In my search for a life worth living I can point to a significant change in how I live.
Before I was almost exclusively a consumer. I bought and used things which kept my interest and distracted me from what was important in my life. Games, TV etc.
Yet the past three years have been marked by significant change. I no longer habitually do many of the things I once did. I listen to music far less, watch a lot less TV.
A big step in 2016 was that I stopped playing computer games, for the first time in my life, as an experiment.
Now my life is more balanced in part because I am spending less time on consumption and more on creating something and putting it out into the world.
It’s a lesson for all of us I think. I’m constantly surprised how much people buy, but also how much time they spend talking about buying things.
The consumer society has created meaning for us by supplying an endless amount of products and services for us to purchase. We fill our lives up by filling up our houses with possessions and lionise products and companies as of they were religious icons. (Apple anyone?)
From Curator to Creator
We really need to make the shift from the consumption of products and services to create something for others.
This act of creation is what validates our existence in a way that consumption never can. Consumption merely points to our existence like a black hole sucking in matter. Creation is like a supernova, you light up your surroundings and scatter potential into the world.
You also show something of your character in what you create. It’s a way of saying ‘I did this‘, this is my contribution, a highly individual statement.
It can be a product, like a work of art or literature. A piece of scientific research that moves our understanding of the world forwards. Or an idea that helps us see things in a new light.
Alternatively, it can be creating a space and time for people to gather together. A business that solves a problem or a charity that helps others.
The possibilities for creation are varied and subject to very few limitations.
Note also it doesn’t have to be large scale. It could be a hobby of your own, a side hustle.
This journey from curator to creator is often what defines our lives.
We break free of the toxic side of our society and live less like a zombie. Instead becoming more engaged in life by making a life.
It’s the sort of thing I see in my own life as I write more, paint and build a business.
However even here I sometimes fall into the trap of consuming to much art instead of focusing on my own. It shows this trap of consumption is always there. Becuase it’s always easier to consume and procrastinate.
So this is a rallying call to you, reduce the mindless consumption and build something. A work of art, a business, friendships, something.