Saturday, November 1, 2008

Planners and Doers

I've noticed an interesting trend as of late in my life, directly related to my leaving the cult. While I don't think there exist true "categories" for people, I've recently found myself comparing the 'doer' to the 'planner'.

The planner might label themselves as a 'dreamer', but I find that description lacking. Generally, the planner will float along in life without much direction, going wherever the current takes him. While every detail of their life might be planned out, the plan constantly changes. The planner's life is a collection of "what ifs". Unfortunately, they never manage to live out these what ifs, because they are too busy changing their plans for the next change in situation. A planner is so stuck in the future, that they fail to realize opportunities in the present.

The doer, on the other hand, gets things done. The doer will often not know what direction a choice will take them, they just realize they need to make the choice. The doer will make opportunities and live in the moment. They live life in the present, are aware of the where the current is taking them, and can move with or against it as they desire. While the planner might chastise the doer as unimaginative, the doer has dreams as well. The difference is they are trying to live them out instead of planning every detail as needed.

It's very possible to be a planner or a doer with or without being a dreamer. Dreams do not make a person a planner or doer, they just change the actions or the plans.

As of late, I have started to notice when I run into planners and doers. Mostly because, I see myself moving from the planner to the doer. The planner will sit and talk about going to school, changing careers, living out a dream, but it will never actually happen for them.

For years, that was me. Constantly planning how to do things and what to accomplish. I never really went the extra mile or tried for anything. I just sat and watched where my life took me. That, I think, was one of most damaging things about the cult. If you don't believe this world is going to stay around for a while, why try for anything in it? All of your efforts are going to be wasted anyway. "Doing" for someone in that situation is nothing more than performing in the church. And, if you haven't really bought in to the church's idea of tomorrow, but have bought into their idea of today, the result is coasting through life.

If I had to point to my first action as a doer, it would be applying to college. I still remember talking about it with the family, my grandma in particular telling me that college was a waste of time and would destroy my mind. Still, I decided to apply because it was what I wanted. That application was my first action as a doer, but it'd be a long while before I started really moving.

To this day, it's something I work at. Over time, I've gotten better at pointing out things I'd like to do and moving directly toward them. And now, I've had the blessing of living some of those childhood dreams I've wanted, just because I made the decision to act instead of plan.

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