Making things for the Hell of It
In December, I asked a mentor for career advice.
You are very calculating. My advice is to stop for a minute, and find the joy in your work. Make it so that you look forward to Mondays. Then you'll do your best work, and be so good they can't ignore you. That's how I worked my way to the top, and that's what you need to rise up too.
So this year, I've been throwing strategy out the window with my personal projects, and making things that make me happy, even if I can't see a benefit to them.
The results have been surprising. It turns out, I don't like making cool stuff for the hell of it. Making an impact is important to me, and I feel kind of foolish when I make stuff without that in mind.
However, I think my mentor was right.
Things that strike a chord with me tend to strike a chord with others. This is partially because:
- I work with the door open
- I put a lot of passion into things that resonate deeply with me
For example, a couple years ago I got invited to a week long conference with hundreds of talks. I picked a topic I was super passionate about (fully expecting only 12 people to attend), and it became the most RSVPed talk of the entire event, with 400+ people wanting to come!
I shared my silly little quarantine basic bitch quiz with my small team, and it dominoed out from there (230 people have taken it now). And last week, I had a meeting with a coworker that I have never been able to work well with.
"By the way, yes, I am a quarantine basic bitch," he said with a warm smile as we got on the zoom call. That meeting went SO well.
So even though it bugs me, I think I must continue to create from my soul, even when I don't know why I'm creating. That's the purpose of existence, right? To express our souls? If not that, then what are we?