Chris Markiewicz's Blog
Every Monday – thoughts, observations and ideas that hold up a mirror to who & how we are

Be-er or do-er?

I’m kicking off this week’s piece by offering up a simple challenge.

How easy would you find it to sit and do absolutely nothing for, say half an hour? By doing nothing, I don’t just mean lack of physical activity, but also being without TV, smartphone,  computer, radio, book or any other distraction.

This is something that I’ve always found relatively easy to do, yet am astonished at how many people I’ve encountered who would find this impossible or, at least, extremely difficult.

It’s prompted me to think that we all seem to fall into one of two camps:

The be-ers and the do-ers.

The be-ers, like myself, are quite content to sit and do nothing. In my case, that can be anything from a couple of minutes to well over an hour. Sitting, contemplating, being.

The do-ers on the other hand are constantly busy, occupied or distracted by something other than being in their own company and doing zilch.

Being a be-er is not at all the same as being lazy. Rather, it is having the capacity do no nowt in order to recharge or simply ponder. The American poet Walt Whitman referred to this as “loafing” – a term that has developed a rather negative connotation but which he employed in the most positive of ways.

Yet having said this, I can at times, still have that nagging guilt that derives from not getting on with things and doing something “useful”.  Our upbringing  contributes to this, playing a key role in determining whether we end up as be-ers or do-ers.

I’ve encountered much lately in the media and through friends about the practice of mindfulness.  People who engage in it claim it has done wonders for them, some even going so far as to say that it’s helped cure depression and other related conditions.

I’ve practised meditation for over two decades now, and would say that its probably the best gift I‘ve ever given myself. At its simplest, meditation or mindfulness is about taking the time out to be be still and quiet. In other words, it doesn’t have to be some kind of worthy process that involves sitting cross legged on a mountain top – or your roof – for days on end, chanting some kind of mantra to yourself.

Ironically, it is often the be-ers who end up getting more done. Practices that involve being, tend to  lead to our being better organised, more grounded, focused,  intuitive and ultimately more efficient.

So, if you recognise yourself in this as being a do-er, give it a go – perhaps right now and see how it is to sit quietly for, say 10 minutes without doing a thing.  And, if you’re at work and your boss spots you, just refer them to this piece, especially if they happen to be a do-er!



No Responses to “Be-er or do-er?”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: