Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Doing good vs.doing evil…OR, Doing good vs.doing nothing…

I was listening to the CD that accompanies the book, “This I believe”
The book is based on the NPR segments, This I Believe—a renewal of the program from the 1950’s hosted by Edward R. Murrow. Put together by independent producers Jay Allison and Dan Gediman, in 2005 they revived the series hoping to encourage people to hear and discover respect for beliefs different than one’s own. Reading the book and/or listening to the CD is a fascinating experience that really forces you to think about the many different ways that people come to their beliefs, perceptions and ultimately how they live their lives.

One that stood out particularly for me was by Deirdre Sullivan, titled, “Always go to the funeral”. In it she shares how her father taught her to always attend funerals. As she explains, it’s not really about going to funerals—what it really means is “I have to do the right thing when I really, really don’t feel like it…….In my humdrum life, the daily battle hasn’t been good versus evil. It’s hardly so epic. Most days, my real battle is doing good versus doing nothing.”

As she said that, it made me reflect on this relative to Life Puzzle making and I found myself shaking my head in agreement. Because in Life Puzzle making, we talk often about the 0-5 reactive, unconscious side of the Choosing Continuum vs. the 6-10 proactive, conscious side. The status quo—the 0-5 humdrum life—it isn’t a battle between good and evil—its the battle of doing good versus doing nothing. And to me, it’s the daily battle of being proactive—making that effort to create a dynamic life vs. sliding by—or as Deirdre says, missing the funeral—and all the others hundreds of little actions that are the difference between doing good vs. doing nothing. It’s the difference between a Life Puzzle maker and a Life Puzzle jammer.

It is so easy to get swept up in the “doing nothing”, but as a Life Puzzle-maker, really checking in with this concept is a great way to explore your 16 core areas. It’s worth stopping your SELF and asking …. “In which of the 16 core areas am I truly “doing nothing”? It could be your nutrition piece—where you eat on the run, eat too much processed foods while skipping the veggies—knowing full well you want to make changes but you “do nothing”. It could be your financial responsibility area—where you overspend, run up credit card debt—knowing full well you have to get a handle on your budget but you “do nothing”. It could be your spiritual area—where you long to have a clarity of your beliefs but you “do nothing” to create this.

I think all of us at some point during the journey of our lives find ourselves right in the middle of this “doing good” vs. “doing nothing”. For Life Puzzle makers, it is the jump over the 5 on the Choosing Continuum and your move to the 6 and beyond—taking full responsibility for consciously creating a whole life—where each day you do good vs. doing nothing! I hope as you read this today, you’ll pat your SELF on the back and continue “doing good” and discovering a wonderful vibrant life as a result.

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