How Constant Consumption is Hurting You, and What You Can Do About It

We live in a society of consumers. From the products and food you buy, to the shows and movies you watch, to the books and magazines you read. Most things we do on a daily basis is consume the products and content of others. I am especially bad at this. When I don’t put in the effort to do good things, I tend to sit around all day and watch Netflix. I’m inclined to blame society, but I know that isn’t helpful. I’m willing to take responsibility for my own choices. And that’s why I choose to do this. I write these blog posts because it gives me a chance to produce content instead of consuming it.

It’s my firm belief that everybody should have an outlet like this. We should all have a way to produce something new, or contribute something to the world that is uniquely ours. In this post, I’m going to explain a couple ways it’s helped me, and why it might be good for you as well.

You’ll engage your brain

In my experience, constant consumption is the quickest route to boredom and feeling unfulfilled. If I spend a day watching TV and playing video games, there’s about a 100% chance that I’m not going to feel good about myself by the end of that day.

I find that days like those just shut my brain down. If I spend a day off doing nothing but passively consuming content, I’ll be noticeably slower at work the next day. Sometimes my job involves doing some math, so I can give customers a quote before we decide to move forward with a transaction. Lots of the numbers I add up are the same day after day. When I’m slower to come up with a number and add it to another number, it’s noticeable.

When I write, or when I do tasks and chores that actively involve thinking about them, it stimulates my mind. I find that the more time I spend focusing and putting thought into projects, the more my brain gets in the habit of thinking quickly and coming up with new solutions to old problems.

You’ll find meaning

I have my own problems, and I’m not against admitting to them. A lot of days, I don’t feel great about my life. And I’ve come to accept that, to the extent that I need to right now. If this is your first time reading anything by me, I’m big on self improvement. So I plan on my life getting better as time goes on. I’m actively working towards that on a daily basis through small changes I’ve been making and good habits that I’ve been using to replace the bad ones.

Anyway, Yeah I’m not always psyched about my life. But I’m going to let you guys in on a little secret. Every once in a while, I run into someone who has been affected by my writing. A friend or a family member will come to me and tell me about how something I’ve written has helped them do something differently in their life. Especially the post I wrote about why I made the decision to stop smoking weed. I know two people who have read that, and re-evaluated their own smoking habits. One of them has already decided to quit, after years of regular smoking. The fact that my words have helped people make decisions that benefit them is a better feeling than I can describe.

What you can do

No matter what your calling is, no matter what it is that you’re choosing to contribute to the world, you can make a difference. For me, it’s writing. You’ll have to discover your own path. No matter what it is, you have talents that you can use to better peoples’ lives. A lot of people I know are blessed with artistic abilities. Whether it’s on canvas, audio, video, or anything else, you’re providing beauty and sharing yourself with the world.

I also know people with other gifts. Whether you’re organizing charitable events, writing code, working in health care, or teaching the children who shape our future, every person I know has the potential to change the world for the better.

I feel like I end a lot of my posts being bossy. But it’s only because I see what helps me and enriches my life, and I hope to help some of you experience positive changes too. So if I’ve inspired you, I invite you to do something today that will add value to the world. Whether it’s something creative that you can share, or a small gesture that makes someone else’s day a little bit better. If you’re already engaged in a hobby or a career that you feel does that, then do this instead: take a minute or two to reflect on how meaningful your work is. And smile.

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