I have had my YouTube channel for some years now. I like to call it my “Learning Biography”.
It started as a way to upload all my daily videos from Snapchat where I shared my experiments, thoughts, reflections of the things I was learning about and working on. A kind of video album as well as videos I created of me talking to camera or interviewing people in the learning and development field.
Admittedly, it’s been an interesting journey with YouTube because along with this blog, it’s been a way where I have captured my professional and personal development, learning and growth over the years I’ve been online. In some way, I wish I had stuck with YouTube and not diverted to other social networks because I feel that ‘bits of me are scattered everywhere’ whereas if I stuck with JUST this blog and YouTube, at least I would have had all my projects in the one place. They would have been easily searchable too.
However, over the years, I had many people tell me how I should change my YouTube channel to make it more educational, informational and professional. To share educational videos about HOW to do things, HOW to learn and provide formal tips and strategies that I can then monetise. I was always questioning this. After all, I’m someone who just doesn’t like to follow how others do things. I need to find my own way – a different way – and one in which makes sense for me.
As such, I’ve always looked at my YouTube channel as a ‘dumping ground’ of my projects and wondering if I had to change it to make it a bit more formal and professional by sharing educational videos but I never got around to it because simply, it didn’t resonate with me. For as long as I remember, I saw my work and learning projects as an extension of me. I wanted THAT to be the channel itself – a creation of a living photo and video album of my life’s work, learning and growth over the years.
I always saw the online platforms less about platforms to launch business from and instead, more about an exploratory space.
Think of it like a cyber album in which there is nothing – blank pages and which you can fill with your own creative ideas, expressions, projects and work. The blog and YouTube channel is not built to create a formal community with which you ‘sell to’ but a community which you can show your work, banter, share ideas.
I like to think it’s like some kind of giant photo album where you look through some photos of life and people in the past, you come across a photo that seems to resonate with you and then through that photo, you go down a path of exploring your own heritage, background or upbringing.
That’s how I like my YouTube and Blog to be like for people. You come across it. Much of it may not make sense because it’s not YOUR life – or you may have different ideals, perspectives or ideas but somehow, something may resonate. It might be a tip I shared, a story I told, a video I created, a book review, something – and then it sets people off on their OWN exploratory path of learning.
Recently I decided to change the YouTube channel art – to this: “Crafting Meaning and Purpose through Lifelong Learning” because I realised this is what I have been doing for many years. I also changed the description of my YouTube channel to reflect what it’s about too.
In a world where we cannot tell what the future will be like and whether or not, work will be the ‘thing’ that derives meaning and value for us, I’d like to believe that my explorations in open lifelong learning will be what people will need to learn, grapple with and undertake themselves so they can find new meaning in this new world.
If you are someone who derives their ‘raison d’etre’ through their day-to-day professional work, expect your world to be constantly shaken up from now on.
- How will you derive meaning from this as it morphs, changes, or maybe even disappears?
- How will you compete with many others in the same position as you for jobs that are reducing in number or changing in work conditions?
- How will you derive meaning and purpose from other pursuits – beyond work – that keep you happy, healthy and well?
I’d like to think that my open explorations of learning and working out loud is the way that many people will be responding to keep up with an ever changing world. While they may not have the means and the money to go into formal education, they will now be using the various tools and technologies to create their own portfolio of work and learning projects that give them purpose and meaning and also connect them to a local and global community to work on different projects that make them thrive and navigate through a new way of working (where ‘work’ might not be the traditional sense of 9-5 job).