Consumer to creator : A journey we all must embark upon

How can we live a content life? How can we align our activities with what resonates with our inner being? What distracts us from this core purpose?

In today’s world, it is harder to stay focused on what we are meant to do. It is harder to know what our inclinations and dispositions are. This is largely thanks to the volume of noise that is being impinged on us by all sorts of media. Yes, the access to information has improved our lives. However, like most technologies, this surfeit of information has its dark sides. It can distract us from our core purpose. It does this by constantly seeding dissatisfaction in us.It is telling us constantly that we are missing out on something better. It tells us, ‘Look at this exotic vacation. You should go there too’ or ‘Look at this new piece of technology for your home. You definitely need this’ or ‘You need to visit this exhibition for it has the best paintings EVER’. The visual format of media (videos, photos) means that these things engage our senses so deeply, that we are tempted to take part in this social scheme. And once we indulge in it, we are perniciously sucked into ‘keeping up with the joneses’. We must be careful.

Corporations want us to be consumers. This is what keeps the economic engine going. Consumption is the heart of modern economies. Individuals need not (and indeed should not) produce. If you are a simple craftsman making a fine product, then you are crowded out, out-priced and out-marketed by the large firm. In due course of time, you will be forced to shut down, and work for them. You become a mindless worker and a consummate consumer. That is your place. You are a consumer.

Today, this mindless consumption is seen across three main thematic areas (The Three E’s of consumption):

1. Electronics, which is a blanket term for all consumer goods – laptops, tablets, phones, home assistant, your e-book readers, robot vacuum cleaners and so on

2. Experiences, which is a term for travel, exotic jungle stays, romantic getaways on hot air balloons, couple spas, silent meditation retreat on monasteries perched on precipitous cliffs, Michelin star restaurants and so on

3. Entertainment, which includes television, online streaming subscriptions, gaming, host of apps – including ‘news’ apps, music subscriptions and so on.

In addition to this, we also ‘consume’ education. That is to say, we want to buy ourselves the best degrees (think of the Harvards, Standfords and so on). Consuming this and sticking this valuable piece of consumption on our resume is seen as an essential ingredient to be called successful. However, this is usually a one time thing, and therefore I do not include it in the three Cs.

Our attitude towards relationship is also that a consumer takes. Our partner must bring us satisfaction. They must meet our needs. This is after all our right. Similar to the rights a consumer has to ensure that his or her consumption needs are met fairly. In relationships we do not ask, ‘What can I do for you?’. No this is seen as being servile. In our modern times we have to be assertive. We have to discuss what the other will do for us. Seldom do we ask ourselves – How am I making the other’s life better for having met me?

However, being a consumer tires us. It does not meet the deepest part of our psychological needs – which is the need for meaning. The need for meaning simply means this ‘Am I born merely to consume, satisfy my sensory needs and then die?’. Most of us at some point in our lives ask ourselves this question. What is the purpose of my life? Many answer this question by expanding their consumption goals . Example: the purpose of my life is to travel to Antartica, to climb Mount Everest, or some other hard-to-attain goal. But this only leaves us more empty. Being a consumer never satisfies us. It merely shows us that consumption cannot satisfy our inner need for meaning. We need to become creators (or producers).


Creators are those people who have made this psychological shift internally. They realize that consumption does not inherently satisfy one. This of course does not mean that one does not consume at all. One has to, in order to meet life’s needs. But they understand that compulsive consumption is really the problem. Or in other words, the idea that bringing something external to ourselves will help us heal the gaping hole in our lives. This constant searching for the next.

Contributors begin with this simple question – what is it that I really love to do? What is it that makes me happy, even when I receive no external praise? What is it that when I do, time stops and I forget my worries? Answering this question is the beginning of cutting society’s umbilical chord and standing on one’s own feet (psychologically speaking). Here the motivation for action is not some illusory end point. Rather, it is the joy in acting itself. The very action brings joy.

This could mean stitching and designing clothes. Then you begin to explore cloths, threads, colours, patterns, designs. This curiosity driven exploration is the foundation for mastery in that field. This isn’t a mastery that one acquires simply by doing one’s job over mindless years in the office. No. It is a mastery that is born of curiosity and love. And when products or services come from this space – they are naturally beautiful, since they have been infused with the love of the creator. If several people begin to do this, then we get a society of conscious creators – making things out of love and skill. Naturally, this means the cheaper, mass produced goods reduce over time, as social consciousness begins to grow. If every consumer makes this shift towards being a creator, then he will never be a mindless consumer. This would eventually mean the end of the modern system of production and therefore the modern economy.

The new system would be an economy of less stuff, but more meaning. It would be a society less of more things of poor quality, but more of less things of fine quality. It would be a world of limited titillating experiences, but of infinite beauty, love and truth. This would be a world where people create out of contentment. Because they want to share the joy that they felt when they made the product. Think of your grandmother baking a cake and not even eating one piece but giving it all away to the children. This is production – not just for profit – but for pure joy. Then, perhaps we can build an economy of sharing and caring. Where we know not just the price of everything, but also its inherent value.

How can we go about making this shift?

As always begin with yourself. Begin by connecting to your innermost impulses. What are those inherent dispositions that you never paid heed to? Start doing it. Slowly you realize that joy in inherent to you. You do not need to constantly fill it with any of the 3Es to feel happy. You gradually begin to only buy what aids your inner expression – perhaps a tool, perhaps an instrument, a paintbrush. And as you begin to go deeper into yourself and align with your natural expression – you begin to be who you already are. A creator. A master. And above all a peaceful person.

An autumn flowering wildflower. Liatris punctata or Dotted Blazing Star. Denver. 2022


  1. This is so beautiful, and so needed in our world today! It’s a different point of view only because we have gone too far on the consumer-train! We are creators! This is our future! Our essence! We are alive as creators! The creator created us in his image and therefore we are all creators! And how beautiful is that! 🦋

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