Reality Check: Do, Run, Run…

Last time, I looked at what can happen when a dreamer avoids doing. Taken to the extreme, the dreamer who is stuck on dreaming may never take the action necessary to turn their dream into reality.

How about the other side? What are the challenges for the doer who is stuck on doing?

Elsie is always on the go, always running. There’s cooking to do, cleaning to do, shopping to do, phone calls to make, facebook to update.

As well, everyone knows that if you want something done, you ask a busy person. You ask Elsie.

Thus, there are constant requests. Elsie is asked to volunteer for every good cause, and she always agrees. When someone else can’t make it, Elsie finds a way to come through.

There’s no time to think.

How is this working for Elsie?

The evaluation of how well anyone’s choices are working is up to them to assess. If Elsie is satisfied, then it’s wonderful that she has a fulfilling life.

The difficulty only arises when things are not working so well. And in those rare moments when Elsie takes time to reflect, she realizes that she is dissatisfied.

While Elsie wouldn’t describe herself as a dreamer, she does have a dream. She would like to take a trip to the ancestral homeland, visit her grandfather’s village and meet her relatives.

What’s the obstacle? It’s not financial. Elsie is frugal and she knows she could afford to go. The barrier is that she never seems to have time to plan the trip. There’s so much to do: people to contact, passport to get, flight to book, places to stay. The list goes on.

Another year passes. “Maybe next year,” Elsie sighs.

But tasks always get in the way. The more she does, the more there is to do. Those curtains could use washing, that closet hasn’t been cleaned for ages, and now there’s someone on the phone who needs cookies for the fundraiser.

“Why can’t I get some ‘me’ time?” Yet that precious ‘me’ time never arrives.

What could Elsie do to increase her satisfaction? She could start by answering that classic question, “What do I really want? Do I want ‘me’ time? Do I want to go on this trip? Or do I want to satisfy every request that’s asked of me?”

The question is important. Elsie can’t do everything.

Time is much like bare ground in the garden. Weeds show up to fill the empty spots unless you deliberately plant something that you want. If you let your time go unplanned, there will always be activities, or non-activities, to fill the time. The question: are those activities leading you to what you want?

If Elsie has no time now, and if time is required to fulfill her dream, then she will have to say “no” to some requests. Knowing her priorities will help Elsie make effective choices about what to do and what to decline.

Both doing and dreaming have value. Practicing some of each adds even more value.

Are you busy at tasks that you don’t find satisfying? Could you make different choices that would change that feeling?

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