Are You Doing?

Are you doing?

If you aren’t doing, what are you?

In the absence of an action, you might say you’re simply being.

Well, not even that. 

Because you can’t be without doing. Doing is Being.

There’s a poem by Ray Bradbury that takes that very title. Again: Doing is Being. 

“To not do is to die,” he writes. “Or lie about and lie about the things You just might do some day.”

We can create a platform for our doing by reading, observing, learning — all preparatory forms of doing — but then we need to follow through with the real business.

We need to apply, try, act.

Only then are we truly Doing, truly being, truly living.

The thought is not enough. The ideas conceived, even the words spoken, are not enough. The act is where it’s at, the deed where it’s done, the movement where it’s made. “It” in the end is our character — who we are and were based on what we did.

Experiences and memories too are born of what we do. Regret is born of what we don’t. 

And we don’t rest on what we’ve done, lest we cease to live and be. Instead we go on doing, following our curiosity.

We don’t just do because we have energy, it works in reverse. We have energy because we do. Action with purpose behind it charges us up every day like being struck by blue lightning.

Where does the purpose come from? When you ask yourself why you’re doing. 

Are you doing what you want or what someone else wants? You won’t truly know unless you’re doing it. The proof is always in the doing. No harm in changing course if it isn’t working.

Do with good intentions and nothing is lost. It’s all experience gathered, never a waste.

I’m not talking about neverending nose-to-the-grindstone toil. Not 24/7 submerged in slog. That’s the fast-track to burnout.

It’s doing more but it’s not doing everything. Give yourself a break sometimes.

And if you don’t know what to do? Do something that makes you want to do something. It might be something new; new hobbies, new projects, new ways to help other people. It might be something old; a former habit, reconnecting with forgotten friends, a lost goal. 

Getting started might be hard but one step leads to more steps and before you know it you’re off and walking, you’re doing. “Doing brings it out, Kills doubt,” wrote Bradbury in his poem.

If you’re low on energy or demotivated, you might get back to it by asking yourself not “How are you doing?” but only “Are you doing?”

Because if you are, then you’re doing fine.

So, are you doing?

“So then practice and rehearse

To find heart-soul’s universe,

Knowing that by moving/seeing

Proves for all time: Doing’s being!”

Doing is Being, Ray Bradbury