Dooby Dooby – Be Do Be Do

Rivers and RoadsBE  Set aside the to-do list for a moment.  All those tasks waiting for you, they can wait a bit longer.  Any concerns you may have about the perceived importance of the work you do, let it go.  Pause and ask yourself a couple questions – Who am I?  Who do I want to be?

Dig a little deeper: What are my values? Beliefs? My vision? My perspective on the world around me? My gifts and talents? What are the key experiences and memories that have shaped me? In what areas am I particularly knowledgeable? What relationships are most important to me?

While the world focuses on what we do, as discussed in the previous post, everything really hinges on who we are. This is the starting point. Before you can effectively assess what you want to do, you need to have a clear understanding of who you are and who you want to be.

The doing is indeed important, of course. If we didn’t do anything the world would quickly come to a screeching halt and we would be rather bored. However, what we do needs to flow from who we are. Doing needs to spring from being. Our actions should build on our gifts and talents. Our decisions need to be in alignment with our beliefs and our values.

What we do should also be an expression of who we are. What we do does not define us, but it should reveal us. If what we do does not paint an accurate picture of who we are then we are not being authentic. It’s an indication that our doing is not in alignment with our being. This is not sustainable, and it will eventually reveal something else about who we are.

Connecting this all together in a powerful way, what we do should in turn enrich who we are. What we do should reinforce or refine our values, increase our knowledge, improve our abilities. The primary purpose of doing is that we become more from it. When all this is in place it creates a cycle of growth.

Unfortunately, this can also become a cycle of decline. When what we do is not true to our values, or when our doing only drains us and pulls us away from what is important to us, then it becomes a downward spiral. We become less from it, and in turn are able to do less. We don’t become all that we are meant to be.

Once you have a clear understanding of who you are and who you can be, then pick up that task list again. For each item on the list ask yourself, is what I’m doing and how I do it true to who I am? Is it in alignment with who I am and express who I am? Does what I do and how I do it enrich who I am? Does it affirm my values and lead me towards my vision? Do I learn from it? Does it challenge me to become even more than I am now?

I am not who I am because of what I do.
I do what I do because of who I am.

Photo courtesy of AESThetic Photography


DO  The world pivots on that little world.  Days are structured around to-do lists, lives lived with dreams of what we want to do.  We are defined, categorized and ranked by what we do.  You meet someone new and one of the first questions you will ask each other is, “So, what do you do?”  Ads remind us to “Just Do It.”

To make our doing more efficient the Industrial Age grouped individuals into organizations, each individual plugged into their part of the machine.  The engine that drives the machine is the premise that the individual will sacrifice their time and energy for the organization.  In turn the organization will compensate the individual.  Ever wonder why it’s called compensation?

Do Loop

Fueling the engine is the concept that the more an individual sacrifices for the organization, the more they will be compensated. And from the other side, the more the organization compensates the individual, the more they will sacrifice. Trouble is,

Employees are people.
And so are organizations.

What also gets sacrificed in this model is each person’s full individuality. So much of the stuff of life just doesn’t fit into the organizational machine.  We draw lines at the beginning and end of the day, and at the end of the week, with ‘life’ on this side and ‘work’ on the other.  And employees put up pictures at work to remind them of their real lives.

Unless your goal is to be the biggest gear in the corporate machine, dreams of what you really want to be doing, of what really matters to you, get thrown off to the side into a bucket labeled “Someday.”  Someday I’ll take up that hobby.  Someday I’ll spend more time with my family.  Someday I’ll take that trip.

Isn’t there a better way?

What if there was no such thing as work-life balance,
but rather work was just part of the richness of life? 

Isn’t there some way we can get done what needs to be done without dehumanizing people?  I believe there is.  Beginning with the next post we will begin exploring the Be-Do model, another way to look at how the world works.