Too many people spend their lives counting down the days until the weekend so they can bask in their temporary reprieve. Then it's right back on the hamster wheel.
Some live their lives in comfortable ignorance, unaware of their true potential. They have it good; you can't agonize over anything you don't value. But then there are those who know better, that feel like life is passing them by because they have so much to offer. Plagued by the fact that all of their creative energy is going to waste, they are tortured souls.
If this is you, I have good news: You can change that.
But it means you have to stop celebrating when there isn't any reason to. If you partied all weekend and lay your head down on Sunday night with feelings of anxiety over the coming week, you weren't celebrating -- you were grieving. You were grieving because a piece of your creative soul died from neglect.
Depressing isn't it? And yet, like clockwork, people continue to slowly suffocate their creative muse -- refusing to let it live out its purpose. Why? Because it's more convenient for them to surround themselves with distractions -- even if it's at the expense of their creative vision.
No one is going to make anything happen for you. That's your job. The brilliant idea you have in your head will never see the light of day unless you sit down, ignore all distractions, and just do the work. Most of us already know this, but our actions and behaviors indicate otherwise. Think of all of the wisdom that circulates around social media every day: life is short; time is precious; carpe diem. We hear these phrases so often now that they've become nothing but overlooked platitudes. Case in point: anyone that tells you how they want to start a business, write a book, or start making more art, and then spends every minute of their free time doing anything but those things.
Consume Less. Produce More.
Assuming one has a full-time job, nearly half of the hours in their week go towards working and sleeping. The problem for most people is they've conditioned themselves to come home each day and consume. Going out to the bar, watching television, spending hours on social media -- all of these are means of consuming and can be detrimental to your productivity.
If you want to start making things happen in your life -- if you desire to get off the hamster wheel -- something has to change.
Realize that it's what you do in your spare time that will make the difference between greatness and mediocrity. Most people that object to this notion argue that you need your downtime, that you should be able to eat, drink, and be merry. To this, I say: absolutely. By all means, enjoy yourself. But also realize that there is a point when doing such things impedes on your ability to create.
You go to your job and work the same amount of hours every day. You do this because you have to, so you can survive. So why would you not commit to your creative work in the same way? Some argue it's because it's not a matter of survival. I disagree. Not dedicating yourself to your creative ideas is in fact a matter of life and death; you either feed your creative spirit, or you kill it. The choice is yours.
Don't Be Afraid to Start Your Own Path
One of the biggest hang-ups for creative people is their innate desire to rally the troops. I struggled with this for years. "I need to get my friends on board with my vision first," I told myself. "Then I'll start making things happen." But that's the wrong mindset. You can't rely on people to get behind your vision before you take action. You have to lead first.
Realize that it's okay to disband from any group of people who are content with feeling stuck in their lives and doing nothing to change that. In fact it's not just okay -- it's mandatory. No hard feelings, it's just you have things you want to accomplish and it's clear they're heading down a different path. Throw your rucksack over your shoulder, head in the direction you were meant to, and don't look back. If they join you, great. If not, that's okay too. What's important is you don't let opportunities slip by because you're so busy trying to round up followers.
There's nothing wrong with enjoying yourself, but keep your end goal in mind. Is what you're doing today going to get you to where you want to be tomorrow? If not, it's time to make a change. Remember too, that sometimes being a creator means blazing your own trail. If you have an idea, go after it. There's no time to wait for others to follow you.
What do you think? Are you guilty of consuming too much and producing too little? Do you sometimes feel like you're alone in your creative journey? Share your thoughts below, I respond to every comment.
If you enjoyed this article, check out my guide, Stop Dreaming and Start Doing: How To Actually Do What You Love, for free at peoplepassionate.com