focus on creating, not consuming

If there’s one thing that can significantly impact your life in a positive way and change it for better, it’s following this maxim: create more, consume less.

No matter where we go, we are coaxed to buy things and consume more. Even in the digital space, whether be in online marketplaces or video streaming platforms, we are constantly bombarded with more items, offers and content to consume. And it gets harder and harder for us to resist and not give in. 

The attention engineers in Silicon Valley and the marketers do a commendable job in convincing us that we need more. That we are incomplete in some way. They constantly work hard to show us that we have a void within us that only their products and services can fill. 

This is so widespread, that we all take it for granted now. We realize how advertisers are manipulating us, yet we still give them our time and attention. Advertisements are everywhere, in the streets, at our homes, on our screens, on all the social media apps and the more time we spend in their company, the deeper the void gets. 

This doesn’t mean that the only solution is shunning everything and living in exile like a hermit. Instead, all we have to do is tweak our behavior with regard to dealing with the aforementioned void that we feel within. 

We, humans, have two key intrinsic desires — to create and to consume. We’re all creators of some kind, whether we are entrepreneurs, authors, musicians, architects, software engineers, students or homemakers. And we all consume, whether it be food and beverages, or other material things like books, movies, video content, music, podcasts, etc.  

We think that the best bet to fill the void within us is to increase our consumption. But this is a flawed mindset. It turns out that when we consume more than necessary, we distance ourselves away from inner peace and tranquility. We initiate self-sabotaging patterns in different areas of our life. We start experiencing stress, anxiety, fear and depression. And it gets more and more difficult to satiate the void within. We get weighed down by our compulsive consumption habits and this affects us mentally physically, emotionally and spiritually. 

To offset this, all we have to do is take a complete 180-degree turn. Instead of consuming, we need to focus on our need to create. We get so caught up in the incessant cycle of consumption in our everyday life, that we forget that we are creative beings first and foremost. The void within can only be filled by directing our time and attention towards creating more and consuming less. The more we create and share our gifts with the world, the more we get closer to feeling contentment, happiness and profound joy. 

If you feel trapped by your mindless and autopilot consumption behaviors perpetuated by the desire to fill the hollow within, then it’s time to get the pendulum on the other side and start working on some meaningful creations. When we focus our energy on creating more, we limit and slow down our rate of consumption, it’s as simple as that. 

As paradoxical as it may sound, the only way to fill the void within and to live a happy and fulfilling life is to add more value to the world by creating meaningful things.