Value audit

“The meaning of life is to give life meaning.”

— Viktor E. Frankl

Life in itself is without meaning. Apart from our original encoding to procreate, survive and thrive in our environment there is no inherent meaning, at least none outside that dictated by our biology. We play many games — politics, status, sex — in an attempt to increase our standing in the group, similar to other mammals on Earth, but what makes us different is that we can choose not to play, and or how to play. This ability to imagine and create a future of our own design is our opportunity to define our lives.

I’ve looked at my calendar and to-do list for the past 3 months and there is a clear bias towards creating videos as opposed to writing. Videos are easy to consume passively and require very little effort to watch. This feature has an unfortunate side-effect, we can easily fool ourselves into thinking we have learned something, fueling a shallow sense of confidence.

When I write — engaging and searching through my choices — I feel most alive; my life feels to have meaning. This is not due to the act of writing in itself but from the prospect of turning my lived experiences into tools for myself and others. The kind of work I create in this state is challenging to engage with at times, but it’s always of value. Making videos on the other hand leaves value as a second class resident and prioritises entertainment — this feels like a disservice. A video typically requires 2 hours of shooting and at least 4 hours of editing, while writing and editing a blog post at most takes 2 hours. A four-hour discrepancy; 4 hours I could have spent learning, thinking, living, attributing meaning.

At the foremost, I want to create and share work of value. This requires both learning and crafting; a delicate balance. Allowing this to skew too much in one direction creates redundancies and worse, stagnation. This is why I’m choosing writing as my foremost medium and to design my habits around facilitating this decision.