What Do You Do? (Who Am I?)

What Do You Do? (Who Am I?)

That is a question we are often asked. Do you know the answer or truly answer honestly? Generally society expects the answer to this question is what one does for a living, viewing other pursuits as interests or hobbies.

What you do for a living isn’t always a true reflection of who you are. I spend my days working a job that is unrelated to my music career, but allows me the opportunity to pursue music in other ways. I teach drums and work in a variety of freelance live and studio scenarios, while my day job provides a regular income.

There can be a lot of joy in having a hobby outside of your day job which allows you to unwind and keep you entertained, but what could it mean when what you are passionate about becomes the primary focus of your time, energy, dreams, emotions and accomplishments? Does the passion for your craft consume you?

The hours I work my day job currently outweighs the amount of active music career work I do. Despite the time my job takes during the day, I spend most of my free time thinking about music, listening to music and podcasts for inspiration, learning material for gigs, outlining my other goals and sharing challenges and accomplishments with my colleagues. I am dedicated to studying my craft, disciplined in my practice routines and always look for new opportunities to learn, explore and create.

I believe that the reason our society judges who you are based on your day job is that everyone struggles to some extent with how to answer that question.

When I meet people, I am more inclined to ask them “What are you passionate about?” and “What do you do outside of work?” This changes the dynamic of the conversation significantly to a more positive and passionate response, which leads to better interactions. I have been truly inspired by the responses people have shared when I asked this question.

People love to talk about their interests, so ask about these and share your own passions and goals. When you are asked what you do, answer honestly with what you are passionate about. Be proud of who you are.

They often say that people are afraid of failure; the reality is that it’s most likely a fear of not pursuing your dreams. By sharing your interests with others, it will inspire and motivate you to continue reaching towards your dreams.

Don’t be afraid to tell people who you are. The answer may not only surprise them, but also yourself.

One thought on “What Do You Do? (Who Am I?)

  1. I like this post very much, Mike. Thank you for writing and sharing it.
    I agree with your thoughts on this and your final sentence are without doubt words to live by.
    I often wonder, however, what one does when the passion that the “day job” supports loses its lustre? That can be quite an empty place to be. As you know, I have engaged myself quite actively over the years in writing, performing and recording music and through most of that time it was the central focus, or sense of purpose, around which I structured my life regarding things such as day jobs, choices of where to live and allowing for diverting or distracting elements of life to become part of my days. But more than once, and for awhile now, my sense of aim in music is muddy where once it was much more clear. The realities of being able to be a working musician as I often was for years have dwindled as has, it seems, the interest in experiencing live music…especially creative and original music…within the community that once supported it so strongly. What are you thoughts on how to remain engaged and inspired to continue playing and becoming?
    Thanks again for this post…well written and engaging.

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