Be Honest: Are You Rejecting Yourself? (Why You Should Make Things)

Something unexpected happened recently. I started getting more visitors to my website from Google.

In fact, if you search the phrase “how to stop procrastinating” in Google right now, then you will probably see this article on the first page of results: How to Stop Procrastinating by Using the “2–Minute Rule”

Why am I telling you this? Because there is a much bigger lesson behind this silly search engine story.

I’m not a search engine master. I don’t know anybody at Google. And I certainly don’t have the world’s best ideas. The only reason my article ended up on the first page is because I chose to write something. In a broader sense, I chose to build something, to make something, and to share something.

Here’s why this is important…

The Steve Jobs Approach to Life

Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you.
—Steve Jobs

Pause for a moment and read that quote again.

Everything that you encounter on a daily basis was merely made up by good and well–meaning people who were just like you. This includes the products on supermarket shelves, the bestselling books in stores, the art in museums, the cars on roads, and even the search engine results in Google.

There’s nothing inherently “special” about the people who created these things. They didn’t have to pass some test of Ultimate Truth to verify that they were the right person for the job. They simply chose to build something.

You don’t need permission to create. You don’t need to be “gifted” or a “genius” or “brilliant” to contribute to the world around you — you just need to choose to build something.

The World Belongs to the Makers

The world belongs to the people who choose to make things. They create 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.
  • One person takes a photo. Millions view it online.
  • Some guy named James writes on his tiny website. Thousands of people sign up for his email newsletter.

The people who are doing these things are no smarter than you, they simply decided to become a “Maker.” They decided to make a book or make a website or make a business or make art.

You can do the same thing! This is your invitation to join the party and make something yourself.

What if I Fail?

You may be wondering, “But what if I fail? What if people judge me? What if I make something that gets rejected?”

I hear you. I feel that way all the time. Hell, maybe this article will get rejected and people will hate it.

People who are Makers feel these same fears. They worry about rejection and battle uncertainty just like everyone else. The only difference is that Makers don’t let how they feel prevent them from sharing what they know.

But even more important to keep in mind is this: if you choose to create something, you’ve already won because you haven’t rejected yourself.

You have already won because you’ve battled the limiting beliefs and the self–doubt and the excuses like “I don’t have enough time or enough money or enough experience” and you found a way to make it through to the other side.

Yes, if you build something people might judge it or dislike it. But if you don’t create and share the things that you have inside of you, then you’ll commit the far worse crime of rejecting yourself.

Make a Habit of Making Things

Too many people die with their best ideas still inside of them.

Your legacy is what you share, not what you know or harbor within yourself. Unshared knowledge is like potential energy. It’s great to have, but it will never do anything unless you turn it into something else.

Turn your knowledge into a book. Turn your inspiration into art. Turn your words into music. Turn your ideas into a business. Build something. Write something. Create something.

From time to time, it’s great to sit back and enjoy other people’s work. I love reading a good book or buying a good meal or watching an incredible game just as much as anyone else.

But those passive activities are easy to do. What is more important is making a habit of stepping into the arena and playing the game instead of simply judging from the crowd. Make a habit of making things.

You can either be judged because you created something or ignored because you left your greatness inside of you. Your call.