Friday, March 20, 2020

Bored passively consuming content? Feeling anxious? Maybe it's time to create something!

“Get busy. Keep busy… Your blood will start circulating; your mind will start ticking, and pretty soon this whole positive upsurge of life in your body will drive worry from your mind.”  - Dale Carnegie

How much Netflix, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram & news can you consume?!

As I write this, the vast majority of my fellow Americans -- indeed, people from all over the world -- have been stopped in their tracks by the COVID-19 pandemic. We've been asked to stay home from our jobs and schools, stop eating in restaurants or bars and generally avoid participating in any kind of real-world groups in order to help stop the spread of this horrible and deadly disease. We're asked to maintain "social distancing" on our essential trips out for supplies and to practice "self-isolation" at home.

Fortunately, in our internet connected world, we can stay safely in touch with each other online. And, what's more, we can pass hours and hours every day consuming unlimited stuff from 24/7 news outlets, Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime, Facebook, Instagram, etc.  But there is a limit to how much time you can spend zoned out on media and messages created by other people! Eventually you'll experience the mental equivalent of eating 10 bags of potato chips in one sitting. At first it seems fun to indulge, but you soon hit a wall when you realize that stuffing yourself isn't all that satisfying! (In fact, too much passive media watching has been associated with depression!)

Maybe it's time to create something.

Human beings are naturally creative. Give a kid a box of crayons and she'll create a picture. Give another kid a kazoo and he'll invent a song. We tell stories, we invent solutions to problems that are bothering us, we explore and learn new things so we can create more stuff. Some mystics and philophers go so far as to say that the act of creation taps into a universal Source energy which then flows through us, putting us in touch with the infinite. Whatever the roots of our creative experience, there's something deeply satisfying about bringing forth something that did not exist before. And that satisfaction is WAY deeper than anything we can experience binge-watching melodramas and cat videos!

So if you find yourself on lockdown at home, why not call on your inherent creativity (yes... it's really there whether you are using it or not...) and create something new?

Just do it!

Here are some examples of home-based projects that could get your creative juices flowing and result in something that would bring you satisfaction and other people enjoyment:

Bonus Materials: A Couple of Pep Talks for the Creatively Challenged

If you feel a bit hesitant to jump right into that creative project, maybe a quick pep talk (in essay form) might help.  In my book, Worth Sharing: Essays & Tools to Help Project Managers and Their Teams, I include a couple that might help you get unstuck. You can download them via the links below as PDFs.  Or you can read them here, in the free online version of the book.  Enjoy!

Why You Should Trust Your Judgment (Your Inner "Wisdom Filter)

Are you afraid that your creative output won't matter? ... that it's not really worth anything? This essay will prove to you that you have much wisdom and that you can trust that wisdom to be valuable, grasshopper!

PDF:  Why You Should Trust Your Judgment (Your Inner "Wisdom Filter)

Leveraging Inspiration: 10 Simple Practices to Keep Your Creative Output Flowing

This practical essay will show you 10 specific things you can do to catch all those flashes of inspiration before they get away so you can pull them together later into something wonderful.  Get the PDF here. Or simply read the chapter in my Worth Sharing book online.

Video Bonus

Finally, consider this little video: Time & Space to Blossom. I created it a few years ago for absolutely no reason. It was fun to build and it makes me happy when I watch it. Enjoy!

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