Good vs. Best
December 29, 2020
There's a podcast I've been working on for almost two years now. It started with a very simple premise — talking to my friend Evan every two weeks on Skype — and gradually grew in scope and complexity as time went on. More people joined the podcast, more work went into preparing and producing it, and (a few) more people started listening. This all came to a head last week, when a co-host requested for an episode to be taken down or given an "explicit" warning out of concern for his ministry. Given the expanding evangelical Christian audience (which baffles me to this day), he was concerned in retrospect about how the podcast would impact his image as a clean-cut church guy.
Now, I would have minded this a lot less if this was all made clear before I spent several hours editing the show on Christmas Eve, only for it to be taken down an hour later. But ultimately, it worked out for the best, because it highlighted the slow-boiling frog of the podcast. It had grown to take up too much of my time, relative to the benefits it may have been producing. And those benefits were increasingly dubious as it became clear that the vast majority of listeners, who aren't my friends, clearly didn't understand the humor or purpose of the show.
Simply put, I have better ways to spend my time. The weekly hours spent preparing and researching for a show, and the hours spent editing it afterwards, could be better spent working a second job to make more money, or reading books, or learning another language, or becoming a better programmer.
There are a lot of good things we can do with our life. In fact, there are more good things to do than we have time for. We have to be realistic about how much time we have in a day, and prioritize which of those good things are most aligned with our ultimate goals in life. Learning how to garden would be inherently good, but it's not the best thing in my own life compared to lifting weights or working two jobs.
While the podcast was inherently good, the extra fluff of making it a highly-produced, information-dense show was not for the best. It's good to learn more about the topics we discussed — politics, cybersecurity, China — but it's best to free up those hours to complete the SMART goals in my own life and truly live out the core ethos of the show: to get after it and make dragon babies.
But that doesn't mean the show needs to be completely scrapped. It just needed to return to basics — a weekly Skype call with a friend, off-the-cuff and unedited. It's still 80% as good of a show with 20% of the time spent on it. It still provides the key benefit it was really meant for — staying in touch with my friends and encouraging one another on the path.
Life involves a continual re-assessment of how we are spending our time, and how we can go about it more efficiently to maximize such a precious resource. Time is limited, and there's no redos for how it's spent. So choose what you do with your life wisely.