Billions of people obsessed. Drawn to the vivid colors and the voices coming out that little black box that is now thinner, lighter and bigger than the first made cinema. When television was introduced to the world in 1927, we were stunned. People thought that this is some kind of magic. Innovation that will never be tapped. Now, nearly 100 years later, we are still amazed from this form of entertainment. This time though, it’s multiplied by thousand.
Society is becoming more focused on consumption than in creating. Statistically, the number of people who create content are 1% of the people who view that content. For example, for every person who posts something new, there are 99 people who will only see it but won’t interact with it.1And that’s only about posting stuff online. I am sure that the statistic is even worse if we look at things that require more thought and planning: building a website or writing a book, for example.
It’s kind of sad though. Why aren’t we producing, creating, inventing? We have the tools, the knowledge is out there, inspiration is all around. So what’s missing? The channels were we can share our talent are multiplying each year:
- We can produce video content and later share it on YouTube.
- We can create articles, write books and share them with others in social media or on a personal website of ours.
- We can gather funds via KickStarted and make our dream project a reality.
Still, we just sit around, stuffing our hands and our minds with more than we can handle.
Why we don’t create?
My first thought will be that we are lazy.
My second thought, that we are so lazy that we don’t even think of the available opportunities. Our excuse is that everything is already made and “I can’t think of anything new”. Well, duh. If you never thought about it long enough, you would never be able to ever find ways to build something new.
My third and final thought about why we are continuously consuming, and not creating, is that we are so god damn lazy. We sit around in our Ikea furniture, looking. We stream, watch, like, share, tweet, comment, circle, but that’s not enough. Our eyes are constantly on a lookout for other ways to occupy our already busy minds. Our thumbs are scratched. Worn out from the endless scroll, searching for something that will spark an interest. Yet, when we find it, we want more. The circle is endless.
What’s the Problem with Creating?
The main issue with creating is that we don’t actually feel that we should do it. And why should we? It’s much easier to consume what’s already out there than create something new. You simply go outside, or online -> consume -> feel happy. But are you really happy? Probably, for a fraction of a second, you will be. But are you really fulfilled?
I do it also. My mind is constantly busy with things I want to buy. When I do buy them I feel excited and complete, but not for long. Soon, I spot something new, something cooler, shinier, better, something I don’t currently possess. And I put it on a pedestal. I think that this will make my life better, easier. Deep down I know that it’s a lie, but it’s hard to resist that feeling. What I do, to suppress the impact of these thoughts? I do stuff. I focus on the creative process.
People love doing stuff, being involved with something they are passionate about. They simply don’t know how to start exactly, or they are lazy as fuck like I mentioned previously. This results in a passive life full of TV shows, likes, and subscriptions.
Things are simple:
- You want to do something, achieve something? – Do everything possible to reach the desired state.
- You already started and it’s harder than you thought? – Well, of course. Otherwise, we will all be millionaires.
So the whole problem with creating is our perception of who we view things.
Here are a couple of thoughts that will hopefully spark you towards starting something on your own:
Why? Why do it?
Why do what you do? How will this impact your life and the life of others?
At first, it seems like an easy question, if our minds weren’t corrupt. Or, in other words – if our consciousness wasn’t blurred by noise, which leads to wrong motives and wrong values to follow.
There is noise around social media, the products we use, the desire for greatness and more money. Our thoughts are that we should necessarily be rich, successful, beautiful, to be accepted by the society. All of this adds tension to our daily duties. We are like, “Oh god. I should make more money. Otherwise, others will mock me and I will die alone, jerking off on the couch”. However, not success, greatness, or the stuff we want, have, and desire to have, will make us happier. Yes, they can make us look “shinier” in the eyes of others, but that’s not even close to what will put a permanent smile on our face.
Are you starting, doing something only to please others or you are doing it for yourself and your own beliefs?
If we want to make others like us, this will mean that we live for their opinion. But is this what we want? The bitter truth – people come and go, at the end, we stay with our own selves. Instead of trying to please everyone you see, focus on what you believe in.
Some will love what you do, others will despise it. You simply can’t please everyone. That’s why the best course of action will be to trust your own motives.
Master the Craft
Let’s say you are starting a new job or you want to learn how to play guitar. Or something else, which will require you to master a specific skill set. Something you haven’t bumped before. In the beginning, you are a loner. You are far from the desired state. The place where you can actually play the notes and don’t sound like a not tuned radio station.
The first lessons will be scary. You won’t be able to figure why there are 6 strings, what to do with the tuning keys and why there is a hole in the middle of the instrument. Confusion will spread across your mind like a disease. Adding additional pressure to the overall learning process.
Each lesson will simultaneously help you improve, and make you understand how much more you have to learn. Leaving you with two options. You either quit. Abandon the things you’ve learned so far and boldly say something like, “fuck guitar lessons”. Or, you resist the fear, the boredom, the uncertainty, the confusion and you move forward.
If you manage to master these emotions and leave yourself to the natural course of time, something remarkable will begin to form. The mist that was clouding your mind will slowly drift apart. Revealing what you were missing. Over time, you will improve. Leading to natural confidence in the art you produce.
We all start as apprentices. No matter how well we know the process of a certain task, we suck at many other things. The only way for us to master a specific craft is to devote ourselves long enough to it.
If we are all born with a similar brain in its essence, with more or less the same configuration and potential for success, why then, historically, a limited number of people are different and achieve something significant?
When born, we all have pretty much similar chances of becoming successful. Yet, some of us, despite the financial leverage of their parents, or, their natural talents, fail miserably.
The essence of creating, achieving something greater, no matter what, is persistence. I simply can’t stress on this enough. Persistence is crucial for any form of success. It’s the single most important quality of a person to succeed at something, no matter how stupid in some occasions. Here is a quote that I am sure you’ve all heard:
A river cuts through rock, not because of it’s power, but because of its persistence.” Jim Watkins
Take a look at any successful person on this planet, no matter their industry or the craft they participate. You will see that it took years to reach the point where they are currently are. Sylvester Stallone struggled for 7 years till he was recognized by the movie industry in his appearance in Rocky.2 Woodman, the creator of GoPro, fought for years till he was able to make the tiny cameras a worldwide sensation.3
Motivation will lead you only to a certain point. After that, you have to really want it.
What you can additionally do, to keep the wheel spinning, is to set a consistent schedule. It’s kind of a necessity. You can’t simply pray for success. You have to show up every day, set achievable goals and pursue them.
Basically, being a practical, realistic person. To judge things soberly, without unnecessary exaggeration. To understand the reason behind your every action. To be able to react at any moment in every situation, not to be influenced by what people think, say or want they do.
Being aware also means understanding your own physical, mental, financial capabilities. I know quite a lot of people who ignore their financial capabilities and buy everything on credit. This is one of the simplest ways to find out if a person is aware of what his/her abilities and limitations. If these people spend money without doing the math, they are in for some trouble.
Above all, being aware of yourself is the single most powerful way to actually become something more than what you are currently are. You can’t become smarter if you think you know everything. You can’t become thinner if you think you’re not fat. You can’t become richer if you think your boss is responsible for earning more money.
Awareness, in the world of social media influence, is a powerful leverage over the others. Being aware of yourself, of what you want to do, and achieve, is a rare finding, which you should embrace and use to pursue what you want to be pursuing.
How to become more aware?
Question, pretty much everything. Read books, articles, about the topic you are interested in. Not only. Read about human relationships and self-help. You can start with Outwitting the Devil by Napoleon Hill.
It’s Up to You
I love the idea of having a team. A small group of people that will work together to achieve something greater. Something, that can potentially change the world and make it a better place to live in. Such people and teams exist, believe me, I’ve read about them somewhere on the web. Can’t exactly tell you where, but if you find articles on the topic, you are more than welcome to share them in the comments section below.
Teams do exist, but individuals execute. The best way to ensure the success of your own vision, mission, goal, and make sure the values you are working so hard to implement in your life and work are met, is to actually do it all by yourself. No matter how close you feel with your friends, there is a great chance that their vision and values are not actually aligned with yours.
Don’t get me wrong. Being involved in a team is great. If you can do it, you should definitely do it. Be warned though, people do get lazy. And no one likes to see others lay around when there are things to be done and schedules to be met.
One excuse I often see in the online world is that people think that they lack a team. Someone to turn to, keep them motivated, accountable, do the other 50% of the work, drink a bear with, share their struggles and a thousand more other stuff that at a first glance feel important.
STOP! You should think that way.
You actually don’t need Dick, or someone else with a funny name, making your idea a reality. It’s up to you to achieve your dreams. It’s your goal in the first place, right? Along the way there might be others that will want to join, that’s cool, but it’s not essential for your own success. Other people slow you down, question your position and may wanna sleep with your girl if she’s around too often.
“That sounds reasonable, but I can’t keep up with all the work.”
So, what’s the primary problem with us being more creative?
My personal observation leads me to believe that we are stuffed. Full of things to do and places to go. If you open your Facebook or Twitter feed, at this very moment, I am sure you will lose yourself. The articles, photos, videos your friends posted will eat at least an hour of your time. But you haven’t noticed, right? You feel entertained, and you don’t feel that you are wasting your time, but you are.
It all comes down to awareness and meaning. Few of us are aware that there is something greater to pursue than scheduling your next vacation or rubbing your thumb against a gorilla glass screen.
You can be scheduling your next book release or your next concert. Of course, if you are into such kind of creative activities.
- It’s a term known as the 1% rule (Internet culture) – LINK
- Stallone gained worldwide fame with his starring role in the smash hit Rocky in 1976 – LINK
- Nick Woodman, the creator of the GoPro. His mother loaned him $35,000 and let him borrow her sewing machine, which he used to sew camera straps while experimenting with early designs. Later, his dad loaned him an additional $200,000, which Woodman immediately paid back out of company sales – LINK