How to Live Forever

Technologists and science fiction writers tell us that in the future, we’ll upload our brains to the cloud. By storing our digital selves on the internet, we’ll escape biology and live forever.

That future is already here.

We got half way there in April of 2005, when the first video finished uploading to YouTube. We covered the rest of the distance in 2009 with the release of iPhone 3GS, which featured video recording capabilities. Ever since, your average person has been carrying a production studio with global distribution in their pocket. 

That’s a big deal.

But the scope of this change is even more sweeping.

What no one realized about that moment was that it granted us immortality.

What does it mean to be alive?

Thumbnail of my family’s silly holiday tradition, captured in a 4 minute mockumentary filmed on an Iphone

One measure of a life well lived is the positive influence we have on others. We are social beings, and our interactions are where we find most of the meaning in our lives.

That positive influence can take shape as the personal videos I send to friends and family to the mockumentary I made about my family’s annual Pie Eating contest. 

Each of these videos delights the viewers and serves as a marker for a specific time in our lives. They capture moments. And these are videos I made for small, intimate audiences. 

My public youtube channel, which allows me to share videos to educate and inspire others towards entrepreneurial paths, has access to a limitless audience. When I make videos and post them online, my ideas will persist well after I’m gone.

But I’m alive. Let’s consider someone who is no longer with us.

Youtube has hundreds of hours of Steve Jobs giving speeches and sharing his thoughts captured video. Videos of him inspire and uplift millions of people across the world—the hundreds of millions of views of Steve Jobs-featuring videos don’t lie. 

Watchable on Youtube now and forever

In this way, Steve Jobs continues to positively impact the world, and in so doing, never dies.

The Most Human Medium

Video captures our humanity in ways no other medium can. When others see your face on the screen and hear the words from your mouth, they understand you with more clarity and resolution than any other medium. Facial expressions, body language, and the rest of the 95% of communication that’s non-verbal is all there, beautifully realized at 24 frames per second.

Video’s ability to capture that nonverbal information is the key to getting your message to resonate. It’s what makes video the ideal container for your ideas, expressing your feelings, and getting your point across.

Text struggles to express nuance because it lacks the non-verbal aspects of communication. This is one reason why Twitter is a dumpster fire. The compressed format and the limited characters means that misinterpretation, and thus outrage, runs rampant.

Matthew McConaughey in Interstellar: Letters would not have been enough

Someone once said that when your casket gets lowered into the ground, you don’t truly die. Your actual death is when the last person alive no longer remembers you. 

Thanks to video, which captures your essence and shares it to the world, you can live forever. Learn to make video and share them with people you love and the world at large, so that you can live forever and give the gift of yourself—your humanity, your ideas, and your memories—to posterity.

If you want to learn video, whether it’s to make your mark on the world, capture your stories, or to send a love letter to your family, it helps to have camera confidence. Camera confidence allows you to deliver in front of the camera lens, express yourself fully, and let who you are shine through. If you want to learn camera confidence, consider taking my 14-day Camera Confidence Challenge. Not your thing? Check out my Learn From Rulebreakers newsletter. 

Thanks to Taylor, Vivian, Sanjeev, Christian for reading earlier drafts.