Look, I help people build and run conscious businesses. So I’ll admit I often tend to view things through the lens of potential monetisation. But some pursuits are way too precious to be turned into a business! They’re meant to be experienced simply for the pure pleasure of getting to do them. And they shouldn’t be neglected because your other areas of work take up your time.
Unfortunately the hustle culture of our society encourages us to value things only based on their potential to give us material rewards — money, success, validation, likes, followers…
“Will this provide me with a stable income?”
“Can I successfully grow this into a big brand?”
“It’s worth my time only if I can generate revenue from it.”
Stop falling into that trap!
This is even more important for multi-passionate people to consider. We shouldn’t be prioritising some of our passions over others based on the monetary pay off! Look at the deeper rewards they all bring us — joy, fulfilment, sense of purpose… We’re meant to create beauty and meaning in this world!
Episode 94 of my podcast, The Feel Good Factor, is all about how we don’t have to “do something productive” with everything we’re good at.
Listen on the embedded player below, or on your preferred podcast player. If reading is your jam, then scroll down for the transcript. Enjoy! 🙂
“It’s high time that we get rid of this hustle culture! This culture of only valuing things that will bring us material rewards. And start giving importance to things that would bring us deep fulfilment, and contribute to society as a whole in different ways.”Susmitha Veganosaurus – The Feel Good Factor Podcast
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Transcript of episode about how we don’t need to monetise everything we’re good at
(gently edited for a better reading experience)
Hey there, welcome to The Feel Good Factor. If you’re new here, this is a podcast about making happiness, wellbeing, joy and fulfilment your highest priority in all aspects of life. Whether it’s business, life, creativity… all of it.
If you enjoy this podcast, then sign up for my free newsletter, The Feel Good Tribe. I send out emails once or twice a month about all kinds of interesting topics – veganism, business, spirituality, and just life in general. I look forward to having you join the tribe. Now on to today’s episode.
Okay, does this sound familiar to you?
“Oh wow, you bake so well! You should start running a bakery.”
“Your paintings are so beautiful. You should start selling them.”
“Hey, you speak so well. Why don’t you start a YouTube channel? You can get lots of followers and monetise it.”
Well, maybe these exact statements aren’t familiar, but you know what I’m getting at. I’m sure at some point in your life, you’ve heard something, somewhere along these lines.
This is even more so for multi-passionates who like doing multiple things, who like pursuing different creative endeavours, talents, passions, skills. But everybody hears it.
This idea of valuing something based on how much money it can make you, or how much fame and success it can bring you, is a flawed thing
If we go back even a 100 years, creativity, art, doing things, making stuff, everything was being done for the sake of actually doing it. For the sake of creating, for the sake of building something, simply because of the joy and fulfilment being involved in that activity brought to us.
But with the industrial age came this whole thing of making money, monetisation, getting something material out of any work that we do. And along with that, people started to study, learn, and specialise only in areas which seemed to pay off well in the long run, which had some kind of a potential to give you a stable life, to give you income, so that you can earn. And things which didn’t give you much earning, much income, you know, which didn’t really serve that purpose, were being ignored.
When I think back on my school days, after we finished our 10th standard, for the 11th and 12th we had three branches – Science, Arts, Commerce. Now there are many, many more branches available, and there are so many options for today’s school and college students. But back then there were three branches – Science, Commerce, Arts.
The thing is, when you look at these subjects individually, all of them have value in their own way. But there was a very clear hierarchy!
Science was like, “oh wow!” For the top students. You have to be extremely good in academics, only then you can do science. Commerce is for the medium students, if you’re doing average and all right. And then the rest of the people have to get into arts. That’s such a horrible way of dividing people!
When I was trying to get admission for my 11th standard, I wanted to study commerce because I was good with Maths, Accounts, and English. The kind of subjects that were being covered in commerce. I hated History, Civics and things like that. And I wasn’t very keen on science subjects like Biology, Chemistry, Physics.
So for me, commerce was perfectly suited
It would help me study, learn and grow, and also at the same time, it would give me plenty of time to pursue all my extra curricular interests and activities.
When I was trying to get admission, my percentage wasn’t high enough to get admission to 11th standard Commerce in ISC (I studied in ICSE and ISC, which is a little bit more tough than the state syllabus). The teachers were refusing to give me admission in 11th Commerce because my overall percentage from 10th standard was lower than the cutoff they had in mind.
Back then, I didn’t have the sense to point out the subjects on my marks card and show them that the very subjects that they were trying to push me towards (which were in Arts), were the subjects that had actually pulled down my complete percentage.
I had managed to get high marks in Maths and English. Even Geography for that matter. Things which were going to be a part of my Commerce education. I didn’t have the sense to point that out to them, all I did was feel bad and be like, “Oh, please, I really will do well. I will work hard. Please give me admission…blah, blah, blah.”
Well the good news is, in the end it all worked out and they gave me admission in 11th Commerce. And that was really good because that, as I had predicted, was perfectly suited for me, all those subjects. I did much better in my 12th exam than I had done in my 10th exam.
But only years later when I thought back on it did I realise the flaw in their thinking
I shouldn’t have even needed to ask them so much, or feel bad to get that permission, and so desperately need it. It’s such a sad thing to put a teenager through. Especially when my strong subjects were exactly the ones in which I wanted to study further.
So this hierarchy of Science being for toppers, Commerce being for the medium students, and Arts being for the other so called “poor” students, this very, very flawed hierarchy, arises from this mindset of Science subjects paying off a lot better in the long term compared to Arts related subjects.
And even though Art subjects didn’t lead to careers that paid very big amounts like Science subjects would, Art students were not dumb in any way, the way it was represented. They were really good at their subjects!
There were students who genuinely wanted to study History and all the Arts related subjects, and they were really good at it. So it’s really sad to make them feel like they’re lesser than the Science students, and that the Commerce students are just average, neither good or bad.
All this came as a result of the Industrial Revolution
This basis of, “okay this is what is going to grow the economy of any country. This is what is going to make us compete better in the global markets.” All these ideas came about less than a 100 years ago. Maybe 60-70 years ago is when it came about.
And then there was a drastic change in the way people approached anything which wasn’t monetarily beneficial, which didn’t have the potential for extreme success and growth.
But that’s a terrible way to live, and we’re facing the repercussions of it now as a society in general
A lot of people are unhappy in the jobs that they’re doing, in the work that they’re doing, in their entire fields, because they studied it only for its potential. Not because it was their passion, or because it was their interest.
And they were told repeatedly that following whatever passions they had outside of these fields wouldn’t give them stability, wouldn’t help them be successful. In fact, to the point of saying that if you are an artist or a musician or a drama actor, anything like that, you’re being childish, you’re being unrealistic, you’re being delusional.
People are made to feel that way and that hurts society in general. It reduces our happiness quotient. So it’s high time that we get rid of this hustle culture! This culture of only valuing things that will bring us material rewards. And start giving importance to things that would bring us deep fulfilment, and contribute to society as a whole in different ways.
This is something that multi-passionates in particular struggle with because we have so many interests, so many talents and skills, so many areas that we want to pursue
But every time we fall back on this way of thinking, we’re like, “is that going to make me money, is that something I can turn into a business, is that something I can turn into a profession? Then I will pursue it seriously. If it doesn’t, then I’m going to ditch it no matter how much happiness it brings me. Because it’s unrealistic. It isn’t going to give me stability.”
And then we end up ignoring large parts of ourselves, and we stop ourselves from creating really beautiful, meaningful things which will add beauty and joy to this world.
As we continue to do this, people around us also are watching, and we perpetuate this culture of being materialistic in every single pursuit
Now, I’m not saying that you should completely ignore anything that’s going to bring you money because, yes, we all need to survive. We all need to earn. That is important. But you have to look at your position.
- How much do you really want to earn?
- How much of success do you really need?
- Do you really need to be that ambitious?
- Do you need to have things that others have? And just for that do you need to pursue certain areas of work which aren’t bringing you joy?
We all need to contemplate this deeply and then reset things in our lives so that we have a healthy dose of fulfilling activities in our day to day lives
We can do productive work also, or work that brings back rewards materialistically. But we should give equal, or possibly even more weightage to work that brings us rewards in terms of deep fulfilment and joy.
So think about this, have you fallen into this trap? And is there something you want to do with your life, something that you want to include as a part of your life that you aren’t because you think that it’s not going to give you money or success or fame or whatever it is. All these, you know, shallower rewards, versus the deeper rewards that you could get out of it.
The potential that it has to make you a much more joyful, fulfilled person
And if you have been putting something off, then please consider pursuing it, regardless of what you can do with it in terms of turning into a business, or a brand, or a profession, or whatever.
You don’t have to turn it into any of these things. In fact, you don’t even have to be good at those things. What matters is how much of joy and fulfilment you get out of it, and how content you feel with your life overall because of including these activities in your regular life.
Prioritise your happiness, your joy, your fulfilment, your well being
It’s something that’s going to help you, the people around you, and the whole world in general. That’s all I wanted to share today. I hope this episode has given you a lot to think about.
Transcribed using Otter
“I’m a Spiritual Vegan Multi-Passionate Entrepreneur. I read voraciously, find humour in most things, and believe kindness and authenticity can make this world a happier, loving place.
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Vegan cuisine and holistic business building are my two biggest passions. If you’re looking for guidance with vegan cooking, or want to grow your conscious business with joy and fulfilment explore ways we can work togetherhere.”