• Keagan Stokoe

Building Equals Growth

The Library of Alexandria was the intellectual jewel of the ancient world. It was made up of 700,000 books that covered topics from comedy to mathematics. For the average person to get through all of them in one lifetime, they'd have to read over 25 books per day. That's a hefty task.

Today, we sit with 175 Libraries of Alexandria in our pocket. The internet is home to 130 million books. That excludes the millions of articles, videos, podcasts and social media feeds available to you at the click of a button.

It's an incredible resource, but it becomes troublesome when we attempt to consume it all. It's easy to fall into the trap of overconsumption. Mindlessly consuming has the strange effect of making us feel productive. We're consuming valuable information, therefore we must be growing. In reality, we're procrastinating.

A Place to Build

Imagine it this way. Your desire to learn is like hunger. Information is like food. There's plenty to eat - news, videos, podcasts, books - but if you eat too much, digestion becomes a problem and you end up getting fat. To solve this, you need to exercise. Creative output is like exercise.

As you exercise, you use the food you've consumed, and you grow hungry again. The more you do this, the fitter and stronger you become. Creative output works in the same way - you use the information you've consumed, become a better creator, and grow hungry for more information.

Fuelling Growth

If you want to improve, don't consume more, build more. Take the information you're consuming and turn it into something new. Connect the information and apply your unique perspective to it. The best way to do this is to start a project that forces you to produce something.

There's a good chance you'll be terrible at the beginning. There's an even better chance that the thing you start building won't be the thing that you want to build for the rest of your life. The important thing is that you're building, not merely consuming.

By having a bias for building, you avoid the trap of overconsumption. Instead, you take the information that you're consuming and you share it with the world. You fail, you learn, you improve.

The Need for Builders

The world belongs to the people who choose to create things instead of just consuming them. Creators design the environment that the rest of the world lives in. One person writes a book. Thousands of people read it. One person starts a business. Thousands of people buy from it. One person programs a piece of software. Thousands of people use it. Creators are influential.

You don't need permission to be a creator. You don't need to be gifted to contribute to the world around you — you just need to choose to build something. As you create, you take society to a new level.

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