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Juan David's Newsletter - June 28, 2020
I had an interesting week where I signed up for my college classes, had to take an AP exam again (College Board didn’t find mine for some reason), and learned fascinating things about the history of medicine. I will share more of these next week.
The first month of summer just flew by. Cannot wait for the rest of the summer as it’s just getting started.
This week’s essay is about the most dangerous question you will face when you do something worthwhile. It’s something I’ve struggled a lot with since I started writing these essays, and especially my YouTube channel.
One quick thing: welcome to the ones of you who have joined us since last Sunday’s email! If you’re here but haven’t subscribed, it’s fun and easy. Just click below.
This Question Will Fail You
If you prefer, you can read this essay on my website.
Early this year, I started writing and publishing essays every week on my website. I explore ideas, what I’m curious about, what I know, and what I don’t know. It’s the place where you’ll find what I’m thinking.
After I published a few essays, I asked myself, “Why don’t I publish these essays in a video format?” It was a no-brainer.
Then, I asked myself again, “Why don’t I make a quick video every single day exploring ideas and things I’ve learned that could help other people until I get to 1000 subscribers?” .
“That’s not too challenging,” I said after the third daily video. I would turn on the camera and talk for 2-5 minutes about things I recently learned or things I knew.
Days passed and so did the excitement.
I had been working hard making videos every single day as well as the weekly videos, and NO ONE CARED. My videos had one or two views. Maybe three if I watched three times.
“What’s the point of all this anyway?” I started asking myself after the 30th day. I had been making videos every single day and posting them on Youtube for more than a month.
This question is faced by everyone who tries to do something worthwhile. The difference between those who succeed and those who don’t is being able to figure out this question.
This question will always come up (unless you’re a robot 🤖). We have two alternatives:
You can ignore it and keep going
You try to convince yourself and keep going
Maybe there’s a third alternative, stop and give up (not the one I like).
Why this question?
We need to understand why this question comes up.
This question shows up because we’re smart. Our brains think about the cost of not choosing the next best alternative for your money, time, or some other resource.
This is defined as opportunity cost. If we start a new venture and it does not seem like we’re achieving the goal, we think about the opportunity cost.
For example, I’m making videos every day, which takes time to publish, make the thumbnail, and so on. After some time, no one watches the videos, and it seems like I’m wasting my time.
My brain asks, “What’s the point of all this anyway?”
Then, my brain says, “I think you should do something else instead.”
In my case, I remembered the flywheel principle, which talks about how starting is hard and slow, but once it starts, it gets easier and faster. When we create something whether it’s a blog, a Youtube channel, a painting, a social media account, or a company.
It’s always always better to focus on the quantity instead of quality because as time passes by, the quality will improve as the quantity increases (Ironically, I made a video about this).
Be Patient and Stubborn
Know why this question comes up and know why you’re doing what you’re doing.
For me, I try to show people a different world of ideas and opportunities. Sometimes, people just need to see a different path, and I show them a path that is both exciting and practical.
When you say “yes” to a choice, you are also saying “no” to everything else you may have accomplished with your time, energy, money, and other resources.
It comes down to choosing the “right” choice that aligns with your vision, skills, and needs of the market. Once you’ve made your choice, you need to be patient and set goals. Sometimes where it’s wise to give up, but most of the time you just need to persevere .
This question is crucial because it’s the bar of entry for success. You either persevere and push or give up and accomplish...nothing.
Most times, you need one idea, love it so much that you become stubborn, work very hard, and you become successful. It’s that simple. You might need to repeat this process many times and confront the dangerous question, but that’s usually how it works.
Next time you ask yourself “what’s the point of this?” understand why it comes up, and why you started, and remember this is something we all face. Your success will depend on how you deal with this question.
 The reason why I picked the 1000 subscribers goal is because I wanted to have a more tangible goal and something I could look forward to. Do I care about the views or subscribers? Nope!
 When should you give up? I don’t know. This really depends on your context. I’ll say this though. As long as you’re working on 1) something that you like, 2) something you’re good at, and 3) something people need. You should persevere. Again, this is hard to answer and depends on your context.
If you’re into interesting ideas (like the one you just read), sign up for my newsletter, and I’ll send you new essays right when they come out. Better than having to check the site!
Over the last few months, we’ve seen a rise in tension between life and institutions.
Then, two ways of thinking arise: Conservatives forces and Innovative forces.
Conservative forces consider the importance of the past to re-establish order. Innovative forces, aware of the need to reinvent new structures, forget what has been achieved and acquired and also forget the experience of the past.
We should only have one thing in mind: WHAT ACTUALLY CAUSES PROGRESS.
The science fiction writer and futurist Arthur C. Clarke had a timeline for the 21st century.
Beyond judging, if we are achieving some of these things, this timeline is a great way to see where we should be spending our time and energy as a society. Honestly, they would be cool projects too.
My friend Alberto shared in his newsletter a wonderful collection of free books and textbooks from Springer, which is giving access to them.
There are more than 20 categories of books. It’s hard to not download of all them.
Check them out here.
I discovered this website that has 1+ million videos and music that you can use freely for your projects.
Take a look here!
A FREE program for college students.
I recently participated in Seth’s Godin Emergent Leaders program, and I would highly recommend you do it too.
If you want to hear my thoughts on the program, watch this video.
Some of the projects I completed in the 5 days:
- Business Plan + Investor Pitch + Brainstorm more than 99 business ideas
- TED Talk
- Children's Book (including an audiobook)
- A solution for people to vote
- A New Form of Resume
Happy to answer any questions.
Apply and let me know if you need any help with the application.
I just noticed more than half of the Curiosities I shared are free. This shows that in the era of the internet, you do not need credentials, money, or pretty much anything. You just need to have the willingness to do it.
That is an exciting world to be living in.
If you’d like to share of the Curiosities I shared or this week’s essay. You can simply click the button below.
Thanks for reading,
Juan David Campolargo
Juan David Campolargo 🚀
Twitter: @jdcampolargo 🧠
Blogging at JuanDavidCampolargo.com ✍️
Weekly Memos & Updates: HERE 🙀
Watch my TEDx Talk, 'Inspiring the Next Generations to be More Optimistic,' HERE