“What do you do?”
I get this question a lot, and I mean A LOT!! And....I hate it. In fact, I believe this question represents the root of what’s wrong with America. I also believe it's why LinkedIn is extremely flawed and not setup to embrace the future of connection in the professional environment.
You see, “What do you do?” is so often being asked as a way to gauge one’s value in society, whether we consciously or subconsciously realize it. It's a way for us to put others into a category, without realizing the negative effects it plays in the way we connect as humans.
If I said I was a doctor, people are going to treat me A LOT differently then if I said I was an administrative assistant or janitor. In society the “What,” has created an unhealthy obsession with obtaining the “American Dream" of buying the house, the car, the white picket fence, the perfect marriage and eventually the 2.5 kids, and more. But, it’s all BS when you realize 80% of Americans are unhappy at their jobs. So, why the heck do I care about what you do, when most everyone out there isn’t happy at doing their job anyways?
I’d much rather care about your “Why” in life, because when I know that about you, I'm able to access a deeper understanding of who you really are and how I can help play a role in ensuring you reach your full potential as a human. Happiness comes from knowing our true selves, and being able to embrace our unique genius inside each of us. What you do isn’t who you are most of the time, it’s only just a vessel to get you where you want to be in life. “Why” you do what you do tells me who you are as a human being, and what type of values you have...good or bad.
Think about this for a second, are you truly living your life for yourself? Are you truly saying what you want, doing what you want, in order to make yourself fully happy? Or, are you living your life to ensure the expectations of others are met? The answer might seem obvious, but it's really not because so much of what we do and how we function is based on how society has conditioned us to be. It took me years to understand this.
So, if you are unhappy with your current job, or a current relationship, then why are you staying in it? Some of us aren't privileged enough to up and quit or leave a situation, I realize that. But getting to the root of your unhappiness and why you stay is crucial to understanding yourself. Are you staying because you are worried about how you will be perceived by others (friends or family) if you leave? Are you staying because you have to pay for your car payment, mortgage, etc., and if so, why is it that you have these expenses? If it makes you happy...LIKE TRULY HAPPY, then hell yea, own everything you want in life!! But, if you have these things as a way to reach happiness, yet still struggle to be happy, then perhaps it's time to re-evaluate your life mission.
True happiness comes from understanding and appreciating your true authentic self. The journey towards understanding your own truth never ends. As you continue on your journey, ask yourself why, and then why is that your why? Why, why, why, why, don't stop asking because every relationship and experience is a new opportunity to grow.
What is your why in life?