Lifehacks for the Mind | Part 5: Lack of Production = Source of Depression

in lifehacks •  16 days ago

Depression has become somewhat of an all-encompassing symptom of our civilization as the financial and ideological pressures on the general public seem to increase by the day through new questionable policy decisions in politics and the scarcity-bent trends within the old paradigm economy at large.

Many people feel that their life is missing meaning and significance as our dreams and aspirations have often been reduced to an unreachable vision through the sheer (artificial) pressures of life in the matrix. And while I do not exempt myself from feeling those pressures weighing heavy on my spirit from time to time, I did stumble upon a few ideas to help me out of that depressing valley when I can't seem to find enough strength to hold fast to my aspirations in light of the pressures...

And the idea is rather simple but not often mentioned.

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Consumption society


Western societies are often labelled as consumerist. We tend to buy things we don't need with money we don't have to impress people we don't like, nothing new here.

However, apart from the jewelry, cars, houses, technology gadgets and all the other distractions that somehow resemble social status in our society we also tend to be overly consumptive in other areas of life... in areas that most do not outrightly associate with unbalanced passive consumption: Media.

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One-way street, cemented and decorated with plastic flowers to retain a plausible image


We have become used to consuming other people's media. For many this means turning on the TV after a long day in the office, just to watch staged scenes taking place in a fictional... office.

For others youtube might be the thing they spend an enormous amount of time on and granted I have done this a lot and still sometimes do. Endless hours of finding stuff, checking it out and hopefully taking some merit away.

For other people it would come in the form of social media obsessions - checking and rechecking the feed, their likes and ultimately sharing someone else's idea, media item or concern in the hopes of gathering more sympathy for themselves on their wall by their friends.

Then others play computer games for hours on end, games that have been programmed by people we have never met, often with a questionable focus, background or emphasis.

And in one way or another all of us are hooked on one or several forms of media today, unless you live in a forest and have made a conscious decision to dial back on your media obsession purposefully. It really is hard to avoid.

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I don't quite see the issue


The issue is really simple: We have increased and increased our time and efforts in comsuming other people's media, and not found a way to increase the production of our own. In effect, we are consumers and not producers because we constantly consume, even when - and this is the emphasis of this article - production could actually GIVE US what we were originally looking for by consuming other people's work. Or by stuffing ourselves with things instead of bringing out what wants out from inside...

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To sum that idea up it would simply be this:

Consumption without production IS depression


A mundane example would be the giant shift from participatory sports to spectator sports in recent decades. Now if you have ever worn yourself out doing sports, like running for miles, windsurfing in the sun all day or snowboarding with your friends you will know how pleasant and satisfying the sensation is falling into your bed after a long and physically demanding day. Instead of merely watching other people do it on TV where we don't ever get to move ourselves.

This example can be expanded to anything that can be produced and I have found that the correlation is solid, at least in my experience!

If cooking is your thing it might totally cheer you up to go into the kitchen and try something new, something wild maybe, like a skateboarder trying a new trick to advance his skills. If you love to watch or read philosophic musing on reality and life why don't you dare writing your own and to share them with the world instead of passively consuming other's creations on a daily basis?

You know, you could finally talk about that thing everybody else you're following seems to be missing constantly. Whatever you like to do in life, there comes a point when you have to do the thing yourself to reap the rewards of your skill and passion. You can read a thousand books on rock climbing or playing the guitar but actually putting in the effort and doing it yourself will not only make you proud of your achievements in the field you are passionate about (already an anti-depressant)... it can also have a huge impact on your attitude and inner world seeing you are actively inching closer to where your interest lies, instead of passively hoping for something to come up that adds even more to your (practically underused) theoretical body of knowledge about something.

The moment we get into a habit of production instead of mere consumption we'll feel better, regardless of the topic we are talking about. DIY.

We see the benefits of the activity in our immediate life and we often tend to inspire other people on the fence, who are suspecting that actively following their passion might just be the healthiest thing a human being can do.

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So in the spirit of reminding myself about this I want to say: Whenever I feel depressed, down or hopeless, it would be ample time to check when I have last produced something I care about... and if it is long ago I shall not dwell on my inner state until I have produced something for the day that means something. Negativity is fodder for the ego, but a new tangible result in direction of your passion is something that has the power to overwhelm the naysayer and pessimist inside of us. Especially if we make it a habit to "fight" depression through production of whatever we care about.

9 times out of 10 I have found that production is the best remedy against depression, and when I have a subjectively terrible day I just look to produce things in line with my passions. It's like a positive distraction from all the consumption-distractions, it further refines my skill in my area of expertise and at the end of the day I can SEE what I have done, versus sitting there with the shadowy remnants of someone else's ideas that have captured my attention for hours through a passive spectating mode instead of an active co-creator role in my own experience.

Nothing wrong with consumption. But I have found that the reason we are often consuming things is precisely that we long for something new to be in the world, something that resonates inside of us already. And instead of looking for it in others and their work, maybe it would be a healthy practice to just roll up our sleeves and produce it ourselves. Right then and there.

It doesn't have to be great, world-class or profound. It just wants to be done, and you will notice after a while: You'll feel better for actively moving somewhere instead of stagnating and witnessing the fruits of everybody else's work come to life. Go do your thing!

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More lifehacks for the Mind:
Part 1: "Permission Slips"
Part 2: "Handling Adversity & Multiplying Prosperity"
Part 3: "Mileage Over Results"
Part 4: "Your Ego is Not your Enemy"

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I as a genuine creator find myself depressed due to lack of engagement on the hard work and effort in which I created, meanwhile people with more resources and less talent are more observed and praised because of the nature of the mainstream engagement faucet for those with Multi-Million dollar deals to the corporate establishment. These people push a narrative designed to keep people ignorant and complacent, to hypnotize the masses into believing a lie. My life work has been dedicated to productive art that seeks to inform and educate, which is the opposite direction of the marketplace in which my work is to be represented. In the form of entertainment, people tend to steal and carbon copy more than create original works of their own. They'd rather conform to a box, then break the mold, they'd rather be stereotypical and accepted, than think for themselves. This is a major flaw in the system, and it stifles creativity as a whole. People don't use their imagination much anymore, and want to cut directly to the chase or the climax and tend to ignore minor details. This is why I create in such a diverse manner and choose to be who I am, to go against the grain of societal programming to get people to realize they are being sold a MASSIVE LIE. It is still possible to be depressed and be a genuine creator, there is a major correlation between hyper-intelligence and depression. I come from a well off family of entrepreneurs, military personnel, and Government workers, one of my family members recently committed suicide because of depression. He was both a producer and a consumer, a father and a son.

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You are pretty much describing the story of my life to a T minus the family background and the sad developments.
As I am sure you know: It will be worth walking the untrodden path in the long run. The way I see it someone is going to have to break the cycle for our kids and grandkids to live in a sensible world one day. If not us who? If not now then when?

Reading from people like you reminds me why I am (still) on my mission to begin with, after years of offering lifechanging information to the people on different platforms and formats through blood, sweat and tears and still the fake drama of mass media seems so much more appealing to the majority.

I learned the hard way that a tribe who can appreciate and work with the information is so much more beneficial to everyone involved than a large group of fans who really don't care. I don't know what it will take for the masses to glimpse something is not right, but I am no longer waiting for that to happen, but instead work with the people who can see it on the horizon at least.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts in such an open manner. It really means a lot to me.

Thank you, I needed to read this.

Feeling low after several months of little creativity. Despite the lack of inspiration and motivation I'm trying to get back into making music, hopefully ideas will come soon, along with some sense of purposefulness ^^

Live long and prosper.

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I feel similarly, thank you <3
Often times I do write these for myself and it was kind of the proof in itself. Wanted to write about it forever and I felt absolutely better after it was done ;)
Live long and prosper my friend!

Very well said. I couldn't agree more. It takes a lot of hard work to detach ourselves from the Matrix, and those that are lucky enough to come unplugged tend to have the greatest influence on all of society. I, for one, believe that finding our calling should be job one and once that has been done, it is all about showing our true humanity by achieving something great (whatever your definition of that is). Thank you again for this important article.

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Really happy to have stumbled upon you, thanks for dropping your thoughts <3

That was good bru!!!
I agree with you, creating is very important :) and give you a reason to wake up in the morning.
Finding a balance between creativity, consistency, and doing exercises(technique and physical too) is the key to a good life and success.
That sounds generic but it's

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Agreed my friend. I keep oscillating back and forth but the general direction is solid and progressing.
It may sound generic but it's still great advice. I tend to overlook balance a lot of times, even and especially when I could really use some

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Especially if you are smart, that's when simple things are hard to learn

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You and me are so similar dude ;) thanks for your replies

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pleasure :) we are indeed thinking alike !

Enjoyed the read and followed. I agree.
I have read when people gorge on food they are doing so to feel the empty creative spot.

Sometimes i feel useless and then get depressed. Creating something always feels good like you mentioned. Also mindfulness always is a good idea for me as a cure of negative thoughts. Thank you for your great post!

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Part of feeling useless is singling oneself out, which is what I also do a lot when I'm feeling down. BUT we are all in that boat and often forget that we are NOT the only one feeling this way. Which always makes it easier for me, remembering that it's part of being a human being.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and the love <3

Hi there buddy,

You are - and Nike was - right:

Just Do It


There's talking and thinking about something and actually doing it. It makes a huge difference. Although the former is often needed too.

One example:

I spent so many years studying, watching and talking film(making) but I didn't make a single short. It was depressing.

Activity versus passivity:

Even though I know and have known this for a long time myself, I keep getting back to a passive mode and there's always this gnawing feeling inside of me that I should be more active and that what I'm doing is a waste of time. Nevertheless, I'm probably way less passive than most people, haha

I am getting there. And awareness is spreading. Nevertheless, I should learn to not feel bad about being ( more ) passive every now and then. In the end it's all about balance. Rest is needed too. The thing is, what we often do when we need rest, does not necessarily relax us.

Let's not forget to keep breathing and also focus on the moments inbetween the breath for the necessary pauses ;>)