In my dealings with clients, I always ask the question:
“Do you want it done, or do you want to do it?” Do you want to have the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, or do you want to experience the ride along the way too?
Many times, people are so focused on getting the job done, that there is no “presence”…presence of mind, presence of experience or presence in the journey.
I’m sure we can all relate to deadlines, especially when those deadlines are externally dictated. We also have our own internally dictated deadlines, as we set goals and plans in place.
So many times I hear someone say, “I just want to get this over with”, or “I don’t have time. I have to get this done.”
And I see a stressed, harried, unhappy soul, struggling to get something done, with no pleasure in the DO-ing.
Now I’ll admit: some jobs are not exactly a ride-on-the-roller-coaster fun to do. They might be mundane, repetitive (think Groundhog Day), unpleasant or unrewarding, but they need to get “done”.
That’s a bit different than what I’m talking about.
What I’m really referring to is a capacity to see the finish line, envision the final result, navigate toward the outcome WHILE being present in the process.
How many times have you:
Encountered someone who speaks only of what remains to be done, but not what’s been accomplished. They are on a massive, closed-loop to-do list (and you know what I think about those. To-do lists never get tuh-dun)…
Heard someone say how much they hate “their job”, don’t have enough hours in the day, don’t know how they’ll ever get ahead…
Watched someone absorbed in their technology while in the presence of other human beings…
…all the while, never really present…unaware of their posture, their breath, the fact that they haven’t eaten since morning, oblivious to the sunshine (or rain or sleet or snow) outside, focusing all attention on “getting it done” without really asking themselves “Do I want to do it?” Is this important? What IS important? Am I enjoying the ride and the scenery?
Now some of you might think I look at the world through rose-coloured glasses. And maybe I do. But I like that view just fine. It’s what makes the end result even sweeter, to be present in the process, not just the product.
And even more fundamentally…do we soul-search sufficiently to answer the question: Do I truly want to do this because it’s part of my passion, my bliss, my path and my purpose (yes, even some of that mundane stuff) or am I doing it just to get it over with, like a necessary evil.
Today, I encourage you to:
Sit back, close your eyes, breathe deeply for a few moments and smile. Just smile.
Be present in the moment, and be a master of those moments. When work or duty feels like it’s running you, rather than the reverse, STOP…press PAUSE . Walk away from your desk, take a moment to look outside, stretch your legs, have a snack, make a cup of tea, talk with someone, read a page of a book. There is time. Really.
Abandon multi-tasking and practice what I call “sequential uni-tasking.” Move effectively and efficiently from one thing to another, being present in each thing you’re doing in that moment. See, hear, smell, experience what’s going on around you. Lift your eyes from your work and your butt from your chair. You will be elevated in more ways than the obvious.
Are you doing things to get them done? Or do you really want to do them…food for thought.