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I’ve been a paperboy, a stripper, a paralegal and barista. At one point I even worked a graveyard shift at a gas station inside a bullet-proof booth, and I’ve made sandwiches at Subway for minimum wage. I’ve managed executive offices from art galleries to software development companies, and prepared burritos at Whole Foods and rotisserie chickens at Costco. I was a photographer for 13 years, a bus-boy at The Cheesecake Factory for three minutes (shortest job I’ve ever had), and spent countless hours in numerous kitchens feeding the hungry. I drafted multi-billion dollar contracts at prestigious law firms for ten years, and made smoothies at Jamba Juice for two. From publishing a book, to cleaning bathrooms or mopping floors, NONE of the things I have done DEFINE me. Does that make sense? Do you see what I mean?

What and who I am has absolutely nothing to do with what I have done when I was younger, nor what I’m currently doing. Who I am is not defined by how much or how little money I have, the clothes I wear, or the vehicle I drive wherever I live. I don’t identify myself by those things, which is good because they’re all so temporary.. lol… those aren’t even all the jobs I’ve had (and I’m only 36)..

It’s important to have an identity that surpasses a job title on a business card, or a status deemed by the bank or society. What I am, regardless of those things, is an instrument of peace. That is my mission, my purpose.. my Ikigai!

If we bring integrity to whatever we do in the world, then we are being of service to others whether we wash dishes in the back of a restaurant, perform complex brain surgeries, manage thousands of employees, drive a bus, fight fires, or raise children at home. Life is not a hierarchy, it’s a celebration! And love is not a word, it’s an invitation. So strive to love who you are. No. Matter. What.

—  Timber Hawkeye
When you fall asleep tonight, I want you to think of at least one thing that has been good today. It might be difficult and you might think that there’s nothing but, however bad a day has been, there’s always one thing, even if it’s a tiny thing, that has been good, and sometimes it can be helpful to remind yourself of that as you fall asleep.