How many times have you been asked “what do you do?”
What has you answer been? Do we really stop to think about the meaning of this question? There are in fact no limits to the answer, but what do we really mean when we ask this? Why are we asking?
Are we genuinely interested in what other people do for a living? Maybe we are and maybe we are not, but from my own perspective, my day job is the last thing I want to talk about when I am in a social situation.
Some people are genuinely interested in a discussion about your profession and finding common ground but it is more commonly a conversation starter to break the ice. In my opinion there are more effective ways to find common ground like asking “what do you do in your spare time.”
I recently watched a video on Youtube titled Never tell people what you do. The speaker encourages us to talk about what we want to do rather than what we do. I am far more interested in talking about my interests and hearing about other peoples interests rather than their profession.
What we do for a living does not define us. Many of us work our day jobs to finance what we truly love. It is only the luckiest people on Earth who can claim that they work in their dream job.
What defines us? That is subjective. It is also a matter of perspective. I think a more accurate question is what defines us in the eyes of those who matter.
Our achievements define us to a certain extent but I think it is more accurate to say that our actions define us. I have been lucky enough to meet many high achievers who are well educated and professionally successful but this achievement was arrived at through their actions.
One can only be judged on their actions. Who is to say the homeless man on the street is not a higher achiever than the suit, with fine clothes rushing about taking meetings on the fly?
How is success measured? By what we do to earn a living? By how much we earn? By the clothes we wear? By the fact that one person smells of cologne and another smells of the street?
Do we judge these people on their actions or their achievements? We judge how we judge, but we can only see what is on the surface. To dig deeper we need to look deeper. We need to really see.
I gave some cans to a homeless man and he told me this would help him reach his quota for donations to the children’s hospital. The cynical side of me doubts him but who am I to judge? I can only see the surface. Who is to say that man is not working tirelessly to save money for others.
“There are no perfect people in the world, only perfect intentions.”
(Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves)
My point is that what we do on a daily basis to earn money does not scratch the surface of who we are. We should look deeper. Ask deeper. Dig deeper. Find the real people.
Thanks for reading,
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