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How many times have you found yourself lost on an Instagram or Facebook rabbit trail only to come out of it depressed or full of wishes that can’t come true. How many times have you looked at a social feed and not wished you were doing something different? These feeds easily feed shame and regret and fear and discontent.

We can’t compete with this. Yet this is not a social media’s the devil post. The answer is not to turn off the world or to shut the world out. The solution doesn’t come from becoming a hermit— although that would solve this particular problem. It would also create ten more, I’m sure. We loose sources of inspiration and motivation if we cut ourselves out of the social fabric of our lives. We loose connection to the realities that our dreams and art have to live and grow within when we disconnect.

The fog

Earlier this year, I enrolled in an online course called Make Better. The author, Blaine Hogan, begins the course with a need for a creed. We, as makers, need our own statement of why we do what we do. It is a manifesto that leads our work (and our life). As I was working on my creed, I found that I surrounded by a fog that tinted or obscured or magnified my perspective on who and what I am. Let me explain.

Instagram has become a mirror through which we see ourselves and it is much worse than the mirror in our house. It provides a reflection that is distorted and styled and often run by a machine.

One source of this fog that we have to sort out is the content we consume. We take in so much content that it shapes how we see ourselves. Instagram has become a mirror through which we see ourselves and it is much worse than the mirror in our house. It provides a reflection that is distorted and styled and often run by a machine.

Filter, filter, filter

No, this is not an escape post, this is a curation post. Filter the content. We need to weed through the barrage and flood of content and create a useful feed. Can we cultivate a feed that inspires us and motivates us, not one that defeats us? What if we set boundaries for when and where we digest this content and do just that—digest it! Chew it, savor it, appreciate it. We choose the diet. Let’s not just consume.

However, there are times when it’s important to turn off the feed. When we lack clarity on our own passions and directions, the distraction of someone else’s is going to have influence.
Even more this post is a take heart and and strengthen yourself. If we don’t have a creed or even clarity of direction, we have to scratch the surface and get to know ourself. Dig deep. Dig deeper. Peel off the labels and assumptions and lenses.

What is it that drives you and moves you?

Cross out the first couple of answers because they probably didn’t come from within you. But still, write what you think you should say. Write what you’re parents would expect you to say or your siblings or your friends. Write what your church or debt would prescribe and then cross those off. Keep going. Below those, within those, lies your passions.

It’s not easy work and discovering your manifesto is just the beginning. But keep going! Persevere! The clarity is worth it.

As I spent time beginning this work earlier this year, I started and stopped multiple times. I agonized over what it was that moved me. It took me a long while to get beyond what I thought I should write. I’m still sorting it out and will continue to for years to come, but I’m discovering clarity. I have a passion for dreamers, for those who dream or want to dream. And frankly, I don’t think we dream enough. But, more on that in another post.

Anders Jildén