The first thing we ask when we meet someone is their name. The second question is usually what they do for a living. We have our standard answers for this and unfortunately, it’s rare that those answers spark interesting conversations.
To be honest, after you’ve made the introduction route on some social event, do you really remember what the others did for a living? The ones you do remember are those that answered something different. Something that stood out from the crowd. The people that had a spark in their eye while they told you about their passion. The ones that simply answered lawyer, teacher or accountant without much enthusiasm are quickly forgotten.
This obsession of knowing what others do for a living is a bit strange. We like to label things to get some structure. But your job title doesn’t define you. That’s not what you are. There’s so much more.
What we do for a living and what we’re passionate about are not necessarily the same thing. And that’s fine, your job doesn’t have a to be your passion. You can have a decent job with good colleagues where you earn money to pay the rent and other bills. But your passion might be those ballroom dancing classes, even though you’re never going to make any money from it.
So why do we always answer what we do for a living when asked? Why don’t we instead answer what we’re passionate about? Stating your passion reveals so much more of who you really are. What inspires you. What keeps you motivated. And it can spark a whole different conversation.
By saying what you are, you become just that. The fake it ’til you make it approach. Rewire your brain to become what you want to be. If you start to answer what you’re passionate about, you’ll find yourself becoming more and more like that person that you want to be. Saying out loud that you are a writer, a minimalist, a painter or whatever you’re passionate about will help you become it.
It can also have the benefit of having someone else hold you accountable to achieving your goals. If you say that you’re a writer, the next time you meet that person they might ask you what you’ve written since you last met. Better get some writing done to have something to show for.
Next time you introduce yourself to someone try saying what you’re passionate about. Don’t say that you’re a teacher, instead, say that you’re passionate about gardening and that you have grown 100 different types of tomatoes and you’re an expert in that field. That will open up a whole different discussion and who knows where it might lead.
Tell me your passion and let me get to know who you really are.