Own My Growth

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Do Work For Work’s Sake

Work for work's sake

One of the significant sources of pride for me as a parent is that my kids are accomplished musicians. They have pursued and continue to pursue the musical arts for more than a decade now.

Recently a friend asked my wife and me, why as parents, we put so much focus on getting our kids to pursue music at a high level. “Are you planning for your kids to become professional musicians?”

My answer was, ” Absolutely not. My kids can embrace whatever career they choose. Both of them, in fact, are choosing careers on the STEM side. But, as parents, we just want them to become artists who pursue the Art for Art’s sake.”

Doing Work For Work’s Sake. This Is The Definition Of Art.

Artists do not create Art to sell it and make money. They create Art to express their imagination, creativity, and skills. The value is just an external benchmark in terms of how people judge the piece of Art. If the majority like it, it becomes a masterpiece, and if they don’t, it continues to be Art. At the core, artists create for creation’s sake without worrying about the world’s judgment. If anything, they are their own biggest critics.

The spirit of an artist is what my wife and I wanted to imbue in our kids when we pushed them to take up music.

We Can All Be Artists

In whatever we do in life, if we can bring in the spirit of doing something for its own sake, we can operate like artists. We are not doing it because the boss tells us or the investors push us. We are doing it because, like an artist, we want to express our imagination, creativity, and skills, where we do work for work’s sake.

I am sure this is true for most of us. Our most productive and value-creating periods are when we show up as artists without worrying about the rewards or consequences. You can code like an artist, manage a project like an artist, design a campaign like an artist, and run a business like an artist. 

You become an artist when you work for work’s sake, not for any rewards. Yet, paradoxically, the more you work like an artist, the more you will get attention, appreciation, and applause. 

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