly why I'm very happy to be doing this pod cast with you because it's a different it's not as as incredibly intense as making the videos is and I've also totally cheated by picking an easier topic for myself to do. Hopefully. By the end of this month. But I'm again I'm really consciously aware that since I have I have upped the health percentage one of the consequences of that might be I might not get a video out by the end of January which if I had not made this decision. I'm pretty confident I would have a video out by the end of January but there like there are tradeoffs in life and this is this is one of those tradeoffs that I have to up the health the health percentage and the only place to take energy from is work so that's that's sort of where I am right now. I say in the gym Yeah yeah so do you in the gym take care.

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References[edit | edit source]

  1. "H.I. #3: Four Light Bulbs". Hello Internet. Hello Internet. Retrieved 25 September 2017. 
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