Sometimes, even if you have some idea, thoughts or feelings about something, and you always think about that, it can be hard to fully understand what that really is and believe in it. But if somebody reliable put that (or similar) idea into words, the idea finally begin to sink in.
That happens quite often to me, and luckily, I’ve always been surrounded by people who are thoughtful and good with words enough to do that magical thing. I was even more lucky to find someone like them on the Internet, too. Those people’s words often led me to the right direction when I was in doubt, or I was lost. If I become honest, I am writing this blog wishing if my words could possibly help someone to confirm their original idea when they can’t be sure enough.
Recently, this magic happened to me for the first time in a while – someone confirmed my idea which I thought important, but tended to forget or couldn’t be courage enough to actually live by. It was when I was watching a YouTube video, and today I’d like to share that story and that idea with you here.
The video is from one of my favorite YouTube channel “Pick Up Limes”.
She is Sadia, a Canadian currently living in Netherlands, shares her lifestyle ideas and tips to live healthier life both mentally and physically, based on her experiences of working as registered clinic dietitian.
I love this channel because she always makes great contents, that make viewers to think, realize, and reflect things that are really important but we tend to forget.
This video is about a “balance”.
For example when you see someone’s “perfect” life on Instagram, or when you meet somebody who seems very successful and confident, you might be inspired, but also be like this:
“Everybody else is working really hard and killing it, but what am I doing? I’m not gonna achieve anything I am aiming to…”
Even when you are actually working really hard, put everything into it, it’s surprisingly easy to feel bogged down once you started comparing yourself with others.
Why do we feel this way? Even when that’s completely wrong and unnecessary? She says that’s because there’s something wrong about the “balance”. The balance between “consuming” and “creating”.
We consume, not only food, clothes, electricity, but also information. When we’re watching TV, Googling something, reading a book or a blog post, and scrolling social media, we are consuming.
People have various kinds of opinions about consuming. There are some people who love it, but there would also be people who consider it as a bad thing, feel negative about it, or feel guilty when they do it.
However, for most of us, consuming is necessary. That’s something impossible to cut out from our lives completely. Consuming is totally natural thing and it’s just okay to do it.
In this video, Sadia says the ratio consuming to creating should be imbalanced. We should create more than we consume. When you consume so much without creating, that’s when you start comparing you with others and feeling negative about yourself, and losing confidence.
Here creating doesn’t necessarily mean to create popular videos and become a successful YouTuber like her, or anything that big. Taking photos, designing, painting, writing a song, playing music, and other artistic work are also creating, and even cooking, writing, gardening are creating, too.
Also, – and this is why I love her content so much, that she has a great perspective – you can also create your career, the strong relationship and bond with your loved ones, and creating a good community by contribute to people around you as well. These acts are also “creating”. To create, you don’t have to be an artist. Creating is something anyone can do. Tomorrow, or even right now.
Even though I understand that and agree with her, it’s a lot easier said than done. I can imagine me keep scrolling social media tomorrow, again, completely forgetting about creating. I can’t help spending so much time on consuming information. Then, is there anything I can do differently when I’m consuming, to make the time a little more meaningful?
My conclusion for now is….
“Consume to create.” Meaning, consume information to help you creating.
Recently I realized that when I see someone or something blows my mind, moves me so much, I am always thinking about behind what I’m seeing. I am thinking about how hard they have been working on it, or what they are thinking and feeling. Nobody asks me to think this way but I just can’t help it, and it makes me attracted to them and impressed by them even more. And at that moment, I am always feeling very positive, extremely excited, and happy.
That gave me this idea…. When I see information about something and someone really amazing, and I’m inspired but also about to start comparing and self criticizing, think more about what’s behind what I’m seeing. Think more about how they do it, what they think, how hard they have been working on it, and what I can learn from them… That can shift how I see the situation, and change the experience into the whole different thing. If I focus on what I can learn from those amazing – but also overwhelming – information, that will reduce negativity and increase excitement.
Even more, if you can be courage enough to talk to them, that would give you a bonus. You don’t need to be super smart or strategic to do it, but just be honest, open, and interested. Make comments or ask anything that might help you when you “create” something in the future. “I love what you’re doing.” “I’ve never seen something like this, but how do you do that?” “I’m working on the similar thing but not working well…. can you give me some advice?” or anything that can help you to “create”. Just be interested, and excited.
Maybe some of you who are very polite and humble are thinking like this; “Isn’t it too much?” “What if they hate being asked questions by such an amateur like me?” Well, that was exactly how I’ve been thinking until very recently, but what about when someone asks you questions about your work? For me personally, compliments are always great, I appreciate every time anyone tells me, but sometimes I can’t help being not sure if they are just being nice or they really mean it. (Not proud of this…. I know I should just take it and say thank you, but that’s still hard sometimes….) However, when someone takes some time and asks me “How do you do that?” “What are you using?” “How long have you been doing?” or any positive and practical, specific questions, then I can really believe “Wow, this person really liked my work!” There might be some people who want to keep what they have as secrets and that’s completely understandable, but I think there are a lot of people who would take your comments and questions as great compliments. Your words possibly can motivate them even more.
When we consume – especially, when we consume information. any kind of it – since we can access information any time we want in this age, it’s very easy to spend a lot of time mindlessly consuming information floating around. If we spend our tremendous time on consuming information, why not make it positive, constructive, and encouraging? In order to realize that, I will always keep these ideas on my mind – the concept of “creating more than you consume” that Sadia taught us, and the idea I came up with ” Consume to help yourself to create”.