Name: Brett B.
Profession: Software Entrepreneur
Location: Los Angeles, CA
"When I drop the comparison and I start doing the thing I love the most, which is creating new technology and new art, I find those feelings of anxiety about the path I'm on just fall away. I care less about the result when I'm having a great time along the way."
Meet Brett - founder of numerous successful tech companies, special effects "fire-boy", and currently the Software Development Lead for Minerva University. What about Social Media could make a tech entrepreneur anxious? With people showcasing their achievements with expected celebration, is it possible to remain unaffected by the influx of updates, shared successes and seemingly endless "news"?
SMMMA: What do you feel most anxious about on Social Media?
Brett: Seeing other entrepreneurs who have achieved vast levels of success - especially when they make it seem easy.
SMMMA: How do you feel when you see other people succeed at what you are trying to achieve?
Brett: If they're similar to myself, in a way I can feel good — good about the possibility that I might be on the right path, and I could have what they have. On the other hand, I can feel jealous, jaded or bitter. Why didn't my start-up work out the way theirs did? Am I smart enough? Am I doing enough? What skills am I lacking? Or is it all simply just dumb luck?
SMMMA: What helps you stop feeling anxious?
Brett: Making things. When I drop the comparison and I start doing the thing I love the most, which is creating new technology and new art, I find those feelings of anxiety about the path I'm on just fall away. I care less about the result when I'm having a great time along the way.
Does it seem logical that the cause of the anxiety is the same thing that puts an end to it? That the only thing that calms our fears is chasing the root of the fear? Yes - because when we take a step back, we realize that our anxiety is born from trying to control something that can't be manipulated to our liking - we see the absurdity of it all, and we surrender. We let go of trying to live in a fantasized future or in crafted memories of the past, because we remember that right now is all that is real.
"No amount of anxiety makes any difference to anything that is going to happen."
- Alan W. Watts, The Wisdom of Insecurity
So if all we have is this moment - and the current moment shifts and dances with us (until the end of our time) - what do we want to fill the space with? Brett makes things because it makes him feel good, melts away anxiety and results in blissful satisfaction with the present. And if Seneca said that true happiness is to enjoy the present, then I would safely say no tech company could be valued at a greater cost than continuous peace of mind.