Find a Balance Between Expressing Yourself and Being Useful to Others

Day 5:

Today, I was supposed to write about creating your online resume. However, while working on my own, I realized that I am not yet ready to write about it. Also, I realized that I cannot write about only in a single blog post.

Creating an online resume is a process and I’ll take you through the whole process in the coming days or even weeks.

Right now, I can finish my online resume in just a day. But, I’ve been blogging for two years and I am already familiar with how to create web pages. It’s already easy for me to prepare my online resume. But, I cannot squeeze all those two years in just a single blog post.

Instead, I’ll write about something else today and start writing about the online resume on Monday.

Today, I want to talk about expressing yourself fully through the work that you do.

When you listen to the market, you might fall into the danger of simply conforming to what the market wants and losing yourself in the process. That is not the point of listening to the market. 

The point is to be yourself while serving what the market wants. The point is to express yourself fully while being useful to others at the same time.

If you only express yourself without being useful to others, then you’re not creating a business or you’re not pursuing a profession. You’ll just be doing a hobby.

On the other hand, if you focus too much on what the market wants and lose yourself in the process, you will not be happy with what you’re doing. Also, you’ll just end up being generic. You’ll just end up being a cog in a wheel.

Your work should be your art. It should be your creative expression.

Still, achieving balance between expressing yourself fully and being useful to the market is really tricky. Sometimes, the market doesn’t know what it wants until you create it. We never knew we wanted an iPhone until Apple created it. Well, Apple is really good at creating a need. And it’s hard to create a need and have the burden of educating others why they need what we’re creating. It’s much easier to fill a need.

Also, sometimes, we can never express ourselves fully if we’re thinking about pleasing others at the back of our minds. Picasso probably never thought of what the market wants when he started his own brand of painting. Even Van Gogh’s paintings became popular only after his death.

For today, think about what it is you really want to create. What are the skills you really are passionate about using? Then, see whether your art or your creation, by itself, is useful to others or you have to tweak it to be useful to others.

Be useful to others and the universe will find a way to pay you. But, don’t be generic. Be true to yourself and to your unique gifts. Do work that matters—to you and to others.