During one of the meetings at the company, I had a conversation about creators vs. consumers. It is an exciting topic. Simple, but requires a little realization
It is not about everyone who becomes next Ridley Scott or Stephen King. It is about small choices and approaches in daily life. Over time those choices, have a more significant impact on our experience and career.
What is it about then?
What is your choice in life: the creator or consumer approach.
The creator is about the active approach.
The creator is not about becoming the next Gary Vaynerchuk. (I recognize the guy's work and effort. Still, this model has an enormous toll on a person, and it is more about survivorship bias than a method). It is a choice of getting to know and share about it.
You solve some puzzles in your daily work. Tell others about it. There is a problem at hand to solve, don't wait for other people to do it, try to do research on your own and send it out to the team.
It is a choice of taking ownership. If you feel something is wrong or you need a change. Change it. If you decide not to, do not complain. It is nobody's fault. It is not a world fighting against you.
It is you making choices every day. Like with this blog post. I decided to write it. Why? It is not because I have some goals related to it, but I want to write and share. So I wrote it.
I could decide to spend this time sitting on the couch. It is a choice. In this choice, I chose to be the creator. Creating my own environment and life.
A consumer is a passive approach.
You need something - you ask around if there is no return you leave it. You know something, but you decide not to share it with others. Not that you want to withhold it for your own, but you don't - no energy spent, no value seen in it. The reasons are plenty.
It doesn't have to be what people recognize as "creation." It doesn't have to be the art, blog, video, or picture. It might be your choice to be a person to produce something extra at work. Share it with others. Be its document template, piece of code, daily routine experience, a book recommendation.
It might be a choice of helping out a junior person joining a company. It might be starting a self-study group for those who want to join.
It is a choice of contributing vs. waiting for someone to add to your work.
It is the same in life. You can decide to act and create your own little environment. Choose how it looks like. Or you can consume it. Take what is given without influencing it.
It is not wrong. It is a choice. And it is OK, it is not a negative choice. Just remember - If you don't want to create it, there is nobody's fault in it.
With both sides of your decision, it is like compound interest - small outcomes accumulates over time. If you are acting with the creator's mindset over time, people will start to recognize you as such. You will be an expert, SME, person to go to - you name it. Your life will have a direction. Often, it is not pure knowledge or expertise, which makes a difference and makes people stand out. It is choosing to be a creator vs. consumer.
My favorite example is speakers at the conferences. Ask yourself a question - "what is the difference between speaker and audience in the session?"
I bet that after some sessions you attended or watched online, you had this thought: "oh, that was simple."
The difference is simple: they choose to be on stage. That's it. Because of this choice, speakers have the benefit of the trust and recognition. Of course, the speaker can ruin it in the first five minutes of the talk. But at the moment they do it - that is
The difference, their choice to act. The rest is a workshop - how to speak, prepare, old jokes at hand.
It is effortless to slip into being a consumer. It is even OK for some time - everyone needs downtime.
If you want to achieve something, you need to take a creator's attitude. Start small, make it a habit. It will pay off over time.