There is a big difference doing something vs doing something meaningful. These past two months I’ve been having this recurring thought about the future of my life. Since I graduated, in 2010, I have been mostly working under / for people.
I worked really hard under / for these people and gave them what I thought they needed: customer service to marketing social-media advice to inside sales to political fundraiser to manager of YouTube channels. Regardless, I was there giving a lot of my time and energy to these people and their companies.
In the end, who really benefited from all the work I did for these people?
I feel that when you work for someone, instead of with someone, you are essentially becoming a paper pusher. Basically, you are not making or creating anything meaningful because you don’t own what you’re making. Unless you’re the original creator, you are replaceable. Let me explain.
Everyone, even a person with a fancy title (CEO – look at how many CEOs Target has had in the last 10 years), is replaceable. The only people who ISN’T replaceable (rarely) is the creator. If you’re not the creator, you’re just a servant to the companies needs: you may get recognition from the company via affirmations, gratuitous awards, and high monetary compensation – at the end of the day you’re still a servant to the company because you’re giving up / sacrificing all your time, skills, and money to them.
It’s not right.
What about you?
I’m not saying that you need to create your own business or be a leader in a movement or stop working for the company that feeds you. For example, I have a friend who works for Goldman Sachs and he is making hundreds of thousands of dollars… so why quit? But, even though he’s working for someone else – as he says, “I’m a working servant to them…” he still is the board member and co-creator of a non-profit that provides resources to under-resourced students in NYC. He has both: makes a ton of money from a company and has his own thing.
Basically, I’m saying that everyone should have something in their life that is theirs – 100% theirs. As long as it’s meaningful to you, it can be anything.
I think as human beings we’re always striving to figure why we were put on this planet. I think we’re all trying to have something that is original to us because we’re special individuals. The idea is, what is this thing that is only original and special to us?
What will I find meaning in doing? This is the question you have to ask yourself.
I feel you’ll develop a big sense of self-respect when you do something that is yours and is at the same time, meaningful (to you). The idea is not for others to respect you, because people should already respect you in the first place. It’s about respecting yourself. Period.
I think this is something I’ve been missing these past 4 years. I’ve been helping a ton of people with their projects and yet, in the end, I have nothing to show for it besides an experience. I’m not knocking these experiences because it’s something I’ve needed (especially acquiring skills) in my own path to move forward in my own journey to find meaning.
Think about your meaning? Do you know someone who has the same vision as you (maybe you can work with them?).
Respect yourself. It’s all about self-respect.
By the way. This blog. My writing. It’s all mine.