I think that for many of us who are ambitious and feel we are called to a particular purpose, there are times when we feel we are at the edge of our comfort zones and have to decide what to do. It seems to me that being a content creator is a kind of balancing act. On the one hand I want to pursue my dreams and ambitions by stepping outside of my comfort zone, but on the other hand I also love peace and stability, and I’m very afraid of compromising that.
Since my spells in psychiatric hospital, and my time spent in psychotherapy, I have come to deeply appreciate peace and quiet. As a teenager in a heavy metal band, the idea of fame and fortune was quite exciting, though even back then I would get terrified of attention, even to the extent I used to be nervous to the point of nearly being sick before every gig. Thinking about it, what I loved about being in a band was the creativity; the idea that I might be able to write songs that would make people feel amazing in the same way that my favourite bands made me feel amazing. I was always more comfortable in the recording studio than on stage, where I felt much more vulnerable.
These days, I am still very motivated to create, though my focus has changed somewhat. My passion nowadays is to share what I believe to be the truth about the big questions of philosophy and theology, because I believe the insights I have to offer can be liberating and enlightening for people who really understand them. I find that tremendously exciting, and it’s frankly what keeps me alive.
There is something of a paradox that accompanies my life’s missions. While I want to reach as many people as possible with my philosophy, I’m also terrified of the spotlight being shone on me. I have so many insecurities and I get anxious and panicky when I’m under even a little stress, so I’m constantly wondering how in the world I would fare if I got invited onto a popular TV show or even a popular podcast to discuss my ideas. I really, really, don’t want to do anything like that, but at the same time I know these things are important for those who want to reach more people with their work.
I absolutely hate the current obsession with “hustle” and “grind” and the idea that if you’re not a complete workaholic you’re somehow inferior and not going to “succeed”. What kind of “success” is a life of stress? Don’t these people see that the more growth they experience, the more responsibilities they will have, the more stress they will have, the less peace they will have, and the less happy they will be? And all for what? Money?! It’s insanity.
I wish there were I way I could reach lots of people with my writing and be protected against the inevitable backlash and negativity that comes with reaching a large audience. I’m quite a strong-willed person, but I’m also very sensitive, and I know that when people start watching my videos I’m going to get the atheist/scientific community attempting to “destroy” my philosophy for sport, because that’s what they do. It’s so flipping annoying and upsetting that people have so little love in their hearts that they spend their time attempting to rip people’s confidence and beliefs to shreds.
I’m saying all of this now because with my Deep Thoughts About God video series I’m being more vulnerable and open than I ever have been, and I’ve already been on the receiving end of some heartless negativity. It hasn’t yet shaken my confidence in my philosophical perspective, and I hope it never will, but it is still hugely upsetting. If any of you reading this have ever ‘put yourself out there’ (whether it be YouTube, or TV, or radio, or another medium), then feel free to offer me some love and encouragement as I need that to outweigh the negativity and stop self-doubt from creeping in.
Life is a journey, but I don’t believe that journey is necessarily about getting increasingly richer and more famous in order to meet some deluded idea of ‘success’. That’s the capitalist delusion, and despite the fact that society is bombarding me with it from all angles constantly, I’m determined not to get sucked into it. I want to reach people, yes, but I want to do so slowly and with love and care. It’s always the case that having five people in your life with whom you can share a deep and meaningful connection is better than having a million fans (and a million pounds) but no peace and joy.
I have a schedule for my YouTube project (and also a new schedule for posting to Instagram) which is simple and manageable and I’m determined that I’m not going to pursue the kind of success that will compromise my peace of mind and relationships. I will be praying above all for peace and mercy, which will forever remain infinitely more important than wealth and success.
Thank you for reading. I feel better now. Do you personally think it’s important to hustle hard and accumulate wealth, or would you rather live a simple and peaceful life? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below!