We live in such a distracted world; a world of spectating, observing, and endless critiquing. Everything is being analyzed at such scale that it’s hard to keep track of what is important anymore: the latest celebrity gossip, the recently released blockbuster movie, what hidden intentions might be behind a politician’s wink to the camera. And we feel the need to consume all of it.
Stop. You might even be doing this right now. You’re reading this article. Were you really searching for this article or did you just click on it because you had nothing better to do?
Here’s an experiment: Ask a couple friends what they did over the past weekend. Chances are, they did some of the following things:
- Went out for dinner
- Watched a movie
- Attended a concert
These are not actions but mere consumption of the fruits of others’ labor. Going to the movies is seen as a trite date idea — and probably for good reason. It is a passive activity that involves little effort, little reward, and little insight into the soul. Your efforts do not have a direct result on those outcomes. You didn’t prepare the meal and you weren’t the one performing on stage in front of thousands of people.
All you did was pay to be a passive participant to another’s actions for a couple hours. And that’s okay. What would art be without an audience?
However, the doldrums are real. For many, working in an office from 9 to 5 is soul-sucking. And the cure is not cheap consumption; it is thoughtful creation.
It begins with just a minor shock to the system. Become an active participant in the things you already enjoy. Was that you whose weekend highlight was a dinner you enjoyed? If you find yourself inspired by a great meal at a restaurant, try to recreate it at home. If a film really speaks to you, find out what made it unique and apply those techniques by writing your own short story.
Or try something you never thought you could see yourself doing. Find a dance instructor, tell jokes at an open mic night, try your hand at Japanese Calligraphy. Anything that awakens the mind, gets the blood pumping, lights a fire under you, and makes you feel like you are truly living.
Get out there and start creating.