Zen is you – Be.

What do you do?

Posted in Uncategorized by dave225 on July 28, 2011

Tell me about yourself.

Have you ever been to a gathering where someone asks, “and what do you do?”

How do you answer? If you’re like me and everyone else I seem to meet, you describe your job or who you work for.

But you’re much more than that. Aren’t you? Maybe we describe ourselves through our vocations because it’s easy to identify. And maybe that’s OK if we’re not really serious about answering the question, especially if the person who asked it was not serious about knowing the answer.

But *can* you answer it seriously? Who are you? Suppose you don’t have a job. Now tell me about yourself.

You might start by answering with what you do for fun. Or how many kids you have. Or where you volunteer. All of those things tell us how you spend your time .. So we can assume that means those are the things that you value. But are we right?

Strip away everything from your day-to-day life. Your job. Your house. Your family. And especially the way that other people perceive you.

Think about what you value – what is important to you, for your own well-being. And don’t kid yourself. Don’t try to give the answer that the world wants you to give. Helping others, saving the planet. Maybe you do value those things – but it’s OK if you don’t. Because values are about what YOU believe – not what you think the world expects from you. Maybe it’s money and possessions – Just think hard about whether it’s really those things that you value, or if they’re just ways to affect people’s perceptions about you.
The important thing is that you dig deep and discover: What is really important to make you feel whole?

Once you have a list of what’s really important – look at what you do. How well do they match?

How much time do you spend watching television? How much time do you spend working overtime? How much time do you spend shoveling snow in the winter? How much time do you spend shopping? How much time do you spend talking about other people?

.. And how much time do you spend learning? How often are you challenging yourself? Do you wake up energized or dreading the day?

If what you value and what you do don’t line up – something is wrong. Either you’re not being true to yourself in what you value, or you’re not being good to yourself with what you do.

Once they DO line up, keep evaluating yourself. Not only do your values align with your actions, but are your values still the same? (They’re not likely to change often.)

… and what do you do?


One Response

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  1. Andy Havens said, on August 6, 2011 at 12:51 am

    In every context except one in which my current job is basically known and the question is more likely meant to mean, “Tell me what kind of marketing you do at OCLC,” I answer: “I’m a poet.”

    I like to think that the answer itself, and the fact of answering in that way, says more about me than any job title.

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