Creating Distance From The Race.

The tl;dr

In one way or another I have found myself leaving social media platforms over the past few months.

Choosing which influences on my life matter most to me and pursuing personal goals enabled me to clear out the clutter accumulated from adopting other peoples chaos. I started making this switch to re-dedicate my focus, set/achieve goals & work from my strengths, and it’s working.

Staying Dedicated To Focus.

Creative Output

We are creators. We are meant to create.

Experiencing this last (2016) election cycle & what feels like an uptick in the speed of news & information that is available to us made me double check the state of my health. Let’s remember: social media platforms are optimized to keep us engaged, spending as much time on the platform as possible. They are not tuned to provide us with mindfulness & creative mental health experiences.

I took a step back to gauge the my mental state vs the core tenets of what I believe it means to be human. One of the things I felt was missing was a creative output. From that stance, I started to find the social media communities of the internet to be enterprises without the option for creative endeavors. Social media platforms position us to respond to the offerings & artifacts put before us, they are not for connection & creativity, only a tool & should be used as a tool.

In an information rich world we have become involuntary consumers in all facets of our lives. We have lost the creative nature of time & wonder. Weather it’s the creativity needed to survive or the luxury of creativity as an entertaining factor of life. We lose connection with a major part of our humanity when we become consumers in all facets (cerebral, physical, spiritual etc…) yet lack creative output.

While I am not opposed to online communities & forums (they in fact can be valid tools to for social, cultural & personal growth in this age) I have come to a crossroads in which I cannot keep sustaining a life made of these parallel digital worlds. I find too often a portion of my being seeks & responds to the momentary fulfillment, associating a warped sense of community & validation from them. It has become too easy to use these tools for making up lack in our selves & personal relationships.

So here I am, late 2017 refocusing on what it means to me to be creative, what it means for me to allow creative outlets for my being & discover again what voice, quality & pursuits I want to put out into the digital world.

Resource!

How To Run A Creative Business: In-depth breakdown w/ Melinda Livsey

Goals, Set & Setting.

Selfish Self Talk - Repeat After Me
I am not my culture.
I am not responsible for nor do I hold influence over the collective consciousness of my culture.
I am "I" an individual, not we, not us, not you, not them.
An individual, a "human being" not a "human observing" or a "human doing".
I hold a purpose to exist in a state of being & wellbeing.

One of the core tenets I hold to is this: we are meant to be creators. That creativity is a response & outlet for the facets of our being. When we position our lives in a response to every incoming alert around us we are left with no room for the mental space we need to be creators. We are left without a response & understanding of our position vs. the worlds chaos.

Resource!

Bruce Mau on Design Needing To Consider All of Life as a Practical objective

Can you hear the water running?

Must be the pipes - Listen To Your Self

Circa 2012 I took a StrengthsFinder® test and have since held tightly to the 5 main themes it revealed about myself. The results had not come as a surprise to me but seeing them on paper struck a chord, visualizing the hidden intrinsic things that motivate me. The themes revealed were these:

  • Adaptability

    “People strong in the Adaptability theme prefer to “go with the flow.” They tend to be “now” people who take things as they come and discover the future one day at a time.”

  • Strategic

    “People strong in the Strategic theme create alternative ways to proceed. Faced with any given scenario, they can quickly spot the relevant patterns and issues.”

  • Futuristic

    “People strong in the Futuristic theme are inspired by the future and what could be. They inspire others with their visions of the future.”

  • Context

    “People strong in the Context theme enjoy thinking about the past. They understand the present by researching its history.”

  • Input

    “People strong in the Input theme have a craving to know more. Often they like to collect and archive all kinds of information.”

Needing to break from other peoples chaos in order to live from my strengths required that I start to focus on understanding the self. I needed to limit my focus on context & input in order to understand the strategic & futuristic world view I hold as a true north objective.

In order to think & live from a point of my strengths I needed to design a different relationship with digital devices & systems. I had to ask myself this:

How can I have the ability to affect change on any level when the influence of my mind is held captive in parallel digital worlds?

The answer I came to is this: I cannot keep using these digital platforms if they are not being used as a tool to move forward towards a goal.

This has been a journey, moving from the confusion the world offers on a daily & hourly basis to a state of focus. Staying dedicated to the future of the self & the world I seek to create. Practically speaking, listening to others (Bruce Mau, John Bielenberg, Chris Do, Mike Monteiro etc…) speak about social innovation, design thinking & designing a better future in this world has helped to restart my focus on my strengths.

& What Now?

Regardless of the future, some things are certain. If you need a change in perspective or refuge from an onslaught of information being offered to us, the ability to find the information that charges you up is out there. Allow yourself to create avenues for focus, understand your goals & leave room to explore the void with your faults & strengths.

— Ian