How are you living and what kind of life is it?

Are you more of a ‘doing being’ or a ‘being being’?

How does that affect your life? What impact does it have on you as a person? As a leader?

I’ve read that you need a catchy headline to attract people to read what’s written, so the questions are designed to do that. Are you still reading this?

If I still have your attention what do I mean by a ‘doing being’ or a ‘being being’?

In Western culture, we are taught to focus on goals, achievement, being productive and making a contribution, to name just a few things. These relate to the ‘doing being’. Most of us have become really good at this and it is deeply admired by others. Think about the phrase ‘if you want to get something done, give it to a busy person’. And when you meet up with people and you ask each other how things are, more often than not the response is ‘I’m so busy’. It’s almost become a badge of honor.

The ‘being being’ is linked far more to Eastern cultures, which are very popular at the moment – just look at how mainstream yoga, meditation and Buddhism have become. It tends towards introspection and existing without the need to exert a lot of effort and the essence of this is that you are present, grounded, able to keep perspective, and respond appropriately. Added to this there is no need to accomplish anything and some people think that to do so is almost an anathema (which I don’t agree with by the way). Think of the Dalai Lama and you have a good picture of what I’m saying.

Are you thinking you are a particular type…

At this stage you may find that you are feeling quite smug when you think about what type of person you are, or you may be judging yourself and thinking that you should be the other type. And here’s the rub…. neither type is better or worse, and yet this is something we don’t readily accept.

You see, most of us tend towards one or the other state of being and this means our attention moves us in a very particular direction. Rather, what is worth exploring is how these states are useful or limiting for you and where you sit on the continuum of these two points.

The reason to consider this is we cause ourselves difficulty when we over emphasize one or the other, and we move out of balance. For example, when we exclusively focus on doing, our lives can become more of a prison than a playground because there is too much to do. On the other hand when we concentrate on just being, we can find ourselves inert and unable to accomplish what really matters to us. Also we may stop focusing externally because we are attending to our inner world and don’t give enough attention to the people who count in our lives.

The reasons we lose our equilibrium are varied, complex and often difficult to pin down. They are linked to how we were raised, our belief systems, and the ideas we have about ourselves and others. The experiences we have had in life have also informed this and patterns and habits form that are invisible to us. It is only when we stop and reflect that we become aware and gain insights, which can free us to live the life we truly want.

Pause and reflect

So, take a moment to think about your life and where you focus. How in balance are you? Are you saying yes to the important things and no to the trivial ones? Are you taking care of the relationships that nurture and sustain you or are you just trusting that they will be there in perpetuity? What habits and practices do you have? What do they reveal? Who is gaining in your life? Who is losing out?

What is the ‘So, What’ here? Well, if you reflect on this, how you are approaching your life determines the value and pleasure you give yourself, the people who are important to you, and the world at large. It establishes the kind of partner, parent, leader, child, friend, student, you are and will become as you continue to live your life. What’s it to be?

Posted in Blog.


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