Doers vs. Watchers

This morning I had a conversation with Anya (13) about consumers vs. producers. She shared a famous quote that she liked on Instagram, it’s been more of the same since she started using social media two months ago.

I told her she should consider taking some of her photos and interpreting famous quotes instead of simply, re-blogging (inside joke).

Anya: But Mom, that takes a lot more work.
Me: Yes, it does. But you dont want to spend all your time consuming because the world needs producers.
Anya: Wut?

Cue the whole meaning behind the name of this blog: elephant poop. Eat like a bird, poop like an elephant. Consume a little and then Produce and keep producing and keep producing. It’s good for your soul, it’s good for your skills and it’s good for the world.img_0775

But, knowing this, why do most people resist producing?

Anya said it. “Too hard”
But why is it hard? I can type words on WordPress. I can get my paints out and express myself. I can start a support group and get 630 members in order to grow the game of beach volleyball in Wichita, Ks (did that in one day, btw).

It’s hard because we’re scared. Watching other people make waves and try things is easy. We justify our not-doing-ness with excuses:

– I’m not good at that
– I don’t have time
– It’s dumb

It’s ok to be a consumer. Producers need consumers to be successful! But, we sometimes take even further measures and criticize those who are doing:

– That’s not going to work
– I’ll wait until I see proof and then I’ll try it
– That’s a terrible idea
– That’s not the way most people do it

It’s bad enough to make excuses for not doing. It’s even worse when you feel soooo guilty for not doing, not being part of something that could be so great (but yes, might fail), that you make others feel bad when they have the courage to be a doer.

The greatest innovators are always criticized with the reasons above and more! Yet they have the courage to keep innovating through criticism and failure. It’s what makes them great!

So… if you see someone who’s pooping like an elephant, inching out a narrow branch, trying to reach something new, taking a chance, failing (gulp), don’t put them down. Don’t tell them they will fail because others have failed or because you think it’s improbable. Encourage them. Support them. Because it’s hard enough standing on that branch alone without you shaking the tree.

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