We were in Amsterdam for BP’s birthday and wandered into a bar near the hotel (just a regular bar, not the coffee shops you’re thinking of), met some nice girls and all started talking.
Amsterdam is an impeccable town and completely underrated. Yes, underrated because so much of the time spent talking about Amsterdam is referencing easy access to drugs that are illegal in America (for now) and the Red Light District, which is certainly outside the bounds of our PG-13 site. So in the 5 minutes you talk with your friends during the “have you ever been to Amsterdam” conversation, you barely have a second to touch on what makes the city so special. It’s a quaint town, modern yet historic, and completely manageable even when you don’t speak the native tongue. My favorite parts? It’s clean. It’s quiet. And the people have great style. New York I love you, but why the hell is our town so dirty and loud?!
So we get to talking and I learn that the one I am talking to works in marketing for H&M. Cool, but completely irrelevant to the story other than that she works in a related industry and this thought has a work-related twist to it.
I tell her my name and she asks what the origin is. I affectionately tell the story like I always do of how my parents named me after the main character in Leon Uris’ book Exodus and that the name has Hebrew origins. She seemed intrigued and told me that although she isn’t Jewish, she does have a Hebrew tattoo of her parents’ names.
All the way up and down her spine.
Don’t get me wrong, I was just as confused as you are. I couldn’t do the math either. Why did this shiksa have a Hebrew tattoo? Again, interesting debate, but not the core lesson learned.
We continued talking and she asked more about what I do. I told her a bit about StyleCaster, no different than the thousands of times I have told people about what we do, but this is where it gets interesting and here was my key takeaway.
I tell her the story and she simply replied, “that’s good. You should always be proud of what you do.”
Such a simple statement, yet for some reason it struck me as so profound. And to this day I always think back to that moment and this cute, sweet, Dutch girl telling me, “that’s good. You should always be proud of what you do.”
And with that, I realized her simple statement is such a great marker for life. Personally, I have never understood people who don’t like their job. I’ve become completely selfish about my happiness, as I think we should be. We spend 80% of our life working, if you don’t like what you do, how do you expect to be happy? Why waste 80% of your days doing something you don’t like doing?
When you tell others about what you do, are you proud of what you say?
And with that, through a synchronistic series of events, in a land far, far away, I encountered The Girl With The Hebrew Tattoo, who provided me with a great litmus test for my happiness.