I’m sitting in the kitchen, staring out the window at the lush Texas spring, all green and moist and dewy, and as I reflect on how I’m feeling, I hear myself say, “I’m just being.” I am not pushing, planning, worrying, or even thinking about much of anything. I have a strong inkling that’s the way we’re meant to be. Literally. Be.
This is the Advanced Stuff because the difference between a human being and a human doing has always mystified me. “Being” is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as “of or related to existence or being.” I don’t know about you, but I call that circular reasoning; that’s partly why this notion of being is so challenging. I know I’ve often identified with the things I have done, as do many of my clients. Our achievements are the evidence we have to show the world that we’re up to something. I’ve never known anyone who was given an award for being a bump on a log.
As a coach and trainer, I support clients in having what they want in life. That might mean an increased level of satisfaction, or it might mean achieving a specific goal. Sometimes, it means a better relationship at work or at home. In order to introduce this concept of being to my clients, I sometimes use what’s known as the “Be-Do-Have” model. As far as I’m concerned, it only skims the surface of this very elusive concept, but let’s proceed anyway. Along the way, lights will begin to turn on as you apply some of these distinctions to your own life.
Let’s begin with the way most of us operate, which is the “mirror image” of “Be-Do-Have.” The normal way of being in the world for most people is more like “Have-Do-Be.” Let’s break this down more.
Usually, when we think about setting goals, we start with the “what.” What do you want to have? Perhaps it’s a million dollars in the bank, a new job, or a promotion. Then we say, okay, what do you have to do to get what you want? You come up with a list of actions that will hopefully get you what you want. Maybe, after all that, you will feel satisfied. On the good days, you will “be” happy. Simple enough, right?
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