Humans have a deep desire to create and to build.
We rose to the top of the food chain because of our ability to create.
And I know from personal experience, the most satisfaction I feel comes after periods of creation.
But today we are all dealing with a very serious problem…
There is a major suppression and misdirection of our desire to create — and it’s causing a lot of problems for us…
Feelings of anxiety, depression, uncertainty, confusion, and hopelessness can all be related to a simple thing:
You’re not creating, you’re not building, and you’re not living up to your potential.
We need creative outlets for our energy and thoughts. We need to know that we are living the most meaningful life possible for us. We need to know that our life is making a difference in some way.
But there is an enemy that is numbing this need to create and forcing us to consume.
In the last decade, this enemy’s tactics have become increasingly sophisticated, reducing the attention span of billions of people to short, endless streams of random text, video, and single-images that one must consume immediately to be current and up-to-date.
In the big picture, the pleasure, fear, and reward centers of your brain are being constantly
By social media…
By the 24-hour news cycle…
By app and video games…
By engineered junk food…
By notifications on your phone and computer…
And by about 2,837,383 other stimuli that assail you and interrupt your thoughts throughout the day.
(Every time you’re interrupted–or interrupt yourself–it takes 20 minutes to get back into a state of flow.)
Many of these things have been carefully engineered to get you addicted, like a drug.
The result of all this is:
We stop thinking for ourselves.
Our brains are being hijacked and rewired.
In addition, when your short-term pleasure centers are constantly lit up, your long-term happiness is lower.
(On my latest Truth Barrel podcast with Dr. Robert Lustig, which I strongly recommend, he cited research showing that there’s an inverse relationship between dopamine and serotonin.)
So you can use this to numb and distract yourself, or you can see it for what it is:
Robbery of Your Potential
When you’re not constantly stimulated, it may feel uncomfortable at first because your brain wants its quick pleasure fix, but within 24 hours, you’ll likely start experiencing a clarity that drives you toward true creation and meaning.
You’ll be re-calibrated, re-centered, and most importantly, living a proactive life that springs forth out of your desires, rather than a reactive life controlled by the agendas of other people and corporations.
Some people here have fears of failure and even fears of success. My advice: Forget about the outcome.
Science shows that the process of creating is better for us than the actual “creation.”
The act of creating anything forces you to focus, learn, develop a work ethic, and build character.
In addition, you gain skills, experience, meaning, purpose, identity, growth, fulfillment, and self-esteem.
And if all goes well, other benefits can include success, a new career, money, new relationships, a positive impact on others, and a lot of open doors to do even more creation at an even bigger level.
It’s easy to continue to be a consumer and live a passive, reactive life, rather than be a creator, explorer, and innovator.
But if you take the easy path, you’re throwing away your time and possibly your life. And you’re being numbed at best, but more likely depressed or anxiety-ridden.
(Studies correlate higher levels of news and social media consumption with depression and anxiety.)
But if you take the harder path, the one that often comes with discomfort, pressure, doubt, and struggle, you will end up more alive, free, happy, and fulfilled.
If you’re still with me, you’re probably excited about this and are ready to take action.
There are two things we need to do:
Decide What You Want to Create
You don’t want to limit your thinking here.
Here are just a few suggestions if you’re stuck:
– Make art, whether it be film, literature, painting, photography, cooking, or whatever you consider artistic
– Build a business
– Share what you know (or are learning) via a book, blog, podcast, video, or social media account (just don’t keep checking it for likes and comments)
– Re-create yourself by achieving a health, social, or personal growth goal
– Start an additional stream of income
– Help others: Few things are more meaningful than acts of charity and service
– Alleviate a big problem, whether in your life or in society
– Build something, invent something, fix something, cook something new, make something you’ve never made before
– Or engage in the ultimate act of creation: Transform a relationship and create a healthy family.
So many things can be considered “creation” — but you must be specific and definite.
This brings us to the second and most important part…
Go On An Information Diet
This is the best way to boost output, create, and find yourself with “so much more free time.”
It’s also a good way to get 20/20 inner vision.
You’ll find that even while taking a shower or driving or walking, your mind will be coming up with great ideas.
So I challenge you, for one week, to severely restrict your information input.
No social media…
No TV or Movies…
You’ll find yourself with more energy, more time, and more clarity in your thinking that you’ve probably ever felt before.
I challenge you to focus on output instead of input for one week….
The other day, I did a mid-year Telehang with the Inner Circle.
It was the much-needed kick in the ass we all need since we’re already seven months into the year…which means we have five months left to accomplish our annual goals and resolutions.
The focus of the call was on understanding why it is that some of us failed to act on the goals we set at the beginning of the year and on developing systems that help us make sure we blast through them in the final quarter of 2017.
If you want to create (or re-create), but haven’t “had the time” or feel like some invisible force is stopping you from moving forward…
You won’t want to miss the next call. I will send out the date and details to the Inner Circle mailing list, so make sure you’re signed up: http://www.neilstrauss.com/inner-circle/
(If you accomplished your goals already, congratulations – but let’s discuss whether you really challenged yourself.)
As usual, admission will be a $1 donation to charity (studies also show it’s better to give than receive) and we will only have room on the line for 500 people per call.
The charity this time is Doctors Without Borders.
Sign up to be the first to know about the next call here: http://www.neilstrauss.com/inner-circle/
Remember to ask yourself before the call, “what do I want to create and why haven’t I done it?”