Embrace your curiosity, my friends.
Every expert out there will tell you that the only way to get the results you want is to give 100% to your craft, whatever form that may take. To focus in like a tractor beam on whatever it is that you can’t see yourself living without, put on your blinders, and not looking up until your goals are achieved. This mindset is littered with cliché catchphrases like “go big or go home,” “all in,” and thousands of others that offer some sort of variation of this sentiment.
And while it’s obviously necessary and important to be dedicated on some level your craft, believing that the only way to “make it” by sacrificing everything else in order to get there creates immense pressure on ourselves to give more than we are sometimes capable of giving. We are human beings with real responsibilities, families, bills, rent, kids, pets and hobbies that sometimes our passions don’t pay for. So until they do, it’s okay to dabble in multiple interests and areas that utilize a variety of our talents and skills. It’s OK to not give 100% sometimes; it’s called a side-hustle for a reason.
Author Elizabeth Gilbert alludes to this idea in her wildly popular speech “The Flight of the Hummingbird: The Curiosity-Driven Life”. Gilbert offers that remaining curious and open to following different interests and paths often cultivates a more multi-faceted and fresh perspective to offer to society. The flight of the natural born hummingbird moves from tree to tree, flower to flower – creating rich, cross-pollinated lives, and humans are no different. The more talents and strengths and experiences we accumulate and bring to the table, the more clearly we are able to see the bigger picture, and the more creative lives we will lead. Curiosity will never strip your life bare, curiosity will never leave you in ruin, curiosity will only ever do one thing, which is give. It will grow you in ways that tunnel vision cannot.
So often we see people who are school teachers by day, and yoga instructors by night, or accountants who coach T-ball on the weekends. Sometimes our day job isn’t remotely similar to our side-hustle, but our side-hustle is where our heart lies. And so we pick ourselves up after fulfilling our obligations, and we and give what we have, when we can, even if all we have left that week is 30%. But guaranteed that yoga instructor is integrating her mindfulness practices in the classroom, and that T-ball coach has a softer approach when dealing with others – the grand cross-pollination of life.
Our interests and talents and gifts are a part of us for a reason, but sadly, some are more lucrative than others. The trick is finding that happy place where talent and adulting combine. Giving ourselves permission to dabble in more than one area of interest allows us to be vulnerable enough to receive signs that tell us if we are pursuing the right path or not.
Multitasking is an acquired skill that can only benefit you in the long run, and learning to balance your interests and hobbies with your obligations and priorities is clearly a necessary component of the side-hustle. But being able to integrate them with each other is where the magic happens. Even if you aren’t able to devote 100% of yourself to your craft, allowing your self to pursue your curiosity cultivates a creative life, which makes you more of a asset to society, and 100% human.
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