Taahir Kamal Chagan
“You were born with wings, why prefer to crawl through life?”
Russian novel? Check. American sitcom? Check. European football? Yes, please. South African Rugby? A French film? Middle-Eastern cooking shows? Japanese Hip-Hop? Done.
This globalised world we live in is truly amazing. The internet alone has transformed every area of our lives, and this is only the beginning.
The beauty of having everything at our fingertips
It’s beautiful, the way we can connect. Breaking down borders, bringing us closer together, tearing down prejudices, connecting kindred spirits to each other from distant corners of the globe.
For the first time in our civilisation’s history, many of us have access to anything at a click of a mouse. There is so much beautiful art, storytelling, music, entertainment, people to connect with. So much beautiful culture to consume.
For me: its European football; Al Jazeera, Vice, and BBC Documentaries; Game of Thrones; Indy films; Hip Hop videos, Classic Jazz; Instagram; and literature and poetry from distant corners of the globe.
But what happens when consuming content is all we do?
Well, the following.
The Dark Side
- We stop dreaming. We stop believing that we can live the life we’ve always wanted. Watching other people live their dreams becomes more appealing. We start to believe that we can’t fly, that it’s only those people on TV that can do it. They were born that way, perhaps. Our minds are shackled. We become a slave to the consumption of the culture that we are sold. Kanye’s New Slaves springs to mind.
- We begin to live vicariously through these icons and sports stars. It’s all well and good to have people you look up to, mentors, entertainer-heroes, and people that you admire – but what are you doing with your life?
- We become very judgemental and opinionated, which also has a good side if we think for instance about the Arab Spring. But for the most part, opinions have always been the cheapest form of currency. We spend a hilarious amount of time on social media and being inundated by the news 24/7. Commenting, chatting, sharing, liking – judging
I’m not saying we shouldn’t consume things. I think that we can consume things more selectively and more proactively. And the ratio of how much we consume versus how much we make should lean more towards content-creation than content-consumption.
The joy and deep fulfilment of making our own things outweighs the fleeting pleasure of passively consuming things.
The blissful fulfilment that comes from creating things
At the same time as it is easier to consume content in the 21st Century; it is also easier to create content today. The internet provides us with the resources and the networks to make things happen, and connect with kindred spirits who are interested in the same things we are.
There is a pleasure in creating things that are incredibly fulfilling. Think back to a time when you were so consumed with a task that it was like nothing else in the world mattered. Time slowed. You were in alignment with yourself. You were in the zone, flowing.
The energy that comes from making something you’re passionate about is powerful: It has the power to shake the world. Creating things has a lasting effect on your inner world. The achievements and accomplishments you attain become a part of you. The pride lives inside you, and the result is that you feel ten feet taller.
It doesn’t have to be art. It can be anything. This is where knowing yourself comes in. Bake. Fish. Plant vegetables. Do Interior Design. Paint. Write. Dance. Open a coffee shop. Bring classic cars back to life. The only thing that matters is that you love it. And the important thing is that you are doing something about it.
“Have wings that feared ever touched the Sun?”
You are truly unique
We are all born artists. And we are all creative, just in different ways. For many of us, our creativity has become dormant over time as we became adults. Many of us have also been educated out of our talents as we went through life because we were told we had to conform, and that the thing we were focusing on so much was not going to be useful in life or pay the bills.
It doesn’t need to pay the bills, at least not in the beginning. The important thing is to start doing it. Go get in touch with your inner child and find something you are passionate about.
We all have a unique signature as individuals. Just think about it for a second: There are seven billion of us, and only you can do it the particular way that you can. That’s an empowering concept. You are truly unique.
It’s about embracing our authenticity, not hiding away from it in the shadows of conformity.
Everything is based on exchange and offering value to our fellow citizens of planet Earth. Once you have completed your masterpieces, if you like them, you can be sure that someone else, somewhere, will also resonate with them. Put yourself out there. Trust yourself. Be brave.
“The problem is you think you have time”
Start. The world is waiting for you to unveil your genius, and unleash your talents. Close your eyes, look up at the night sky, fix your gaze on the brightest star, spread your wings, and lift off in that direction. Fly.