Category: Psychology

The Myths of Making

I realised something about my non-consumerist pledge since I got my results from the Kolbe Index. So I’m ceasing it.

Let me explain.

I got a 4 on the Implementor scale, which goes up to 10. High numbers mean you like to solve problems by making or building them with your hands. Low numbers mean you don’t really need to turn ideas into tangible form to feel satisfied, you’re happy to work out the ideas and then let someone else build it.

During my Heidi & Seek workdays I would constantly set goals for myself that usually went something like “Stop looking for new ideas and info, it’s just getting in the way. Spend this entire day making clothes, just stopping for short breaks.” And I had immense difficulty with this goal, because researching and coming up with new ideas is what I do best. I kept looking for ways to fix myself. I kept pushing and trying and ended up so burnt out that I had to halt the business.

I didn’t make or sew anything for months after that.

So skip forward to me making my non-consumerist pledge. I put the same pressure on myself to make things with my hands steadily for a big chunk of time. Although, of course, it’s not as stressful now because my livelihood isn’t at stake. I’ve happily made things, yes, but an hour or two of it a few times a week is plenty for me. A full day is too much. And 38 hours of it per week obviously makes me insane.

When I made the non-consumerist pledge I’d made up my mind that the computer is causing me damage and not making way for me to make things. Without realising what I was doing, I assumed that offline is better, doing things with your hands is better. But there’s no ‘better’. The part of me that likes to research and come up with new ideas thinks the computer is an awesome resource. And there’s nothing inherently wrong with that.

I gotta stop fighting myself.

Some stuff I need to remember:

  • I can respect the ways someone else works without feeling like a failure for not being the same. I’m good at other things.
  • Take notice of the reasons behind what I’m thinking. Am I assuming something is better because something external says it?
  • Making with your hands is not the mark of a creative person. Creativity manifests in many different ways, and all of these are equal.
  • Quit forcing myself into things and thinking that’s what I want. If I have to force myself, that’s a good sign it’s not what I want.
  • Work on finding what challenges me in ways that don’t go against my grain.

I found this awesome quote from Kelly at Copylicious.

“Work less by focusing on the really important stuff. Accomplish more because I’m working on projects that FEED energy instead of projects that TAKE it away.”

She’s talking about her business, but I think it’s equally true for the productive things you do in your spare time.

The other day I converted this notebook into a home of articles and quotes and things that inspire me to pursue the things that feed my energy.