I have been having a running dialog with colleagues for several years no on the idea of “being” vs. the idea of “doing”.
I have heard things like:
– “It’s not what you do that defines you.”
– “We are not our work.”
– “Be the success you want and it will happen”
I see a bit of truth in all of these statements, BUT I don’t think it is complete. I call it the do be do be do paradox. (It’s a technical term)
I was reminded of this paradox at the end of the movie The Descendants (It is after Oscar Season don’t blame me if you haven’t seen it yet). George and his family are spreading the ashes of his wife over the ocean. As I looked at that pile of ashes I asked, “is this it”? When we no longer inhabit our body, we are dust? What is left?
What’s left is what we have done. The people we have loved, the contributions we’ve made, the smiles we’ve generated, the customers we’ve served. We can visualize who we are all we want, until we act upon those thoughts they are just potential. We can meditate on having millions of dollars but if don’t act they will come and take away our furniture and our house.
When others think of you or me, they are thinking about the actions we have taken in their presence. The words we expressed, the smiles or frowns we generated, the work we have done together.
Many of you may have seen the poem that goes something like this
Our thoughts create our beliefs
Our beliefs create our attitudes
Our attitudes create our actions
Our actions create our habits
Our habits create our character
I believe this is a pretty good description of how it works. We can’t be unless we do and we can’t do unless we know who we want to be.
Do Be Do Be Do…