Be Defined By What You Do

You are what you do.

I’m not talking about your job, but how you spend ALL your time.

I divide this into 2 categories:

1. “Take In” activities: This is stuff we absorb, think about, passively bring inside ourselves. It’s reading a book, watching tv, cruising Facebook, reading Wikipedia, studying, etc. These things are generally passive and don’t require us to interact with the rest of the world.

2. “Give Out” activities: These are things we create, make, and do–things we give to the world. It’s going for a run, making a cake, posting on Facebook, taking your kid to the park, playing a game, making spaghetti. These are activities that require you to interact with outside forces and somehow change the world. It could be as simple as smiling at someone or a big as writing a novel.

Of course, what we give the world is a combination of both types of activities. You can’t make a cake if you don’t read a recipe book at some point. You can’t write if you can’t read. I’m not saying you shouldn’t watch tv or do passive things. You absolutely should! But I AM saying that too many people spend most of their time taking in and not enough time giving out.

It’s easy to think about writing a novel, but it takes a lot more effort to actually write one.

So what should you do? Evaluate yourself from time to time–what have you been doing? What are you creating these days? How are your actions influencing the world? Do you create things? Do you actively spend time doing stuff? Do you waste time thinking about your story ideas but not actually writing? Do you plunk your kid down in front of the tv instead of playing a game with him/her? Do you affect the world in a positive way? What is your contribution?

We all fall prey to laziness or loss of focus at some point. I know I do! But I am usually able to get myself back on track and start giving back to the world again.

Do or do not. There is no try.