When you first awaken,
are your feet running before they touch the floor? Is your life a continuous
rush from activity to activity and project to project as you furiously
seek accomplishments in your life? Does a major part of your identity
and confidence come from your ability to get things done? Are you hard
on yourself if you don't achieve all on your "e; to do" list? Are you
"driven" to succeed?
If so, you are a
classic "doer", the backbone of any organization. Volunteer, community
and church groups depend upon you, as does your employer. Value and
worth are synonymous with getting things done.
Managers look for
doers to hire. Our valued teachers motivate their students to set high
goals and achieve them. The Olympic practice of focusing upon your goal
and giving your all for years and years is an ideal for the young.
want to inculcate these values in their children. With all these cultural
pressures, it's no wonder that doing plays such an important role in
Yet there is downside
to this obsessive focus on doing. In a word, the problem is stress.
Hard driving doers usually live with an excess of stress hormones in
their bloodstream as they plow through their day, racking up accomplishments
with one eye on the clock and the other focused upon the next project.
Adrenaline fuels the doer, often becoming an active addiction.
It is this driven
personality that develops most of the heart and cardiovascular disease
in this country. They are also the primary recipients of stress-related
problems like sleep deprivation, headaches, fatigue, anxiety, anger,
weakened immunity, arthritis, allergies and accidents.
Research has also
shown that this driven personality is not as productive as they believe
themselves to be. Several studies have demonstrated that, although they
work hard, they tend to spin their wheels a great deal.
What is missing
from the lives of most of these doers is balance. They don't know how
or they won't give themselves the permission to "not do". They don't
properly rest and recuperate from the strain they constantly put themselves
What they have to
learn is to allow themselves to just "be" for short periods of time;
to let go of their constant striving and planning and doing. They must
learn to unwind from their stress and be able to rest effectively enough
to "recharge their batteries", so as to be able to bounce back feeling
rested, revitalized and resilient. The secret to healthy productivity
is to balance maximum activity with maximum relaxation or, as the great
philosopher of life Frank Sinatra immortally expressed it: "Do Be Do
May we all be as
wise as "old blue eyes".
© 1996, Eli Bay
empowers people to successfully co-exist with change and stress, and
offers twenty-first century survival skills through keynotes, workshops,
television and audio/video learning systems he teaches the practical
"how to" of adaptive self-renewal to individuals and organizations.