Image Credit: derrickcollins via Compfight
How do you spend most of your time?
Are you a creator or are you a consumer?
Having different roles and personas
We all have different roles in our lives. Most of us have very busy lives and often life is a blur of activity from one role to another.
And to fulfill those roles, you may wear many different hats or personas. Sometimes you are the chef, sometimes a parent or sometimes an employee or you may move from a small business owner to a customer.
Some of these personas and habitual programs have gotten so deeply ingrained in our daily routines that we almost forget that we automatically perform them. It is a form of habitual sleepwalking even though we are in a waking state.
I can relate to that a 100% since I have done that in the past and I will continue doing that in the future! There is something deeply relaxing and comforting about grinding your beans and making coffee exactly at 7:00 AM in the morning every day.
Awareness and focus on our personas and roles
As you become more aware of your personas and your roles, let me ask you a simple question. Where do your dominant energies lie? Are you a creator, a consumer and do you like to engage others with your work? To create or not to create, that is the real question.
This very small but highly important question came into my heightened focus some while before. I asked the question if I was predominantly a consumer or if I associated myself as a creator of my genius work? And when I was acting as a creative person, was I also connecting or engaging with others and launching my work out there for everyone to enjoy?
The ratio problem
A lot of people that I know spend approximately 95% of their time and energy as consumers, 5% of their time as creators of their original genius work and 0% time in the role of engaging others or launching their work. And this also includes people who go from seminar to seminar and book to book and from content to content in the search of the perfect system. They are addicted to learning more and knowing and consuming more.
There is nothing inherently wrong with consuming content. But if it interferes with creating new material and launching it, then you are being predominantly a consumer and not a creator of your genius work. The real challenge is to create and synthesize your own material from what you already know and launch it out for the world to see.
And here is the rub. Until you get out there and teach it to others or apply your knowledge, you only have intellectual understanding of a topic. Deep experiential understanding and making connections and synthesizing genius is usually only possible through action, application, realignment, teaching and communication with others.
The discomfort zone
Creating and launching your material is key. And that is not very comfortable. It pushes you right out of your comfort zone when you decrease the consumption rate and begin creating on a regular basis. And it is even more uncomfortable to launch, connect and engage with others and put your creation out there.
The cycle of consumption
A lot of people like to remain in the zone of comfort. They find solace in the cycle of consumption and intellectual learning and then some more consumption. It becomes a cycle of consumption that is based on the idea that there is something better waiting in the horizon.
They consume one system till the next amazing system or book comes along and then they switch gears and get all gung-ho on the new way of life. It is perfectly fine to do that if it makes you very happy. But what if it is not getting you the results you crave?
The truth is that you may already know more than you need to be an expert in your field. At the very least, you may know enough to begin creating and launching your work and you can learn more as you go. The problem is not lack of knowledge but a lack of action, application and relevance of that knowledge to others.
A lot of people do not want to confront taking action, creating new ideas, products, materials and engaging like-minded people. Creating and launching and engaging should be the areas where they spend most of their time and attention.
The shift: A new paradigm
Everything we have always wanted lies just outside our comfort zone.
If you want your creations to make an amazing impact on this world, you may need to make the shift from a consumer to a creator of your genius work. And you will need to become comfortable with launching your products out for the world to enjoy.
It is time to start creating on a repeated basis. And even if you do not do very well, you may want to keep creating and launching and engaging with people.
Soon you will have the dominant persona of a creator and soon you will figure out what others want and where your strengths lie. You will realize that creating and engaging with others is not easy or comfortable but as you do more of it, it gets more rewarding and it gets easier.
A new ratio
Can you switch to spending 50% of your time as a creator of your genius work, 30% of your time while engaging and connecting your work with others and 20% as a consumer of new interesting material? This shift in ratios cements your role as a genius creator and launcher of your most cherished work.
And over to you now…
Where do you lie in the spectrum of consumer, creator of your unique work and staying engaged with others?
Do you know people in your life who are highly creative but choose to remain in the role of a consumer?
Michelle Dobbins says
I have been more of a consumer, but I’m switching to more of a creator. I used to think I didn’t know enough or wasn’t ready to create something worthwhile, but now I’m just starting where I am and trying to be of service to the world any way I can that brings me joy.
Thank you for your comment Michelle!
Same here! I realized that I needed my own willingness and inspiration to step into the role of a creator and not just be a consumer. I like your idea of just starting where you are at and being of service to the world! It reminds me of this post that I read where the author suggested filling little holes or problems as they came up and not worry too much about filling the big holes.
Melanie Conklin says
Hi, Harish! I enjoyed pondering your exploration of consumer v/s creator. I would say my ration ebbs and flows. At times, I am focused on creating, at others I’m consuming in preparation for creation. I believe the immersion process is essential to creation–any good result is built on a solid foundation of research, right? Thanks for a thought-provoking article!
Thank you for your reply! I completely agree with you. The ebb and flow seems central to the creation process. Understanding when to create and when to recharge may be key to preventing burnout and to staying inspired. I would also throw in being completely dissociated with the creative process-either creating or consuming, as being vital to recharge and/or synthesis. So I would put it thus-consuming/research…creation…dissociation/synthesis…ideation…and so on.
Thanks for making some great points!