2018 was a helluva crazy ride, teaching me new things at a pace that I could barely sustain. Between scuba diving in Thailand, teaching about WooCommerce in India, a Tony Robbins seminar, new challenges at work, house renovation, more travelling, and the most beautiful and Earth-shaking retreat, I had my worldview challenged more than a hundred times. I had to stretch myself far and wide and put one foot in front of the other even when I didn’t feel like getting out of bed at all. Looking back, I’m quite proud of all the progress I’ve made, despite all the mistakes along the way.
At the same time, this was also a year where I consumed much more than I created. According to Pocket, I read 9.9 million words with them, (an equivalent of 134 books), mostly the entirety of several enormous blogs like Meaningness, Ribbonfarm or Less Wrong. In between I found time for about 30 actual books of various length. After years of wondering what everyone sees in Twitter, I got sucked into its rabbit hole, delighted to observe in real time the thought-making process of people I admire.
I created little this year mostly because I failed to find meaning in it
I couldn’t find any goal to strive for, all possible career paths seemed equally boring, and I didn’t feel like I have anything of value to share with the world. I took on calligraphy to have something to do with my time, but didn’t see much purpose in it either.
This all changed after going to Apotheosis with the High Existence tribe. One thing I learned there was that I have a story that wants to be told, and that no one else can do it for me. Still, coming back home to the chaos of house renovation, wedding planning, emergencies at work, and crazy mood swings, I didn’t get to create as much as I’d like to. I began journalling much more than I ever did, but very little of what I wrote got eventually polished into a publishable form. Scrolling my Twitter feed like crazy didn’t probably help get it published either.
But creating more than you consume is a key pillar of happiness
We all need to feel useful, and to make some sort of a contribution, no matter how small. Even cooking a meal or writing a thank you note can be deeply satisfying when pursued with focus and attention. The process of creating can be so rewarding on its own that it doesn’t matter anymore what the outcome will be. Art is the thing that wants to be shouted out loud, even if no one is listening.
I was already bought on the idea of creating something every day, when my friends encouraged me to take this to the next level and actually publish something every day out on the internet. There’s at least several good reasons not to, and this is what convinced me to do it in the end.
Publishing every day will mean I won’t have any time to write longer articles? Good. I’ll get to find that time. I bet the next 10 million words saved in my Pocket queue can wait.
But it’s just not feasible to publish a well-thought article each day? Good. I’ll get to explore other forms of expression, like painting, calligraphy, poetry, digital art, or even cooking.
There might be days when I travel, or don’t even have Internet connection? Good. I’ll get to plan them ahead, and schedule my posts in advance.
Not all the things I create can be published on a blog? Good. I’ll get to come up with ideas for how to describe a tiny software module I just wrote, or create and publish something else.
There will be days when I’m extremely tired or busy? Good. I’ll get to learn the art of 5-minute calligraphy, and confront my fears by sending the raw, unfinished thing out to the world.
The more good reasons I found for not posting here every day, the more they reinforced me in this decision. I know it’s going to be challenging, but with the amazing accountability buddies that I have there’s no way we can go wrong.
Feel free to join us in the challenge and share your work too with the world, whatever that may be. For the Creation has not finished yet, and we’re all warmly invited to contribute.