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Being a consumer is easy, at least from the brain’s perspective.
Though food, alcohol, pornography, and shopping often take center stage when we talk about “consuming,” we are right in the middle of an era of information overload.
The brain can’t get enough of it, especially if we get stuck in consuming and aren’t balancing it out with the creative endeavors that are an important part of our growth, development, and contribution.
At the end of the day, it’s a choice.
Consuming and creating are both essential, but take a look at which is getting more of your time and energy. And, do you like your outcomes?
Check out all episodes at https://moveyourdesk.com/2019/09/06/the-move-your-desk-podcast/ or through your favorite podcast subscription service.
Episode 84 Show Notes
Episode 84 Transcript
This is Rebecca Clark. Episode 84. Choosing to create this’ll podcast is for anyone that knows they haven’t yet found and offered up their best work but are compelled to seek it out and do it. Are you ready to move your desk back in the day, which happened to be the year 2000 and nine or 2010. In this particular case, our leadership like being on the cutting edge of learning and learning technologies. And of course, a lot of these ideas are drawn from other fields, which is great. But part of those cutting edge technologies were mobile phones. Or perhaps I should say we’re going from mobile phones to calling them smartphones because they did a heck of a lot more. And part of the phrases that we would hear all the time at work and in the world is we’re all gonna work from our phones or tablets or phablets that came out soon after that this was proliferated through our leadership. They would say this all the time like, Oh, we’re all gonna be working from our phones or tablets. We’ve all gotta learn this. We’ve all got to be prepared and I remember having thoughts about this because I was a BlackBerry user PD a user. What was that personal digital assistant? And I had a flip phone, and so I appreciated that they had some value. And the minute I got my hands on a smartphone, I realized the world of opportunity that opened up from one of these kinds of tools. But at the same time, I could tell that the people that were touting these as being the Onley things we would work from weren’t creators. They were primarily consumers, and there need to be creators and consumers. And hopefully we find a balance in being both and our lives because we learn through consuming information. We also get stressed out. We get all kinds of emotions from consuming information, don’t we? Excited, exhilarated, inspired, fearful, angry, all kinds of emotions. As a creator, I realized that if all I had was a phone or a tablet, there would be something missing from my life and my work because my work requires paper, and sometimes I need a huge monitor so I can look at lots of different information or see a picture more clearly, and it’s interesting that around the time that was happening, I took a picture of my cube because at that point I worked in a cube, and I took the picture to demonstrate to those around me to myself and the leadership that the mobile phone was another tool at our disposal. But it wasn’t going to be the Onley tool that we needed to do our work. And in the picture, I have a laptop. I have a large monitor. I have a medium sized monitor. I have a tablet, I have a phone and I have a notebook on. I had sticky notes, and I also had a magazine and a book. It was amazing that all of those tools were needed for me to do my work. I referenced things in different ways. I used the tablet differently than I used the phone, and I used those differently than my notebook and the laptop. They were all part of how I did my work. Now I acknowledge that part of this was because we were working on a very suit cure network, and there’s certain things that I did not do on my work computer, especially if they were of personal nature. But sometimes I wanted to do something on the computer and use the tablet to reference something because I didn’t want to clutter up my screen referencing it, and I kind of wanted to see it all at the same time. And, you know, there’s only so many monitors you can have going at once, right? But the point of all this is that if you don’t engage in the creative process very often, you will look at something new like a mobile phone and think, Oh, that’s all we’re going to need going forward because you are in consuming mode and that may be enough for you. But consuming is not enough for our brains. And we know this because we often choose to over consume. And when we do that, we train our brain to feel like it’s not enough right. We get used to the dopamine hits, and we need to do more and more to get that same dopamine hit. And that doesn’t just happen with alcohol or food or shopping. That can happen with information. And I used to call it being like a kid in the candy store because we would have leaders that would be enamored with some tool. But because they were only a consumer, it was as if they discovered this bright and shiny object or this great candy. And then they turned down another aisle of the store and realized there was Mawr, and they wanted it because it was there and available. And that was very frustrating for some of us that were actual creators. And because those of us that were creators had to make sure that we actually had products at the end of our creation. And so whenever people that Onley consumed came to me and recommended tools or websites or books, I would have to stop them and ask them a question, because I wasn’t sure what kind of recommendation I was getting. And I would have to say, Okay, are you recommending this tool because you looked at 10 tools and this was the best? Or is this just the first tool you saw? And you’ve never seen this kind of tool for So you’re running to me with this recommendation because most of the time they were running to me with recommendations, and I already knew there were hundreds of tools out there that could do the same thing. And so I didn’t know when they’re giving me a recommendation, whether or not they’d researched anything or they were just the kid in the candy store that turned to the next aisle and found something new and bright and shiny. I think that’s important, because if you are over consuming and under creating, you may not realize whether or not what you’re offering is valuable anymore because it’s just such a high rate of consuming. And unless you roll up your sleeves and try to create something, you don’t know the shortfalls or the challenges or the goodness of what you are actually recommending. Add to that some of the challenges we have in hyperdrive today with the vast amount of news and articles out there, that air written by people that air paid 15 or 20 bucks for every article they right, so who knows how truthful or relevant or meaningful those articles are now? Some of them are creators and they desperately care about what they’re creating and they research, and they spend time thinking about it and bringing in their skills and experiences and stories to those articles but a lot don’t. In fact, I know some people who got paid 15 to 20 bucks an article that literally would research that day, something about finance or something about health care or sales, and write an article as if they were an expert that day. I don’t know how creative that ISS, but it sure adds a lot of noise and information to the world. I love creating. And when I was younger, I thought creating meant bringing some arts and crafts into the world or sewing address. And I was so relieved when I started to figure out that I could create in different ways. Maybe I could write down some stories. Maybe I could organize an event. Maybe I could plan projects and execute projects, and that’s creation. Maybe I could figure out a new way to organize information, all kinds of ways we can create. It’s being able to take that blank piece of paper. I’ve talked about another episodes and to put something on it, knowing that it’s not perfect, but you’ll learn something in the process, and that constant process of creating puts us in a practice mode where we can practice and experiment and fail toward discovering new ways to do things new big ideas and being an informed nudge er that helps other people pursue whatever creative pursuit they want. Staying in that creative mode puts us in a place where we do seek information, right. We want to know how to do something or how we could do it better, or how what we’re doing compares to someone else and what we can learn from them. And it gets us out of that consuming mind. It’s indulging its information hoarding, and it’s never enough. And yet if we don’t do anything with all that information, it becomes quite the overload on us. It’s the year 2020. We’ve had co vid. We’ve had economic stuff. We’ve had political stuff in addition to all the other life and work stuff, so we could make that mean something for many people. They haven’t accomplished the goals they had set for this year, and part of the reason they have not is because they’ve gone into high consumption mode of information, and that may be fine. If you are a political pointy or you are a nurse or a doctor that needs to be aware of certain things. But if you are not doing anything with that information that’s helping your life or someone else’s, why are you spending the time on it? Would your time be better served on creating something, making something possible for yourself or for someone else? So I wanted to read a quote that I found from someone who created a very thoughtful online article. It’s by Caroline Grigory, a writer and creative consultant, and she’s talking about the four stages of the creative process. And of course, there’s all these different models for the creative process. She was talking about The Art of Thought, which is a book written by the British psychologist Graham Wallace, who talked about the creative process back in 1920. And I want to quote something that she wrote in the article as she explains this creative process. At its heart, any creative process is about discovering something new within ourselves and then bringing that something into the world. For others to experience and enjoy the work of the artist, the visionary, the innovator, is to bridge their inner and outer worlds, taking something that Onley exists within their own mind. and heart and soul and birthing it into concrete tangible form. Any creative process is a dance between the inner and the outer, the unconscious and the conscious mind dreaming and doing madness and method, solitary reflection and active collaboration. Psychologist describe it in simple terms of inspiration, which is coming up with ideas and generation bringing ideas toe life. I loved that reminder that the art of creating brings your conscious and subconscious mind together, and you don’t just sit there consuming. You do something and you take something that’s just, ah, thought on idea and turn it into something useful for yourself and others. So I’m hoping today is that you decide that you are going to work on creating something from the information you’re consuming or create something from those best thoughts in your mind. And even though you will doubt yourself in the process or think, why bother? Just go ahead and experiment. See what you come up with. You never know if this will lead you to meet someone interesting and create some new product or service. You never know if this will spur you into doing something differently at your job, and you never know how much you’ll grow from that experience and discover something new about yourself. We will always be a combination of creating and consuming. But offering your best work will require you to grow the part of your brain that creates, and that takes some practice. Okay, my friends, go do the work. Talk to you soon. Thanks for listening to the show today. If you enjoyed it, I’d love if you’d write a review and share the show with your friends, sign up for a weekly nudge at. Move your desk dot com. See you next Monday.