So I went out with a friend of mine the other day. I go out with a lot of people. I like to think that makes me popular, but I think it just means that I work too hard to do too much, and there are some things I need to let go of.
Anyway, we’re sitting there chatting about our lives. We haven’t spoken in a while, so we’re catching up. He’s a little bit older, in his late twenties, still works in retail, isn’t actively working on any projects or big goals or anything like that – you know, just living life.
And I start to think as we’re talking, ‘man, this guy is wasting so much potential for himself. Here he is, an awesome human being who’s talking to me about his past ideas of opening a tea shop or being a voice actor or whatever else, and he’s doing nothing to pursue any of those things. That’s really sad. I should encourage him to work harder.’
So the conversation keeps going, and I do what I can to try to encourage him and get him motivated. After all, he has so many amazing ideas that he’d be brilliant at executing, so I should push him to go for them, right?
And then it hits me. It’s not that my intentions or thoughts were wrong – I’d love to see him pursuing some of these things – but rather, I had been placing my value in the things I was doing, and by default, his as well.
I kind of zoned out when he was talking, and started thinking about him working in his retail job. Now, let me explain one thing to you here: he’s one of the most friendly, warm, and genuinely kind people I know. He talks a lot, has very strong opinions about pretty much anything you can think of, but you talk to him, and it’s like being greeted by a summers day. You feel appreciated down to your core – something about the world seems to light up a little bit more, and suddenly you feel like you might be okay after all.
And I have the audacity to judge this guy based on the hobbies I think he should pursue?
Here he is, working a retail job, connecting to strangers every single day, and bringing a bit more sunshine into their lives. He’s not doing a million projects, he’s not trying to fix the world on a daily basis, he’s just living out his life. And you know what? There’s so much value in that.
He’s not valuable as a person because of what he does, but rather, because of who he is. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t pursue your passions or anything like that, but that the hobbies you choose to spend your time on don’t determine your value. In my case, I love working and enjoy everything I do with it, but my value as a person isn’t determined by how much I can do in a day, or how many hobbies I take on at once, but simply in who I am.
Something I’ve always known, perhaps, but I’ve never seen it so obviously in front of my face before. It was a really great reminder for me.
So suddenly the world seems that much less stressful. I don’t need to get a million things done. I don’t need to be the best at relationships or be able to balance a thousand friends at once. Sure, I’d like to be able to run businesses and have great friendships and pursue a good future for myself, but whatever I end up doing, as big or as small as it is, will be amazing, simply because I’m the one doing it. I don’t have to put so much pressure on myself to be the best blogger, to have the most original ideas, or get the most internet traffic. All of those things would be great, sure, but none of them have any relevance on who I am as a person.
And who I am is already wonderful, complete, and full of value within myself. Hobbies, pass times, goals, or whatever else are all irrelevant to that.
Anyways, that’s just a thought I’ve been having.