I was reading through a ScoopWhoop article this morning and saw the above picture.
I remember the first time I heard this quote from Fight Club. It really spoke to me.
When you first meet someone, what’s one of the first things they ask.. “What do you do?” This question somehow defines us as soon as we reach adulthood, following the “what are you studying?” of our student years and the “what do you want to be?” of our childhood.
When I was teaching in India, the children are not asked “what do you want to be?” but rather “what is your ambition?”. At first I thought that this was really groundbreaking and a way to ask a kid what their goals were without having an emphasis on career. This excitement was short lived when literally every child replied with the usual doctor, police, or engineer.
Why are we not taught to focus on who we are rather than our grades or careers. They say that people will not remember what we say, but how we make them feel. Why is that not taught.
We are taught to think about money. Which job has the best salary, the lowest unemployment rates, etc. I have friends who gave up their literature degrees for business degrees because that is what is more profitable. We are taught to accept that we will be unhappy in our career, but to follow money because that is where our happiness and security lies.
For three years I worked at the national headquarters of the biggest auto insurer in the country. I worked part time, could wear anything I wanted, and still earned more than most of my friends at the age of 21. It sounds great, right? When you have a terrible boss and an awful work environment, all the money in the world doesn’t make up for it. I found myself becoming so negative and dreading going to work every day. I had to make countdowns in my head of how many hours I had left that week. I became so negative and cynical that even three years later I still struggle with it at times. That’s why I decided to only do what makes me happy. My peace of mind is more important than my bank balance.
I propose that we all focus on who we are and what we do for others rather than what we do to earn money. I propose that we be happy and content in ourselves. I propose that we stop putting our careers at a higher priority than our family and friends.
Be the best person that you can be. Not the best drone.