Martin Luther King said it, as he anticipated the information revolution. We need to learn to judge people not by the colour of their skin, but by their content.
Now, he specifically said “the content of their character,” but he was right: we now live in an age where content is king. And the essential content you hold is the content deep inside of you, the content you have built into your system of responding to the world.
It is that essential content that is more than what you cobble together as a deliverable, it the content that shapes your process of creating any deliverable you have to produce. The way you do anything is the way you do everything, so the way you create the content you share defines who you are.
You are your product. It’s nice to think that you are removed from product, that product is only your deliverables, the bits you create for distribution, but what makes your deliverables special, unique and powerful is what you put into them, which comes out of the way that you create them.
There is a piece of you in everything you offer, even if that is just the residual marks of your fingers left from shaping it. Bits of your attitude, your knowledge, your approach, your commitment, your discipline are in every individual thing that you offer the world. Your deep content shapes your choices and your choices shape what you produce.
It can be comforting to think that people aren’t judging you when they judge your product, that the product stands alone. Your product, though, is your product because you made it, because it reflects your values, your priorities, your attention, your quality and your choices.
We live in a world of content, a world where most of it is produced on demand. We service others all the time, having to be in the moment with them and create for them, making quick choices that can only come from the level of process and programs we own right now.
To differentiate what we have to give, we must put ourselves into it. This is the essence of the content concept, that it is our own content that differentiates what we offer, our content that adds value to what we share with the world. Content isn’t just something we produce, rather the content we choose to take on board and hold produces us, as surely as the design of a machine defines what it makes.
Content creation isn’t about what we make, it is about how we make, always bounded by choices that reveal the content of our character. Show me what you create and I will know who you are.
In the end, the only content that matters is the content of our character. It is that content which shapes everything else that we offer in the world. No matter what mask we put on, it is always just us underneath.
We are our product. The lesson of transformation, of death and ressurection, is that even when we have lost everything, we still have ourselves, and it is that self which finds a new shape, a new incarnation, a new possibility. It is the content we have internalized and made part of us that we will always own, the content that shapes that we offer the world.
The content of your character is what makes you you, and you are the difference between what you offer and what anyone else can offer.
Isn’t that content key to creating the best life you can?