C. Deighan Eaton (thwomp) wrote in beers_not_doers,
C. Deighan Eaton

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Goals and their relation to Being

When I was in high school, and college, I was really focused on doing. A big part of that, for me, was setting goals for myself. These ended up being really long term things like "get into a good school" "get a graduate degree" and even "get married". I haven't really run out of long term goals. I'd like to be a parent. I'd like to progress in my career. However, I don't want to do any of these things right now. And really, other than keeping myself healthy and doing my job well, there's nothing I can focus on in my downtime to prep myself.

When you're a student, every good grade you get, every test you ace, every class you pass, is an accomplishment that you can measure and see and appreciate. These goals are clear and easy to see and largely preset for you, and there's an endstate. It can be hard to have a sense of accomplishment in the every day routine for people who are accustomed to more visible achievements.

Can you be a Beer and not a Doer and still set goals? Are goals a Doer thing. Who gets better mileage out of goals? Meeting goals gives you a sense of accomplishment. Maybe people that are better beers have a better ability to derive satisfaction out of smaller tasks, little acheivements. Maybe those of us who are recovering doers should set intentional short goals as a sort of training exercise.
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Can you be a Beer and not a Doer and still set goals? Are goals a Doer thing.

I think you can be a Beer and still have ambition. I think being a Beer means that you are supposed to live within your goals rather than chase after them. if you want to be a novelist, you need to eat, sleep, and breathe your writing, like Natalie Goldberg. So that writing for you becomes as simple as breathing, not a painful and deliberate effort. That way, you can Be and your work just happens.

I think that having (a) simpler/fewer/more realistic goals, and (b) keeping those goals carefully in sync with your real desires in life, is the key. A Zen Monk has goals: to achieve enlightenment, to carry out the daily chores, and to spread the teachings of the Buddha. I would think. I mean, being a Beer doesn't mean you vegetate in a coma. You still do stuff. I think it's having overwhelming goals, ones that require you to overextend yourself for the sake of rewards you don't really want, that is the danger.

So perhaps if you are starting from square one on Doer recovery, you can start out by setting small goals for yourself for things that your Doer self things are not important, but that upon accomplishing, you find you get real satisfaction out of. Like gardening or knitting a sweater or writing a short story. As long as these aren't too arbitrary and you know that the act of doing of them will bring you pleasure, I think that you can use your goal-achievement training to force yourself to be immersed in Being-level activity that will help you chill out. Is that what you were suggesting? :)