Since the beginning of time, human beings have been natural creators. From our pictorial cave drawings dating back over 200,000 years, (fun fact: these drawings were the start of all modern language), to the wheel, which helped us transport ourselves and goods across larger spans of land more efficiently, all the way up the automobile, and the vast improvements in technology we have seen in recent years.
Although some of these inventions and technologies have helped us progress as a species, like everything else they have not come without a dark side, and in some ways, they seem to have led us down a path opposite of creation.
The world we live in today is filled to the brim with goods and services. In comparison to our ancestral past, most of the goods we consume today do not have the intrinsic value of the items traded and sold amongst humans long ago. Trading and purchasing of goods functioned around what was needed for an individual or for the group at the time such as, supplies and materials for building, trading, and purchasing fabric or clothing to stay alive as opposed to fashion, there was more meaning and value in the items that we bought, sold, and traded.
In many ways, this concept still holds true, but the problem lies in the abundance of “stuff” out in the marketplace, and our rampant consumer culture. We need the latest $1000 cell phone, the $300 dollar sneakers to sit in our closet filled with 20 other pairs. We purchase homes with rooms we never go in, and we pay for expensive food and drink that fills the same amount of space in your stomach. We have slowly become a culture of rabid consumers instead of creators providing value for others.
Our constant search for better and better in terms of goods consumed has in certain ways crippled us as creators. Instead of working on aside project, we work at the job we hate so that we can save to buy the sneakers, or the phone, or save for the massive house in which we don’t use or goin half of the rooms we have. This works in tandem with increasing food intake, and the vast amount of information out there looking to be devoured, from blogsto various websites, and all forms of media.
It appears the next thing is never enough, and there is always something more to consume, and this has become our primary concern, buying more stuff. We have pushed our potential and capabilities aside to become consumers in a system that will happily feed you more shit, and keep you working at that job you hate just to pay for it. The only way out of this cycle is to go back to our foundations and move forward to what you are supposed to be, a divine creator.
Becoming a creator (or being more positively productive for that matter) may seem out of grasp for some people, as you may entertain the perception of not having any value to offer. Everyone has a unique set of talents and inborn gifts.
Becoming the creator, you were meant to be is a matter of discovering, or in many cases, rediscovering those gifts. Instead of mindlessly reading and scrolling on social media or any other internet source, shift your thinking into what can you create that may have a positive effect on someone else or another entity.
Instead of saving for the shoes, think how you can put that money toward some creation or invention. It may be in the form of an artistic work, a book, a business, forming a group, a network, or anything else you can imagine. The key is to begin to shift your thinking away from mindless consumption and into creation, because that is where true joy, happiness and fulfillment lies.
“You are entitled to the work, not the fruits of your work.”
– Bhagavad Gita
Mostly everyone I met have spoken of new things they would like to try; beginning to write, or play an instrument or create crafts on the side. Having hobbies you enjoy keeps your creative juices flowing and keeps you mentally sharp. You are expanding yourself by doing something out of your everyday“ordinary”. The good thing about hobbies is that there is no need to pursue a business out of it, it can simply be something you enjoy doing, but share your work with the world. Maybe it will turn into a business by accident.
I think today, most people have at least had an idea for aside business. At some point they were tired of their 9-5 bullshit job and began to put a rough plan down on paper. Unfortunately for most people, this is as far as they get.
They get fired up for a day or a week, then the flame slowly diminishes, and you put the plan aside, only to return to it the next time you're pissed off and then the cycle repeats all over again (I’ve been here a few times.)
It doesn’t take much to start a side business. All you need to do is go to the bank and open up a DBA, and that process literally takes 20minutes and boom, you now have a business (In some cases you need to register your name with the state, but even still, it’s no large task).
Get started today and put your value out into the world. I know people who sell healing crystals and potion that are happy as ever, and I know someone who creates custom frames for movie and bands and loves every minute of it. The point is, there is value you can create for other people, you just need to find where what you do fits in with the people you are looking for.
Value is something that is not strictly tied to money.Providing value or creating something for someone else could be as simple as giving someone a genuine, positive compliment. My father hit me with a one liner of wisdom when I was a kid that I still carry with me to this day. He said“People are dying to be spoken to” and when you share true compliments and observations with people, whether it be on their clothing or their character, they light up.
This may be even more true in this over-technology-stuffed world. It seems the need for face-to-face human connection is more important and powerful than ever. And sometimes simply striking up a conversation with a stranger or making someone smile is the best value you can provide. And this works across the board, no matter the person. Sometimes the smallest gestures can have the greatest effects.
Strive for Productivity
There is a great quote by Bhagavad Gita, and he says, “You are entitled to the work, not the fruits of your work.” To translate, when you work, work! Put all of your efforts into what you’re doing. After doing so you will begin to see that the real fruit is in the work itself; the process, the flow, knowing you are putting forth your best efforts. Although financial awards and accolades are nice, the real reward is in the effort.
Though there is a healthy balance between creation and consumption, you will never get as much satisfaction from endlessly buying and consuming things than you will by creating something else for other people. The only way you will see this truth is if you do it.
Take the initiative to create something meaningful. Dust off your old side project you put away, write, start the business you wanted to create, go out in the real world and have a meaningful conversation or just make someone laugh. Change the dynamic from mindless consumer to conscious creator. You’ll be thankful you did.