Hello, it’s so nice to judge you… or did I mean “to know you”?
I’ll be honest. One of my greatest pet peeves is when I meet someone in a social setting and the first question they ask is “What do you do?” It is frustrating because I do many things. I am a composer, performer, multi-media producer, teacher, and a success coach. Granted, when I am at a professional networking event this is easy to answer because I am there with the intention of offering a particular service. However, at a party, the question of “what do you do” is often used as a measuring stick to gage one’s intelligence, social status, and overall worth. Am I being too pessimistic?
My life’s passion is music and I love the work that I do. I am grateful for the talents that my creator has entrusted me with and I am proud of my accomplishments. Most often when I share with people that I am a composer the following questions are asked: 1) “What genre to you like to write?” 2) “Have you written anything that I would know either from a theatrical film or a song recorded by a famous artist?” 3) “Do you make your living from composing music?” The first is one I don’t mind because it actually shows interest in knowing more about my passion. The second is uncomfortable because it immediately feels like I’m really being asked about the legitimacy of my work. The third question feels as though it is judging the validity as well placing value on me as a person. Let’s be frank, how much money I make from music is nobodies business.
Am I being too sensitive? It has been a process over the years to know how to respond politely, and more importantly, how I feel about about myself and my work. When I am asked these questions and I begin to feel judged it is a great opportunity for my ego to tell me how much of a failure I am and I begin to feel defensive. The phrase that helps me though so many situations in my life is “it is none of my business what people think of me.” It is easy to say and it takes work to put it to practice. My responses today are 1) It depends on my mood, I’ve written as many styles of music as I have lived decades, and/or it really depends on what the job calls for. 2) No, you’ve probably not heard anything yet. 3) I am blessed to have many sources of income.
It is true that I do many different kinds of jobs and together they supply the sum of my income. It is also true that I am not defined by any one of these jobs. I am a manifestation of Creation itself and therefore a creative being. My talents and skills were bestowed upon me to extend the Love in my community and throughout an ever evolving universe. This purpose needs no validation and the worthiness of the work is beyond measure. I know beyond a shadow of doubt that if this is true for me, it is also true for you!
Making the decision to be a Success Coach was actually one that I feel the universe brought to me. Working through the small things, such as the situation I have written about here, have helped to realize the big picture of what success looks like for me. The more I became aware and started to put new thoughts and spiritual practices to work the brighter my inner light began to reflect outward. Many people started to me to tell me how much I have inspired them and began asking for my guidance on their journey of success. Having great respect for the coaching profession I pursued formal training, just as I did with my musical talents, so I could hone the skills to be the best coach I can be.
Whether that is through creating music, sharing the success (and failures) of my life’s journey, or simply taking the time to listen to someone else speak their truth, my greatest desire in life is to be an inspiration to others to aspire to their greatest desire. When I meet someone new I want to know about the “who” and not so much the “what you do”, so I often ask “What is your greatest passion”. This opens the door for a conversation that allows my new acquaintance to speak from their soul without fear of being judged. Isn’t that really what we are all here to do? To encourage one another, to inspire our communities and extend the creation of love. Hmm, I think I have just found my new answer to the question, “what do you do?”
Skip Sams is an award winning composer, multimedia producer, inspirational speaker and success coach. He lives in Chicago, IL with his feline friend, Spats. For more information, visit www.skipsams.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.