The New Addiction

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Every day I watch my VOD (video on demand) from my twitch stream the prior night. (Live Streaming every night at www.twitch.tv/nolantv btw) I do this so I can myself check the quality of my channel and honestly evaluate whether my stream looks good, if there are audio issues, and especially as to whether I am entertaining or not.

I work hard to keep myself honest.

Watching myself these past few weeks I have noticed one major issue that seriously bothers me about myself and my show. It is my constant usage of the “L-Word.” What is this “L-Word” you might ask? Oh, you have no idea, but you already do.

It is one of the most pernicious words in the modern English vocabulary. Its sinister generation hails from the Valley of the West Coast, nestled in the Golden Brown Hills of California. It is none other than the word

LIKE.

I mean, it like is like the like you know the like like word like LIKE.

I cannot stand this demon of a word. It single-handedly turns the smartest of individuals into the most bumbling of fools. It absolutely ruins serious speech with its childish nature. Now, I know everyone says it, and because of which many people reading this will say to me,

“Nolan, it is not a big deal. I have even heard politicians at this point say the word. It is just part of modern speech.”

To that objection I will at first agree. True, everyone says it, but I will then counter: Have you tried not using it? Commit to not saying Like when you speak, and pay attention to how much more intelligent, eloquent, and authoritative you sound. Your points have much more force, your words do not come off as unserious. And this cannot be sincerely argued against.

You just come off as less intelligent the more you use Like.

And further, because everyone says this word, the bar is currently very low. Never has it been easier to sound so much smarter than your peers with such minimal effort. I reckon that if you cut the word like out of your vocabulary completely it will raise your IQ 30 points. Not saying Like is tantamount to wearing a clean suit, glasses, and sitting in the figure four position while listening to classical music as you wait in the lobby of a Fortune 500 company for your merger proposal. It just reeks of both intelligence and professionalism.

This is because speaking coherently without filler words is a breath of fresh air. People today use fillers such as um, yeah, like, for sure, you know, in their sentence structures daily with constant repetition. When one encounters someone that does not speak this way, it is impressive.

Like is the new addiction.

I remember when it slipped into my vocabulary in middle school. I had a speech coach back then, Mrs. Weinberger, and she absolutely despised this word. Rightly so. She did everything in her power to cut that word out of my vocabulary, and she was very successful. But unfortunately she moved to Washington with her husband and I have not had any contact with her since; consequently bad habits returned with a vengeance and the word has crept back into my brain and since has metastasized into my tongue.

Such a foul virus.

But this time around I am committed to purging it. I will defeat Like. Just like I have committed this time around to my show, I am committed to eradicating like. I will consciously think about my speech every day and monitor the usage of like. It is time to end this.

I put too much effort into my stream and especially into having intelligent things to say and offer to have this single word act so destructively against what I am trying to do. Imagine reading this post but that like was every other word in the blog.

You would laugh.

Most of you who have made it this far and probably enjoying this post (I hope at least) and further are likely impressed at the vocabulary of it. This is because of my usage of five dollar words, and not garbage ones such as Like. See there, I refrained from using the other sense of the word Like. I decided to just go with “such as.” I’m working very hard to quit this addiction.

Why not sound as smart as I write when I speak?

That is the whole point. I am done shooting myself in the foot through uttering this trash word. I hate it more than anything. I don’t normally do these, but this will be my New Years Resolution. No more Like.

End of story.

 

Keep Smiling, and for the love of God don’t say like,

Nolan

What a Coincidence

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Today is Sunday, and it was a sleepy one. I have still been fighting off this cold I caught after the end of the Holiday Season, so I was just sleeping in as much as I could this morning. I see my phone vibrate. I don’t really want to check it, even though its 11:30 in the morning. (I told you I was sleeping in)

I look anyways and it’s my buddy Daniel. He works at my local Best Buy and he says that he has one pair of Apple AirPods in stock and that he has it hidden away just for me. I really wanted to buy a pair of these as a few friends of mine have purchased them and they have been raving to me about them. I tell Daniel that I’m on my way and I will see him at the store soon.

As I am putting on my shoes just about to get in my car, I get another phone call. This time it’s from my brother Tony. I pick up the call and say good morning. He asks me what I’m up to and I tell him that I am just heading out to go to Best Buy to get some Apple AirPods. Tony then says to me that this is in fact actually what he was calling me about.

 

Me: “AirPods? Really?”

Tony: “Yeah, I want to get them for you for Christmas, I knew you wanted a pair.”

 

Well, I surely couldn’t argue with that! I told him I would meet him at the store. Fifteen minutes later I arrived and saw him waiting for me out front. The two of us go inside and boom! just like that Daniel shows me where he tucked the AirPods away and Tony blessed me with a fantastic Christmas Present.

Now, I have only had these wireless earbuds for about three hours so far, but I can already tell you that I absolutely love them. The double tap function that works with Siri is particularly amazing. I never used Siri prior to this. Now I have already used her more in the past three hours than I have in my entire life. (And yes, Siri is a HER)

I really am digging these things. I even used the double tap to call Tony to thank him especially.

 

But you know what I like the most about this gift. It’s that Tony wanted to get me something he knew that I wanted. This gift was not cheap. It ran him about 175$. And I would know, I was right there when he purchased it.

Ir really means a lot that he did this for me. Tony decided that he wanted to get me something that he knew I would enjoy for Christmas. (These things were totally sold out prior to and currently still are in a lot of areas by the way.  I tried to purchase a pair a few days ago but none were to be found anywhere. The way that I got my hands on one today was because someone came in and returned a pair. The packaging was never even opened though, the product was never used. Shoutout to Daniel AKA GojiraTV) And I really am enjoying them, Tony chose well.

Honestly getting a gift for me can be tough, I think. Its actually because of my nature. I am viciously determined. (Watch my stream this year chat, I’m up next. Every night from 7:30 PM – 11:30 PM Pacific at www.twitch.tv/nolantv btw) When I want something I get it so quickly other people don’t have the time to react to get it for me as a gift. Consequently, there isn’t much out there that people can give me that I really want. And that is totally my fault! But Tony, took action and made it happen! This should teach me to be more patient lol. This definitely was one of the best Christmas presents I have received, and it’s because I know the mindset behind the gift.

On Christmas Day I gave Tony a watch that I knew he would like and indeed he did. But on that day, he didn’t have a gift for me. And this didn’t upset me, some times people aren’t in a place to give gifts. Things are going on so they don’t get around to it, or they just don’t have the funds. You can never really know what’s going on in other people’s lives, especially around the Holidays. (It’s the best or worst time of the year for people) But I could tell that day that Tony really wanted to get me something nice in return. He saw the gifts I gave him and his family and how I had found particular gifts that were oriented towards each person based on it being something that I thought they wanted. I got Dan a book, which was the cheapest of all of my gifts, but it was political in nature so I knew that he would appreciate it. I got Tony a nice watch, which was much more expensive than Dan’s book, but I knew it was something that he would like and appreciate. I could tell that Tony saw this and that he wanted to do the same for me: get me a gift that was something that I would particularly enjoy, and not just something that could be given to anyone. And so he committed. He remembered that I had talked to him about Apple AirPods one day and that I was interested in them. In fact, I had completely forgotten that I talked to him about it. When he told me that he wanted to get them for me I said,

 

Nolan: “how did you know I wanted them?”

Tony: “Because you told me.”

 

Thanks for listening Tony. You can’t put a price tag on friends who do this.

But seriously, this gift was about twice what I got him. He stepped it up. My only worry is that he felt guilty about that he didn’t have something for me on Christmas, such that he felt the need to go big or go home. Tony if you are reading this, I absolutely love this gift. But know this, all I ever want from you are gifts that you know I would enjoy and are particular to me. The book you gave me a few years ago, The 4 Hour Work Week, and The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck are still one of the best gifts I have ever received. So, don’t ever feel locked into getting me expensive gifts. Though I will tell you, I really appreciate that you weren’t stopped by the price tag for this gift. You really went in to getting this gift with the sole intention of getting me what I wanted, and you didn’t let other factors stop you. I appreciate that tremendously.

But this gift is so legit, just take it easy on my birthday. (Since it’s coming up soon) You can just get me a Starbucks gift card or something. And not with 100$ on it, more like 25$. Just take it easy! Love you dude.

 

To conclude this post, as I am currently writing it in a Starbucks (feel free to send me gift cards everyone, they will be used and appreciated) while listening to Breakbeat Trance on Spotify through my new Apple AirPods, Christmas really is a magical time of year. And it really is about giving, not receiving. I am much happier with all the gifts that I gave this season, much more so than with what I received. And not because I received poor gifts. Quite the contrary! It’s just as I wrote in my earlier post about how I entered adulthood. The spirit of giving, and showing your friends that you care about them such that you want them to have something they will enjoy and appreciate, feels a thousand times better than receiving something.

And that’s why I am so excited about this gift from Tony. He got into the Christmas spirit of giving such that he came through for me to get me something that I really wanted, despite a seriously hefty price tag. That really showed his friendship to me and that means much more to me than these little things in my ears ever could.

 

So cheers to close friends, and all those that are there for you. Don’t forget to tell them that you care about them, and if they got you something for Christmas make sure you write them a thank you note.

Seriously people, do not forget to write thank you notes. Especially for gifts given in the Holiday Season. That’s the biggest fuck you in the world. Don’t be that guy lol.

 

Keep Smiling,

Nolan

One Emotional Rollercoaster

This post is inspired by swiftysurgeon. Thank you for giving me the inspiration to write.

 

Streaming is not an easy job. At first glance one might think so, but truly this is far from the case. I will explain why.

To the quick observer, streaming (at least on twitch) is just merely playing video games with a camera on. And then the talking is based on responding to people as they message you. Super easy right? 

Hold on. It’s not so simple.

First, twitch is hardly about video games. One might think that it is about video games as this is what most streamers use as the basis for their show. They play a game and interact with their chat base.

Honestly gameplay is 10% of your show, if that. Streaming is much more about communicating with your audience and having something entertaining to say. Sure, there are a few channels out there where the streamers are wildly good at the games they play and thus they attract views. But, these streamers really are the rarity. For the love of God, please stop pretending that you are one of these streamers. Look, I am good at video games, I have hit legendary eagle master twice in Counter Strike, I have done some Mythic Raids in WoW, I have hit Platinum in Rainbow Six Siege multiple times, and I am known to have out of control games on Call of Duty; but am I insanely good? Am I a pro level gamer?

Hell No.

I am far from that. Does that mean that I don’t have what it takes to stream?

Hell No.

I totally have what it takes to make it on stream, mainly through my ability to interact with my chat and offer up something interesting, I will add often edifying, to say. And this is what I encourage new streamers to think about. Don’t tunnel in so hard on just playing your game. Think about what you are saying. Use your mouth not just your thumbs. Good gameplay is great, but take it from me, my fans come to my show to see me not my gameplay. If I have a shitty night in the competitives I still have my fans watching. (Thanks guys)

My main point here is that people too often get the wrong idea with streaming. They see what streamers do on the surface level and they wrongly conclude that is all they need to do to have a successful show. They see the gameplay and then they think “Gee I’m better than this guy, I can do this too,” and then they start their show. Now, this train of thought is not wrong yet. This is how I started streaming myself. I actually watched a streamer named Kateedge and I watched her show for a bit (she is a twitch partner btw I encourage you all to check her out sometime at twitch.tv/kateedge) and I decided that I think I could do this too.

So that was it, I started streaming.

But then as I found myself in the middle of streaming did I then begin to realize what it actually entails. All those viewers that I thought I would have, just like all the viewers other channels have, did not magically show up in my stream. I had plenty of long nights where few people came in, if any. Some days I would not get a single follow. That hurts. Talk about feeling like your stream is not going anywhere. This is also where you realize that streaming isn’t just simply talking to you chat. It takes a hell of a long time to build an active chat that gives you things to talk about. You will likely have to be talking to yourself for a long long time before you have a fanbase that supplies you with content to riff on. The truth here is going to hurt for some of you. But swallow it, and start practicing talking and entertaining as if you were a comedian. You have an audience, but they are just merely listening. Time to really do your show.

On a side note, I laugh my ass off when I see streamers with “Follower Goals.” Talk about a way to just make yourself miserable. Likely you aren’t going to hit that goal, and then what happens. Do you feel miserable? Because you didn’t hit the metrics that you wanted? Which you set? Don’t make this mistake of setting follower goals, sub goals, etc. This will set you up for failure and put you right on that emotional rollercoaster which I titled this post.

Sure, the days where you hit your goals you will feel on top of the world, but on the days that you don’t you will feel at the lowest of lows. This is not the way to stream. Streaming is a marathon, it is not a sprint. And man, it’s a long ass marathon, not one of those 13 mile half marathons. I am talking about the real deal.

So be prepared for that. And if you want to be the best prepared for streaming, get into the correct mental state. Do not expect success right away. Or in a week. Or in a month. Or in six months. Or in a year. It will likely take you over a year, maybe two, before things start happening in your channel. If it happens faster, that is amazing and cheers to you. But I would much rather set you up for a realistic plan of action than to tell you a lie that is likely to get you extremely depressed because you “haven’t made it” which results in you quitting and then hating on all other streamers because you are angry that you failed and so then you take it on them online. (lol it’s so true though)

So don’t set ridiculous goals that set you up for failure. If you do, and feel depressed because of it, you only have yourself to blame. Twitch, streaming, entertaining, etc. is an emotional rollercoaster and you need to be prepared for the ride. My advice here is to try to be as stoic as you possibly can and take it day by day. Remember, it is a marathon. Prepare yourself for a journey.

Lastly, to end this post I want to give the most important tip. I will likely write another post one day on this as well in further detail, but I have to get to work soon so I need to wrap this post up.

Make sure you have a set schedule. Set a time that you do your show and make sure you are there at that time every single day. Do not take any days off. Other successful streamers don’t, so why should you? If you aren’t prepared to sacrifice other activities, e.g. hanging out with friends, parties, dates, etc. then you really don’t want to make it on twitch. Sure, you say you do, but your actions show you don’t. Life is about choices and sacrifices. What you choose to do reveals a lot about you. If you choose to stream, it means you have chosen not to do other things. And your fans will notice this. If you commit to them, they will commit to you. On the contrary if you do not commit to them, they will not commit to you.

Remember, it is your choice. It is up to you. If you want your show to succeed get in the correct mental state and get ready for the long game (it won’t happen overnight), set a time you can make every single day, and start sacrificing. Choose your stream over other things in your life and the success will come.

 

Keep Smiling,

Nolan

Went back to work

Yesterday, I was not feeling so well. In fact, I felt terrible. But after resting for a full day I knew that I needed to get back to work on the next. Too many people are always looking for a way to quit work. Oh I feel sick, oh I’m tired, oh etc. The list could go on and on.

But that line of thinking is only going to hurt those people. Sure you get another day off, but you probably won’t get that promotion in the future. Bosses aren’t stupid people. Taking days off work should only be done when it is an absolutely necessity. And if you are sick, get better soon..

Or else.

That’s why I am back to work today. Do I feel the best? No. But am I so sick I cannot work? No. I am well enough to go clock in and do my job. In fact, I am writing this on my lunch break currently. I’m a workaholic lol. If I am not at my main job, then I am on my blog or my show. I guess I just don’t know when to stop.

I like that about me though. Being busy is great. When you have nothing to do that is why you do stupid stuff. At least that is how I see it.

So back to work everyone, time to shut this laptop and go clock back in. And if you are the type to always skip work and come up with excuses, get your shit together and cut that crap out.

Get back at it and hustle.

 

Keep Smiling,

Nolan