For many people, they only do one kind of work: their job. They do the minimum required, put in their 8 hours, and go home. Truthfully if you’re compensated well and feel like you have enough in your life, this is a beautiful system.
For us, there are 3 kinds of work we do.
First, there is Adventurous work. This is the experimentation. The late nights taking photos with friends. Picking up a film camera. Street Photography on Instagram Stories. Adventurous work takes the discipline and skill that we’ve developed, and applies it in a recreational setting where nothing is wrong and everything is explorable.
Second, there is Prolific Work. Prolific work is your bread and butter, it’s what you do day in and day out that pays the bills. This is your weekly YouTube Video. The Podcast you post on Mondays. Product photography for eCommerce. Pitch decks for clients. These things require maybe half of your creative capacity, and you produce relatively similar work on a recurring basis.
Lastly, there is Meaningful Work. Meaningful Work requires an assertion of how something could be better, and striving toward that ideal. This is the book that changes others’ minds on how they should treat their customer. This is the feature film which encapsulates your worldview. This is the gala that raises money for a special cause. Meaningful work moves the needle in making the change you want to see in the world.
If you spend too much time without any of these kinds of work, you will stagnate. Without adventure, you’ll become complacent, bored, and eventually resent your own profession. Without a prolific body of work, you won’t pay the bills and no one will know, or care, about your work. Without meaningful work you will feel hollow, lacking direction or reason to seize each day.
What are you missing?