what have I achieved all this while?
nothing. something. so much more.
It's been a year since I stopped working full-time as an optometrist and moved back home with my parents in order to chase the dream.
What have I achieved?
I'm still living in Palmerston North (with my parents). I'm single with no successful dates.
I started a YouTube channel, growing from 20 to 500 subscribers after posting ~160 pieces of content (shorts and videos). I was aiming for 1000 subscribers by the end of the year as an extrinsic goal, but we will see how that goes. Intrinsically, I wanted to post a video once a week. I was pretty consistent for about 8 months, and then I stopped.
I stopped because I thought the content I came up with wasn't very good or helpful. I sort of came to the revelation that making YouTube videos is hard, especially if you want to make it "big".
I also found that the most popular content on YouTube isn't valuable or useful. It's designed for watch time and clicks. And by me making videos, am I contributing to that mess?
In cure, I decided to retake the Part-Time Youtuber Academy course to get back into making content. After all, there is no red tape stopping me from posting videos but myself.
I also had this ambition to switch careers from optometrist to programmer. Many rejections later, inspiration from the internet and a conversation with a friend has led me down a different pathway, which I will explain shortly.
I wanted to switch careers because I thought optometry wasn't for me. Career fulfilment, at the time, was essential to me. I had hit the ceiling with optometry and discovered programming and technology during the pandemic.
But thinking about this now, maybe I need to accept the fact that you're not supposed to love your job. Switching careers just means I get another job.
Maybe, I don't like having a job? Who does? Some do but not many.
This leads me to another development. I may not be able to code for a living, but why not work on my own dream?
Programming may be fun, but in the end, it just turns into another job if it's going towards somebody else's project.
In addition to this, optometry offers certain comforts:
a stress-free, comfortable job, that is well-paid,
my work environment is very friendly and non-toxic.
Contrast this with changing careers, I will be at the bottom of the pile. Programmers do get made redundant. You might find yourself in a toxic environment.
The main reason I wanted to switch careers into programming is that I wanted to become a better programmer. I wanted to improve this skill so I could work on my own projects or even become an entrepreneur.
But I don't need to change careers to do that.
I'm inspired by Peter Levels.
Just simply build. It's a long shot, but it seems fun and I want to commit to it.
Plus, streaming on twitch helps. There are plenty of friendly individuals to guide me on the right path.
You can say this ties into money as well. A year ago, after a fortunate house sale, I had over $100,000 in the bank account to my name. But no income.
I started work at the start of this year. Working 3 days I was netting ~$700 per week after tax. Now working 2 days. I only make ~$500 per week.
I pay $250 in rent and the rest goes towards online subscriptions (like hosting this newsletter).
I've paid for big expenses like camera equipment, a new laptop, a desk setup, and for some reason, some home editions for my parent's home. I'm left with about half of what I had (crazy right?). And my only source of income is my job. I've made nothing from my side ventures.
I'm lucky to have some sort of runway. Hopefully, when I work more, I can build this up again without burning out.
Apologies if you were here for a life-in-reflection when it became more of endless aspirations. I do appreciate you reading this far, however. I know this is all about me, but does it help you in any way? Please, let me know.
Podcast How Meditation Works & Science-Based Effective Meditations This is a great podcast by Andrew Huberman that talks about meditation. One benefit of meditation is improved focus. I thought the focus was being able to zone in and stay zoned in on what you are doing. This is somewhat true, but the ability to stay focused is actually realising that you have lost focus and pulling yourself back into focus. This is what meditation trains. It trains the awareness of realising you have lost focus (e.g. lost focus from the intrinsic such as the breath or 'third-eye, or lost focus from the external such as a point on the wall). So, don't get frustrated when you are meditating and you lose focus - that's actually a win!
Video How the internet kills your creativity (and what to do about it) My creativity has taken a nose dive recently. This video helped point out some problems with such as the constant consumption of social media, which I thought helped create ideas, actually destroys them.
Podcast Making Money and Being Happy with Sam Parr and Shaan Puri of My First Million I am a big fan of both the Indie Hackers podcast as well as My First Million. A business is something I want to create one day. But the harsh reality is that listening to these podcasts does give some motivation, but you must do the work. Action of yourself is the best teacher after all.
Here are some videos. One is a blast from the past. The next two are recent videos.
I really miss university and I think those times were actually better than actual work.
Plus, I have a memoir from when a patient made me really upset. I made this video so I could rant and garner sympathy (lol, how pathetic, right), but also, because I feel no other optometrists talks about this sort of stuff. And because no one talks about it, it feels like getting upset at work is strange. Hopefully, by opening up, it normalises that feeling.