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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.

Foster Bold Dreams, Bolder Actions

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I‘ve been reading The Everyday Entrepreneur written by Rob Basso.  Chapter 5 was one in which I found myself reflecting on things I have been working on or thinking about, and wanted to share.

The chapter started off with pensive statements about what sets a WILDLY successful person apart from others: “Imagination, a solid plan of action and determination to break down barriers” (p. 71). Rob noted that the challenge to achieve is the main difference between true entrepreneurs and complacent business people. Hmm. This is something I need to reflect on. In my life I was complacent to get a job, to feel secure, to get a check. There was a course I recently took where they used an acronym for JOB: Just Over Broke. Interesting, right?

So, for most of my life I played it safe, had my 9-5 (or 6 or 7 and weekends) job and that was it. Do you have something in your heart you want to achieve? I know I do. It’s a burning, energetic feeling – and it drives me forward. This brings me to the “no regrets” / follow your heart sentiment noted by Ken Davenport on page 80, where he was headed to study law in college but went into theatre instead, “he decided to study acting so that he would have no regrets later in life about what could have been.” Can we all do this? Do we have the luxury? In my case, no. Early on I had to get a full time job to support my family. I was 17 at the time. But, my path seems to have led me to where I am now, to a life I believe has been filled with achievement. I have learned things I know I would never have learned if things went differently in the beginning. And now I’m using what I’ve learned to propel what’s in my heart. It’s never too late.

What is one to do if you have a passion, if you have an idea, if you have a desire? Well, Rob did cover that, too! Pretty much what I’ve been doing working on the www.timetoplay.com project – on page 83 he talks of Mr. Scott Snibbe of Snibbe Interactive who had to fit his artistic pursuits around his schoolwork first, and then his professional career, while developing his company. In off times you can make it happen. For me, I rarely watch TV. I find myself thinking and planning and researching when I do have down time to make things happen. I “squish” it in. Remember the “NO REGRETS” statement? That’s one of the goals for www.timetoplay.com. To bring people resources so they will have no regrets. To remind them to enjoy life and to learn what they need to know so they can. In this case, following your dreams and doing what you love is one thing, maybe the most important thing, in the world to a person so they can enjoy life.

I know so many people who hate what they do in their career but become “STUCK”. They wake up every day and are exhausted, stressed or frustrated because they have to go to work. Can you change this? Maybe you can by fitting in some type of time to make it happen. . .

Rob’s Entrepreneurial Insight on p. 83 is “Find the space to nurture and grow your new pursuits”. Maybe it’s not to become an entrepreneur and start your own business, but maybe it is to study law, dance, guitar. . . something that you’ve wanted to do and think about all the time. Do you have something in your heart that you wish or want to do?

Do it.

Make it happen.

Rob also included an interview from David Becker, president of Philippe Becker Design, Inc. who noted that, “human nature [is] to trash new ideas”. Don’t let that stop you, either. In my experience, there are a lot of people out there who are so negative towards change and will push you down. Advice? Rob notes that you need people who support you to surround yourself with and perseverance. “I’ve got nothing to lose. . . what’s the worst that can happen? We won’t get the business. Or the best? We will get the business. But I can’t be afraid of what might happen.” David Becker, p. 82.

Onward and upward!

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Embrace the www.timetoplay.com philosophy:  You have to be happy, healthy, have money and a work life balance to have quality of life.  Check out www.timetoplay.com to get tips and read articles from amazing professionals to help you have a better life.  It’s time to enjoy life and foster bold dreams!

Just Do It! Maybe it’s time to explore your passion . . .

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“I HAVE NOTHING TO DO!”  It’s starting already, and school is not even over yet.  Anyone who is a parent has heard this statement.  And, if you have never had your own children, you can even remember saying these words to your parents yourself.

My daughter, Jackie, is my youngest child.  She’s 16, and I realize it’s hard for people to make friends – not just kids, but adults, too.  I think it’s pretty hard out there now-a-days.  I believe that computers have caused us to become much more socially isolated.  And, where do you meet people anyway?  If kids don’t meet in school, is it hard for them to meet other places?  If adults don’t meet at work, where do you meet others – especially after the kids grow up and you have less activities that require our participation.

Jackie has an older boyfriend who does not attend her high school.  I think that has caused more social isolation for her.  Although I had encouraged her to join clubs in the beginning of the year, she did not want to do so.  She told me how the kids in her grade are “clicky”.   I explained that “clicky” isn’t necessarily “clicky”, but, as you get older, a way that people break into groups with similar interests.  For example, a person who loves motorcycles may join a motorcycle club or someone may join a yacht club because they love boating.

We had a pretty in-depth conversation about finding things you love to do – exploring a passion — for art, photography, dance.  Things that are of interest.  This is something that not only pertains to a 16 year old or a younger child, but an adult.

What do you love to do?  What have you always wanted to do?  I told Jackie to think about things she loved and things she may be interested in trying.  For example, she used to love dance class but hasn’t gone to lessons in many years.  Does she want to take dance lessons again?  Or, she had always been interested in paining.  Maybe a painting class?  An incidential benefit while she explores an interest may be her finding a person she likes and making a friend.

As we get older our passions may become buried.  So much responsibility — kids, work, taking care of things.  So little time for ourselves.  That’s why I started www.timetoplay.com.  To encourage people to take a little time out of their lives to enjoy themselves.  To explore a passion.  To see the beauty around them.  It doesn’t have to take much time, but what is life if you just go through each day without having any time to enjoy yourself?

Again, ask yourself, what do you love to do?  Many years ago I read a column by Ann Landers.  It encouraged me to complete my college education and Masters degree.  The writer said they didn’t have time.  They wanted to finish school but it would take 8 years.  Ann Landers answered where would that person be in 8 years if they didn’t finish.  That encouraged me to go back to school.  This principal can be implemented in everyone’s day to day life.  “I always wanted to learn guitar”, “I always wanted to go mountain climbing“, “I always wanted to write a poem”, “I always wanted to ____________”.

As I understood Ann’s statement, you’ll still be here (hopefully) whether you pursue what your heart desires or not.

Do it.  Don’t regret not accomplishing something you always wanted to do or achieve.

It is your “time to play”.

– Doreen