I Build


As far back as I can remember (and even beyond that, in the realm of 80’s style beige-hued childhood photographs), I had to build.

My creations were simple at first; a few carefully scrawled lines would become a stickman. With the addition of more lines and some dots, it become a stickboy. With the addition of some unpracticed letters spelling out ‘Colin’ on the same sheet of paper, it became ME.

From crayon to conception to creation, so I would build.

As my understanding of the world around me grew, so did my construction capabilities.

Paint was splashed, clay molded and ink etched on to thick, textured paper.

I cobbled together words of increasing sophistication into sentences, and those sentences became thoughts and those thoughts became ideas.

Each and every creation existed because of me. If I had never been born, they wouldn’t have either.

Today and every day I continue to build, not because it’s a habit and not because it’s a job, but because it’s a drive.

When I find chaos I must create order. When I find thoughts, I must create action. When I find possibility, I must create inevitability.

I, like so many other people out there, cannot NOT create.

This is the burden builders carry, but rather than a sack of rocks, it’s more like a sack of balloons, propping us up and taking us to new heights.

A builder knows that the sky is not the limit, that there ARE no limits, only goals not yet reached.

We can fight our need, we can decide not to build and only to consume, or worse, to tear down bricks rather than mixing new mortar, but to what end?

We can deny what we are (as I have done in the past) and attempt to shift the responsibility to others, but all that earns us is stagnation, depression and a partially-built structure that leaves us exposed to the elements that would bounce off the walls we could easily construct.

With crayons or words or ideas or businesses, build and be fulfilled.


  1. It’s an interesting concept when you say that each and every concept wouldn’t have existed if you hadn’t been born. This is good to keep in perspective whenever I (or anyone) feel like I’m not unique or not creating something no one else has. Thanks!

  2. This post reminded me of my early years when I absolutely loved building Legos. I would just sit there for an entire day and build a city with apartment buildings, rail road tracks, people, streets, fire and police stations, shops, etc… Keep on building Colin!! Thanks for sharing!

  3. I am traditionally a learner and love taking in knowledge. I am working very hard to create more and its becoming easier and easier. I am very jealous of people like you who do it so naturally…

  4. Yes.

    I’m tired and need to meditate, so I’ll keep my comment short:

    Creation provides value. Consumption takes value.

    Which one would you rather be? A value-giver or a value-taker; a creator or a consumer? Of course, we’re both at times, but, for me, I try to make this true as much as possible:

    Creation > consumption. And “creation” refers more than just tangible things. It’s connections, ideas, hopes, dreams, and everything in-between that carries value.

  5. I want to thank you for your inspirational thoughts.
    I know I used to be a builder – and then at some point I stopped. In my past, there was a time when, every time I would consider ‘building’ something I was told that it was not a worth while endeavor…until the point I believed it on my own, and I just stopped even trying.

    It is only recently that I have started up again. Its been a hard journey, because I am so out of practice, and I have to fight my habitual “no” self. In attempting to re-build myself, I am realizing that a part of me had died when I had accepted the negativity into myself.

    I want to thank you for having been a small part in my inspiration to begin building again. Even if its not perfect, even if its not going to make me money, even if…

  6. Pingback: ‘Building’ a better self – the first step. | untaimedthought

  7. this reminds me of the fountainhead, for some reason. even though i never finished reading the book all the way through.

    is that a picture of your drawing when you were a kid?? if so i’m quite impressed! ok, a closer look and i doubt you had an iphone when you were little ;P so i guess i answered my own question…

    life is an art, my friend! i’ve been feeling the tug to start painting again.. maybe i’ll create and have a gallery showing entitled “the journey” someday.. :)

  8. I love to build. Nowadays I feel like all the building energy gets sucked out of me. I’m working on that situation though, and slowly making improvements. One thing I like more then building, is watching my 4 year old daughter build. She loves to draw, paint, color, build with blocks, and just generally be creative. I find it very inspiring to watch children build and be creative.

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  10. I lack sufficient words to describe the full benefits of being creative. It is a shame that so much emphasis is placed on learning pretty useless (in the practical world) facts at school and not on being inventive and creative.

  11. HI there!I can absolutely relate to this. Creating something from nothing but patterns of bits and bytes is the most rewarding experience ever in my opinion, whether that be music, art, websites or software.Right now the technology is available for the average guy to get creative for almost no cost. You still have to learn how to do it well though..

    Cool blog by the way. Often inspiring and frequently insightful. :)

  12. Colin, this reminds of the following quote:

    “I don’t build in order to have clients. I have clients in order to build.” – Howard Roark, from the novel ‘Fountainhead’ by Ayn Rand

    Love how you say, you cannot NOT build. It is in you. It IS you, in fact. Inspiring. Love it.

  13. “When I find chaos I must create order. ”

    It’s true, creativity is a great way to make meaning of the chaos. Sometimes, it is also necessary to embrace the chaos to be more creative.

  14. Pingback: Castles in the Air » Blog Archive » Create or Perish (and The Reasons Why I Write)

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