Who You Are vs. What You Do

Who You Are vs. What You Do

In Health & Wellness, Recovery by Tree House Recovery

Max has dropped out of Princeton without telling his parents. Upon returning home for Thanksgiving, he drops the news at the dinner table quite abruptly. A quarrel between the grownups and the young Max begins. It’s the early 1960s and the idea of dropping out of school is not fashionable, nor is the Beatles-esque long hair cut Max is boasting. Androgynous and rebellious, Max practically enrages his more traditional, conservative father and Uncle Teddy. Teddy exclaims at him “What will you do with your life?”. Max all about explodes at the suggestion. In true nature of the young, collegiate intellectual of the 1960s full of radical philosophical ponderings, Max complains about the immense pressure of being asked “What will you do, what will you do, do do do”. Teddy authoritatively informs Max that what you do is what makes you who you are. Max, quite quickly retorts, offering a rebuttal. “Actually, Uncle Teddy, who you are defines what you do.” It’s an age old debate being demonstrated through 1960’s circumstances in the Beatles inspired musical Across The Universe.

Kindergartners are asked what they want to be when they grow up. A selection of vocations are offered to them and years are spent chasing the dream of becoming a doctor, an astronaut, a firefighter, or something else. Eventually, we learn that what we do has to make us money. Next, we learn that what we choose to do with our lives is important because what we do with our lives will define who we are.

We go on a “job search” to find that job which is right for us. Some of us pursue passion and purpose regardless of how it “looks” on the outside. What few of us are ever encouraged to do is find who we are outside of what we do. Much of our lives are spent looking outside for job titles, positions, and responsibilities to define who we are. As men who are recovering from active addiction, we learn quickly in treatment that we cannot continue to look outside of ourselves for confirmation or substance of who we are. By looking within, we find that who we are is something that we do because we do everyday by being ourselves. The answers are never outside of us in any form, not school or degree, not job or passion, not hobby or sport. What we do is a part of who we are because in everything that we do, we, who we are, is there.

Everywhere you go, there you are. Go there, and everywhere you have the potential to go in life, as a Tree House man. Tree House Recovery in Portland, Oregon offers men an innovative approach to addiction treatment, creating sustainable changes for a sustainable recovery. For information, call us today: (503) 850-2474