ask DNA ☕

You are not your job


So you’ve just won the lottery! What’s next?

The paperwork is signed. The money’s in the bank. This is a for-sure thing. You’re rich!

If you’re like me, you might have run this exercise in your head a few too many times. Man! The things I would do if I didn’t have to work for a living! Probably not too unhealthy as long as you’re not genuinely counting on those odds to change your life. Nice to dream, right?

For me, it tacitly asks a different question: who am I when I don’t need to work to make money?

A lot of professionals mould their sense of identity around their chosen field: doctor, web developer, teacher, musician. This isn’t necessarily wrong or bad. It’s important to know who you are and where your strengths lie. But if you didn’t have to work to sustain yourself, would you still look at your career as such a big part of who you are?

When we meet new people, we tend to ask what they “do.” When you meet someone new, try asking them what they’re really passionate about.

My ideal life (where I don’t have to worry about earning money) might be something like: someone who travels a lot, produces and plays music a lot, and gets to eat great food everywhere I go. I’d meet lots of people, learn lots about cultures and find all the best places to eat across the globe. That sounds like a pretty sweet life to me!

If only I were rich, right?

But I already kind of do this – just on a thinner budget. I have to save up to travel, but I still do it. I produce and play plenty of music, just not while crossing the globe or in world-class studios. And I may not have a Michelin-rated personal chef, but I love to try new foods wherever I go.

None of that has anything to do with my day job. That’s just where I go to make money.

I’m already me, whether I have excess money or not.