A couple of years ago I was poking around online for a new social media platform. I was tired of seeing the same old pictures on Facebook and Instagram and wanted something more.
Something that actually nourished my mind.
Then I stumbled upon Quora.
I consumed content for a little while, and I really enjoyed it.
In fact, I even was motivated enough by what I read to get up earlier, which changed every aspect of my life for the better. I was really happy that I’d found Quora.
I consumed and consumed until one day I got brave enough and decided to finally answer just one little question.
It was something to the effect of “How do I become happy and famous?”
I wrote about how I’ve noticed that famous people are not usually the happiest, and that family is what matters most in being happy. I added the following picture of my family (at the time, we have a daughter now):
As I saw the views and upvotes continue to rise for the next couple of days, I thought that there must have been some mistake.
Even now I think it must have been a mistake because there’s no way what I could write something that so many people would like.
Then I ultimately decided that Quora wasn’t for me, so I deleted my account.
I don’t really regret this. One lost social media post isn’t a huge deal, no matter how popular it was. Although I’d be a liar if I didn’t say that some part of me is vain enough to wonder what would have happened had I continued to write on Quora.
It’s the lesson I learned that’s made the bigger difference.
Contribution is a better teacher than consumption.
You learn faster by contributing.
You learn more when you contribute.
You learn better, more valuable lessons when you contribute no matter how afraid you are.
I made the same mistake here, consuming for months and months until I decided that it was time for me to finally tell my story and hope that it might help someone.
But we have to have consumers and contributors.
And the purpose of consuming should be to become a contributor.
Once you get your life figured out, which you have to do through consuming voraciously, your next task is to become a contributor.
But the transition from consumer to contributor can be difficult, filled with content creation blocks, fears, imperfections, and an almost unbearable amount of failure.
We owe it to the rest of the world, and to ourselves, to share our stories and make a difference.