The Difference Between Enriching Space And Taking Up Space
There's a myth going around in the creative community. That if you don't show up every single day with something incredible, the world is never going to forgive you, or worse, they're going to forget you.
With social media, blogging and a little something called product development, there's no shortage of things to show up for. But when it comes to showing up for the sake of showing up, is there really that big of a difference between showing up half baked, soul sucked and resentful & not showing up at all?
I was browsing through some old episodes of one of my favorite business podcasts recently, The James Altucher Show. In his interview with Sally Hogshead of How To Fascinate, Sally said something that has stuck with me ever since:
"every time you communicate, you are either adding value or taking up space."
I haven't always abided by this nugget of wisdom, although I think it's an honorable pursuit. Especially when I consider the hours I spend each day deleting emails from my inbox and unsubscribing from obnoxious lists.
So as best I can, the more creative endeavors I take on, the more I ask myself: am I enriching space or am I taking up space? Am I improving those coveted moments of silence or am I detracting from them?
When you spend the majority of your career working alone, it's easy to believe that every idea that crosses your mind is a powerful, life changing one. That the world needs everything that you have. But the real trick, more likely, is in deciphering which of your ideas truly enrich the lives of others and which are destined to become lifeless additions to the newsletter graveyard.
And, I know, this process isn't easy. It's hard to walk away from years of dreaming and planning. But when I think of the great writers, painters, innovators and entrepreneurs of our time, I find comfort not in observing their great works but in imagining all of the ideas they had to leave on the table to get where they were undoubtedly going.