Chore vs. Privilege

By Sean Ogle •  Updated: 07/02/21 •  4 min read

When I was in 7th grade I edited my very first movie.

It was on a flashy new turquoise iMac. Don’t lie, you totally remember when those first came out.

At the time, video editing to me was something that could only be done in giant million dollar editing suites.

The idea of being able to shoot and edit your own movies? That still seemed like a fantasy.

But times were slowly beginning to change, and I had a front-row seat.

I was in a special group of 8 kids who got to take a special class called KTAPs. Kennedy Technical Assistance….I don’t remember what the P stood for.

But it was essentially the modern-day equivalent of the nerdy AV Squad.

But for me? It was amazing. We got to play with all of the new tech toys the school brought in, and even got to take them home.

Digital cameras before they were cheap and accessible, camcorders, and I vividly remember being quite excited about the Apple Newton – oh, how far we’ve come.

One of my final projects in the class would be to take a camera and record one of the school’s track meets, and then edit a video of it using Avid Xpress – this was way before the days of iMovie.

But I remember making that video and thinking it was the coolest thing ever.

“How cool would it be to do this for a living?!”

The possibilities were literally endless.

Fast forward 20 years.

Twice a week I now post videos going through essentially the same process I did as a starstruck 12-year-old.

I have super cool gadgets, and it’s part of my job to make and edit videos about, well, whatever I want.

If you told me back then, that I’d get to do what I do now for a living? I first, wouldn’t have believed you, and then I’d think I’d hit the career lottery jackpot.

Yet lately? The videos have lost their luster.

They’ve become something of a chore.

Maybe it’s because I need a refresh of ideas.

Perhaps the extended quarantine and state of the world is weighing on me.

Whatever it is, lately I’ve felt like making videos is something I have to do, rather than something I get to do.

Do you have any idea how disheartening that is?

To essentially have your dream job, and to view it as a chore? To be jaded even?

What I do is not a chore: It’s a privilege.

I could list hundreds of things about my life that I’m beyond fortunate to be able to do (I’ll spare you), yet to feel bored by it feels like a slap in the face to everyone else who hates their work.

But I’m not the only one.

We’re fortunate to live in a time where it has quite literally, never been easier to do anything we want.

Want to become a photographer? Your phone has a fantastic camera built into it.

Want to make movies? YouTube is a platform that lets you upload your video for free for billions to watch.

Want to create a website around anything you love to do? You can get set up in 10 minutes with zero technical skills.

Want to offer your services to anyone willing to pay, no matter where in the world they live? You can now do this as a freelancer.

We all have a limitless number of privileges in our lives. Yet, over time it can be easy to take them for granted. It can be easy to have things that are so novel and special, start to feel like a chore.

Unless you make time to pause.

To reflect on all that you have.

Even if some aspects of your life are not ideal. Or perhaps, flat out bad. Take time to think about the privilege.

Next time something feels like a chore, ask yourself, “is this really a chore?”

Or is it a privilege to be able to do it?

I’ve been thinking about this every day lately, and while it’s a simple exercise it’s given me a new perspective on my life and work.

Sean Ogle

Sean Ogle is the Founder of Location Rebel where he has spent the last 12+ years teaching people how to build online businesses that give them the freedom to do more of the things they like to do in life. When he's not in the coffee shops of Portland, or the beaches of Bali, he's probably sneaking into some other high-class establishment where he most certainly doesn't belong.
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5 comments on "Chore vs. Privilege"

  1. Tia Agnew says:

    Thanks for keeping it real and sharing your experience as a way to inspire. Mindset is everything, and you’re living proof. Looking forward to digging into more of your video library, as well as upcoming content!

  2. Mercedes says:

    Thank you for this timely reminder. Now, I’m getting back to work with a more positive outlook 🙂

  3. Marc says:

    Great message, Sean. A powerful reminder for us all.

  4. Much needed reminder!!

    I think these are 2 useful ways of reframing our thoughts:
    1. I HAVE TO DO this > I GET TO DO this.
    2. This has HAPPENED TO me > This has HAPPENED FOR me.

  5. Jamie says:

    I can totally relate to this.

    Lately, I’ve been negged out that I have a stack of client articles to write. I would much rather work on my own blog; a project that I’m truly passionate about. But I reminded myself how cool it is that I get to make money from home just writing blog posts, I was immediately grateful again. Freelancing isn’t a chore, it is an absolute privilege that gives me the freedom to live a life that excites me.

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