What Are You Doing?

by Rich Dixon on January 4, 2011

Why are you doing whatever you’re doing?

Last week we shared a small house for a short time with a lot of relatives. One interesting dynamic was repeated a number of times. An adult entered a room, saw a kid immersed in some activity, and asked, “What are you doing?”

The question carried varying degrees of emotion, often depending on whether the kid was playing quietly or dismantling Grandma’s Christmas village. But I heard it frequently and I noticed something: on the surface, it’s a really stupid question.

The activity was perfectly obvious. The kid was breaking ornaments or building a Lego village or reading or pulling the dog’s tail. Why ask what are you doing when it’s happening right in front of you?

I realized that “what are you doing?” really meant something deeper that depended on context. Some examples of the real meaning:

  • Tell me about the story you’re reading.
  • Why are you eating ANOTHER piece of your sister’s candy?
  • How will that machine work when you’re finished?

As I sat in the corner tapping away on my laptop I thought about my three key words for 2011:

  • Readers
  • Workshop
  • Ride

I know (sort of) what they mean, but I realized that the more important question is WHY?


This keyword reminds me that I want to connect with more readers in more ways. I want to grow the circle, figure out new ways to interact with you, and get you more connected with each other. I have some ideas on how (more later) but the real question is why?

Gratitude. I appreciate your willingness to listen. You help me sort out my thoughts and deepen my relationship with Jesus. You challenge my conclusions and encourage me when I wonder if it matters. I appreciate all you do for me. My primary reason for focusing on readers in 2011 is a desire to pass along a small portion of the blessing I receive from you.

I’ve never met most of you in person, but I feel like I “know” you as if we’d shared a lunch or two. Hopefully that will happen if you can get me invited to speak or do a workshop in your community. I am sincerely grateful for our circle.

Relationship. I think of my writing and speaking in terms of relationship. I believe that’s the purpose for which God created us, the main way we bear God’s image. In my current ebook I make the argument that life as God intends is a relationship.

We learn, grow, and thrive when we’re connected to God, others, and ourselves in deep, meaningful ways. I want to make this circle a place where those connections happen.

Have you noticed the post-it reminders at the end of the articles? I hope they’ll encourage you to leave comments. Your thoughts transform the site from monologue to dialogue. They give other readers a different perspective and help them know that others share their questions and struggles.

When an article strikes a chord with you, please take a minute and express what you’re thinking. You may never know when your words might touch someone else in a special way.

Sharing. This is an extension of relationships. Social media offers the opportunity to pass interesting ideas along. This helps me, and I appreciate that, but hopefully others benefit as well.

So if you see something you think others will appreciate, take a minute and pass it along on Facebook or Twitter. Include a personal comment and encourage your friends and followers to join the discussion. We’ll all benefit, learn, and grow.

And who knows when something you pass along will help, encourage, or inspire someone?

Hit the “share” button on Facebook and add a comment. Retweet on Twitter. Let’s make this a place where we connect, share, and grow together.

Is there anything you’re doing without really knowing why you’re doing it? Any changes you need to consider?

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You might also like:

Next Year Is Nearly Here

How Will We Leave Our Mark?

How To Expand Your Circle

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