You Deserve to be Happy
Updated: Nov 8, 2021
"Do what you love and you'll never have to work a day in your life."
Maybe, but probably not.
From our earliest childhood, society asks us, "What do you want to be when you grow up?"
I remember asking my own daughter that question and she would respond thoughtfully that she wanted to be a mail man, a brain doctor, the President and she wanted to work at McDonalds so that she could eat there whenever she wanted.
We thought it was adorable but why is our focus on work from the very beginning? We think we have no value if we're not working; if we're not producing something. We become what we do.
In college, I discovered that there are two questions every frat boy will ask: Where are you from? and What's your major?
We can't get away from the pressure of defining ourselves by our work.
Every other Tedx Talk I watch seems to be focused on following your bliss. Find your passion and work that passion professionally.
I bought into this idea hook, line and sinker. If I'm not making art (which is my favorite part), I need to be prepping art for market or learning how to use social media more effectively. If I'm not selling a lot of art, I need to work harder. I need to put in more hours. If I'm not selling, I am failing at my work and I am failing at life.
Wrapping our identity completely up in what we do or what we produce sets us up for failure, or at least, for burn out.
We need to stop. We need to stop tying our identities to our work. We need to stop believing that we must love our work. We need to create a wall between what we do for money and who we are.
We deserve to love ourselves no matter how much money we are making or whether or not we love our work.
You are not your work. You are not how financially successful you are. You don't need to be productive in every moment. You shouldn't feel guilty if you leave your work at work and just enjoy being when you leave the office.
You possess value regardless of what you produce or where you work.
We need to normalize a new series of questions. Don't ask the person next to you at a cocktail party what they do for living. Instead, try asking them what they are passionate about. Ask them what they love doing. Ask them what the most important things in their life are.
Our society places all its emphasis on wealth and success. We're obsessed with status and defining ourselves by our production. We need to stop.
We don't need to find happiness or life meaning in the work place. If you do, wonderful, but if you don't, find happiness where you can. Enjoy your life. Enjoy things that possess no market value.
Love yourself for being the complex, multilayered being that you are. I don't care what you do, but I would love to hear a little more about your favorite book or your favorite hobby.
Let's connect on a deeper level and stop worrying about work. It will still be there tomorrow but we are in the here and now and I want to know you, not your profession.