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Creativity > Consumption
An equation for success
Nothing like a good ol' cross-country move to throw your whole world into chaos.
But having your last couple of weeks disappear into thin air can make you look at things with fresh eyes.
With only scraps of time available, I didn't have time for my usual power hour. Routines can often break down, but how you pick yourself up is what makes a difference in the long run.
Do you give up? Or start again and keep going.
Perseverance, grit, sticking around long enough to make a difference is how you win the game. Any game. Those who stick around and keep improving reach the top. The others move on to something else.
Well... I tried getting myself up again. Writing this in the middle of the move to create a sense of order in the eye of the storm. But.. I just couldn't do it. The momentum was lost. I thought maybe I'll read something to relax a bit and spark some ideas. Maybe a book. Tried, but couldn't focus again. I opened up my inbox and scrolled through the dozens of newsletters I'm subscribed to, and can't quite remember how or when this happened. Not surprisingly, I had double-digit unread posts as well. I suddenly realized that the cunning consumer mindset had crept in. After spending the next few minutes unsubscribing from the majority of them, leaving only the finest, I was even more wiped out than before. The balance was off, and my creativity was nowhere to be found.
Consuming piles things up, takes valuable energy, and you still have a growing list of things to do at the end of it. Even if it's consuming valuable information. I've found that it needs to be balanced with creativity. "More information" ended up not being the answer or as relaxing as I had hoped.
But… I took some deep breaths and kept going with the process. No distractions this time. Just powering through the slump. Sitting down and just writing. This was the real break I was craving. Nothing else. In about 15 minutes of blissful focus, I had the first draft ready. I felt my energy levels rising again. This is what was missing! The balance between creativity and everything else. When other stuff starts taking too much of our time, it's even more important to make the time to create. Even a few minutes sprinkled here or there can rebuild lost momentum. Next day, I was back at it with a full hour of focus early in the morning. The balance was now restored, and I was back in the game.
I think it might be time to start upping the frequency of these posts again.🔥
It's like a well-oiled machine. If you create more than you consume, you'll have a net positive output in the world and feel good about yourself. If you consume more than you create, you'll have a deficit, and your creativity will be itching to be let out. Don't let the balance get too far off-center.
You can also apply this type of systems-based thinking to other areas of life and business. Can you think of a few more cases?
But systems break down too. What if you do everything correctly and something out of your control happens? Like your bank shuts down… Woof! While this wasn't the case for me, wild things happen (Hint: SVB + friends). Hopefully, none of you were affected!? In this case, I'm not sure what the answer would be… diversification? Spreading your eggs among multiple nests. In case one breaks down, there's another lying around as backup? But you can only have so many nests. At some point, all we can have is a certain level of trust. Otherwise, everything would break down anyway.
So, the equation we are looking to put in motion is Creativity > Consumption. Create more than you consume, and you'll end up with the odds stacking up in your favor. Then use what you consume to increase the quality of what you create. That is, the cycle of Create -> Consume -> Improve while accounting for anomalies like the bank shutting down as best as you can (HOLY SH!T).
And then topping it all off with a wee bit of trust.
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