I would like to say to everyone who knew what they wanted to do with their lives from the time they were very young, congratulations. To the man who knew he wanted to be a lawyer or doctor or even an engineer to the woman who knew she wanted to be a police officer, surgeon or even a Supreme Court justice I would like to say I admire you for being decisive in your career choice and sticking with it. It truly takes allot of determination and focus. At the same time I would also like to say, you suck. Not in a mean way, just in the general sort of you suck way, because unlike you there are some of us, myself included, who for what ever reason are destined to wander through life without having a specific career we fit nicely into. So to all the wanderers out there reading this right now I want to tip my glass to you and say, this one is for you.
A little known fact about my self that most people, not even many of my family members, know is that I have attention deficit disorder (A.D.D.). Without going into a great amount of detail the bottom line is without medication it is very difficult for me to focus on any one thing because I am not able to stop my mind from going and going and going. For example, it took me 12 years to get a 4 year college degree. During those 12 years I had career dreams of being a Landscaper, Landscape Architect, Forest Ranger, English Teacher, Journalist, Physical Therapist, and Physical Trainer for the Atlanta Falcons, Missionary, Pastor, and finally I graduated as an English major in creative writing with a minor in Exercise Science. Any doubts about the A.D.D.? I didn’t think so. Believe me if it is confusing for you to relate any of those job titles together, just think how confused I have been most of my life. It’s ok to laugh, trust me without a sense of humor there is no way I could have made it this far in life. However, about 3 weeks ago I had an epiphany regarding job titles, careers and life in general and that is what I really want to share.
I have always found it a little baffling when we meet someone for the first time one of the first questions we ask them is, “so what do you do for a living?” Then when they tell us what their career choice is we immediately form a preconceived judgment of that person. For instance, someone tells me they are a doctor, my first thought is, money. Sorry, that’s the truth. If someone tells me they are an engineer, my first thought is stubborn person with a splash of arrogance in their personality. I know that answer probably threw you, but trust me I have over 20 years of experience of working with them, it is the truth. However, I digress. The point is when someone tells us their profession we have an immediate opinion of who that person is, right or wrong. That is just how our culture is good or bad. But what if instead of telling someone you are a doctor, flight attendant, or accountant when they enquire about your career, why not tell them, I am just shaking what the good Lord gave me. And their immediate facial expression becomes distorted and the word “What?” comes spilling out as though you had actually confessed to being mentally unstable. How beautiful would that be?
Look, it is amazing to me how many gifted people there are in the world, people who do things in their spare time that really have nothing to do with their employment title. There are those who paint and sculpt in their spare time, but by day they are computer analysts, there are people who work on cars or are carpenters in their spare time but when they arrive at work they are teachers or engineers. There are talents and gifts that are inside every single person and to place a title on ourselves is actually insulting because by doing so we are limiting ourselves and not allowing others to benefit from the gifts that are inside each one of us.
So, now comes the fun part. I would like every person that is reading this to stand up. Yes, I know you are sitting on the couch with your laptop, or reclined in your easy chair and you are all comfy but I want you to stand up. It won’t work unless you do. So, stand up!
I mean it! Ok, now that you are up, I want you to shake your butt. That’s right; I want you to shake it and shake it and shake it. You can stand in one place or you can walk around your home, but I want you to shake it like you just don’t care and while you are shaking it I want you to say out loud, “I am going to shake what the good Lord gave me till the day I leave this earth!!” It’s time to shake off any boundaries that hinder you, it’s time to shake off any titles anyone has placed on you that hinder you from becoming all you were created to be in this life. It is time for you to shake what the good Lord gave you and become what ever you want to be and do what ever you want to do. A wise man told me, “Do what you love.” There are allot of hobbies that may not grant us the life style we would like, but that should never stop us from doing what we love.
Unfortunately life is not always kind. We are thrown curve balls, sliders and fast balls every single day of our lives and we face various health issues, employment issues to personal issues that can weigh our spirits down and even drown the spirit of creativity that is alive within each one of us. So if you love to sing, sing your heart out as you go to your job and even while you are on your job. If you love to draw or paint, then sketch that beautiful crape myrtle that is outside the window of where ever it is you work. Do what makes you happy and it will bless every person that crosses your path. And when you are meeting someone for the very first time and they ask you what do you do for a living? Look them straight in the eye and with a huge smile tell them, I am just shaking what the good Lord gave me.