Ep 9: Leadership, Following Passions, and the Perils of Social Media
This is a reflection on Playticity Podcast Episode 9: Leadership, Following Passions, and the Perils of Social Media with Braden Persian. Find the episode wherever you get your podcasts. It is also available on www.playticity.com/podcast
At the time of writing this, it has been 10 days since I embarked upon my 30 day social media hiatus. The urges to check out what’s happening on the gram’, on Facebook, or LinkedIn have increased the past few days. I will do a final report at day 30.
It has also been almost four months since I released episode one of the Playticity Podcast on September 26, 2021. The sea of social media harbors a sense of excitement for how many people might like your content, or become followers, but without it, I realize I could literally stop at any time and the vast majority of people out there wouldn’t bat an eyelash.
The first thing I take from this is that since nobody really cares, I have the freedom to do whatever I want. I could say or post virtually anything, which feels pretty damn cool.
Second, I tend to be overly focused on gaining a high quantity of followers, rather than quality followers, and get disheartened when not many people like my content. This attitude is the reason I wanted to take a break for a bit. However, many of my close friends and family do listen to my podcast consistently. And it got me thinking —
Instead of focusing on trying to always get more followers, why not focus on the ones I already have.
I’ve been listening to Will Smith’s autobiography WILL and he talks about how, at the peak of his success, it was virtually impossible to reach a box office sales number that was good enough for him. He was receiving more acclaim, praise, and recognition than many of us could hope to achieve in 10 life times, but it was never enough. Like fast food, external validation may give us a short high, but it always leaves us feeling dissatisfied and bloated in the end.
I think of an analogy to a garden. You can plant all the stuff you want, but the more you plant, the harder it becomes to nurture all those plants without some of them dying. But by focusing only on a few, it is much easier to keep things healthy, fresh, and thriving, and then build out from there.
I started this platform to build a following, but what good is a high number of followers if none of them really care anyway? Its like planting 10 different herbs, flowers, and vegetables, but then realizing you only have enough water to care for 2 or 3 of them.
I clearly still have a lot to learn along this journey, and I’m looking forward to staying patient, and seeing what comes next.
Lastly I want to touch on my conversation with Braden. It makes me happy to see a good friend of mine doing something with his life that he really wants. It seems to be a rarer and rarer thing in our world for someone to break out of the confines of external expectations and pursue something truly for themselves. We get so concerned with quick successes, but Braden’s journey took years, and he is still building.
This makes me think of our tendency to look at things in black and white. We tend to always want to put a number on things like
“how long did it take for you to achieve your success,” or
“how much work do I need to put in to make this a reality?”
If you think about it, all of Braden’s time as a player groomed him into the coach he is now. All of the bad jobs, and bad managers he dealt with helped him develop as a leader, and are what spurred him to finally break out and do what he wants. So I would argue that it took him 25 years to become a coach, not 2 or 3.
His example shows us that we should see the past as fuel for our future, rather than dead weight holding us back.
In the past, anytime I faced a difficulty, insecurity or anxiety, I would write about it. Through this practice, my insecurities acted as fuel to forge my ability to write and reflect.
Similarly, the difficult relationships, breakups, or falling outs that we go through, can serve as the exact push we need to start living a life of our own.
What struggles have you gone through in the past, that can aid you on your quest to carve your own path in the future?
Thanks for reading, and I’ll catch all you players in a couple weeks.