You Are What You Do, Not What You Want To Do.

November 2, 2012

Happy Gilmore is on TV right now, and I am having an extremely hard time focusing on anything else as it is one of my top 5 fav movies. For those who don’t know Happy Gilmore, do yourself a favour and find it online or at your local Red Box.

I can go into a summary of the film, but I rather not, so I’ll sum up the part of the movie that resonated deeply with me. Its a conversation between Adam Sandler’s character, Happy Gilmore and the lovely Julie Bowen’s character, Virginia, talking about how even though Happy thinks that he is a hockey player playing golf, he is in fact, a golfer as that is what is he good at.

That hit home.

Being a PF blogger, it becomes easy to write about how to save money, and how to be thrifty, and how to make your own errr everything. The sad truth is that I fail as a pf blogger. I like my luxuries, I will pay the extra few dollars to get something that works better. I will not make my own tinted moisturizer, or bike/take public transit when driving takes me 1/10 of the time.

I have talke a few friends who talk about things that they are passionate about, and it inspires me beyond words. Being passionate is key. It brings things to life for me. I can spend hours/day working on a project that is close to my heart. That’s the key isn’t it? Finding things that are close to your heart and working in them tirelessly.

We live in a world where perception is everything, and the mentality of “fake it till you make it” runs rampant during any conversation. That’s not how things work tho. You see, if you want to be a writer, well, you have to write. If you want to be an artist, create art. It doesn’t have to be good art, just art. I paint in my spare time. I love the feeling of peace that I get from creating something that only makes sense to me.

You are what you do, not what you want to do.

The point of this post isn’t to say that you can’t work towards something, the point is tell you to start working towards something.

You know that 1 thing that you tell yourself that you’ll do if you have the time/money/space/talent, well start doing that. You’d be surprised at how quickly things fall in place. I’m not saying that everything always works out, I’m saying that it helps you to sort out your dreams and find ones that are achievable.

We’ll all passionate about something in life, but in order to invent your identity into that, you have to start doing it.

I am a horrible PF writer, but I don’t claim to be that. I still make bad decisions with my money. I am an idea builder. I help people take their ideas from concept to design to execution. I’m good at that, and it took me awhile to figure that out.

What are you good at?


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  • Pauline November 2, 2012 at 11:29 am

    This is very true, we are defined by our actions. I follow my own advice on the PF side so I like to think I am good at it, but wouldn’t call myself a writer. Lots of improvement room on that one.

  • John S @ Frugal Rules November 2, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    Nice post. I would agree that words or wishes mean nothing until you put some concerted action behind it. Those words or wishes can only take you so far, it’s the action that can take you places.

  • Modest Money November 2, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    I love Happy Gilmore too, but I hadn’t put much thought into the life lessons in it. It is so true that you have to make the effort to become who we want. It can be tough deciding between what we are good at and where our passions lie. Sometimes you have to be realistic and go with what you’re good at until it is more viable to pursue passions.

    • Marissa November 2, 2012 at 7:10 pm

      Fair enough.

  • Thomas S. Moore November 2, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    I am good at failing and learning from those failures. I never let things get me down I instead try to learn from them and improve. Everything thinks they don’t have money or time but in reality they choose to spend the time and money on other things. I look at how much TV people watch but say they don’t have time to exercise. Get moving and start something!

  • Eric J. Nisall - DollarVersity November 2, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    I would completely disagree Marissa. I’d never say you aren’t a good PF writer (you definitely don’t suck at writing or fail to come up with your own, original stuff like SO MANY others), it’s just that you have a different view that fits your lifestyle. The big key is the “P”ersonal part. Without the P, then all the blogs would sound the same instead of just half of them. Besides, nowhere does it say you have to live each of the things you write about, especially since you aren’t the preachy type.

    As for me, well I’m good at being sarcastic and coming up with good ideas then taking forever to execute them 🙂

    • femmefrugality November 3, 2012 at 3:14 am

      Agree with Eric 100%! Personal finance is nothing without the personal. We all make our own decisions and put value (and our money) on different things. That doesn’t illegitimize everything we do or write about.

      That being said, I’m glad you’ve found something you’re rocking! I’m decent at…I don’t really know. I’m passionate about a lot of things. I wrote an essay one time in high school about how the one thing I was good at was not giving up, even at things that I originally sucked at. Even that’s not always true, but once I find something I enjoy doing, I will work at it. So perhaps that’s what I’m good at. Being persistent.

  • Sustainable PF November 3, 2012 at 12:18 am

    You poking fun at my insistence on biking to work? Huh? Fightin’ words Marissa! LOL
    But really, I do think Mrs. SPF and I do practice what we preach on our site – balancing our lifestyle choices with our PF.

  • Kathleen @ Frugal Portland November 4, 2012 at 12:28 am

    Well said, and since you asked, I am good at minimizing the amount of money I spend in restaurants.

  • Modest Money November 4, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    That’s so true Edward. Not everyone can just drop things and go do what they love. In a perfect world that would be the case, but in reality we have responsibilities to take care of and our passions don’t always effectively help with those responsibilities.

  • Elizabeth @ Broke Professionals November 4, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    I think you’re a GREAT PF blogger – because you aren’t that stereotypical “I don’t spend any money” case. You’re far more realistic, and that makes you infinitely more relatable.

  • Andy Hough November 4, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    This is true. I like to think of myself as a writer but the only writing I do is for my blogs. I won’t really be a writer until I start actually writing the things I want to write.

  • Rohit @ The Money Mail November 4, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    This is so true. Action is what defines a person not just desire for action.

  • K.K. @ Living Debt Free Rocks! November 4, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    It’s my first time visiting your blog. I wouldn’t consider that you fail as a PF blogger just because you don’t scrimp and save every penny. As previous posters mentioned finance is Personal 🙂 As for
    “fa king it until you make it”…I can’t be bothered with doing that. Instead, like you suggest I’m willing to try and fail and try again in order to achieve something that matters to me and that’s what really counts.

  • Country Girl November 4, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    I’m good at showing up at people’s houses at supper time. It’s my one true talent.

  • Jason November 5, 2012 at 10:02 am

    What a great post, Marissa! It’s important to know what you’re good at, and I don’t believe you have to be excellent at handling money to be a PF writer. Now…will anybody listen to you if you don’t know what you’re talking about? Probably not. But you can certainly learn a lot and teach other people things a long the way.

  • Noel November 5, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    I live by the do what you are good at and get paid for while you figure out how you can make what you love, perhaps a hobby, into a supplemental income. I think that keeping what you love always alive is great, but it may not always be your bread and butter at the beginning. Way to go on showing that you are atypical. Spurlge a little! Living on a budget is tough. I seek out alternative sources of income all the time.

  • Athena November 5, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    “You know that 1 thing that you tell yourself that you’ll do if you have the time/money/space/talent, well start doing that. You’d be surprised at how quickly things fall in place.”

    I couldn’t agree with this more. I’m gonna snag that picture and use it as my new inspiration.

  • AverageJoe November 6, 2012 at 7:20 am

    As a guy who left a well paying job to go write because he was inspired by a mountain climber friend….you’re right. You are exactly what you do. I think when someone convinces themself that their dreams aren’t possible they immediately settle in life.

    You CAN do what you want to do. You DON’T HAVE to be stuck in the dead end job. You just think you do…and until you change the way you think, you are.

  • Taost November 12, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    PF is not limited to a single track… Its about the choices you make with respect to earning and spending YOUR money…

    And you can exercise your passion in an area other than you work. One of the happiest people I have ever known was a paralegal in New York City. At night she went dancing…with all 3 left feet… it was her unabashed passion. And she had a following. there was something about watching that much sheer joy in action…

  • CreditDonkey November 15, 2012 at 6:07 am

    It’s hard to find a job that suits your passion at the same time. Most of us work to bring food to the table. In the process we just learn to love what we do, otherwise we won’t last on the job. Sometimes though, we are lucky to find something that we’re really passionate about and get paid for it. It’s like having your cake and eat it too.