For years, I have noticed that whenever the best in the world talk about their profession, they never start with what they do.

Photo by Justin W on Unsplash

What is mathematics? What is film making about? At the core of it, what is branding? And why do we do it? How about architecture and interior design? Why does it matter? What is Comedy all about? What about agencies that do client work? What drives them? What is minimalism? Where did graphic design come from? What is it really about? You’ve seen house keepers? What do they do? Have you thought about Fashion? And maybe politics? What is gardening?

Ask the very best in the world, and their answers are far from what I thought.

Gardening is about growing plants at home.

Fashion is about making cloths — something weird ones.

House keepers keep the house clean.

Graphic designers make things look pretty. (I’m a graphic designer, I make things ‘pop.’)

Minimalism is getting rid of all your stuff and live on little.

Comedy is when funny people get on stage and make me laugh.

Interior designers pick nice chairs and tables — maybe for a new restaurant.

Architects design for buildings.

No one knows what branding is.

Film makers are good with camera, lighting and editing.

Mathematicians are geniuses.

You probably can give me a better explanation of each.

But ask the very best in the world, and their answers are far from what I wrote. Maybe not far. Just deep.

I keep a running list of on my phone of the best perspectives I hear on a topic. I call it: The Deeper Things.

The Deeper Things

Nothing is what it seems.

The top in the world. All of their answers converge to one starting point. Whenever they start talking about their craft, they always start from one place: People.

For Micheal Jr, Comedy is about giving people an opportunity to laugh. Even those in prison. Which is why he does free shows in prisons in which ever state in US he goes to. For Kon Mari, tidying (what I called house keeping) brings a life that sparks joy. For me, having done a number of them, client work is about giving the dreamers the help they need to change their world. It’s indirectly touching the world by equipping clients with what they need. Minimalism for Joshua Becker is intentionally promoting what we most value and removing anything that distracts us from it. It has little to do with your wardrobe. For Marty Neumier, your brand is what people think about you. Your reputation.

These people and more continue to show me that every field pursued comes back to serve humans. The final end of every activity on earth is for people. You can know that you’re seeing the true depth of a profession or field when you can make the connection on how it reaches people.

They have made that important connection of why really do what they do.

Let me know what your thoughts are.

Are there areas where you have understood the deeper things? What are they? Write me a long, deep comment below.

Graphic designer based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia