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Snack #40 - Oursourcing happiness

Can you outsource happiness? We do it every damn day. An exchange of money for time, time that we will hopefully use to achieve our dreams and become better and happier.

I just read an article about this on RadReads, warning from overdoing outsourcing.


As a self employed person, I have experienced that feeling on a spectrum of outsourcing:

It is always a question of “should I do it myself” vs “should I pay someone else to do it so that they can do it better, and I can focus on what I do better”. I used to lean very heavily on the first one, but every day it’s becoming less.


What changed?


I don’t WANT to work that hard for every single thing. I’ve already proved to myself that with some time and dedication, I can do anything, but it’s detrimental to my focus.


I remembered this thing I read about music production (using loops) that fits well:


"I thought using loops was cheating, so I programmed my own using samples. I then thought using samples was cheating, so I recorded real drums. I then thought that programming it was cheating, so I learned to play drums for real. I then thought using bought drums was cheating, so I learned to make my own. I then thought using premade skins was cheating, so I killed a goat and skinned it. I then thought that that was cheating too, so I grew my own goat from a baby goat. I also think that is cheating, but I’m not sure where to go from here. I haven’t made any music lately, with the goat farming and all."


It’s funny because that’s always a feeling that comes when something is easy and we succeed, especially as artists - that we are cheating. Buying things to make our lives easier feels like cheating to me at times, even though society is built on making money and using it to advance in life.


Another thing about this passage is - goat farming might bring similar joy to music production. It’s a time consuming activity that can probably make you feel really present with your craft, so by not outsourcing one type of work, that work is complex enough by itself to become the new “thing”.

Was that the desired effect? No. Is this person unhappy? Not necessarily!


I have been outsourcing my food prep for a while - I pay some money every month for chef-made meals. They are not expensive, especially since they save me lots of cooking time, but recently I realized - the time I gained from not having to make food is invested into my work and/or my practice of being present, when cooking IS A THING THAT MAKES ME PRESENT.


Whoa.


This can apply to cleaning the house, going grocery shopping or ordering online, etc etc. There is joy in doing something by yourself, a joy we often forget, so it’s important to do at least some things by ourselves.



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