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  • Anne

Why Creativity BEFORE Consumption

Updated: Jan 15

Do you think consumption should go before creativity?

The reason why I say creativity before consumption is because one is not necessarily better than the other. And they are not necessarily either good or bad. They are both merely potential.


The bad

As such, both can be used for good or bad.

Examples of using creativity for evil:

  • Planning ways to torment someone

  • Fantasize cheating on a spouse

  • Committing a crime

Examples of using consumption for evil:

  • Spending all your money

  • Watching TV all day

  • Being addicted to shopping/food/TV/drugs/alcohol

As you can see, both creativity and consumption have their dangers.


The good

Fortunately, they can both be very good as well.

Examples of using creativity for good:

  • Designing an item that makes life better for others

  • Writing a story that brings hope and joy to others

  • Create a delicious meal to share with friends

Examples of using consumption for good:

  • Reading books

  • Nourishing and cleansing your body

  • Learning a skill by watching/reading about it

Creativity generally comes from the things we consume and creativity is where the things we consume came from. They form a beautiful cycle, when done properly.


The potential

Creativity is the source of our ideas. When you write a book, act out a play, create a video for the enjoyment of others, or cook a delicious meal, you hope that those will be consumed since you’re sharing your talents for the benefit of others. Creativity is when we're giving back to the world.


An example of how creativity and consumption go together Is learning how to do math from a textbook. It’s only after the person consumes the textbook that they now have the knowledge. They can either do nothing with it and just keep consuming, or they can take things and they can create something from it. Perhaps they will solve a big theorem in mathematics and create a paper that other people can consume and enjoy.


Creativity first

The interesting thing is that I say creativity before consumption, even though consumption does generally come first. It's very difficult to create, if you don't have anything in you to create. However, I'm going to guess that most of us have spent a decent amount of time consuming and we under-perform in creating.


The reason why I say creativity before consumption, is because if you don't start out with something creative, you start consuming, and you're probably just going to stick with the consumption. Consumption is very habit forming; it's very addictive. You get used to it, and then you stay there. That tends to lead to more consumption.


Do the hard thing first; start with creativity. There are so many different things you can do:

  • Write a journal

  • Play music

  • Sing

  • Dance

  • Exercise

  • Cook

  • Make crafts

  • Clean the house

  • Talk to a friend or family member about whatever topic they're most interested in

Listen to your loved ones! That's not necessarily creating something, but the two of you together are creating a discussion as you mold your own thoughts and ideas about a topic. That is an important component of creativity.


Creativity is when you are outputting something; you come up with something. Take something that comes from within, and put it out there. Then after you do that, then you can consume:

  • Learn more

  • Read a book

  • Watch something with your family

  • Eat that food you made

  • Enjoy that clean house

  • Listen to music

You can enjoy your consumption and be more effective with it after you've created something.


Challenge

I want you to think about something you're about to consume, which obviously if you're reading this, then you're consuming something right now. Therefore start by putting this down (go ahead, I’ll wait). I want you to create something: anything, for five minutes. I don't want you to input anything. Unless it’s a conversation with someone; that's fine. Other than that, I want you to output for five straight minutes. You can write, talk to yourself, make a puppet show, sing, dance, impersonate Elvis, go on a walk, or whatever you want. Just make something and do it without any input. Turn off the TV, turn off your phone, and don't listen to music. See how it goes!


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