What motivates people? This seems to be a trivial question, but the answers are often amazing. In this article, I will focus on some of my own motives for writing this blog and related materials. The reason is very simple: if any of these applies, you might want to use some of my tools.
Being a lifelong learner is very much like a secret identity.
Most of my days I am a sort of engineer. Sometimes I simply develop algorithms, and sometimes I manage groups and companies. I do not really need the extra responsibility and do not mind doing relatively simple jobs. Not always I have the choice.
When I come home after work, I usually spend time with my family. I am typically too exhausted for anything else. Maybe I do small research for a family member just for fun. But over the weekend I am a different person with a very different agenda. I use a different language, I have a different profession and I pursue very different goals.
Why not focus?
Being a provider of a family with three kids, I tend to be anxious. Here are some of my reasons:
- When I work on my own stuff I tend to push myself too hard and end up with burnout. I really need an easier job simply to change the environment and rest. Also, I really need the social interactions I get at work.
- Content creation costs money. I need to pay from my own money to the editors, hosting, promotion. Every year I earn more than I spend, but not every month.
- Occasionally I get panic attacks. I have seen attacks of Chinese hackers, partners holding my content hostage, clients viciously gaslighting for no good reason, google downgrading my site due to their mistakes and other monstrosities. I cannot trust the income from my educational activities just yet.
- You snooze you lose. Even with my credentials, I always worry that if I do not work long enough, nobody will want to hire me. The tech world changes quickly, and each generation of tech requires the use of different tools and language.
- I prefer to work than engage in other activities. This is pathetic, I know. But… My work is creative, I get a lot of respect, nice people, the office itself is very nice, I get to learn something entirely different every three years… Also, my wife gets really cranky when she sees me too often. It is best when we have a good reason to cherish our time together.
For me, with my personality, working is the best way to spend time with friends. I am not a workaholics and I work very reasonable hours.
Is that hard?
Having a second identity is always hard. It is like speaking several languages fluently multiplied by ten. I think differently, use a different language and thinking patterns, even my body language changes. Each of the tasks I do is very demanding but in a different way. Keeping all of it inside me would be unbearable, and I am happy that I have so many creative outlets. However, each has its own complexity. Let us consider different archetypes.
- Father, manager, mentor. I need to be very reliable, and always be ready to come and help. My knowledge needs to be very practical. I need to be always in control of my feeling and engaged in positive communication.
- Creator, engineer, programmer. In the creative role, I am left to my own devices and need to be very autonomic. The tasks I get I usually hard or marginally unsolvable and I need to come up with a creative solution. I can be moody and whimsical, but not the results I present.
- Joker, journalist, blogger. In my social roles, I am usually expected to entertain. This means the show must go on, and there are usually very strong time limitations. I am also expected to be incredibly productive.
- Wizard, scientist, presenter. Occasionally I am expected to do something fairly incredible. People wait from me a full explanation of every magic I perform, yet they understand that some secrets can never be discovered for the awe to remain.
But with all those roles, who I am when nobody watches? A rebel, a regular guy. I really feel that things happen to me randomly, and I leverage whatever happens. The illusion of control does not really work for me. I instinctively feel that if I challenge something big enough, I should expect a wonderful journey. Usually, this works…
With my vast education, I always feel the lack of theatrical elements in it. Maybe someday…
Finding the motivation for my second career has been very hard, and took me almost 10 years.
- First I wanted something new, a sort of a hobby to play with and still get paid. This was a sort of a dream in my late 20s. After I finished my PhD I felt that something was missing.
- Next, my motivation was mentoring Anna, helping her develop the potential within. Teaching accelerated learning was the only thing she wanted to do for money, and I wanted to build some sort of framework for that.
- After the success of the initial superlearning course, my ways with JL parted and I needed to find my new online identity. I got some coaching from JL and mentoring from Anthony Metivier. So I came up with keytostudy.
- For a while, my main motivation was answering students’ questions without repeating myself. Then I wrote down my new discoveries and eventually integrated writing into my research process. So I came up with keytovision. Occasional “thank you” letters from my students fill me with purpose.
- As my kids grew, I wanted to teach them everything I know. There is only one difficulty. I have three kids and hate to repeat myself. So I started building more courses. Mostly for their sake. To pass my wisdom/knowledge to them. This is the ideology behind keytomeaning.
- My main legacy to my children would probably be if I could pass them the ability to change the world in a good way. This is incredibly difficult. It is behind my keytomission program.
Each of these programs required at least three years of research before coming out… In this blog, I test ideas for some of the future content I build.
Being happy is something we cannot fully control. My life is filled with love, pleasure, and purpose. Yet I tend to be tired more often than not, and tend to have much more plans than resources.
Even when I am successful, the success in a particular project usually comes with a serious delay after its completion. So there is no immediate satisfaction. I am like a kid permanently locked in the marshmallow experiment. I enjoy twice as much marshmallow as my peers, but I salivate significantly longer.
The path itself is very exciting, possibly breathtaking, only I can share my experiences literally years after I complete them. This feels somehow lonely. The keytomeaning guitar course is the first year that took less than a year from inception to completion.
My coworkers are strong people, but they have no idea how I can do what I do at home. Anna is very good at what she does, and she also has no idea. The secret is slowly optimizing productivity to the point that everything takes a minimal amount of resources: time, focus, energy, money.
Children as customers
I have three kids. Leeron, my eldest is very much like me. He reads the contents of my lectures and claims he learns a lot from them. He is very goal-oriented. Currently, he is my customer. Unfortunately, he usually is either too tired or too busy.
Daniel, my middle child, wants to be cool. He is more into social media marketing, and possibly a couple of years from now he will start to market my content. So far too early to tell.
My girl Moria, is still small and has very different interests. I have no idea what kind of person she will become a couple of years from now.
What is the perfect legacy for your children? Is it your infinite love and care? Maybe the adventure spent together? Some words of wisdom in hard times? A big savings account? A role model for the life ahead? Probably all of the above and more.
I had to compromise my other roles to create the content they will be able to address as they grow up. All the wisdom I could master to guide them. To be honest, I am very healthy and do not expect to die any time soon, but I really prefer to be prepared.
Seeing my role as educator and book as a legacy is very Jewish of me… I do not mind. This is a part of my tradition I am proud of.