What do you do?
That entirely frustrating question which every professional has both asked and answered many times.
Implicit in the question is a belief – the belief that “what you do” is the same question as “who are you”. But since asking the second question is creepy and weird, we ask the first instead so that we can start to fill in some blanks based on stereotypes and profiles that we have built in our own heads. We can start to craft an image of who that person is, based on the vocation that they have.
But what if you and I, just for a change, actually asked the real question: who are you?
How would you even begin to answer it?
As a lawyer, I work in a profession where many of us struggle to figure out how to answer the question. The result is that, sadly, we are a profession that struggles on many personal levels, despite the caricature of success that many of us portray.
This site is my attempt to start bumbling through a few ways to consider that question in both practical and personal ways.
Are you Only What you Do?
When you’ve spent 12 years at school, 3-5 years of study and then probably some vocational training at the other end, it’s hard to imaging that your life should revolve around anything other than what you do for a living.
And truthfully, that’s where we spend most of our time.
But if asked, we have much more to offer than our learned knowledge. We have:
- creative elements that inspire us and provide enjoyment
- families around us that serve us and we love to serve in response
- spiritual lives that provide meaning and purpose to our endeavours
- aspirations of things to come
- passions for people, topics or tasks that nobody knows about.
It’s this mix – these carefully balanced things – that make us unique.
We’re not just a lawyer, just an accountant, just a teacher, only an occupational therapist.
We are ourselves.
Who is Chris Hargreaves?
First, I’m someone who hates asking questions about myself in third person.
Other than that, I’m someone who believes that everyone has a unique blend of purpose, passion and talent that they can offer to the world. I believe that we find our place by doing things, trying stuff out and seeing what works, but also through balancing contentment with our situation with striving for something more every day (a complex mix!).
By profession I’m a lawyer (there, I said it!) but by design I’m someone who enjoys learning new things, exploring new skills and trying to constantly grow in as many areas as I can.
I don’t like standing still very much, despite the amount of time I spend in front of a computer these days.
I am most fulfilled through my relationship with Jesus but take great joy also in my family, my talents and helping other people find the truth that they need to thrive.
Regularly I find myself frustrated by my limited achievements. I love writing, but don’t do it as much as I like (which probably describes many things).
And that’s just the beginning, because here’s what I think: people are both really simple, and really complicated.
So I’ve started things off, now my question for you is this: who are you?
Do you know? Do you understand clearly what you want and how that’s going to fulfill you, or are you a bit stuck in your work routine?
How about you sign up here, and we can start working together to help you find your zest for life once more.
Thanks for reading – I hope you keep on doing it.