As Simon Sinek explains in his book “Start with WHY”, when pursuing a certain goal, you should always start with thinking about why you actually want to achieve that goal.
So, here is my try at explaining the main reason WHY I want to get 100,000 subscribers on YouTube (currently, April 15th 2019, I am at 391 subscribers): I want to reach 100,000 subscribers on my YouTube channel because I want to live a fulfilling and meaningful life. In short, I want to be happy.
So, why do I think that having 100,000 subscribers will make me happy? Well, out of all the things that might contribute to one’s happiness, work certainly must be one of the more important factors. Simply because for the fact alone that a huge percentage of your life (time-wise) is spent at work. So, it stands to reason that it overall has a big impact on your happiness level.
If that’s the case, then the logical next question to ask is: What makes work fulfilling and satisfying so that it ultimately leads to happiness?
Science’s answer to that question seems to be something called self-determination theory. It states that there are 3 components of work that make it worthwhile and fulfilling:
Out of those 3 things, you have the most direct control over mastery. You can’t just demand for example to be in charge of a big project (i.e. get more autonomy) or to be part of a company that is doing something worthwhile (i.e. get more purpose) if you don’t have the necessary skills. But what you can do, is to put in time to become good at something that interests you (in my case: data science). This will then get you already one component that leads to fulfilling work. On top of that, you can leverage it to get the other two components as well.
So, my goal is not really to reach an arbitrary number of followers on a social media platform. My true goal is to gain mastery. To become “so good they can’t ignore me”. And since teaching is one of the best ways to learn (and thereby gain mastery), I started a YouTube channel where I try to explain data science concepts. And now, I will simply use the number of subscribers as a proxy for my level of mastery. Because if many people decide to follow me and my content, then that must mean I am somewhat good at what I do.
And then, having at one point (hopefully) reached 100,000 subscribers, I should be able to make a living with that. And if that’s the case, then (in contrast to a regular job) I would have complete autonomy over what I do and how I do it. So, what I choose to spend my time on in terms of what topics I want to learn or what projects I want to do. And also how I spend my time. Meaning, I can structure my day however I want. So that’s how I could leverage my mastery to gain more autonomy in my life.
And with regards to the third component of fulfilling work, namely purpose, having reached 100,000 subscribers would mean that I have helped a lot of people to learn more about data science. That, in and of itself, is already a great purpose. But on top of that, having gained some mastery in that field, I am then also more capable of meaningfully contributing to a cause or purpose that might become important to me in the future. Because, at the moment, I don’t know yet what my purpose could be. So that’s how I could also leverage my mastery to gain more purpose in my life.
So in conclusion, this is why I want to reach 100,000 subscribers on YouTube. Namely, it would mean that I gained mastery at data science which I can then leverage to gain more autonomy and purpose in my life. And this means I will have fulfilling and worthwhile work which is an important contributor to one’s happiness.
P.S. Having gained mastery will open up many great opportunities that I can’t even think of yet.
P.P.S. Even if I don’t reach 100,000 subscribers, the skills and knowledge, that I gain in the process of trying, will stay with me. Additionally, I will have created a portfolio of projects that I can use to apply to companies to get a regular job. So, there is really nothing to lose.