Do You Read, or Look at Your Own Content From the Past?

 

Revisiting a Photograph I took from Sunset Blvd.

Revisiting a Photograph I took from Sunset Blvd.

I’m curious. Take this poll and let’s see how many people look back on their work after time has elapsed.

 

Recently I re read a post I did on Medium, and was blown away that I wrote it. It’s about excuses, and I’m still making them. I was astonished at the poignancy of my words and their still applicable nature to my life. I found myself thinking “Wow! I wrote that?” and “I should really heed my own words.” I’m writing to ask if you read and revisit your content at all after creating it? If so, do you find value in it? I certainly have, and intend to make this a regular practice. If I can get value after the fact out of my posts, that gives me hope that others may also find my words, photos or videos of value. Lifetime value not just the day it’s published but ongoing in the future. Creating evergreen content, not just a paltry list post that becomes obsolete as times change, and the marketplace evolves. Can the value sustain? Am I digging deep into life to examine worthwhile issues and sharing the best of what I’m learning on a day to day basis? Documenting my life and journey in a way that will have value in a year, or 5. That is much more of a strategy I can stand behind and work towards as opposed to continually posting only for volume. Clogging or diluting my portfolio and brand that I’m developing with quantity and not quality. Maybe I’m not the best writer or content developer now, but I genuinely want to publish and share my best work in any channel or platform. I don’t want only selfies on my Instagram or tawdry list posts on my blog. I want to push and pull the best out of my experiences. By doing that I will develop more skills, confidence, and content. Waiting for the perfect moment, or until I can create without finding flaws only delays my dreams. I eliminate the excuses for not taking action (insert Nike slogan).

I’m glad that I’m writing. Having the dream & goal of being a writer without writing has annoyed me for some time. Looking back over my content is a nice way to check my process and progress.

Outlining a Writing Workflow

Outlining a Writing Workflow

Two blog posts a year (2014) does not cut it. Being inspired to dedicate myself to learning content creation and marketing is a good feeling. Can I keep it up? Time will tell. When creating anything do you just ship it out and forget about it? Moving on to the next project and the next and the next? Take a moment to examine and revisit it after time has passed, does it still have relevancy? Is it timeless? I want to end with a paraphrased quote from Drake. Yes the R&B/hip hop artist. I remember hearing him being interviewed describing parts of his work and method. He stated he was all about lasting power. Creating music that can be listened to with the same enjoyment years after its creation. “I want my CD to stay in your car.” Perpetual relevance by placing an emphasis on quality. I realized that when listened to that interview at the time his CD Take Care had literally stayed in my car’s 6 CD changer since buying it. Create product that’s going to still be worth something in the future, maybe worth even more. That’s what I’m working towards, I have a long way to go, but knowing the difference between instant gratification and lasting power is truly valuable.

 

I hope you like what you read and decide to go re-visit some old work of yours.

 

An aside:

I started my first real content channel with my Instagram in 2012. I’ve always tried to put only photos that I think are good from a photographic standpoint first, and being an authentic representation of what I love and strive for. Over time my captions or comments have become more thoughtful. But I don’t post something unless I want it to stay there for 5 years. Will I look back at that snapshot and say “Why did I put that on the internet?” Or “That was important that I shared that, wow look at that great shot or I remember that rawness and hustle.”

 

My first Instagram Post Ever!

My first Instagram Post Ever!

 

 

What Can I Give the World?

Blades of Grass holding Life's Essence

Blades of Grass holding Life’s Essence

Do I have anything meaningful to give to the world? Can I contribute and make my mark on an ever changing, crowded, and evolving planet Earth. Do my other 7 billion brothers and sisters feel the same way? Does everybody want to leave a positive legacy and be known for great things?

I’ve been pondering these questions, and I think the answer to all is a yes. At least to some degree. Certainly I wasn’t born without SOMETHING meaningful to give back—I can’t simply be a taker or consumer. Surely, I can develop a worthy attribute, skill, or mission that gives value to others on the planet we share, and the planet itself. Making my mark on the world has been a calling I’ve always felt, sometimes with a crushing pressure. I reflect upon the cliche “pressure makes diamonds” and aim to thrive under the pressure of expecting greatness from myself. A challenge I’ve faced is overload. I literally want to be excellent in my skill set in so many things that it is overwhelming. On the positive side it I’ve got an endless To Do list of things that I enjoy and can categorize as productive time on some level. This is great, but there is a bottom line that must be met for me to be functioning as a member of society. Some avenue that is being pursued must create “a living” in the societal sense. I just thought of this metaphor about my current undertakings. Taking one swing of an axe at 27 trees one at a time is a bad strategy to cut them all down. Possibly a better tactic would be to completely take each tree down, sharpening the axe between each tree. Or taking a few choice trees and rotating between them 1/3 at a time. The most ideal plan may be to step back and look at the forest. What? Looking at the alignment of the trees and noticing which one if cut with the right technique and forethought may knock down several other trees using the force of gravity on its way down. That is just a metaphor, I don’t want to cut down any trees, I’d honestly rather plant many many trees in m lifetime. If that metaphor was written poorly or I lost you replace the trees with goals and cutting down with accomplishing. So if I try to accomplish 27 goals at once versus accomplishing one at a time, or clustering a handful, or looking at the complete picture and seeing which goal can accomplish many others once it is completed.

 

So realizing that I need a better strategy, what do I even intend to give. The list of what I want is clearly posted on my blog, and that’s somewhat partial and not as specific as the goals I’m working with now on a daily basis. But, all that is me me me. What about you you you and we we we? Will I create soley for a selfish and personal reason, or can I ensure that I’m giving value and hopefully creating in service to others and good causes. The latter sounds much more noble, but can I or you say that that is our intent at all times? I can’t. Maybe it’s because I was an only child for most of my life, but I’ve noticed in times of reflection that I often behave very selfishly. Look out for number one they say. I don’t really consider that a great piece of wisdom. Number one is just one number. Focus entirely on that and that’s just one looking after one. Can’t I look after many, and then should I ever be in need have many that would consider looking after me? Has a nicer ring to it. Looking over the words that are written above it’s apparent there is a lot of “I” in this writing. This is a reflective and personal questioning of my motives in life, and I hope that you can see some value somewhere within. Gratitude for reading my words. Let me finish by answering the question initially posed. What can I give the world? Myself, my best self, working hard, candidly as I pursue deepening my strengths, improving my weaknesses and overcoming the obstacles while taking ideas through the creation and execution process—defining dreams and questing for success for myself but also for the tribe that we all are a part of.