What Do You Do?
By John Forster
How many times in your life have you been asked the question, "What do you do?" And how many times have you answered it, maybe with slightly different answers depending on who asked and at what stage of life you were at. At our training sessions we ask our participants 3 questions at the start of the course: "Who are you? What do you do? Why do you do it?" But have you ever asked yourself, "Why do I do what I do?"
I was recently told a story about a woman from Texas who was making the Sunday lunch. Her husband and children were around and at one point her son came into the kitchen to offer his help (things must work differently in Texas!) and the woman replied, "Thanks honey, just cut the end off the beef and pop it into the roasting tin." Now as the son was doing this he realized he was slightly puzzled as to why, so he asked his mum. And she replied, without even blinking, that it was because that is what her mum had always done. Now the son being more inquisitive that the mum decided he wanted to know why grandma had cut the end off the roast so he went into the front room where grandma was sitting and asked her: "Gran, why do you cut the end off the roast?" She replied, again without even blinking, "Because that is what my mother did." Now the son was really curious (always a good place to be) and he decided to phone up his great gran in Houston and ask her, "Why did you cut the end off the roast of beef?" And her reply? "Because I was feeding a family of 8 and my roasting tin wasn't big enough to hold the joint!"
Sometimes we just do what we do because that is the way we have always done things. And sometimes it's because that's the way we have always known how to do something. And that's OK if we know WHY! How many things in your life are done without thinking and how many things could be better if you examined new ways of doing things?
Next time you are walking in the sun, or maybe just sitting enjoying the warmth, why not take a few moments to just breathe deeply. And as you breathe, consider the warmth and the energy of the sun entering your body and warming the very center of your being. You may notice the warmth all over or it may just be in one specific place. There is not right or wrong, just notice what you notice and hear the sounds that you hear. And after a period of time, for some this may be 10 minutes or so, and for some it may be a little longer, you could start to become aware of the patterns in your life that could be improved. Just allow whatever thoughts that come, to come. No judgment or censorship is needed. Just acknowledge the thoughts and let them flow through.
When the thought process seems to have gone quiet, you may realize that one particular theme was recurring for you, one area of life that would benefit from further attention. And this could be your starting point for answering the question, "Why do you do what you do?"