The following is a guest post by my good friend Michael Schechter of A Better Mess. We also do this podcast together called Mikes on Mics — you really should listen to it. You can follow him on Twitter too…so go do that.
When you get home at night, when the family goes to bed and it’s just you, what do you do? Do you pick up the clicker and watch something or pick up your computer and make something? Do you look at pretty pictures or do you create them?
This isn’t an absolute. Everyone needs to disconnect. When at rest, are you inclined to make or take? For some, creating comes naturally; for others, we have to help things along. I’ve always been a taker. I’ve always overindulged in the wealth and variety of information at my fingertips. I’ve let it distract me, not only from doing what I hope to achieve, but from even figuring out what that might be.
As I attempt to tip my own personal balance in favor of making, I’ve had to force a shift. Rather than indulge my desire to lean back, I have to force myself to lean in. I create projects for myself rather than filling up my free time with TV programs. It started slowly with little tasks, but the impulse to make something is taking root and has begun to grow.
I find myself watching less and making more. I may only be making words at the moment, but it’s a start. I’m seeing improvements. I’m seeing growth. I want to do more, I want to make more and the best way to ensure that that happens is to continue this shift in my mindset from take to make. I’ve been pushing myself to put down the remote, to ignore my RSS feeds, to avoid my browser and to try and make something out of nothing. I’ve needed to push myself to make better choices and attempt more ambitious endeavors.
Getting into a “make” mindset it no easy feat (trust me, I feel like I’m failing at it daily), but the pursuit of it has been fulfilling. It feels as if I’m investing time rather than spending it. I still have a long way to go and I’m yet to make what I hope I’m capable of. I’m not quite who I want to be, but the more I align what I want with what I create, the more things begin to move in the right direction.
Where do you see yourself right now? Are you anxious to sink into the couch or are you jumping off and sinking your teeth into something? Are you leaning back or leaning in? Are you putting yourself in the “make” mindset?
Photo credit: Wolfgang Sterneck (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)