Here’s your average workday.
Wake up early. Get to work and try to impress everyone with how good you are at it, even though you’re secretly bored to death. Maybe you even hate it. Regardless, you’re not enjoying it, but you have to at least pretend. Try to keep that act up until quitting time, when you start doing anything you can to keep your mind off the fact that you’ve got to do the same thing again tomorrow.
What do you call that? The daily grind? The hustle?
I’ve got another word for it: Prostitution.
It’s what happens when you degrade your identity for a paycheck.
It’s what happens when you refuse to believe that you’re worth more.
Charles Bukowski puts it this way:
“How in the hell could a man enjoy being awakened at 8:30 a.m. by an alarm clock, leap out of bed, dress, force-feed …fight traffic to get to a place where essentially you made lots of money for somebody else and were asked to be grateful for the opportunity to do so?”
Yeah, it’s insanity. But try telling someone who’s gotten used to prostitution that what he or she is doing is insane, and what will you hear? “This is all I know.” “This is what I’m good at.” “The money’s not bad.” Or, worst of all, “This is all I deserve.”
I take it you’re starting to see the parallel, but it gets worse.
The core problem with prostituting yourself isn’t the money, the long hours or the fact that you have to pretend to enjoy it. It’s not even the fact that you’re giving yourself to people who ultimately do not care about you.
The problem with prostituting yourself is that you are meant for so much more!
You were designed with an incredible amount of talent and genius that can change the world, if you let it! Your gifts are more than just decorations for your personality—they are the key to who you are! When you’re working out of your gift, you’re allowing the world to experience your greatness and, believe me, the world needs it!
But even more importantly, you need it.
You need it because you don’t deserve a life of prostitution. You don’t deserve a life of squandering your identity to your pimp for nothing more than a paycheck. There is no amount of money that’s worth that, because you’re doing way more than just working a boring job. You’re choking out the deepest, most valuable part of yourself.
If that sounds like the life you want, fine. But I’m guessing, deep down, you know you deserve better. You know there’s a better life for you. A life where you’re doing something you love. A life where you’re doing more than just what you’re capable of doing. A life where you’re doing what you’re meant to be doing.
Breaking free from the life of prostituting your gift isn’t easy, but the first step is a simple one.
You’ve got to find your genius.
“Genius” is what I call it anyway. Athletes call it “being in the zone.” Artists call it “feeling inspired.” Right now, you might call it your “dream job” or your “hobby.” But the truth is, it’s your passion. It’s your purpose. It’s how you “waste time” when you’re “supposed” to be doing something else. And it’s there in your heart, just waiting for you to embrace it, and let it turn your world upside down.
“Brandon, you don’t get it. I don’t have a genius. All I want to do is get by at work so I can go home, watch some Netflix, and go to sleep.”
Really? That’s all you want?
If you’re really not sure if you even have a deep passion, or if you’re just not sure what it is, here’s a quick checklist for you to help you figure it out.
Where’s your talent lie? What is something that you’re really, really good at? Not just what you’re able to do. You’re able to do a lot of things, and your boss (your pimp!) will probably pay you just fine to do them. But what’s something that you are actually, truly gifted at in a way that few people are? It might be something you haven’t done since college, or even high school, but that’s not a bad thing. That just means you stopped doing it once you decided it wasn’t “realistic.” It’s time to bust it out again.
Do you enjoy this talent? More than just enjoy it, do you love it? Is this something you can just lose yourself in? Do you start doing it and lose all track of time? In Christian language, they’d call this an “anointing” or a “calling.” You can just call it an energy.
How do people respond when you do this? Maybe you have no idea, because you haven’t even tried to live from your genius in years (or maybe you’re too scared of it to even let anyone in and see it) but trust me, if you want to live from your genius, you’re going to need feedback. You need to know that people are responding to what you’re doing, and that your passion has an energy that can multiply itself. This will mean letting people into your genius and letting them be honest with you.
Figuring our your genius is a process that can take some time. Often, it’ll mean peeling back the layers you’ve built up over your heart, and really sitting with the fact that you’re not happy. Maybe you’re even miserable!
These realizations may not be comfortable but they’re the best way to motivate you towards freedom. Once you realize how bad your heart really wants it, you’ll risk everything to achieve it!
Prostitution is the life most people choose for themselves. A life of shoving their talent into a dark corner in order to work for people they don’t particularly like so that they can afford a life they don’t truly want.
But here’s the thing: That’s only your life as long as you allow it to be.
Change is within your reach. Freedom is on just the other side! Break free of your life in servitude and live out of where you were meant to live: your true genius!
PS. We’ve discussed this topic of ‘finding your genius’ quite a bit on the YOU(COMMUNITY) weekly calls. If you’re not a part, you’re missing out! Join here: brandonhawk.com/products/you-coaching/