Make This One Change and Your Life Will Shift

Jessica Lynn

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People consume large quantities of junk. We consume bad TV shows, we consume celebrities’ lives, awful movies, social media, unnecessary junk from Target and Amazon, the latest iPhone, and still, so many of us are unhappy. We consume, yet, we are unfulfilled.

The smartphone and social media are the pipelines for a junk consuming habit.

The solution

I have found the more I create, the less I want to consume.

I would love to spend time on Twitter and Facebook — the ultimate distractions — but if I did, I would not write or create as much as I do, and I’d probably be pretty miserable.

Instead, I’ve produced at least one blog post per day for the past year. And it has changed my life dramatically. I’m almost at a full-time income from producing content.

The other day I was about to buy a pair of sneakers on Amazon, and I forgot to because I got side-tracked by my writing. I thought of an idea I wanted to get down on the page before I forgot it. An hour later, I was still writing. I forgot to buy the sneakers, the thought escaped me. That I forgot to buy the sneakers is really odd for me, because I have a shoe fetish. I finally bought them several days after the initial thought to make the purchase when I remembered I still don’t have sneakers that don’t pinch my toes when I go for my nightly walk.

But it made me think, wow, I love creating more than consuming for the first time in my life.

Creating gives me more satisfaction than anything I can buy or consume.

Often, we consume social media or buy unnecessary things to distract us from what is going on. Or to prevent us from doing “the thing” we want to do the most but are too scared of doing.

If you don’t have something in your life that scares you, find something. You need to level up; it keeps you reaching and growing.

Far too often, when we feel empty, we revert to a distraction to replace the empty feeling. To fill up that void. We think the thing we want, the thing we buy or the social media we consume will fill us up. Whether it is a doughnut or a $1,200 phone. It usually does makes us feel good. But the feeling doesn’t last very long, maybe for a month, a day, maybe even just a minute or two until we feel empty again.

And have to find something else to consume.

Reaching for the smartphone is a habit many of us have to distract us from worry, anxiety, or fear. Oddly, it creates more worry, anxiety, and fear.

Some people achieve more, produce more, write more, have more energy, get more done, are not only highly productive, but their productivity also leads to great success. These entrepreneurs are more successful because they use their phones and social media to improve their business, not distract from them.

There is a time and place to use social media, but their focus is on what they are creating, their business, their writing, their product; they leave consumption for their clients. And that is the difference.

The gateway to consumption

It is so much easier to consume now because of technology.

A decade or so ago, when I wanted to buy 400 thread count sheets, a duvet cover, and a comforter, I had to go to a store or wait for The Garnet Hill catalog to arrive in the mail.

When the catalog arrived, I circled everything I wanted, called customer service on a landline, and placed my order, using a bunch of numbers to identify the product from the catalog. Customer service took my credit card, and I’d get my sheets in the mail about a fortnight later. This took a while. It was a big move.

Now, I can order an entire bedroom set, a mattress, a comforter, sheets, and a duvet cover while standing in line at the grocery store in about five minutes (I have a lot of experience using my thumb and phone to shop).

My email account is assaulted daily with discounts and sales. Making consumption tempting. A few stores are particularly aggressive with messages like, “you left something in your cart,” “oh no, only a few more left in stock of that item you were looking at last week!” It took me a while, but now I don’t let them manipulate me like this; my consumption has decreased after I moved a lot of those emails into my junk folder. I was very susceptible to the FOMO when it came to things.

Until I started writing and filling my soul with a task that brings me real satisfaction as writing does.

Create more, consume less

To create more, you need to consume less.

Instead of consuming junk, successful entrepreneurs create. Rarely do they scroll on social media. Why? They are too busy creating content, a product, an app, or a course that has an impact or adds value.

What is valuable content? If you’re on social media — and you are because you’re reading this — valuable content is content you want to share. You recognize it when you see it — it’s content you share with your friends and family. You found value in it, and when you share valuable content, you up your social cachet by sharing on social media.

This is Facebook, in a nutshell.

How successful people use social

Successful people are not scrolling aimlessly on social media out of boredom or distraction or consumption. They dictate when they log on because they control their time. No one else does. They determine what time they allow others to distract them.

One influencer I know doesn’t log onto social media until he has his work done; eight to ten hours after waking. His content is shared on social media for others to consume.

If you can make this one shift, your life will change.

Another common practice among prolific influencers and successful entrepreneurs is they do not go on social media to scroll.

To work, yes. To scroll, no.

When they do log onto social, they do so on their terms, meaning they dictate when they allow social or other people (email/text) to eat away their time.

After waking, many get right to their “Important Things List” — which they made the night before — for a good six to seven hours. Only then do they log on to social, usually to share their work, and only then do they allow social media, email, and other people to eat away at their time.

How others use social media

Most people consume social media out of boredom or FOMO. They log on the first thing in the morning, and it is the last thing they check before going to sleep, one final check to make sure they didn’t miss anything.

This is the quickest way to ruin your life. It means you are focusing on other people’s problems and priorities instead of your own.

Depression and social media

There is a direct correlation between social media use and rates of depression.

If you don’t pollute your world with social media first thing when you wake and right before bed, your life will improve dramatically.

Not that this is easy, you have to make up your mind that you’re willing to create boundaries to make the shift.

When we log on to Facebook — my feed is mostly political news — first thing in the morning, this negatively impacts efforts at work and home because you’ve experienced learned helplessness after viewing all the negatively social media offers. This is part of social media.

Researchers have found that you are 27 percent more likely to have a bad day in just three minutes of viewing negative news.

When you expose yourself to negativity in the morning, you’re more likely to carry those feeling with you for the rest of the day.

Consuming gets in the way of creating. Creating valuable content comes from positive thinking, not negative thinking.

Successful creators like writers, producers, business owners, course creators are successful because they help people by spreading a positive message that solves problems and makes people’s lives better. Their positive content is what people follow. If you do that long enough, you’re going to make a lot of money.

People want messages of hope and advice on how to make their lives better.

While some of us remain in mediocrity, these people are slowly changing the world with the content they create, while getting more satisfaction from how they spend their time — not consuming, but by creating.

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Writing on all things California and Texas. It unfolds here. Your daily dose of local news. From politics to food, from celebrity culture to current events. Follow me for the latest updates. Twitter: @girl_thriving

Los Angeles, CA
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