Our world today is centered around consumption, as a society we voraciously consume television, sugar and material goods, to name a few. Despite the digesting of all these treats, we are often left feeling empty. We are hungry, not only for food of substance but also for creativity. How do we foster and feed this desire to create in a world that is asking us to sit back and consume?

Here are five strategies I’ve used to channel my energy as a creator and quiet the noise of consumption. They have had positive impacts on my life far beyond the piles of outputs.

The first step in building a culture ripe for creation is to simplify your life and cut down on what you consume in terms of material goods. Start a project to clean out your space and put anything that isn’t contributing positively to your life on sale online for someone else to enjoy. I used to think that creative energy came from clutter, from always being in a space that was verging on chaos. While that space may have provided me with some creative energy along the way, it was most definitely not conducive to clarity or completing projects.

Watching a show, or eating a piece of chocolate will not prevent you from creating something brilliant. What will block your creative genius is mindlessly consuming social media, candy, Netflix or anything else that doesn’t fuel your creative juices. When the activity becomes mindless it becomes an all-consuming enabler for thoughtlessness and inaction. That force becomes a crutch, a numbing agent and a dependency, none of which will lead you to an intentional creative life.

Creation is happening outside, the outdoors will inspire you and fuel you if you let it. Part of living intentionally and mindfully means being an observer and noticing feelings, encounters, and reactions. The process of leaving your house and getting into nature, or even a coffee shop will give you fuel for creation.

Shut off the screen. Yes, screens are often necessary, but they are also deeply associated with mindlessness for most of us. Building a ritual and practice of creativity that isn’t dependent on your computer or phone will help make the process more intentional and focussed, making sure you are able to see the project through from start to finish.

Creating can be a lonely process so seek out personal connections and find your people, the ones that inspire you and who are also creators and innovators. When you find them connect with them in real life. Foster connections with people that fuel your creativity and support your work, rather than those that feed into mindless consumption. Find accountability through those people; use them as supports and as mechanisms to help hold you to your creation commitments.

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