Why Do You DO?

The aim of life is to live, and to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware. ~ Henry Miller

Early one morning last week I was stopped by an acquaintance who rather politely, but very quizzically inquired, “What do you do?”. He followed up this rather rote question with, “I see you so often, and you always seem to be in a state of “doing”, or “going” or “moving”. “What DO you DO?” Now before you accuse this nice man of being one of my stalkers, please know that he resides in my building and our schedules are often aligned. While we are polite to each other, it is not uncommon for us to simply do the acceptable wave as I go flitting past several times a week. This time though, he was finally curious enough to stop me. I get it. I am always running out the door…quite literally. My neighbors see me sprinting to my car in the early dawn to work out. They see me skipping down the steps in my high heels as I inevitably am running behind for work. They see Jason and I hand-in-hand in fabulous clothes and a purposeful stride on our way to something; to anything.

What DO I do? What do I DO?

This really got me thinking. I mean, I obviously know what I do for a living. I know the answer that I am supposed to give to a question like this. But somehow, the typical responses didn’t seem appropriate. There was something about the way he asked, that really sent my brain a buzzing. What do you do?

I run contact centers, I manage Services for a software company, I am an executive. I am also a writer, a speaker, a Grinnell leader, an advocate for customer experience and a fanatic about social media and call center operations. I am a runner, a CrossFit Bootcamp addict, a Paleo eater, and a preacher about the care of your mind, body, and spirit. I am a volunteer for the MS Society, and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, amongst others. Is this what I DO? Or is this WHAT I do?

Two things then happened that helped me rethink and rephrase. One, our trophies from the MS MuckRuckus run arrived. (We won the Muck Yeah! award for most enthusiasm!) Our trophy was a large bottle of beer. I mean, who doesn’t love a large bottle of beer? What a freaking awesome idea. Reward active people doing a good and dirty thing on their Saturday with beer. Don’t give me a stupid standard trophy that will find itself in a box of other crap within a month, but award a useful and refreshing bottle of beer. Well played. Now I shall play with you again next year.

And what was the second thing? Well, I had a lengthy conversation with my friend Dayna Steele. Dayna recently wrote an inspiring little tale entitled, “101 Ways to Rock Your World: Everyday Activities for Success Every Day”. I encourage everyone to pick it up. It’s a great reminder of all the simple things that should be common sense, that we often either overlook or neglect. Dayna is a riot on a regular day, and an unintentional kick-in-the-ass when you need it. I apparently needed it.

So, I sat at my desk looking at my beer trophy, reflecting on my conversation with Dayna, and rereading activities from her book.  That’s when it hit me. Who the fuck cares WHAT I do? Some days I honestly don’t even care about the what. It’s about the WHY! The why, I tell you! Why do I do all these things? Why do I do things that have me waking up at 5.20a six days a week? Why do I essentially live in two cities? Why do I give time I really don’t have, and run when I’m exhausted, and lead when I’d like to follow. Why am I always doing, going, or moving?

Because it makes me aware. And being aware makes me better. It makes me a better person. And a better person can do better things that eventually become great things. And great things are game-changers. And game-changers are life-changers. Life-changers not just for me and Jason, but for all those we touch. Why wouldn’t I do?

Then again, I might just be kidding myself. It might simply just be all about the beer 😉

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