I don’t remember where I first heard this. It may be from one of the endless blogging and business podcasts I used to listen to. It may be from one of the numerous articles I used to read. It may have been one of the many memes I used to pore over.
Something about that phrase struck a chord. Essentially it advocates consuming less of what others create and creating more of your own.
I have always been an avid reader. I can’t help myself. But this put a whole new spin on things for me. Why couldn’t I also write? So that’s what I did. I started writing: for my blog, for others’ blogs, for my e- book, for my as yet unpublished book, or just writing stuff I find interesting or thought-provoking in my endless little notebooks.
You see the problem with only consuming what others create, is that you never discover what you can do. It’s like that Pinterest board you spend hours curating, the pins you faithfully pin. You’re consuming what others have created. Yes, they create because they hope that you will find value in their content, but what have you created lately? What value have you added to your life and that of others?
Another issue with constantly consuming what others create, is that we start feeling inadequate. we start comparing ourselves to what they have put out into the universe. Down that path lies certain heartache and self-hatred. Believe me, I know whereof I speak.
An unexpected and welcome perk to creating before consuming is that you become very good at something. Once you start doing stuff; baking, writing, planting, holding conversations with others, over and over again – you become very, very good at it. Ask anyone who tastes my beignets!
I could spend all day reading: newspapers in the morning, online articles during the day and books at night. I also consumed television and podcast series and radio shows during my day. I didn’t feel guilty about this because I didn’t even realise what I was doing.
Once the light went on, I didn’t look back. You won’t either.
I now write every day. I create something with my brain, my hands, my voice every day. I believe I have value and that I can help someone out there.
I’ve started spreading the “create before you consume” message in my home and amongst my friends too. My daughter’s TV time is severely limited, as is her online time. She’s either making something creative or writing something.
This didn’t happen overnight and I don’t stick to it religiously, but here’s an idea of how you too can create more than you consume.
- Write before you watch TV.
- Cook or bake before you buy.
- Try to do some of the DIY projects you always pin on Pinterest and give it as gifts.
- Share your time before you ask of anyone to share theirs with you. This was a biggie for me . I had to put myself out there a lot more.
- Make conversation.
- Make someone laugh.
Our job as human beings is to take care of and contribute meaningfully to the society and world around us, to provide meaning in our lives and the lives of others. Once this becomes your focus then all things flow to you.
Crap, I’m sounding new – agey and whoo-ish, but seriously, once I took this on board and seriously started looking at life from this perspective,things kinda fell into place for me.
But now you have to excuse me: I have bread to bake, a herb garden to plant and a friend to help move.
How do you feel about “create before you consume”? Is it something you think can add value to your life? Let me know in the comments.
Until next I blog,