“I play guitar, and I’m a newsman on the side.”
I love this mindset. Actually my friend Declan Wilson says something very similar. He’s a “writer with a full time job on the side.”
He’s got the mindset I aim for. Too often, we set aside our dreams, idiosyncrasies and hobbies because we think work is what defines us. In reality, it’s the little things, the unknown hobbies, the talents, which make us who we are.
I’ve asked five people what they do for a living in the last week. I don’t remember any of the answers. But I do remember the girl who played softball all through her youth and is now learning to play golf.
You didn’t ask for this, but I want to make the answer valuable for everyone who comes across it, so here are a few things I do to make sure I stay in touch with who I really am, not just what I do.
- Intentionally spend time with family and friends — I mentioned video games with my brother. That’s something I literally have to put on my calendar. I think in America especially there’s a culture of men being these friendless, independent, loners. Turns out that’s fairly unhealthy.
- Work on things for free — you don’t always have to “get yours.” Listen to what your mind thinks is fun. Anybody can do something for cash; what you’re willing to do for nothing gives you insight into your true self. Garden, write, build computers, collect stuff. Whatever tickles your fancy.
- Be grateful for what you have — I talked about Microjournaling in the post, but I can’t overstate the value it’s had in my life. Ironically, the two bracket pieces (writing the date and writing something I’m grateful for) which are starting to mean the most to me.
Ryan, thanks so much for giving me the chance to expand on this. I really appreciate your time.