Are we role modeling the higher road of self-expression through producing rather than consuming?

on August 26, 2015 Resilience - Growth & Strength and Tags: , , , , , with 2 comments
ole-modeling the higher road of self-expression Are we role-modeling the higher road of self-expression through producing rather than consuming?
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Earlier this week I received the below email about role modeling from a close friend, part of a mastermind group I’ve treasured for years. I’m sharing the question and my response with you to stimulate thought and further conversation.  –bill

I read a thought-provoking statement (re: role modeling) today and wanted to share it with you.

Swedish Economist Gunnar Myrdal said this:  For many people, the goal of most days is defined by something they can consume/buy/own.  For a smaller group of people, the goal of most days is defined by something they can produce/make/create. The social ideal is for as many people as are capable, to be able to live the second way — defining their identity by what they produce rather than what they consume.

There’s a lot going on in that statement.  Political, certainly, but also personal.  As for myself, I find that moments of insecurity and self-doubt draw me closer to the grasping-at-security-and-identity through consuming.   (FUD is an effective marketing tactic, even if it is a little slimy.)  Maybe that is why our children so easily gravitate to defining their goals in terms of what they will own — this kind of car or that style of clothes or this sort of house etc., because insecurity is a pervasive and strong feature of the youth culture and experience.

Throw-down:

So, how are we role-modeling the higher road of self-expression through producing rather than consuming?  And, how are we being intentional about setting up opportunities and situations for incubating an instinct for creativity and production in our children?

My response:

I relate in that I “find that moments of insecurity and self-doubt draw me closer to the grasping-at-security-and-identity through consuming”.  Been there, done that.

I’m much more aware now that production and consumption apply to mindset and energy, not just goods/services.  I can intentionally produce a better day for my sons just as I can consume someone else’s bad day, and vice versa.  Yes, we can work to produce and measure certain things with titles, assets, income, etc., but I took the “throw-down” to be how are we fostering production outside of that realm.

I used to earn money and try to like what I did.  Now I’m doing what I love and watching the money follow.  The work is just as arduous, however the stress is much lower and the energy much higher, attracting more with less conflict. I’ve found there’s happiness in the mindset, not the income; in the BEING rather than in the transaction.

Purpose is at the core.  Is our purpose solely to create companies and make money so we can consume? I don’t believe for anyone in this group it is, but many find that’s all they have.  We, here, are using business and money to intentionally foster great families and impact our communities – with purpose.  We are producing in many ways that positively impact others, particularly our families but also our world.

Of note: One of my mentors challenged me years ago to use my business as a way to impact my community.  The how was up to me. “There is no wrong way, simply don’t be only a consumer. Use your business to make a difference.”, he said.

Now, I’ll go ponder the “incubating an instinct for creativity and production in our children” question.

Now, digest the conversation.  I challenge you to think about the question & response, then offer up your own comments!

~bill

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2 Comments

  • Gregory Buford, MD FACS
    on August 26, 2015 Reply

    Great post and right on the money. As a published author who is looking to release another book in the next few months, I agree with you completely. I’ve personally gone from owning things to the desire to create things through my writing and my consulting. I feel a much stronger connection to these things than to anything I simply purchased.

    Thanks for sharing, Bill. The world needs this advice and needs it now more than ever!

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