Aidan's Infinite Play 6 How I Overcame Perfectionism

Aidan's Infinite Play 6 How I Overcame Perfectionism
Photo by Brett Jordan / Unsplash

Hello players!

What have you not started out of fear of failure? What have you stopped with halfway because you believed it lacked quality?

If you aren't careful, perfectionism can ruin your life.

I know because it used to have a hold over me. As a kid, I was addicted to video games and YouTube. Every day after school, I would run to my room and boot up the computer.

In the summer months, I could play for seven hours a day. I lost track of time, immersing myself in video game worlds completely different from my own. And at night, in the hour before going to bed, I would binge-watch the most random YouTube videos ranging from food reviews to obscure documentaries on the history of 2b2t, Minecraft's oldest anarchy server.

What drew me so much to these virtual environments? The reason was simple.

The real world didn't provide the carefully designed pleasures, the thrilling challenges, and the powerful social bonding I could get in games.

All my real-life dreams like becoming a Professor, playing tennis division 1, and becoming a content creator, seemed so distant and far off compared to the comfort and ease of logging in and playing another game of Bed Wars in Minecraft (but I got pretty damn good at Bed Wars).

Then in my November 2021, I took the Part Time YouTube Academy by Ali Abdaal, a beginner course on how to succeed at YouTube.

Ali explained that creating content requires being in it for the long haul. Anything worthwhile in life requires being in it for the long haul. We learned many content creators don't find any traction until after the first two years.

I ingrained this idea and made a commitment to upload one crappy video every single week.

I haven't looked back since. Now, I create new crappy notes, crappy podcasts, crappy blog posts, and crappy newsletters every single week as well.

But each week they become a little less crappy.

Something beautiful happened when I did this. I stopped feeling pressured to create the best thing possible. I stopped procrastinating on creating and simply created.

I found out the parts of my brain that love figuring out the optimal tech tree advancement in Civilization 6 or finding the best item combinations in Terraria are the same parts that get activated by figuring out the best way to link a note inside my system.

The same parts of my brain that love collecting League of Legends skins love amassing a compounding body of notes, writings, videos, and podcasts formed from the connections of my own unique information diet to share with the outside world.

While I didn't realize it at the time, the way I had beaten perfectionism was by adopting a Public learning mindset.

Public learning is the act of taking your learning and doing it in public in some way. This could be from creating YouTube videos, podcasts, blog posts, newsletters, etc.

Three reasons I think public learning is fantastic:

  1. Fights perfectionism.
  2. Creates accountability.
  3. Creates a Serendipity vehicle, a magnet for opportunities, ideas, and people you didn't even know existed.
  4. Creates Intermediate packets, small reusable units of work that you can use to make future projects easier.
  5. Makes you honest with the progress of your learnings. People don't just see the finished project. They see the crappy first drafts.

I believe that a public learning approach to learning is one of the most effective fighters of perfectionism.

And it's for this reason that I'm overjoyed to announce that I have bought Obsidian publish. Obsidian publish is a plug in that allows you to take all the notes inside your Obsidian vault and publish them on the internet as an interactive website.

It's a type of website known as a digital garden. Digital gardens are website structured through links and contexts rather than time.

Instead of fully fleshed out ideas uploaded by time on a blogging website, they contain all the levels of notes from their creator, even ones that aren't fully finished.

The original digital garden was created by Andy Matushak in 2019, and they have gained traction ever since. They are the ultimate form of public learning because by definition they showcase the creator's learnings at all levels.

It would mean a lot to me if you checked out the website and did some exploring. Dive into your curiosities! Follow the links.

​The website.​

And while you will almost certainly find errors and imperfections, that's the beauty of public learning.

Who knows? Maybe after exploring the vault, you will finally start on that thing you have always told yourself you will.

Here's what I would like to share this week.

📸News From The Channel!

​How I Do Daily, Weekly, Monthly, and Yearly Reviews in Obsidian Using Period Notes Plug In: In this video, I show you how I do my daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly reviews in Obsidian using periodic notes plugin. I explain not only how to journal, but why I believe journaling and doing regular reviews is one of the best ways to understand more about yourself and create the best life for you.

​Happiness MOC: The first link to a specific page on my Obsidian website. Expect more of these in the future. This MOC details my thoughts about happiness.

​Skye Helfant: Using Anki and Obsidian for Learning Languages and Computer Science: Skye Helfant is a Sophomore Utrecht University student studying Artificial Intelligence. He’s a great video editor and fellow YouTuber creating content documenting his journey into learning how to code. He uses Obsidian and Anki as the main knowledge management apps for his second brain. He’s also my twin brother. In this episode we discuss how he uses Anki and Obsidian for language learning and coding. We discuss the pitfalls most students fall into with their notetaking. We talk what makes a life meaningful, and how to create a vision as a student.

💡My Best Insights:

📖Book - Plays Well With Others by Eric Barker: The only thing that really matters in life are your relationships to other people. Seriously. Think about the times you reflect upon with the most joy, passion, and fondness. It's likely you thought of something social. Now think of the times you remember the least or look back upon with most negativity. It's likely you brought to mind your late night study sessions for class, or your trip to the refrigerator at 3 a.m. It follows that understanding social psychology and what it has to say about how to foster better relationships with co-workers, friends, family, and lovers, is extremely important. And that's exactly what this book goes over.

✍️Blog Post - How to Evaluate Stuff You Learn on the Internet: Research is easy if you go on Wikipedia and take everything you read for fact. It's great, fact checked, unbiased research that is hard to find and do. This article explains how to do so.

🎙️Podcast - 296. How to Beat the Dopamine Cycle | Dr. Andrew Huberman: this podcast is fascinating because it includes Jordan Peterson, an expert in stories and psychology, as well as Andrew Huberman, an expert in behavioral neuroscience. That mix creates for a heck of a time that you shouldn't miss.