Most of us are always consuming, never creating.
We’re consuming lardass-creating fastfood, mindless dopamine-releasing information nuggets on Reddit or Facebook, buying all sorts of not-entirely-useful stuff that’ll lose its shininess faster than a heroin addict can say Bad Decisions.
Seriously think about this for a second: how much crap do you buy each day on impulse? Walking past McDo, you shaped your neurons to think Ooh A Cheeseburger Would Be Absolutely Fantastic Right Now, And Besides, It Only Costs One Dollar. And you go in. You buy the damn cheeseburger. You give in. And how much joy does that cheeseburger bring you? Maybe 10 seconds, and that’s if you’re actually mindful about eating the damn thing and not checking your phone while you stuff yourself.
I’m just as Internet addicted as the next person, so I’m certainly not judging your pathetic lifestyle choices. I made my fair share of those, and I’m slowly but surely changing my ways.
We can turn around our lifes completely. It just takes some willpower and a small but consistent effort every day.
As I was sitting here this morning, thinking about my future, going from idly browsing Urban Dictionary, Reddit and Wikipedia to watching yet another episode of Jersey Shore (yes, I actually do watch this program, sue me), I suddenly came to this shocking realisation:
Most of the time, I am a completely passive observer on Facebook, Reddit and in real life! I rarely create a post or actually reply. I just endlessly scroll through messages other people wrote. In real life, this translates to always reacting, never initiating.
I should be creating, cranking out content! That’s so much more powerful than mindless consumption induced by this small dopamine release. It’s infinitely better than checking your Gmail thousands of times each day hoping for that tiny tingle of joy when the “you’ve got mail” envelope highlights!
The question, of course, is why. Why don’t I create more? Why don’t I just start writing, even if it’s just a stupid Facebook post instead of the book I always wanted to write.
I believe there are a lot of factors. Mostly the fact that we don’t have a real purpose or passion which makes it hard to actually create something. Most people just don’t have a clue where to start or what to create! Another factor is fear. Fear that what you create won’t be good enough. And to be fair, it’ll probably suck. But you get better each time you try. Consumption is so engrained in most people’s lifes that they’re actually addicted, they just can’t stop.
Each minute of creation brings you closer to being awesome, to the 10000 hours, to fame on the Internet and far beyond! Each minute of consumption brings you more boredom and uneasiness about the direction of your life.
Here are some tips.
1) The absolute basics (which most people fuck up anyway)
If you feel like crap, you’re not motivated to create anything, so sleep well, eat well and exercise. Stop getting loaded on sugar. Stop drinking 12 cups of coffee each day. Stop randomly browsing Reddit til 3am.
2) Install plugins to control your browsing habits
3) Imagine a screen covering your mouth
And make a habit out of being completely aware of what’s going through this screen. You are the one lifting your hand to bring that 24-oz bottle of Coke to your lips. You put the food in your mouth. You decide what you’re doing with your time. You’re not a zombie.
4) Train your brain to recognize each activity as production or consumption
And whenever you catch yourself slipping away in a consumption frenzy, snap your finger and get back to work.
Hope this helps, please share if you like what I’m doing here 🙂