What do you do?
I’ve been pondering how best to answer this for the past couple of years. Often, this question implies, “What do you do (for a living)?” To that, my answer is:
My occupation is technologist and gentleman entrepreneur.
The problem I’ve been having with it is that I rankle at the idea that the most important and telling part of who I am and what I do is my occupation. I would hope that I have something of more substance to share with a new acquaintance than that.
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love what I do. I can’t imagine doing anything else at the moment. I am blessed to be able to make a good living at it. If you give me half a chance, I’ll talk your ear off all day about it. But it is not what I do, at least, not the whole of it.
What I’d really like to say in response to the question is, “I turn potential energy into kinetic.” I haven’t yet, because I haven’t been ready to face the awkwardness of the possible responses. Exasperation that I am trying terribly hard to be clever. Quick dismissal by someone doubtful of my sincerity. Any number of responses that might irrevocably brand me in a first impression. Still…I should expect—no, demand—more of myself than that. On the other side of that coin is an opportunity to make a much more meaningful connection with someone, to bring something far richer to the experience.
I turn potential energy into kinetic.
This statement guides my life’s purpose. It helps keep me aligned and puts into context the various ups and downs that I will encounter in both my personal and professional lives. It helps right my course when I stray and helps me when I’m trying to make a difficult decision.
I have been blessed with so many opportunities that it would be a tragedy to live my life with this unfulfilled potential. To do less than I am capable would be to dishonor the sacrifice of those who came before me and disrespect all those who share with me their lives and bring enrichment to my own. So I try to turn my potential into something kinetic. It’s very much a work in progress.
My name, “Sergio,” comes from Latin and Etruscan origin meaning “servant.” So how do I want to serve my purpose in this life? Realizing my own potential will surely be a lifelong endeavor. Happily, it should be unobtainable. Along that journey, however, I want to try to empower others by creating opportunities for them to pursue their own potential. Sharing in my (mis)adventures, experiments in lifehacking and lifelong learning, my hope is to inspire others to change their potential energy into kinetic. So that my small contribution can be amplified and multiplied.
My intention, with every encounter, is to part ways leaving others feeling enriched. From the most casual pleasantry at a store register, to laughs with dear friends over a few beers, to a more serious discussion of purpose, my hope is that everyone who meets me feels enriched in some way. Perhaps it is an ephemeral feeling that quickly fades and is easily forgotten. Perhaps it is the lingering hint of a smile that you aren’t quite sure where it came from but stays with you all day. Perhaps it will be a lifelong companion, the feeling of possibility, excitement and clarity of purpose. It isn’t for me to presume what that feeling of enrichment should be. It’s enough to know that I might have had some small, humble part in setting it in motion. In those moments lives my purpose. Turning potential into kinetic.
So the next time someone asks me, “What do you do?” I hope I’ll have the courage to answer more truthfully.