What Did You Create Today?
LISTEN: For the audio version of this Letter, follow this link to Soundcloud.
We live in a world where we are often judged by our material possessions.
It's as if the things we consume define who we are - at least to the outside world.
I admit there is some truth to this. I don't think the things we buy "define" who we are, but they do give an indication of what we like or don't like and how we prioritize our resources (i.e. how we spend our time and money on this versus that).
To some extent, it makes sense. We primarily live in a consumer culture. They tell us to buy things because it's good for the economy.
But that's only half the story.
The other half is that everything you buy had to be created first. Otherwise, there was nothing to be sold in the first place. Buying and selling are two sides of the same coin.
And yet the majority of our culture is geared toward buying and consumption
My business partner Ben and I run a health and fitness media company that requires us to upload videos every week. Even with the best internet plan from my local provider, download speeds are 10x that of upload speeds.
Download = consume content
Upload = create content
See what I mean?
This isn't a criticism because I have to acknowledge that for someone to make a living, someone else needs to buy from them. Buying is good.
But not enough of us are creating. I'm not just talking about something to be sold. Not enough of us are creating anything. All we do is mindlessly consume.
We watch TV or YouTube or read articles and Facebook posts without adding to the mix. We’re observers, not contributors.
We can change this. We can become both conscious consumers and conscious creators.
To be, we must do. To do, we must be.
To become a creator, we simply need to start creating. That's it. It doesn't have to be “good" or “bad," it just needs to be something - something that wasn't there and now is.
I'm finding lately, I'm far more curious about what people are creating over what they are consuming. Maybe it's because we've been so focused lately on creating content that it's at the forefront of my mind.
Whatever it is, I'm far more fascinated in your weekend project over your weekend TV lineup. While I'd love to hear about the book you're reading, I'm much more interested in the research paper you're writing. YouTube videos are great, but that web series you're creating would probably blow my mind.
I believe we're all inherently creative, and that creation is something we're designed to do. Whether it's with words, movement, something physical, or just a new perspective or thought, creating is creating.
So tell me, my dear friends, what did you create today?