Building as a personal philosophy

I find comfort in creation. Creating something new can help you to adapt to change and focus on something positive rather than succumbing to panic over things beyond your control. I'd like to share some thoughts about how I think of my creativity during hard times. I hope it helps in some small way.


In The Dark Knight Rises, Bruce Wayne (Batman) is thrown into a prison deemed impossible to escape. His back is broken, he’s immobilized and left to watch his beloved city of Gotham get destroyed (bear with me, I have a point, I swear).

Little by little, Wayne’s back heals and he starts exercising aggressively to regain his strength. One of his fellow prisoners asks, “Why do you build yourself?” After all, their surroundings are insurmountable.

Wayne replies, “I’m not going to die in here.”

And what happens?

…Well, it is a superhero movie. He vanquishes all odds, breaks free and returns to Gotham just in the nick of time to face his enemies and save the world. Obviously.

Superhero surrealism aside, I find myself thinking about that line quite a lot, “Why build yourself?” Especially during challenging times. Blame it on my lifelong adoration of fiction for inspiration.


I consider myself a builder at heart. Professionally, I don’t work in construction, I don’t shape policy, I’m not even particularly crafty, but I do build. I architect concepts to life; my materials are ideas and imagination glued together by strategy and woven with creativity. I forge brands so they can, I like to think, have a positive effect in their own ways, and I help people breathe a little art into their everyday moments so they can see the as is beauty that they're already living.

I build in my personal life as well — home projects, self improvement, always working towards something while being grateful for where I am and what I have. It’s a mindset I try to carry with me always; although like all humans, this mindset drastically fluctuates, ebbs and flows.

For as long as I can remember building and creating has been a great source of comfort for me. I was raised to feel (insert tricky situation or emotion of choice here) and then pick myself up and do something. No matter what, there is usually something helpful that can be done. There is always a way to build forward, while being accepting of the present and accepting of the things we cannot change.


Building creatively is now almost a philosophy to me; it’s what I turn to when times are beyond difficult. It’s what I’ve done through heart-piercing loss, it’s how I gingerly step into new chapters, it’s even often how I unwind and de-stress. I find comfort in creating. Creating something new can help you to adapt to change and focus on something positive rather than succumbing to panic over things beyond your control.

During times of isolation, of uncertainty, of haunting surrealism that feels like we’re living in the opening scenes of a movie ourselves, whenever I find myself overwhelmed, scared, anxious or outraged (and I do), I do my best to feel it and then I say out loud, almost like a mantra:

Build yourself. Even now. Especially now.

“How?” you may ask.


Learning something new is building knowledge.

Practicing a skill is building ability.

Working out is building your body.

Taking time to rest is building resilience.

Reflecting about life is building wisdom.

Connecting with others is building community.

Developing new projects is building livelihood.

Pausing to breathe is building gratitude.

Helping others is building hope.

Taking things day by day is rebuilding in process.

Building doesn’t look the same for everyone and can be accomplished in an almost endless number of ways. I’m not a guru. I’m not an expert. I don’t pretend to be either. I’m not saying this is the “right way” or the “only way” to be when life throws a curve-ball or leaves you gasping for breath. This is simply my personal approach for facing challenging times and I’m sharing it in case it helps somebody out there. If you disagree, fair enough.


I choose to try and build myself dynamically, In all sorts of directions, so that I may be stronger than I am now in every facet of my being, So that I have the strength and endurance to try and help others, and so that I can hopefully nurture a realistic positive outlook for the future.

Keep creating wildly!