Producing More Than We Consume
By Dr. Glenn Fox, C4 Foundation Chief Science Officer
My Mom had a saying that each day’s challenge was to “produce more than we consume.” Turns out, Mom was right: creativity has great benefits for children and adults, and helps our longevity.
And it is a two-pronged approach: we can make a point to adjust what we produce, and also what we consume. We consume information that we read, watch and hear. We also consume other’s creative expression through music, art, books, and performance. So we should be careful, particularly during the quarantine times, of what we watch how what we consume is affecting our overall mood and health.
And maybe more importantly, we can focus on what we produce — this is where the FROG program seeks to strengthen our SEAL families. We can produce in any number of ways — a good workout, a helpful conversation, landscaping, etc. We can also produce and create physical things using whatever means we have around us: pens, papers, food in our kitchen, dusty guitars in our closets, fabrics and sewing needles, whatever. Truly any form of creativity will contribute to our mental health and well being, particularly if we create and share with others.
What’s more, creativity is much more than physical products. We can create physical acts by going outside and enjoying nature, and we can create love itself. We can create a welcoming workplace and family home by telling people how much we are grateful to them, showing our thanks by writing thank you notes, keeping a daily journal of things we are looking forward to doing. At the end of the day, using what we consume to produce fun and happiness is what it is all about.
So, let’s focus on taking a break of 15 minutes a day at least to play, produce, and create, with whatever we have around us whether it’s a new drawing or piece of woodworking, or a friendly phone call to an old friend. All forms of production can help us avoid the quarantine doldrums, and keep our eye on long term health and happiness.
Written By: Glenn R. Fox, PhD
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