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Why Do You Do What You Do?

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why do you do what you doIn May my son Nicholas graduated from our community college with a degree that will help him in his pursuit of a position as a fire inspector.  In a community college there are a variety of students. Those who just graduated from high school and enroll hoping to find the spark of what type of career they will pursue throughout their lives; those who are returning students who may have never had an opportunity to attend college; those who are pursuing new careers or skill sets.  There are many reasons a person may attend college, take classes, and learn more.

As part of the graduation ceremony, one of the speakers asked a question… “Why do you do what you do”?  He said he had pondered this question as part of an application he was completing for a four year college he was applying to.  He said it took him three days looking at a blank computer screen before he could come up with an answer.

Stop and think about that for a while.  Why do you do what you do?

It’s a defining inquiry for each and every one of us.  Why do we do what we do?  It’s a question that could provide us with a root cause assessment that can answer the WHY behind our actions, purpose, vision, and more.

Why do you do what you do?  Are you happy, healthy, have money, or a work life balance (this is the time to play philosophy, by the way).  Do you love your life?  Do you love your job?

Answering the question of why you do what you do can give you the right path, the next step.

Do you do what you do because you are fueled by love and passion?  Or is your answer something like that you do what you do because you just need to get by; or just need to make the bills; or because you feel obligated.

Are your actions fueled by love, passion, purpose, or by hatred? Are your reasons for doing what you do good and right reasons or are they fueled by wrong reasons?  Is what you do helping make this world a little better than when you got here?

Look inside. 

WE are the only ones who make the decisions on our own behaviors.

Why do you do what you do?  Does it bring you pleasure or pain?

If you answer pain, how can you make a change?

I believe EVERYTHING we do is a choice.

I am so proud of my Nicholas and so grateful that he had a memorable graduation day.  I was grateful this question was part of the graduation ceremony and I hope that those present, not just the graduates, but everyone, actually listened and heard what the speaker asked.

I hope that they not only heard the question but took it with them to think about.  I hope they use it or have already used it to make decisions on how to move forward or a change in what they are doing in their life; to keep going in the same path or not.

Every day is a new opportunity.

Why do we do what we do?  Life is short.  Choose to do what makes you love life.  It’s time to Enjoy YOUR Life.  It’s Time to Play.

Love, Doreen

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Doreen Guma, MA, FACHE, CPC, CLC is the founder of the Time to Play Foundation, a 501c3 not for profit corporation inspiring everyone to enjoy life.  Please see www.timetoplay.com for more information.

Responsibility and Our Own Actions

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Be the change you want to see in the world - Ghandi

Be the change

With the risk of making people angry at me, I felt compelled to write this article.  It’s not intended to insult anyone but to make people THINK on their own and to stop casting blame.  Guess what?  WE are part of every situation and the outcome of every situation.  The fault is not just of one person, but all of ours.  Again, my intention here is to plant a seed and to make you think.

I felt especially compelled to write this article today, the day of the funeral of fallen police officer Ramos.

“Be the change you wish to see in the world” – Ghandi

WE are powerful people.  When we are silent, things occur that may not be pleasing to us.  This is evident in EVERY area of our lives.  But, yet we don’t necessarily take responsibility for the outcomes and then we BLAME others when things don’t work out the way we prefer.  What do I mean?  Let’s look at some examples that may occur in our everyday lives.

Relationships:  This can be a love relationship, work relationship, a relative, or a friend.  Sometimes we don’t like the behavior of someone.  What do we do?  Do we sit down and have an intelligent conversation and “lay it all out on the table”?  Let’s be truthful… I would bet that, in the majority of instances, we don’t.  Instead, we complain.  Perhaps we go behind their back and do “stuff” that only exacerbates a situation to “get them”.  Just our own talking about whatever “it” is makes us more angry and frustrated.  A better way would be to talk about it TOGETHER and figure out the next step.

Maybe the person causing your issue isn’t aware of what they are doing?  Think about your boss.  They “make” you do stuff, or give you bad hours, or “take advantage”.  My own children complain about this type of situation.  The key word here is complain.  Complaining does not get you anywhere.  So, what do you do?  Perhaps your supervisor or manager is overwhelmed in their own situation or the pressures of their position.  Bringing them an awareness of what is troubling you or a hardship that is created may alleviate issues for you both.  I’m sure they would appreciate it much more than the hostility, hard feelings and antagonistic behaviors that result when these type of feelings are held inside. My oldest son recently had been completely overwhelmed with his hours at work and his workload at college.  Did he mention it to his manager?  Nope.  Would he have been better off if he had?  Absolutely.

Again, we can apply this to every situation in our lives. A relationship with a relative or a spouse would definitely benefit from sitting down and working things out.  Look at the ramifications of not doing this – the hostility, hurt, and the alienation that result when we don’t.  This is evident in situations with relatives in my own family – who doesn’t like who, who doesn’t talk to who.  And, how many people know someone going through a divorce?  It is an amicable parting or are they trying to “screw” the other?  Or, who knows people in a marriage that is “failing”?  I truly believe there is a way to work things out.  Talking about the feelings being harbored inside is definitely, in my opinion, the first step.  Human beings are not mind readers and there is no way we can assume another party knows that they are troubling us or causing a hardship.  Bullying comes to mind here, as well.  Just “food for thought”, but at what point do we stand up for what is right?  History repeats itself if we let it (I’ll explain this statement in a moment).  We know there are issues, but do we continue to be enablers?

Another important thing to consider is that we have to let the person bringing us a situation the opportunity to speak. Instead, do we get defensive?  I know I have been guilty of this myself… we justify our actions because, after all, we’re right, aren’t we?  It’s important to listen to what the person coming to you is speaking about.  Sometimes it makes sense to see what we don’t consciously see; even when something we did or said was not intended in the way it was perceived.  But, here’s the beauty of this.  We have the ability to work out whatever was the situation in a kind and amicable way.  Perhaps we can even start over with a fresh perspective to make things better for all parties.

Responsibility — In today’s society there is so much thrown at us. So much news, so many opinions, so much stuff telling us how to think and what we should think.

Unfortunately, it is evident that this way is not productive.  We can see the ramifications when people are caught up in the fervor.  It’s the “lynch mobs” of yesteryear, the riots, like the time in our society of the Salem witch hunt.  A few sentences ago I noted the statement of “history will repeat itself if we let it”.  I wrote that in our book, If I Knew then What I Know Now (www.IfIKnewthenBook.com). Unfortunately, we continue to let it.

The Salem witch hunt, to me, was such a sad time in our nation’s history.  We can see situations in our society’s history, again and again, of how fast people just “jump on the bandwagon”.  It perplexes me how this can be.  Perhaps an excuse for the actions of our people in the 1600’s was ignorance and lack of education.  But, in the year 2014 (and almost 2015) it is hard to imagine that this can be an excuse. I believe many of us now run on political agendas and “blame”.

Maybe it’s time to stop and figure out what is the next best step to bring unity to our people.  Look at the hardship and sadness that result from how we’re currently operating.  Look at the negative feelings that are building and building in our society.  Look at the instances where our politicians have forgotten who they work for an their harmful actions that cause irreparable damage.  Again, it’s the year 2014.  When will this madness stop?  Why is it always “us” against “them”?

It’s time for each of us to take responsibility for our own actions, to sit down, to act like intelligent people and to make the best choices for the whole.

That’s really the means to a simple solution.

But, unfortunately, when we are silent – and I’m not talking about the noise being made by the angry mobs roaming the streets of our cities, as I believe these are extremely unproductive – we get nowhere.

What is the next best step?  Where do we go from here?

Anger, frustration, hate, and fear are all unproductive.

Let’s figure out what is the best way for US to proceed forward at this time.  The key word here is FORWARD, instead of progressively moving backwards.  All we have to do is look at all the options and choose the best one – TOGETHER.  Let’s take responsibility for our actions, alone and together.  The alternative is just not acceptable.

“Be the change you wish to see in the world” – Ghandi

A statement worth repeating again and again; only WE, together, can effectively create that change.

I Know It’s Not Easy — But, Don’t Give Up! Here Are Some Problem Solving Skills

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Time to Play

 

Time to Play – It’s Time to Enjoy YOUR Life!

This week’s article is going to concentrate on following your heart and your dreams and TAKING STEPS TO MAKE THEM HAPPEN!

Too often we have something deep inside our heart, something we may feel is our mission for being put on this earth, that we don’t believe we can make happen.  Perhaps it is a relationship or family issue we’d like to see come to fruition.  Perhaps it’s owning a house.  Perhaps it’s finishing school.  Or, __________________ (you can fill in the blank).

Today I’m going to encourage you that, even if you don’t believe it is ever going to be possible, not to give up.

“Doreen, listen to me… I’ve tried.  It didn’t work out.  It really is just impossible,” you say?

I don’t believe anything is truly impossible.

We sometimes just have to have the courage to take the first step.  And, truly, it can be the smallest baby step.  Sometimes we might even need to go back to the drawing board and start over from scratch, or we may need to be creative and find a different way to make it happen. 

Remember the old saying, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again?

So, let’s get started!

Let’s work on setting a goal and breaking it down into a plan so you can get going…

Ready?

I just finished a book entitled How to Stubbornly Refuse to Make Yourself Miserable About Anything Yes Anything! by Robert Ellis, Ph.D., and I really liked the way he broke emotion out from problem solving.  You see, (and if you really think about it you will), emotion takes over and then gives that little voice that “shoots us down” power to think we can’t do it. 

The following is a problem-solving exercise Dr. Ellis included on page 100 of his book that can be applied to anything we’re trying to accomplish.  I believe it can help be a guide for you, or anyone, to start problem solving so you can achieve your dream.  Again, take note that you have to REMOVE your emotional baggage as it relates to the problem.  You have to get rid of that “voice”, the negative thinking, the emotion, when you’re trying to plan to make a change.  I know it’s really hard to remove yourself from that voice, as I know it’s there all the time telling us stuff, but I hope you will try.

So, here it goes!  Dr. Ellis suggested starting with these problem-solving skills – note that, in the example, the “problem” he used was getting a job:

“State a problem as clearly as you can.  For example:

  • What shall I do to get a good job?
  • What step had I better take first?
  • What steps shall I take next?
  • Who should I consult about getting a good job?
  • Can any of my friends possibly help me?
  • What kind of a resume – or several resumes – shall I write?
  • How can I get help with my resumes?
  • Shall I let my past employers know I am looking, to be fully sure they give me good references?
  • What shall I do to have better job interviews?
  • Et cetera.”

Dr. Ellis then suggested writing good problem-solving questions and then an outline – on paper, with your answers.  He further recommended to make a plan and – here’s the hardest part — ACT ON and IMPLEMENT the ideas and push ourselves to follow the plan.

Is this work?  Is this effort.  YES!  Absolutely.  However, think of how you will feel and what will happen if you do not take that first step to make that change, to solve that problem, and to move ahead with your dream.

This problem-solving guidance is really easy to understand, and I believe it can be applied to anything:  Losing weight, getting a job, starting a business, finding the love of your life… you get the idea!

What is in your heart? 

What is your dream?

When are you going to start????

I suggest sitting down for a few minutes and start writing those questions and your plan.

Good luck, and keep me posted on how you are doing!

With much love,

Doreen

Reference:  Ellis, Albert. “Solving Reality Problems.” How to Stubbornly Refuse to Make Yourself Miserable about Anything–yes, Anything. NY: Carol, 1988. 100. Print