The shadow nobody sees in me
Having lived much of my life online, you probably know me from one of my YouTube videos, where I wield archetypally YouTube levels of enthusiasm, a certain manner of speaking, a certain pace, and a specific smile and energy. Most likely, you see me as someone productive, active, and engaged.
I make a lot of videos. I write a lot of blog posts. I work a full-time job. I do consultation work for different businesses. I coach clients. But did you know, you’re just seeing 20% of me? Did you ever wonder what I do the remaining 80% of my time? Today we talk about the shadow nobody sees in me.
What am I doing when nobody is watching?
80% of my waking time is non-active time, meaning time that I spend outside, meditating, walking, hiking, reading, sitting, and thinking. In an average week, I can spend 16 hours reading and doing research, 2 hours filming, and 2 hours editing. On average, I spend two hours walking a day. I spend about 15 minutes learning languages per day, and about 1 hour a day socializing or discussing ideas with others. I take a lot of time for cooking, preparing healthy and fresh meals every day, and I spend a lot of time writing. Most of the things I write, I will never publish – they are my notes, my stream of consciousness. In the past week, I finished two books and spent a long time unpacking and thinking about the content and ideas in the books and what they meant. I avoid meetings, I find them to be a waste of time.
I spend almost no time scrolling on social media, I don’t own a TV, and I don’t play any video games. I practice Wu Wei, the Tao, and strive towards effortless living. I want the things I do to come easily and naturally, and for things to never be forced. I do what I feel like when I feel like it. I move like water, and I often spend a lot of time by water, by the ocean, or by a relaxing lake, or laying down on the ground, like a lion on the savannah. Did you know lions spend most of their time relaxing? And why should they do anything else?
While my viewers might think that I’ve gotten more productive than ever, running four YouTube channels, the secret is I’ve gotten less productive. Since February last year, I’ve actively scaled down, and I spend less time than ever creating content. My secret is that the amount of time I spend doing research allows me to be more effectively productive and that I make more of the little time I have. I’ve found a lot of people make an effort to look productive, but actually, they’re not doing anything at all. Most productivity books teach you to spend more time doing unnecessary things, which make you look effective, but without getting you any results.
The Shadow Nobody Sees In Me
Every single person you meet has a shadow, something you don’t know about them, something you have yet to learn and discover. We judge people by the surface and what we see, the most apparent thing. I like to understand people by their whole. I’m not just interested in what you show me. I’m interested in where you came from and where you are headed, and what you left behind to get to where you are right now.
What you might not know is that I have productive months and research months. For example, most of the videos I’m posting right now were recorded weeks or months ago, and I’m working my way through a backlog. So you’re really seeing past Erik and what he was thinking about.
At the moment, I’m very interested in a couple of topics:
- Evolutionary biology and how life on the planet evolved
- Quantum mechanics, because I’m starting to see more and more technology based on Quantum Mechanics, and I’m curious how we can use it in the future.
- The I Ching, the book of Changes
- Jungian Alchemy
- The idea of chakras and where it came from and how it could be explained by modern science
You’ll probably see videos inspired by this in the future, but it could take a couple of months before they crystallize into clear and concise YouTube videos. As usual, you all get the surface, never what came underneath. I wish I could translate that to you all, but really, my process is a mess, and I jump around a lot, stuck in an introspective, pensive, and reflective space. There’s so much to puzzle out and think about and it takes me a long time to make peace with and synthesize all the complex ideas I discuss and read. If you’d hear me talk about it, you’d think I’d lost my mind, and perhaps I have, but I somehow always manage to put it back together and swim up to the surface again to share it with you.
Thanks for tuning in to my Ted Talk!