Avoiding the Noise

“Inspiration is hard to come by. You have to take it where you find it.”

Bob Dylan

When it comes to creativity, there’s always a balancing act between creating and consuming. Making art—whatever that art medium looks like—is the intention and consuming other people’s work helps get our creative gears going, but too much of one or the other and you clog up the system. Spend too much time consuming and you’ll never have time to create anything yourself. Spend too much time creating without new inputs and your ideas will dwindle and become stale.

There is no shortage of information out there in the world. 

If you need to figure out how to change a flat tire, you can find it with a few taps on the device in your pocket. If you are interested in learning about the lives of icons, such as Prince, Emily Dickinson, Buckminster Fuller, Michelangelo… it’s out there. If you want to learn more about Entrepreneurship, or film or martial arts, or quantum physics, you’ll find plenty of books, articles, and voices. 

But what type of information should we say no to?

As helpful as the world’s knowledge is, sometimes gaining more knowledge can be a distraction from taking action or doing work in your own life.

How do we avoid the noise and focus on the signals we are seeking?

We must train ourselves to prioritize quality over filler first. For example, if you are interested in learning more about regenerative agriculture, then consume out that information *first* today before you spend your time listening to video game podcasts and before you sit down to watch the latest Netflix shows. Or whatever it is you enjoy. Start with what’s important to you. Entertainment has its place and can be just as inspiring and insightful as anything else, but if you are putting it in front of your goals, then it’s become more of a distraction than play.

One thing I find helpful is asking myself how does this thing I’m reading/watching/listening to make me feel? Do I feel inspired or more like a vegetable? Do I feel hopeful or anxious? Does this energize me or drain me?

It’s also worth noting where this impulse to consume is coming from. An I being driven by curiosity? Joy? Excitement? Or greed? Envy? Jealousy? Gossip? Deferent drives will bring about wildly different results.

At the end of the day, not every piece of information is worth our time. Even the stuff we feel like we should “stay informed” with should be considered for the chopping block if it’s not adding value to our lives. The world is so interconnected nowadays, if something important happens that we need to know about it, someone will tell us. It’s important to stay informed, but also equally important to not let that information consume you.

That goes for this blog post too 😄 If you don’t find it helpful, then don’t read it. But if you do get something out of my daily blog, by all means, keep reading! I won’t stop you 😉

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #999

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