The Do Lectures 2009 - Turn Off Your TV


All images by author - Travel Writer Rolf Potts' Little Do

"Turn off your TV", "Get Rid of your TV", "I haven't owned a TV in years!" This refrain was heard throughout The Do Lectures this year, putting a damper on our nights slobbing out in front of the box. Right out of the starting gate came graphic designer Geoff McFetridge with the statement "Never watch TV it's just not good for you!" "But", came the response, "What about good TV?" And then, almost in unison, everyone said "But what about The Wire?" Nope, it seems that if you are a Doer TV just doesn't cut it, not even The Wire. So folks what shall we do instead?The Big Do + The Small Do
Each speaker throughout The Do Lectures was asked at the end of their talk for a 'Big Do' and a 'Small Do'. Geoff Mcfetridge's Big Do was really a don't - don't have a TV. His Small Do suggested what we can do instead - draw for half an hour a day. Even if you are not an artist just set a stopwatch for 30 mins and doodle, see how it calms you down and clears your mind.


Singer King Creosote + friends fully concentrating at Geoff McFetridge's doodle workshop
Creative Meditation
It's not about making the perfect drawing, it's about having a moment to yourself to reflect - a type of creative meditation. The doodling workshop that Geoff ran at the weekend was probably the most beautiful 30 minutes of the whole event. Pure, reflective, scribbling, sunlit silence echoed across the Welsh valleys. We began to see Geoff's point, 30 minutes of TV can't even compare.

Time = Wealth
But it wasn't just Geoff who's not that keen on the time and energy waster that is TV, the adventurer Alastair Humphreys listed turning off the TV as one of 8 tiny ways he's improving his life, the addition of runs, cold showers and press ups to the list makes it sound like boot camp, but the point really is not about denying yourself something, it's about giving yourself more time to do really worthwhile things and work towards acheiving that BHAG - yes the Big Hairy Audacious Goal! The travel writer Rolf Potts put it quite succinctly in his Small Do which read Time = Wealth, his Big Do was "Live a life less mediated and be where you Are." I don't think he's a big fan of TV either.


Communications Strategist Victoria Brooks with her beautiful doodle
Be Present
Optimizing your time is the big message here, as well as being present in the moment and aware of what's going on around you. We are all constantly bombarded by all the media noise around us which can dull our senses and encourage us to become disconnected from the real world and more importantly from our environment, leading us to the various environmental, economic and social crises we're now in.

Start Doing
We're always talking about the things we want to do, The Do Lectures is all about how to start doing them. So turning off the TV, going for a walk, doing a doodle and inventing your next BHAG is definitely a good start. Creative director Tony Davidson's Small Do was "Do something you weren't going to do." Architect Michael Pawlyn's Small Do moved in the same direction "Do what you've been meaning to do."

The Do Lectures
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