You are not your job, you’re not how much money you have in the bank. You are not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You are not your fucking khakis.—Tyler Durden, Fight Club
Most people define themselves by what they consume.
People who get things done and move themselves and the world forward define themselves by what they produce.
Produce, Don’t Consume
This is a mindset.
You produce, you don’t consume.
You add value, not just take value.
You are a producer, not a consumer.
The act of living necessitates consumption. Simply by existing, you are consuming.
You consume food. You consume water. You “consume” shelter. And if you live in the modern world, you consume electricity, clothing, data, money and more.
If you have a family, this necessitates even more consumption.
To truly produce, you must do enough to overcome all this consumption.
Do You Define Yourself by Your Production, or Your Consumption?
Most people define themselves by their consumption, not their production.
You see this everywhere on social media.
People believe they “belong” to what they consume—their brands, their celebrities, the TV shows that they watch and the subcultures they belong to.
What these people don’t realise, is that consumption requires zero effort.
They mistakenly believe that their careful selection of what to follow and comment on is effort.
But if you gave your derpy pet dog some money and a phone and trained it to do the same things, it could.
Consumption takes no effort. It takes no greatness.
And it does not move you or the world towards a better tomorrow.
Working Out If You Consume or Produce
Do you just browse social media? Or do you produce the content that others browse?
Do you spend more? Or do you make more?
Do you give more value to others? Or do you only take value from others?
If you don’t produce, you are nobody—just another cog in the system. More meat for the grinder.
Human beings were created to produce. But some of us have forgotten how.
Whether through instinct or sheer willpower, those that produce are those that change both their own lives and those of others for the better—and they move the world forward in doing so.1Production = creation in this case. Remixing and innovating on the shoulders of giants is still production.
The true definition of one’s self is not in your ability to consume what others have made.
It is in your ability to produce and in the act of production.
And frankly… doesn’t it feel better to make, create and innovate anyway?
What To Do Next
Ask what you spend most of your time doing—producing or consuming.
If you choose to produce and want to get started, you need to read my manifesto Evolution. You can download it for free here.
- Production = creation in this case. Remixing and innovating on the shoulders of giants is still production.
Photo by ATBO.