So when do you stop learning? When do you decide, you’ve got enough in the brain-pan and it’s time to just do what you’ve always done? Are we so stuck that trying something new, even if it’s only a little difficult, puts a shudder in our preconceived notions?
I laugh when someone asks me what I do, mostly to myself because that is just rude. Usually, they’re implying the “what do you do for a job” question and I could go on how our jobs do not define us. But instead, we should define our jobs.
So there’s a little word play for you and now I ask, “What do you do?”
What do you do, for a LIFE? Sure, I work as an insurance specialist for a pretty amazing company. But I define my work bigger than my job description – because I’m one of them lucky fellas who loves what I do. Not because I’m paid the big bucks, but instead, because I’m passionate about helping others.
That will never be my answer again. I help people. I help them overcome their own ignorance, apathy, and indecision. Why? Because it’s what I do for a living.
I also discovered something else I do and in the past three days have had multiple affirmations of this – I learn. Not just from books or in classes. I learn because I refuse to have ignorance, apathy, or indecision.
Friday, I had a one of my professional contacts ask, “You aren’t an interior designer, but you do interior design?” I smirked back, “Well yeah, sort of.” Then I see a post from my own Dad about how many different jobs he works –
“I’m not a roofer. I’m not a painter. Not a plumber, not an electrician, a drywaller, framer, mechanic, machinist, tool and die man, engine rebuilder, architect, designer, clothing designer, garage door repairman, singer, artist, computer guru, lover, or any variation of the above.
I’m apparently all of that.”
I think that sums up the equation in my life. When another friend asked me if I knew how to make breakaway tables for a movie scene, I replied with, “Give me five minutes.” If there is a question, I will find an answer. Some of it may be far left field, but this is the strongest skill set I have – to learn enough about anything and willing to fail figuring it out.
My house was rebuilt after the flood. I became everything from painting, plumbing, electrical, dry wall, framing, designer, architect…then there are my hobbies such as wood working, metal working, engineering furniture for easy transport, designing offices, historical clothing, resume consulting…and then my job itself, which requires me to have knowledge around process improvement, marketing, management, customer service, computer, data analysis, project management, etc.
I do these things because I love them. I do them, because we’re in the most opportune time in our lives, where we can research any one thing to any point.
And now, I’ve been fortunate again – to partner with another writer, whom I respect and sort of gape in awe sometimes, to write a story that fascinates my mind with so much potential.
I don’t stop. I don’t care if I fail, I care only that I learn and keep doing the things that make life worth living. Even if it doesn’t pay in dollars, I love jumping into something new. Just ask my kids – I always want them to try.
So what are you going to do next?