Doing Versus Being

While updating my resume lately, I looked at a dozen examples of CVs online and noticed the phrases “results-oriented” and “data-driven.” These may be buzz words but they reflect the growing demand of employers to have measurable results. We all understand the need to take our experiences and observations and quantify or qualify them. From the moment of conception, we are measured and our health can be tracked throughout our lives. With advances in technology, we can better count our calories and steps, assess the mileage per tank of gas and determine the amount of REM sleep each night. Companies know what we listen to and watch on TV. If we do it, someone has probably tried to measure it, package it, and sell it. This is easier in the hard sciences (physics, biology, chemistry, ect.) than the soft or behavioral sciences, but the field seems to grow every day. Does anyone else get creeped out by how good the music suggestions are that they receive from Itunes?

For some reason, all this has led me to try and live the most productive life possible. Wasted time is now a mortal sin and it feels like if there is no measurable outcome, an effort is wasted. A day off from work is really just a day to be productive at home. Alas, my Germanic roots! This is the antithesis of the old demotivator poster, “Procrastination: Hard work often pays off after time, but laziness always pays off now.”

Perhaps with the unofficial start of summer just a few hours away and the plan of a long and leisurely run this weekend, my thoughts are pulling me towards an un-timed run tomorrow. It does not matter the distance or the pace. I plan on leaving my watch in the car and just looking at the trees and sky. Who cares how many calories are burned or the percentage change in grade over the course? These things make running seem more arduous than it is. I want to relax and not be productive. Perhaps letting go will enhance the “spiritual” side of exercise that seems to get squashed by the “economical” side of exercise. To paraphrase the old spiritual mantra, “One does not always have to ‘do’, one can just ‘be.’

2 thoughts on “Doing Versus Being

  1. Lovely post! I, too, get caught up in the data side of things. It excites me to be able to see my achievements but sometimes you just need to run for the sake of running, to relax. I’m trying to get more into trail runs and I love just flying along the trails not worrying about pace or anything. Can’t wait for my next un-timed run! Thanks for posting 🙂


  2. It’s all about creating your reality closer to the bone. In this article, you first created a vision in your mind of a kind of run you wanted to create on the weekend. You imagined the details, what it might feel like, etc. It remains a probable reality until you act (which is doing). Depending on how many details you imagined and could control, in terms of what probably would happen, will determine what you actually experience. We do this vision-acting process constantly. You might even decide to start meditating. You envision doing it, perhaps feeling more peaceful, less anxiety, maybe even having hallucinations or becoming enlightened. At some point, you actually sit down and start doing it. What happens will happen spontaneously, as all experience happens, in the moment. We can’t escape doing. Every cell in your body is always doing something, and the real you (not the imagined you) is always in a state of doing as well. Even when you’re sleeping. The real you (not the imagined you) is multidimensional and quite unlimited. Great stuff, keep writing whoever you really are. You’re adding to the wealth of the universe.


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