Don’t Be An Octopus In The Desert

Hayden Humphrey
2 min readMar 5, 2021

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the nature of my work, both internally with myself, and externally with my clients and the audience I’m building.

And when I think about what I want to stand for, and inspire people to move towards, I continue to come back to this idea of:

Full-Expression — getting to know your most innate preferences, strengths, quirks, and personality traits, and then actively working to express those things through your work, clothing, art, home, relationships, communication, etc.

I’ve been really present to the power of this in my own life over the past few years, as I’ve been working to build my businesses and create a brand online.

What I notice is that the more intimately I get to know myself, the more accurately I can represent that in what I create externally.

And the more I represent my innate self externally, the easier and more joyful life becomes.

I liken it to “creating your own habitat”.

Think about putting an octopus in the desert.

This is a real photo.

Could an octopus survive in the desert? Maybe.

But chances are it’s going to have a pretty terrible quality of life, and won’t be very happy.

Because there’s a mismatch between who the octopus IS, and the environment in which it LIVES.

You are an octopus in the desert.

There are likely parts of your life and environment right now that are not aligned with, and supportive of, who you actually are.

This will show up in your romantic relationships: being with someone who doesn’t appreciate the intricacies of your innate self, where there are hobbies or interests you feel you need to hide.

This will show up in your work: being in a career that feels stifling, boring, where you feel like you have to put on a show everyday when you go into the office.

This will show up in your friendships: conforming to the group’s identity, staying friends with people because you have a long history but no shared interests, hiding parts of your personality to avoid judgement.

The beautiful difference between yourself and an octopus is that you get to change things.

Everyday you have the opportunity to decide that you want things to go differently.

To look for another relationship, to find a new career path, to make new friends.

It’s a scary conversation, to change these things about your life.

But life is scary. And so, so short.

So don’t be a octopus in the desert.

Fully-express yourself and create a life around that.

I’m an Uplifter, a Creator, and an Entrepreneur. I empower people to break out of the Script and to create their own lives.

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Hayden Humphrey

Living Unscripted / / / Uplifter 🚀 + Recovering Workaholic, People-Pleaser + founder of