Guess what? I don’t just ride a mountain bike… I do things like slalom waterskiing too.
Life has many zesty flavours
Imagine you decided pistachio ice cream was your favourite, it’s so perfect that you decide you’d only ever eat pistachio from now on. Then one day you go to buy some, but the shop is out of pistachio. Now what? Tears.
When you focus on satisfaction from one thing or establish your identity through one source such as; your career or your significant other it’s not only limiting, but dangerous. When shit goes sideways in your life, you’re potentially screwed over and your very existence is put into question. Your vulnerable to depression, crushing self-worth and loss of purpose.
Zestify, Zestify Me
You need to diversify yourself and your identity. Your friendships, hobbies, career skills and physical activities. So when one thing fails, the other ones keep you afloat. Whether it’s non-mutual friends that you lean on after a breakup, sports that get your self-esteem back, career skills that help you find a new job or different hobbies that keep you entertained while recovering from injury.
Having zesty diversification will also help you perform better in all areas of life. You learn things as an athlete, volunteer or guitar player that will make you a better employee, leader or friend. So the more you invest yourself in multiple identities, the less likely you are to paint yourself into a corner, and the better able you are to adapt to new and unfamiliar situations.
Most people socialize with the people they grew up with, people from the same age group and/or people from the same socioeconomic class. But by diversifying your social circle you’ll increase your fluency in a language and life. Having a variety of friendships gives your a harmonized outlook, helps you grow and makes conversation more interesting.
When I went through some tough times, I had a wide variety of friendships to call upon for advice and support. Whether it was my older friends with their handy life experience to share, my free-spirited friends with their no-stress outlook on life or my childhood friends who were there as my rock no matter what, they all had something different to offer.
Diversify for Healthier Relationships
Not having diversity can spell trouble in romantic relationships. You’ve seen it before, where one person gives all of themselves to the other person. They sacrifice the majority of their time, energy and their own social life—slowly losing their individual identity. They are so focused on the other person that they forget their own needs.
I’ll admit I’ve been there… and the most important relationship lesson I’ve learned is that you have to be unapologetically yourself. It doesn’t mean that you’re not going to compromise or care about the other person, it means that you can’t lose your identity for the sake of making the other person happy. When each person is themselves, each with your own diverse interests and friendships you will ultimately have a healthier, more interesting..and zestier relationship.
Jack of all Trades Career Diversity
Young people get so caught up in deciding what to do with their life. They over-analyze and stress about choosing the career that will carry them through their lifetime. STOP. You need to avoid putting all of your eggs in one career basket. By learning a lot of different skills, you’ll have the potential to make money in a lot of different situations.
No matter what career path you choose, make sure you have more than one major skill, be multi-faceted and adaptable and you’ll rise above the rest. By diversifying your skills and your mindset, you’re no longer handcuffed to the same job and you can find you employment in a number of areas. You’ll have countless opportunities to start up a side gig or do some contract work to earn additional income. You’ll also be fit to pivot into a completely different career if the wind changes direction.
I am a huge proponent of entrepreneurship (check out my other gig as Main Squeeze & Creative Director at zestybrands.ca branding studio in Squamish, BC) and getting your hands dirty in many things. People often say working for a company is the safe choice and stable decision—But it’s only safe until it’s not… until you’re laid off, let go, your company is re-structured etc. When you diversify your career and take charge of your skills you can create a lot of financial stability and financial opportunity, and you’ll be able to survive and thrive, no matter what.
Diversifying takes guts
Embracing uncertainty is an important aspect of developing a diversified identity. Most people gravitate only towards the aspects of their identity that feel safe, and that they’re confident in—the proven things. But to be diverse you first have to acknowledge that you can’t instantly know or be perfect at everything. You have to try things and not worry about looking silly or failing.
When you embrace uncertainty, your life expands. You experience things you never knew were possible and it takes you to a place where you can truly grow; it teaches you patience and resilience. Conversely, certainty is limiting and puts you in danger of living and dying by a small proportion of things (or thing).
In my own life, I was very artistic at a young age. I could have over-identified with that aspect of my identity, but fortunately I had an insatiable hunger for trying new things. My parents would laugh because I was always up to something new—you name it, I probably tried it. From Snowboarding to equestrian riding, cooking, sailing, wakeboarding and breakdancing (lol I know right, you should see my headspin) to name a few.
This trend carried me through my early work days too. I had a diverse amount of jobs before I went to school for graphic design; I was a ski resort liftie, gas jockey, restoration worker, barista, waitress, fitness coach, landscaper and dog walker. All of these jobs gave me another skill and life lesson to add to my back pocket, and have helped me get to where I am today.
I’ve never really been afraid to fail and I think it’s because I have practiced failure my whole life. I have practiced diversifying myself regularly, and in turn, I am so use to setbacks that it doesn’t really phase me anymore. Sure, screwing up stings sometimes, but it’s par for the course.
How to Practice Diversification
Learn new things daily
Be curious, ask questions. Don’t be afraid to try things and don’t live in a vacuum. Practice reading a variety of topics, explore new activities and talk to a variety of people.
Be open to change, don’t be afraid to pivot. Life is short and instead of telling your life what to do with it, listen to your life telling you who you are.
Showcase your skills
Don’t be afraid to showcase your skills before they’re fine tuned. You’re your worst critic and it’s better to start than wait for perfection, because perfection never comes. I still doubt myself as a real writer, chef and athlete, but I decided to just start putting it out there anyway.
Practice Believing in Yourself
Don’t give up before you’ve even tried. Push past your discomfort and stick to things. Learn to trust yourself (and accept positive feedback). Learn through repeated attempts and realize that failure is part of growth and learning.