I was reading this killer post the other day, and it got me thinking. The post addressed what we do in our free time, but it was this quote that got my synapses firing:
Decide when you are consuming and when you are creating
As I read it, I was struck by the simplicity of the statement, but even more by the power of its implication. It implies that everyone creates or consumes, and it’s this assertion that had my mind going crazy.
I do not believe everyone consumes and even fewer create.
I think only the great create. I think the good consume and the poor ignore.
The Poor Ignore
Unfortunately, this group represents too many people Those who are poor at what they do, or underperformers, are underperformers because they ignore much of the world around them. Not only do they NOT create, they don’t’ even consume. Poor performers don’t consume information on a regular basis. They don’t look to learn. Deliberate learning is not part of their agenda. Poor performers do only what’s required if that. They don’t focus on value but rather on taking. They ignore advice, lessons, insights and more. Poor performers follow the letter to the law and do just enough to keep their head above water, which in turn never works out and they ultimately underdeliver and fail.
Underperformers ignore their short comings. The have substantial blind spots and can not be relied on to own or correct their behavior. Poor performers ignore the rules and the cultural norms. Poor performers ignore much of what’s around them, to their demise and that of the organizations in which they are involved.
Poor performers are poor performers precisely because the do little consuming and almost NO creating.
The Good Consume
The good consume, they are committed to growth and learning. The good understand the importance of information and knowledge. The good are committed to improvement. They appreciate the world is dynamic and in order to keep up they must constantly be growing, and that growth comes from the consumption of knowledge.
The good aren’t prodigious creators. They spend more time absorbing and consuming information than they do creating. The good are your social media lurkers. They don’t create much content, but they absorb a lot of it. The good consume stuff, they just don’t create much.
The good consume the creations of the great. They recognize the value of the new process, the new product, the new software, the new music, the new movie, the new website, the new accounting method, the new blog, the new . . . whatever. But they aren’t going to be the one to create it.
The good consume and use what the great create.
The Great Create
Great people create; that’s what makes them great. The great create ideas, books, movies, stories, approaches, methodologies, theorems, buildings, gardens, cars, computers, software, companies, clothes, math, discoveries, workflows, processes and more. The great are great because they are creators and the more they create, the bigger their creations and the more impact of their creations the greater they are.
Lemme drop it to you straight. You can’t be great if you don’t create.
Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Marting Luther King, The Founding Fathers, Warren Buffet, Henry Ford, Gandhi, Einstein, The Beatles (Paul McCartney and John Lennon), Charles Darwin, DaVinci, Michael Angelo, Mozart, Monet, Oprah Winfrey, Richard Branson, are/were all creators. Each and every one of these people has created something big.
Greatness is the result of creation, and the only way to be great at what you do is to create. If you’re not creating, you’re not on the path to greatness.
Don’t confuse greatness with fame. Fame isn’t reserved for those who create and creating isn’t always a path to fame. But creating almost always leads to some form of greatness.
If you’ve ever wondered if you’re great, ask yourself, “What have I created lately?” Your answer rests within that question. Have you created a new process for your job? Have created a new product? Have you created a new tool? Have you created new content? What have you created and how often do you create?
If you want to be great, you need to turn up your creation machine and start producing because greatness is only achieved through creation.
Creation is at the heart of everything. Therefore, those who create are giving back. They are adding value. The creators are improving, growing, fixing, shaping, curing, building, eradicating, helping, and saving the world and if you’re gonna be here shouldn’t that be the goal.
If success and greatness are what you want to achieve then start creating. If it’s not, my simple retort is, WHY?
Be a creator!