My wife’s recent jettison of Facebook is but a reactionary by-product of underlying trends. Social networks at large are defined by consumption — if users spent as much time sharing content as they did consuming content, our timelines would never end.
And then, seemingly by coincidence, Michael Lopp wrote an incredible article about that exact topic. Lopp importantly states in his post that building is a means to the creationary end. The endearing article hearkens to the creative intellect and the unceasing consumer alike.
Whether we mop the floor at the university or we paint a masterpiece, our productivity contributes to creation. Just like Lopp, my building of choice is structured prose that delivers a precise and meaningful message. Sometimes my building sucks. Other times it hits the right note. Either way, building and creating is as addicting as it is rewarding.
As I read through Lopp’s article, I pondered the reality of different types of building, different interests and different skills. I thought of the closest people in my life and how they build.
This led me to my boss. Calling him a boss isn’t really the correct term, but I do work for him. Whatever.
My boss works endless hours. When I returned for my first day after New Years, I walked into an office smelling of Pine-Sol, an office free of paper hoards and a floor cleaned with a toothbrush.
My jaw dropped.
He casually stated he had worked until 4 A.M. on New Years Day and my jaw dropped further.
I only realized today, after reading Lopp’s article, why my boss would stay at the office until the wee hours of the morning.
My boss is building. He is creating. The firm is an extension of himself; the moment he walks through the office door, a breath of life rushes into the soul of the firm. It’s almost spiritual. Like a precisely carved wooden box, the firm's soul is the owner's soul.
That kind of building is addicting. Whatever the object, the betterment of your creation is sentimental. Parents find immense pride in their child’s achievements. Artists bask in the glow of their work’s highs and lows. Our unique DNA shines through what we create and the evolution of that creation is fantastically rewarding.
We must still revel at the work of others. Another person’s creation glows with their DNA — different strengths that can be adopted and adapted to synthesize within your creation allows for constant evolution and growth. Consuming content on social networks, then, is essential to the building process. We must congratulate another person’s accomplishments and marvel at their work, if only to improve our own.
But there will always come a time when you must congratulate your own work. Like any other builder, like any other creator, you owe it to yourself to see what your hands can do, what your hands can create.
Then, and only then, can you truly admire the work of another person.