Pay Close Attention to Who You Really Are

buffett07_story1-whnEvery now and again, I like to bring you interviews to give you a new perspective on work happiness. During my study of work happiness I have found that there are many paths to the same goal. Some people believe that loving what you do is a must, while other people believe that relationships are vital to enjoying the work that we do. Interviews are a great way to get out of your own perspective and see what other people are doing to develop their superpowers and live their passions.

When I read the title of Peter Buffett’s book Life Is What You Make It, I knew that I had to read it. A big part of my younger day’s struggles was believing that I deserved to have better jobs without earning it. I’ll be putting the review up next week, but right now I want to introduce you to Peter Buffett.

Karl: Do you believe that you must love what you do to be successful? Why?

Peter Buffett: It depends on how you define success. If you think success is about acquiring things and/or making lots of money – you don’t have to love what you do. If you define success as enjoying life and potentially living a healthier, longer life then, YES. Absolutely. Loving what you do means that you’re not really working at all. And all of life becomes more fulfilling. That sounds like success to me.

What was the most difficult part about building your brand?

I think it comes down to paying close attention to who you really are and what makes you unique in the world. With all the distractions that are presented every day, it can be difficult to separate the signal (your true voice) from the noise.

If you could go back to the beginning what is one thing you would do differently?

That’s a tough question. I can think of small things I would change… and I certainly took some wrong turns… but it has all brought me here. And I’m certainly happy about where I ended up. So it’s hard to say that I would have done any single thing differently. I guess if I had to point to one thing, I would have learned more about music theory and orchestration. But that may have gotten me into a creative corner because I would have learned too much!

How do you cultivate work happiness in your career?

Every day.. because I am doing something I am truly interested in getting better at.. is an opportunity to learn and grow. That makes it fun to get out of bed every day to find out what might happen. What can I learn today?

What do you do to help yourself stay motivated and productive?

In my business, you’re only as good as your last composition. So it’s a constant challenge (in a good way) to stay “on my game”. Also, music sort of comes whether I like it or not! The motivation comes from my desire/need to express myself.

How do you maintain harmony between your working and non-working life?

Well… it helps to not actually think of it as work. But sometimes, because it doesn’t feel like work, I lose the balance between doing music and taking a break from it.  I don’t really have any hobbies or other distractions. So what I end up having to “work” at is taking some time off.

If you are feeling down, what do you do to lift your spirits?

Get outside! New York is great for a jolt of energy. And getting out into the country is great for a change of pace and feeling, too.

What is your biggest detriment to work happiness? How do you deal with this issue?

That’s something I really don’t seem to have a problem with. I really do love what I do. It can be frustrating at times when I’m working on something that just doesn’t seem to be coming out right. But it doesn’t take much for me to remember how lucky I am to be doing what I do.

If you could give work happiness advice to someone just starting their own business in 140 characters or less (Twitter style) what would it be?

Every day should be approached as an opportunity to learn.

* Join over 900 people who have already subscribed to the FREE Happy at Work 10 Week eCourse. It will arrive in your inbox every Monday morning, when you need it the most. (Sign up is in the top left corner)

* Penelope Trunk of Brazen Careerist wrote a unique post about diversity and how to cope with it. Being around people a lot different from you isn’t easy.

If you enjoyed this post then you will probably like this one too:

> I Don’t Try to Motivate Myself

> 7 Simple Ways to Live Your Passions

8 thoughts on “Pay Close Attention to Who You Really Are”

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Pay Close Attention to Who You Really Are | Work Happy Now! --

  2. What an inspiring guy! I’m not sure about that no hobby thing…I guess my question for you Peter is what do you do with your free time?

    I like your definition of success it’s the chasing after fame and money that we can’t get enough of that keeps us from living a wonderful life.

    Getting out of bed everyday with a fun attitude is a great way to live. Thanks for this interview and I look forward to your book. On top of that you’re so darn cute;)

  3. Hi Karl and Peter,

    What a great interview. Thanks for reminding us all of the “obvious”–that we need to pay attention to who we really are and what makes us unique. It almost seems that we are not really encouraged to make the time to pay attention to ourselves through a contemplative practice of some kind and tuning out so much of the external noise.

    Peter, I checked out your website and listened to some of the singles. I really loved “A Song for Everyone”. And what a great social cause–raising funds to ensure that girls have not only the opportunity for but access to an education beyond elementary school. I’ll look forward to checking out both your book and some more of your music.

    Have a great day!

  4. Getting outside! I love that, too! There’s something about the wide open spaces that is very energizing. And that’s both in big cities, and out in the open countryside – it’s all so good!!

    Great read!

  5. I just love the title, because truly “Life *is* What You Make It”…each day I choose to wake with a positive thought, to allow my body time to stretch into ease into life…
    Each day I make choices all throughout the day to embrace the moment as it is, and to allow the momentum of fantastic Energy to guide me forward. I can just as easily make the choice to deflect it all, but I believe that would be a sad choice…
    Thank you for sharing your insights…the book sounds like a wonderful resource…

  6. Hi Karl,
    I’m looking forward to your review. It sounds like Peter truly has made a lot of life and I’m interested to hear more about how he’s done that. He seems to have a very positive attitude even about when he “took wrong turns” but those turns are what put him here. I believe very much in living in the here and now, not in the past and with regrets. Let us know what you think of the book.
    Thank you,

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