Hey there... so what do you do?

How often have you been in this scenario? You first meet someone and as an ice breaker one of you ask "so... what do you do?" as a way to begin a conversation. I'm sure we've all been there and done that but to be honest it's often spoken out of lack of real context.  What we're asking about is a persons profession but the problem with that particular question is that we're so much more than what we actual "DO" professionally. Although our work does consume a lot of our waking hours it's not really a defining characteristic of our true selves because it's been documented that millions of people don't even like their professions. We've been trained to get a job, preferable a job that pays lots of money so that we can become successful consumers but this doesn't make us happy in the long run to leaving too many people defined by what they do and not really discovering who they are and their true passions in life. When you begin to totally consume yourself with work and have no real outside interest you are doing a disservice to yourself and I'll explain to you why.

A leading cause of depression is that too often people have no real sense of self and let outside perceptions define their identities and this becomes an internal struggle for some of us. This struggle can be extremely serious for those who are unhappy in their current jobs and since so much emphasis is placed on what you do professionally, you begin to have doubts about yourself that can lead to depression. You hear about cases like this from time to time on the news where someone gets fired from their job and then comes back and kills their co-workers. But there were no real indicators of this person snapping. What isn't mentioned about these people is that their jobs were a big part in how they defined themselves and removing that part led to an immediate downgrade in their self worth. As a society we tend to label those people as crazy but honestly the problem started when we taught kids from a very early age that self worth is defined by how much money you have and if you take away someones means of income they feel lost in the world in addition to the loss of everything else associated with the job including the money and the relationships with co-workers.

This is why it's imperative that we have multiple interest in our lives. You need a creative outlet because we are beings of expressive nature. We are hardwired to create, build, inspire and add value to the world. When we put all of our energy into one outlet we do a disservice to ourselves. In addition to that no one ever taught you how to differentiate what you do professionally from what you do that makes you unique and in some cases the two are one in the same. Blessed are those gain a living from their passions but even then they're still multifaceted or at least they should be.

I recently went to my mother's 20 year anniversary dinner with her job at the hospital and saw living testiments of this first hand. All of those 800+ people who were there celebrating an anniversary working at a hospital assists in saving lives and I have no doubts that they absolutely valued that by-product of their jobs. Despite their titles each and everyone of them shared a collective purpose of healing but when they shared some of their personal bio's many had outside passions and creative outlets. One woman worked for the hospital for 50 years and in addition to her duties at the hospital she was a mother and a grandmother but what she choose to share most was that she gained a lot of happiness baking and making the cakes for her sons restaurant. Her side business and creative outlet was to share her culinary skills baking for others and profiting from it in return which is just "icing on the cake" (pun intended).  Fifty years on the job is more than a lifetime for some yet she was still there and happy because of the many elements in her life that come together and makes her whole. Her family, her side business, and her job keeps her inspired enough to return to a job for 50 years! This leads me back to a post I did at the beginning of the year (Happy You) which is relevant everyday of the year.

You can read or re-read that at your leisure but practice the advice. It's all very true and I whole heartedly believe in each of them. It's almost the beginning of another year so I'll definitely be doing a similar post soon and I'm glad that you're still visiting or if you're new to the family... welcome. This blog is one of my many hobbies and I truly enjoy our discussions. Also if you're a part of the Google+ family, look me up and add me to your circle. Reach out to me and let me know how your progress is going with your own hobbies or just to say hi. Make it funny... start off with "so what do you do?" LOL. I really do appreciate all of the people who has visited my page 368,000+ times. Now just share your stories with me!