April 5, 2021

what we do is not who we are.


On today's podcast, we challenge all the listeners to stop talking about our jobs so much. Our jobs don't define us, and they're not as important as we think.

Today's quote: "And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it." - Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

Essay:

“What do you do?”

Silently, we’ve collectively agreed how to answer this question.

Today, I’m asking all of you to join me in changing that.

Imagine if I answered that question with what I really do.

I explore cool places and crazy things that happen to me along the way. I exercise daily. I call my friends regularly. I eat the same thing for breakfast every day and have a four-hour morning routine.

Now, imagine what you might say. Maybe you’re an avid reader, a cat lover, a shop-a-holic. Maybe you're in to Bitcoin and NFTs.

Doesn’t all that make for better small talk? Can’t we understand a person better by listing these things, rather than by describing the monotony of our day-to-day work lives?

Whenever we meet new people, we default to droning on and on about our careers. It’s simple. It’s easy. But be honest: For those of us nodding our heads as the other person speaks, how much do we actually care? How much of that info will we retain?

I think we all know the answer.

When I talk to someone new, I want to know everything. I ask about hobbies, families and backgrounds. Dreams, ambitions and fears. What motivates you? What makes you who you are?

That’s what I’m after. As much as I love my job, and as much as you (hopefully) love yours, they’re only a small fraction of what we actually do.

Early in our careers, it’s easy to let our jobs be all-consuming. We want to prove ourselves, and the way to do that is by showing up early and staying late, by always volunteering first to pick up an extra task, by checking email around-the-clock to show we’re reliable.

In Spanish culture, people leave their jobs midday to relax and gather with friends and family. In Scandinavia, people simply work less, filling the remaining time with the things that matter most. The research proves other parts of the world are happier than we are.

My takeaway? This shit isn’t as important as we think.

So stop letting your job run your life. Don’t let it occupy all of your precious time and headspace. You’re so much more than that. You are a person with real interests, hobbies and priorities.

And when we meet, I’d like to ask you about them.

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peace and love.

Transcript

And when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it. Pallet coil, ho the optimist. Good morning, everyone. And welcome to another Monday edition of the Trey Parker showy podcast. That is not about me. It is about all of us. The twenties are a crucial time in our lives and on this show.

We navigate the highs and lows of early adulthood together. Thank you all for joining me. I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. I don't know what the weather was like, because last time I checked, my parents were sending me pictures of snow that it was snowing on the first day of April. I don't know what was going on.

Meanwhile, in Colorado, it was a beautiful weekend. I was out on the bike. I was out on the trails. I was walking. I was bopping around going from place to place. Having some drinks having some good coffee. I went to the Denver art museum, saw some really good post impressionist work. That is my favorite period in art.

So that was my weekend. I hope you all were able to have a wonderful weekend as well filled with good experiences. Good interactions. Good food. Good times. All stinks safe of course, but really feels like we're turning a corner here that the worst of all of this is behind us. And that's, we have lots to look forward to in the future.

Lots to look forward to on today's show. Let's talk about that. Quote from one of my favorite books, I've read it multiple times. I first read it in seventh or eighth grade. Shout out to miss blades. The Alchemist. I read it also in my adult world. I read it at age 21. And when you reread a book. Um, you get a different perspective on it.

You see it in a different light. The way that I read it as a kid is completely different than the way I read it as an adult, especially. Considering the circumstances that, that were surrounding my life at that point. So the outcome was, is one of my favorite books. If you haven't read it, I do suggest that you check it out.

It's about this boy. He's a, he's a young shepherd. He's traveling the world, trying to find out what his personal legend is. What is his goal in life? What are his dreams? What does he put on this earth to do? When the whole book is just him, trying to figure that out. And it's just very apropos to all of us.

And I think it connects with all of us because we are trying to figure out. What were we put on this earth to do? What is our own personal legends? And as he, as this boy is doing his thing, having all these different experiences, trying to figure out what it is that he's meant to do this quote, we surfaces a couple of times.

And when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it. It's one of my favorite quotes of all time. I have this quote board in my bedroom. I don't have it with me right now in Colorado, sadly, but. In Connecticut. I had this big quote board with some of my favorite quotes. I would constantly interchange quotes because sometimes some quotes just don't mean anything to you anymore.

And then you, you bring a new ones. That means something to you more. But this one was a mainstay. This one stayed all throughout the changes that, that the board saw. This one was always there because. I have my own dreams. And there has been many times where I never thought I was going to get those dreams.

They seemed too big. They seem too far out of reach. They seem to, that I was facing too many odds that I was never going to get there, but I constantly told myself that. If you really want something, if you really want to accomplish something, the world is going to help you get there. If you put out the right vibes and the right mojo into the world, if you have a good work ethic, if you're a good person, the world is going to reward you and the world is going to help you out.

And the specific goal that I had at that time was I wanted to be on a documentary production team. And, uh, I never thought I'd get there. I didn't know what the path was. I didn't know, quite frankly, if I would ever accomplish it. And then somehow, despite years of me actively trying and trying and trying to get on a documentary production team, it just kind of came up one day and I didn't have to try for it because the world.

Presented itself to me and after years of networking and trying to figure it out and putting myself out there and practicing and grinding, it finally happened. And sometimes life just works that way. Great things happen to you when you least expect it. So that was a goal of mine and the universe helps me get there.

So whatever it is that you want, whatever it is that you envision for yourself. Be a good person. The world will help you out. I promise. So today's essay. I was inspired by the conversation that I had with Katie Gallagher last weekend, my musician friend, she's also a mental health counselor. Great girl. If you missed the episode, I do suggest you go check it out.

It's pretty short. So quick. Listen. Um, but she said something towards the end of our conversation. When we were talking about mental health, that she is trying to limit her work week to 25 ish hours a week. I'm also doing the same thing, maybe not 25, but definitely less than what I was in my ESPN days, because I'm trying to be mindful of how much time I'm working, because there are so many self-care things that I need to do for myself, especially right now, as I'm navigating a new life here.

And, um, my, my big takeaway is that, you know, our jobs aren't as important as we think. We think that our bosses, we think that a bunch of people are watching over us all the time that they are documenting. Our every move that you know, big brother is watching all the time and they're just not. And, um, it's really not as important as we think.

And we attach so much of our value early on to our jobs. And it's funny, a listener messaged me a couple of weeks ago, a loyal listener and said there was some, some wine. I had written one in one of the essays. It was something like. Our jobs don't define us, or we are much more than our careers and that kind of inspired today's essay.

And the premise of this essay is that we have way more interests than what we do for our jobs. Hopefully we all like our jobs. It's something that drives us every day. And, uh, gets us out of bed every morning, but they don't define us. But when we talk to people, especially when we talk to new people, that is the absolute first thing that we always default to.

We always talk about what we do and the question, Oh, what do you do? And then you drone on and on about what it is that you do. Um, But I want to argue, we should be answering that question in a much different way or maybe asking a completely different question in the first place. So that is, that is what's days.

So that is what today's essay is about. And it is cold. What we do is not who we are.

What do you do silently? We've collectively agreed how to answer this question. But today I'm asking all of you to join me in changing that.

imagine if I answer that question with what I really do, I explore cool places and crazy things happen to me along the way I exercise daily. I call my friends regularly. I eat the same thing for breakfast every day and have a four hour morning routine. Now imagine what you might say, maybe you're an avid reader, a cat lover shopaholic, or maybe you're into Bitcoin and NFT.

Doesn't all that make for better smalltalk. Can't we understand a person better by listing these things, rather than by describing the monotony of our day-to-day work lives.

Whenever we meet new people. We default to droning on and on about our careers. It's simple. It's easy, but be honest for those of us nodding our heads as the other person speaks, how much do we actually care? How much of that info will we retain? I think we all know the answer.

When I talk to someone new, I want to know everything. I ask about hobbies, families, and backgrounds, dreams, ambitions, and fears. What motivates you? What makes you, who you are? That's what I'm after as much as I love my job. And as much as you hopefully love yours, they're only a small fraction of what we actually do.

Early in our careers. It's easy to let our jobs be all consuming. We want to prove ourselves. And the way to do that, we're told is by showing up early and staying late by always volunteering first to pick up another task by checking email around the clock to show a reliable, but in Spanish culture, people leave their jobs mid day to relax and gather with friends and family.

In Scandinavia, people simply work less filling the remaining time with the things that matter. Most the data proves other parts of the world are happier than we are my takeaway. This shit isn't as important as we think. So stop letting your job run your life. Don't let it occupy all of your precious time and Headspace.

You were so much more than that. You are a person with real interests, hobbies, and priorities. And when we meet, I'd like to ask you about them.

I fully mean what I just said there. I love meeting new people. I love talking to people. I love catching up with people. I love knowing what motivates people, what makes them tick. What makes them who they are. These are all things that I'm fascinated by. I'm endlessly fascinated by people. That's why I love being on this podcast because it gives me a place to talk to people publicly.

And, uh, it's a lot of fun. This is why I love going to coffee shops. This is why I love going to breweries because sometimes you go there with friends and it's meant to be a space just to. Just to talk and to get to know people. And sometimes you meet totally new people. And I love talking with baristas and bartenders.

I just love learning about new people and their interests in their hobbies. And whenever I meet someone new, yes, I, you know, I asked them about their jobs, but I try to steer away from all of that as much as I can or veer off that conversation point because I just want to know what their hobbies are. Is there something that we have in common cause.

Honestly, you're probably not going to have that much in common with them, um, with their jobs, unless you're in the same field, but there's many other things that you guys can talk about. If you're an outdoorsy person, you can talk about some of the favorite hikes you've done. If you love travel, you can talk about all the cool places that you've done.

I can't tell you how many great conversations I've had with people about our various travels. Those are great ways to connect with people. So maybe we stop. Answering the, what do you do? Question with our jobs? And we instead say what we actually do in our spare time. What we'd love to do that is something that I have stressed over and over on this podcast, because I can not tell you.

How important it is to identify things that you love to do, whatever it is, because those things like they have for me will get you through any tough times whenever I'm experiencing any hardship, whenever I'm experiencing anything that has me down or whatever it is, I just retreat into my favorite activities and oppose me out of the darkness every single time.

Our jobs are not as important as we think we are. All replaceable robots can do our jobs. Life is so much more than work. And so are all of us. So that is a, that's my thoughts on that. Um, coming up this week on the Troy Parker show.com, I'm going to have a blog on Wednesday. So we all know this question, right?

And this is related to careers. What do you want to do when you grow up? And I had a very funny answer when I was first asked that question, but by my parents when I was maybe four years old. And so I'm going to talk about that on this Wednesday blog post about what my answer was and how it's really not that different.

From what my answer is today. So that's coming up on Wednesday. We're doing a lot of fun stuff on that website. There's blogs, there's videos, there's episodes, all the quotes from the show are there all the organizations highlighted by the all natural initiative, uh, are there, um, Kara is doing some great work.

Shout out to Kara. She's making some really cool stuff for our new Instagram accounts, Tik TOK accounts, both. At the trademark show. So please do check those out and support her because she's an awesome girl and she's doing great work. And I will also tell you they're not set in stone yet, but I'm also going to be appearing on some other podcasts.

People want to ask me about various things. And so I'm super excited for that. So I will keep you all abreast of that best way to support the show, please. This is like the absolute best way. Just tell a friend, tell a friend, you love the show. Talk about the show. The best way to spread the love of a podcast is to just talk about it with other people, tell other people you like it.

That's all I ask. I just want to spread love, spread positivity. Want to change the world. I said that in a video last week and I mean that, and that will drive everything that's happening on this show. I'm going to be back on Thursday with a, another special guest. So I hope you all subscribe to the show and have it hit your feed.

First thing. 5:00 AM Eastern time. Thursday morning. Can't wait to share it with you. Have a great week. Be positive. Don't talk about your jobs too much. Don't freak out about your jobs too much. Be healthy. And just remember, when do you want something? If you're a good person, if you have good intentions, all the universe will conspire and yeah.

To achieve it.

Wow.