I voted early.
Yesterday, in fact.
But I didn’t pull any levers or get claustrophobia in a little booth.
I didn’t choose between maroon and royal. Or pumpkin, alfalfa, sunshine, or any other color.
I didn’t even have to stand in line.
I didn’t tell people with guns how to run my neighbor’s life for him.
No, I voted without doing going through any of those grand traditions.
But I voted. Yesterday.
When I ate a peach from the tree in my back yard. (The one in the picture)
And I voted again, when, instead of watching another hilarious sitcom, I read a few chapters from ‘Scientific Advertising‘, a classic book on direct response marketing by Claude Hopkins.
And later, I voted by writing another article. Maybe I’ll publish it. Maybe I won’t.
It doesn’t matter.
Because with just these three actions, my vote has been cast for:
- Local, unprocessed, healthy food. The other candidate was shipped thousands of miles. Processed until I didn’t recognize it anymore. I wasn’t even there to watch it grow.
- Learning about direct response advertising from a legend. Becoming more valuable to the world. Who was the other candidate? George Costanza. Easy decision.
- Creating valuable content. Connecting through writing. Production. And we all know who the other candidate is here, right? Consumption. Of anything. Production beats consumption almost every time.
And I cast hundreds of other similar votes every week. (Shh, don’t tell.)
Here are ten ways you can vote right now. You don’t even have to wait until some random Tuesday when the rest of the herd does it.
- Grow some food. This doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be as small as an herb garden in a 5oz container. You could grow tomatoes, peppers and lettuce in a container garden on your balcony or patio. If you have a little bit of grass, you could even keep a chicken or two to give you eggs and mow the grass.
- Eat something you grew, caught, or hunted yourself. You will never feel a greater sense of pride than you do when you eat something you raised or procured on your own. You certainly can’t get that feeling by buying something from the fluorescent light ambiance of the supermarket.
- Cook something from scratch. Even better – cook something for someone else from scratch. There is no better way to connect with yourself, your world and with another person than cooking a meal from scratch with ingredients you picked out.
- Buy something. When you buy something that someone else produced, you send a signal (a vote) to the market and to that producer that you value the product more than you value the money you’ve spent to get that product. You also send a signal (a vote) that there is demand in the market for that product.
- Don’t buy something. This is the same as above, only in reverse. When you don’t buy something, you tell the market (a vote) you value your dollars more than the value you would receive from that product.
- Start a business. Even if it’s a tiny, insignificant side business. This is one of the biggest votes you can cast. When you start a business, your vote is for yourself. It’s a vote in your value, your abilities, your confidence, and your independence. And it doesn’t have to be anything big. Sell some herbs from your new herb garden. Freelance your programming skills. Write a book about your expertise on hunting in the Himalayas. It doesn’t matter.
- Spend time with family and friends. Maybe even cook something for them. Or go hunting with them. Maybe play a football game or jam to some music. Spending time with family and friends is a vote for connection. A vote for community and sharing.
- Sleep enough. Sleep is more important to your health than anything. Even more important than what you eat and how much you exercise. In fact, if you compared someone who eats junk but keeps healthy sleep habits to someone who eats well but is constantly short on sleep, you would find that the person who sleeps well and eats junk will be happier, healthier, and will perform better in day-to-day life. If you have a hard time getting enough sleep at night, a 15-30 minute nap can be enough to catch up.
- Get out of debt. A vote for delayed gratification, self-control and discipline.
- Write. Ideally, write to connect. To have someone else read your thoughts and ideas. Many people have a fear of putting themselves out there (I do), but it’s the best way to vote for your ideas and to share them with others.
Everybody votes thousands of times every year. The above list illustrates just a few of those ways. But in reality, everything you do (or don’t do) is a vote.
Everything you buy.
Everything you watch on TV. Every website you go to.
Everyone you follow on Twitter or Instagram.
Every time you choose what to eat, what to wear, or where to go. That’s a vote.
Even the times when you get down on yourself for not doing things you know you should do.
Every decision you make is a vote for or against something or someone.
Voting doesn’t only happen on a random Tuesday in November. It’s something you do every minute, whether you’re conscious of it or not.
So vote for you. Vote for health. Vote for friends and family.
No matter how you vote, vote for things that are within your power to control.
How did you vote today?
p.s. Here are a few bonus votes that are a little bit more difficult:
- Move to another state or country.
- Homeschool or Unschool your kids and get them out of the toxic public school system.
- Replace your income with a solo business and work from anywhere in the world.
- Buy a farm and grow enough food to sell and to enjoy for yourself