The Modern Trap of Turning Hobbies Into Hustles


“You can do something you love, just because you love it.” (When did I become Ask Polly?) And suddenly the sentence that both of us needed to hear came out of my mouth: “You don’t have to monetize your joy.”

But our culture "reinforces the idea that [our] attention belongs more rightfully on profit than on pleasure," because we "live in the era of the hustle. Of following our dreams until the end, and then pushing ourselves more. And every time we feel beholden to capitalize on the rare places where our skills and our joy intersect, we underline the idea that financial gain is the ultimate pursuit."
 
Possibly we'd feel less need to turn everything into the dollar-dollar, if our economy wasn't so stacked against us that we have to earn off everything we do, or we won't be able to eat. This whole idea of, and the author mentions it, of loving what you do so it never feels like work, is a scam to trick you into further enslaving yourself to your employment, so you won't notice the shortcomings of your economic status. There's nothing wrong with loving your work, and there's nothing wrong with making money from your hobbies or joys, but there is definitely something wrong with those things being turned into necessaries or obligations, or, worse yet, flaws if you don't.
 
We've over-structured everything to the point where a good chunk of our population now has no idea how to relax and just be, nor even that they can do just that, and it's okay to do just that. Children have gone from play to play dates. Every hour must be filled with something. The pragmatism of the Protestant work ethic has struck again, and it never strikes in a very good way. It keeps telling us that whatever we're doing, it's not enough. We could maximise our time better, faster, more. We're scheduling and monetising ourselves to death.
 
Why don't I do things for money? Why don't many of us? Because we want to keep enjoying them, that's why. I'm not obligated to turn my joy into your pragmatic money-maker.


2019 02 22 - 16:27

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