A while back we went to the movies. We’re not usually movie going people, but it was Valentine’s and we were already going to be in town for dinner, so a movie seemed like a good pair to the crab legs and prime rib we had for our evening meal.
We watched The Wedding Ringer. Have you seen it? It’s a comedy about a guy who’s about to get married but has no friends to stand up for him. He hires a guy who has made his living out of being the groom’s “best friend.” There were some really funny parts, some parts that were a bit over the top, and a few really good lines. It made for a fun date, though don’t take the kids. It’s Rated R for some sexual content.
Anyway, in one scene, the Wedding Ringer is feeling down and his receptionist gives him a pep talk. At one point, she asks him: Why are you in this business?
Which got me to thinking…why are we in the businesses we’re in? What possesses us (other than the paycheck) to get up in the morning, punch the clock, and work? Or if we’re salaried, what compels us to put in the time to get the job done, even if there is no overtime? And if you don’t work for ‘the man’ what convinces you to work for yourself, crafting an art or creating things or whatever it is you do? Why do you do it?
While some folks are likely out there putting in their time to ward off starvation and homelessness, many of us are blessed enough to be doing something we love. Though, there are times when work becomes just that. Work. A drudgery that we endure for the sake of the almighty Friday.
When we were watching that movie and that line was said, it got me to thinking. Why am I in the business I’m in? A few months ago, I stopped my walk in the path of life and found a fork in the road. Instead of continuing in the career I’ve spent almost a decade in, I veered down a new path into the world of IT.
Why? Because I needed a new challenge. Because for two years as the team I’m on now was being created, I spent a lot of time telling anyone who would listen “If they would pay me to do that full time, I’d do it in a heartbeat.” Those aren’t the only reasons though. I’m in the business because I want the end users jobs to be easier.
There is so much administrative required work in the field of health care these days that being able to spend quality time with a patient is dwindling. The easier it is for an end user to get his or her paperwork finished, the more time that provider can spend with the patient. Which is why providers get into the business they’re in.
I also write. Big surprise as you’re reading this, right? But why do I write? Why do I get up at 4:30 in the morning five days a week to write? Just a sec. I need to get more coffee. Okay, I’m back. Right, there was a question.
Why do I get up and write? Because it nourishes my soul. Because I’ve finally embraced this as my go-to hobby that propels me drags me out of bed in the morning when everyone else is still sleeping.
Do I want to be published someday? Yes. Only to get my super encouraging daughter off my back about getting it done? No. But getting published is the destination, it’s not the journey.
The Wedding Ringer had a great business idea (in the pretend world of Hollywood) and sometimes he lost sight of why he did what he did. That’s what I would be doing if I only focused on getting published. I would lose sight of the journey and all I’ve learned and am learning in the wee hours of the morning.
The journey is part of the reward. A big part, even. Let me give you a couple of examples.
Getting up this early to write has given me so many things. Like how to be a morning person. How to face my fears. I’ve met lots of new (and great) people along this journey. [Waves to all the #10MinuteNovelists.] I’ve had great opportunities because of this journey. Like writing the screenplays for and directing this.
Working in IT, in a daycare, at a restaurant, for yourself, and any other business you might be in or get into has rewards. Sure, there are days when we have to look a little harder and remind ourselves a little bit more about why we’re in it. Not every day is Friday, right?
But if the only reason we’re in the business is to get to Friday or to have a job or to please someone else, maybe it’s time to find another business.
It’s funny the things we learn about in this wacky world. It’s even funnier where we learn those things at. Like in the movie theater while watching The Wedding Ringer.
Why are you in the business you’re in? Settle in and share your story. I’m all ears.