What do you do? Who are you? Keeping two sets of books.

Image “Vintage ledger paper tags” courtesy of Cutiepie Company

What do you do?

It’s the question most often asked at cocktail parties. “What do you do?” is an ice breaker, a cliché, a point of departure, or just something to say when you’re not sure what to say. It can also represent genuine curiosity.

Who are you?

It’s a big, and personal, question. That’s why we don’t ask it at cocktail parties. Rarely is the question Who are you? answered by what someone does.

– Who are you?
– I am Dentistry.

In a perfect world, What we do is Who we are, and Who we are is What we do. But we don’t live in that perfect world, so we keep two sets of books. In the day we do, in the evening we are.

We put our loves and priorities and hopes and passions—in short, our authentic selves—on a shelf, where they wait for us, until we return at the end of our shift.

A ledger of tasks, a ledger of love. Money and joy, productivity and meaning. What you do and Who you are.

Who are you? Ask, and tell. Keep one set of books. Start the revolution.

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