Are you aware of what you've been consuming lately?
Your answer could make the difference between success & fulfillment and comparison & content shock. Not to mention bouts of doubt & lack of inspiration.
We all have this need to check if we're doing "the right things" and see how we can do them even better. The problem is when you drop yourself out of the equation and decide that you should do things by other people's standards.
Let's take the how to's and life hacks and successful habits as an example.
Even life lessons are sounding all the same, coming to the same conclusions, and assuming that those takeaways will help you lead your life better, when in actuality, your life will be drastically different from the next person's. It needs to be.
You were born different, so stay different.
I mean, tomorrow you could decide that you like someone's website and go on to make yours a little similar. Or believe that the experts know better than you and decide to do what they do. Basically, you're foregoing who you are, what you stand for, and what you do best, so that you can emulate successful people. Ugh.
Before you know it, you're creating stuff that's expected. What everybody else is creating. Your business, your website, your entire online presence becomes a copy of everybody else's and we get this homogeneous mass of blergh.
There's nothing more boring than being predictable.
Creating what you're consuming isn't just boring, it could be dangerous. I may have told you about my failure to launch the Xmas before last. I basically tried to create a course a) because everybody else was and b) the way everybody else was. Then I ended up refunding everyone because it turns out it's not for me.
(If you have ever created something just because everyone else was and ended up realizing you hated it, then proceeded to do things your way, maybe you should join our community of creative rebels, who're doing the exact same thing.)
If you are curious, here's my current consumption list:
Where do we put the line between consuming and following up on that consumption? Between consuming and being swayed away from who we are? Why can't we just be ourselves instead of being swayed by promises of millions of dollars and 'a better life' that will never come? Why can't we be happy about being different???
Probably because "different" is very similar to "weird," and that's a dirty word.
You know the feeling, right? You were probably called weird at some point in your life and you didn't like it. It meant you were doing something wrong. You were not conforming to whatever the standard for behavior was.
I'll tell you what though. I'll take your weird over predictable any day.
With everybody spewing content in every format, on every platform, and the world slipping into content shock, the only people who stand out are the outliers, the purple cows, the creative rebels. Those who are tired of fitting in and blissfully standing out. Those of us who embrace who we are, all that we are.
The irony is that society accepts weird only when the person is successful. Only when they've changed things for the better. Only when it can put a label on them and call them outliers, praise them for being ingenious, but still not different. Because if society admits that different is better, the whole system will crumble.
Back to content. Realistically, one can be themselves and do things their way whatever content they consume. However, I bring this up because-
People take advice at the worst possible times.
Have you noticed? When you're at a crossroads, you ask your loved ones what to do. When you're starting a business, you consume all that you can and do what you're told. And so on. Since content is everywhere - like the unsolicited advice that it's become - consumption is becoming the seed of self-doubt.
We've all been there, and it's very fixable, don't worry.
In one of my rebellious recordings, I let you know that I'm no longer consuming how to articles, life hack listicles, or expert advice. This is simply because I don't need advice on how to lead my life or run my business, I never have.
And if you feel overwhelmed by all the discombobulated content you've been consuming, maybe it's time to DISCONNECT and DISCOVER your own brand or business through fresh eyes and with some new perspective - your own. Because the Internet doesn't need another 'samey' brand, but more unique voices.
So stop consuming all the wrong things and find what makes your heart sing.
Better yet, find what makes your brand sing.
And remember, no expert's opinion should ever trump your own gut feeling. No one way of doing business can ever be better than your own.
My consumption list, part dos:
I have one very important question for you:
Do you truly admire the people you consume content from OR do you do it just because they appear to be successful in a general way?
Be wary of success that doesn't match your values, or your vision for your future. There are a lot of you's in that sentence because they're supposed to be. Nobody else will ever live your life for you, and they will certainly not be able to make you happy when you get where everyone else has gotten, and you feel miserable because it doesn't fit. You could have stayed at your 9-5, same outcome.
So what can you do now?
Make a list of people who have similar values to yours and who have 'made it' to a place where you'd be happy to occupy yourself. When you follow these people, you're not swayed in a direction you don't want to take.
To put it simply, stop consuming mindlessly, start consuming intentionally.
Every time you consume a piece of content, it changes your mood a little, and the more comparison / advice / mindless repetition you consume, the more bogged down your mind becomes, and at some point, you can't do what you love because you're thinking about all the should's that are being thrown at you.
I speak from experience. No good can come from random consumption.
To make sure you're not making this mistake:
- make lists on twitter of your favorite inspiring individuals
- make a folder on feedly with your favorite blogs and publications
- make it a habit to create your content and products and everything else before you have read or done any research on it, do the research later
- make it a habit to consume inspirational content
Inspiring content fills your heart with joy. It inspires you to create wonderful things. And it charges your creativity with the most rebellious ideas.
I know you'll make the right choice for yourself and your creative business.
And tell me, what's on your intentional consumption list?