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- Tuesday, 04/18/2023 ** 20:47 Stating who you are isn't as important as describing what you're doing.
The former is prescriptive. "I am a software developer." "I am reserved." "I am a journalist." It's reductive. If I say that I am something, then I am 'there' - I have accomplished a goal and attained a title. What's next? Keep the title forever? Stay a reserved person? Maintain a lack of growth? Prescribing what you do feels static - if you have these titles then you are stuck with them forever and ever and ever. You're setting goals based on occupation - based on a title that someone else gives you - so maintaining that condition also requires employment.
Titles are also disingenuous. Lots of people want to be influencers or YouTubers or streamers, for example. If I am one of these things, I spend some of my day traveling or filming videos or streaming content. It's likely that I also spend a lot of my day editing and preparing marketing material and networking with others to promote my small business, working with advertisers who have arcane requirements, putting up with creepy strangers in my DMs, having uncomfortable conversations with people who recognize me in the street, and so forth. If you claim a title, you're not fully acknowledging the things that you will have to do every day to attain a job title; you're claiming a status that you'd like to have, no different from saying your family is 'upper-middle class' or that you are a student. These titles carry with them suggestions about what you spend your time doing, but you don't necessarily want them.
A far more useful stance is to describe what you do every day. Your life is composed of years, and days, and hours, and minutes, and so forth; the best method that anyone has to measure their life is to measure what they spend their time doing. Today, I wrote some code, I designed part of a product, and I took some photos. Tomorrow, I'll work hard to develop the product, I'll take some photos, and I'll edit some photos. I'll also probably drink several cups of coffee, spend part of the evening in a cafe, and cook some avocado toast.
This framing encourages consistency. If I am what I do, then tomorrow I want to spend more time doing what I enjoy and less time doing what I do not. I want to spend more time building a product that people love and I want to take better photos. I can only do that by making tomorrow a better day than today.
Describing what you want to do every day by task, not by role, also helps better align your decisions outside of your work. Where should I move? What kind of apartment should I live in? What should I eat? Where should I vacation? Should I attend this event? Should I travel here? Should I visit there? Should I purchase this device or article of clothing? I make the decision that, given my current constraints, helps me do more of what I like to do and less of what I do not like to do. I do not like cleaning after other people, so I do not want to live with others. I want to take more photos, so I want a home that can act as a dedicated studio space. I enjoy taking trains, so I do not mind living further outside of the city and commuting in - this provides me more time to read, which I would like to do more often.
Let what you do every day inform how you spend tomorrow and, rather than describi