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Insightful Philosophy

The Key Element to Fulfillment

What Do You Do For A Living?

A question I am asked within almost every extended interaction with every stranger. Almost like a reflex, people ask each other to define themselves by what they do to support themselves and their family. But why?

Why is this question so vital to our points of view? What is the value of one's station in life, if that is in fact determined by their job title or education level? What does that say about us, as a society and a subject?

To me, it reflects the impulses and the elements of an individual's point of view, and the pressures of insecurity both within them and within the structure of their (hopefully) ongoing development.

We are all told 'to do what we are told.' Follow the path set for us. Listen to our elders, the examples of precedent. Historical figures and narratives that others find comfort in. We are all rewarded for doing so (in the short-term) and we create our neurological pathways to repeat these rewarding impulses and figures.

Our society is based on these reward systems, so much so that our biology and chemistry have evolved to process our impulses and elements determined entirely by the subjective social structure, the value it defines us with and the inherent demeaning pressures within, as opposed to fundamentals within ourselves, objectively.

A career is meant to sustain us, but the insight gained through the experience of paying those dues, doing what we are told but then ultimately having the courage and strength to begin reevaluating the cause and effect of those influences on our impulses and foundation of our own evolution is what is meant to transcend us. The right objective impulse, or idea, or concept, or epiphany, or point of view can change the world in ways we couldn't have imagined. And ourselves.

A cage can give one perspective freedom never could.

A job is not the solution to your problems, a promotion won't make you feel more secure or comfortable with yourself. The next sale won't be the answer that you have been praying for. The respect of your boss and your peers might feel like a worthwhile objective and valuable reward for your hard work and sacrifices, but it is simply a general anesthetic that numbs you. All of these pressures are waiting for you to process, dissect and reevaluate for yourself, not ignore and subside. Success is about more than succeeding in a career. It's about seeing & playing the field.

You are not your job. I am not mine.

When people ask me what I do for a living, I respond impulsively with what I am currently processing that day, or that moment, or in that very instance. Because that is what I do for a living. I am evolving. That is my life objective. Those without one will see it as a non-answer. But if so, then it's the best non-answer, because if that is the case then I don't want to have an answer.

I am ever-evolving, processing, changing, reevaluating, reimagining, restructuring, reframing and reshaping myself and the world around me. What I do for a living is create my own destiny, but there are no words or phrases or labels or titles that can ever encapsulate what that kind of life is like to lead, without ever tasting it for oneself.

What do you do for a living?

Evolving, like my answer to that question. What about you?

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