How do you answer that question?
Most people would respond accordingly with their profession:
- A bus driver
- A podiatrist
- A professional ping pong player (where do I try out!?!)
In a beautiful little town in Hawaii by the name of Hana (and as much as we fell head over heels in love with Hana, it’s no surprise it’s the first thing I chose to blog about), I was part of a conversation with a few locals, whereby one asked a visitor this standard, conversation-opening question.
“So what do you do?”
“What do you mean, ‘what do I do?'”
“Like, for a job…what do you do?”
“My job? Why do you want to know?”
So at this point you’re thinking “what a jerk” – what he said next was extremely thought provoking.
“Listen – when you ask me ‘what do I do?’ – well I surf, I fish, I like to read, I really enjoy writing in my journal, I have a beautiful girlfriend who I try to spend as much time with as possible…that’s really what I do. Doesn’t that tell you more about me than what my profession is?”
So yes, maybe still a jerk, but he wasn’t trying to be. He was answering honestly, instead of perpetuating the expectation that anyone participating in that conversation would get anything truly meaningful talking about the successful HVAC company he founded 15 years ago. Nevermind the fact that he could tell the person asking…well she didn’t really care.
His answer changed the tone of the conversation from small talk, to an hour-long discussion about relationships, how people interact with one another, and how each of us chooses to approach those interactions.
So…what do I do?
I approach life with open arms, open eyes, and open ears. I love my wife Jacke very much, and our dog Terra puts a smile on my face every morning as I walk out of the bedroom and see her anticipating a great doggy-day. Travel is my favorite way to experience life – the beach is magical to me, I could listen to the sound of waves crashing for hours and hours. I respect honesty, character, courage, innovation, integrity, commitment, and passion…and believe the same should be expected of me. I enjoy fast cars…maybe a little too much. I play guitar, and aim to learn a new song once a month. I have recently begun to really enjoy gardening and flora in general. I love technology and the automation of just about everything. I am extremely passionate about the impact that technology continues to have on the business/consumer relationship, and am a firm believer that we are on the cusp of something special as organizations place an emphasis on their obligation to deliver a stellar customer experience. While cutting edge technology is great, I still hold a special spot in my heart for retro gaming and electronics – things that just work as they should. I often have very high expectations of myself, my friends, and my colleagues, and have always felt if you’re going to do something, give it your all. One of my favorite quotes hangs in my office (a gift from my wife) from James Dean:
“Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today”
The concept Dean conveys is what drives me every day.
So…what do you do?