In his interview with Tim Ferriss, this is what Kevin Hart had to say about consuming good content:
Kevin Hart: You’re able to get lost in something good. Like, I remember when this first hit and Ozark came on and the season was available and I was like “I wanna watch Ozark.”
And I sat and I watched Ozark and for that time, I just enjoyed a good show. A good show was enough. It was… it was enough for me.
And it motivated me after watching and I was like I got to get up and I got a write. I gotta write. I gotta create. I gotta write. And watching that show made me do that.
Now, of course… this is my profession. This is what I do. So it’s where I can grab energy from. But there’s content all around that can amplify a person’s mood.
I can make it to pay attention to how different content makes you feel. Building this awareness well help you tune your personal filter. You can continue taking in energizing information and avoiding things that just don’t make you feel good.
There’s a balance, of course. You don’t want to just completely ignore what’s happening in the world. But if you find yourself jumping to the comments specifically to find things that you disagree with, it’s worth considering whether that’s a good use of your energy or not.
Find things that helps motivate you to create whatever it is that you’re trying to create.
I’m not a copywriter, but I read and listen to a lot of stuff about copywriting. It’s often directly tied to how to make money. Sometimes I question whether that’s a good thing to be thinking about. (To be clear, I don’t think money is toxic or anything — just that my attention could go toward other things.)
At the same time, that content has always motivated me to just keep writing and putting stuff out into the world.
Watching Starcraft makes me want to play Starcraft. Watching basketball might make you want to watch basketball. (But watching MMA makes me never want to fight at any sort of level.) Listening to fitness podcasts makes me want to work out. Listening to The Indie Hackers Podcast makes me want to make… anything.
Hart’s thoughts about motivation pair well with some thoughts from Brian Koppelman, answering a listener question about keeping the creative spark alive:
Brian Koppelman: That’s related and it’s also back to those things I said earlier: the meditation, morning pages, long walks, cardio, listening to music, reading, watching movies.
I want to keep stoking the flame by taking in great work. I want to engage with that great work and ask myself questions about it and let myself get stirred up. As you get older it gets harder to allow yourself to get stirred up emotionally by art. But it remains really worth it.
(I wrote more on those other steps in this post.)
A trope in some of the nonfiction business/self-development things I read is that TV, movies, and video games are a waste of time.
I love seeing the counterpoints to this from very successful, productive people who watch a ton of stuff that is strictly entertainment. Yes, as people paid to create and tell stories in different forms, they can pull things out of it and consider how they can apply those concepts to their own work.
But a lot of it is just motivation coming from seeing high quality work.
Here’s something you can do: Write a list of things you read, watched, or listened to in the past week.
- Which of these things motivated you positively?
- Which of these things got you out of your head and let you just enjoy something in leisure?
Then take more of that in.
(And watch Ozark, btw, it’s great!)