A Human Being not a Human Doing

Be over DO Headline

Maybe I was looking out for it, but three things happened recently to get me thinking (rare, I know!).

“One can furnish a room very luxuriously by taking out furniture rather than putting it in.” Francis Jourdain.

First, we’ve had to ruthlessly clean our house to sell it. Having accumulated a ridiculous amount of possessions over the years, it was a pleasant surprise to realise how mentally liberating it is to let go of stuff. To not only need less but to want less. We also had the pleasure of giving things to others they valued. And it’s easier to clean now.

“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”Antoine de Saint-Exupery, Author

Second, I came across this article about how we constantly add and never subtract. It caught my eye because I love maths but mainly because I’ve a dangerous habit of saying yes to everything and I’m trying to break it. My eagerness to get involved often means I add and never subtract. You want balance? When you add then consciously subtract.

“I am a human being, not a human doing. Don’t equate your self-worth with how well you do things in life. You aren’t what you do. If you are what you do, then when you don’t… you aren’t.” – Dr. Wayne Dyer

Thirdly, my sister-in law Kathy from Baby Bump and Me shared this beautiful video about being not doing.

Paradox of Our Age

So, based on our recent experiences, my wife and I made an agreement. We are going to try the One In, One Out principle. I know what you’re thinking… when I come in she leaves! It’s a lot less confronting. Rather, when thinking of buying something, we’ll chuck another item we no longer use. When considering taking on a new goal or work that will take time, we will consciously decide what may need to give. At the very least we will be forced to consider how new things compare with all the other important things we value. I might consider applying this to office meetings!

My Personal Being over Doing Manifesto

So, inspired by the goal to be and not to-do and based on the Agile Manifesto format, below are my own reminders to help me to Be and not just Do. And to avoid confusion, the things on the right are not bad, I just prefer the things on the left.

Be over DO Manifesto

 “There are two ways to be rich: One is by acquiring much, and the other is by desiring little.” Jackie French Koller.

5 thoughts on “A Human Being not a Human Doing

  1. Elaine Reply

    Hi James enjoyed this article very much. At 60 I can really appreciate it as I have already learnt a lot of it and applied it to my life. For you to realize this now is great and put it into effect as soon as possible. I sent it to a friend of mine who is a spiritual (not holy)person and she also really enjoyed it. Well done. xxx

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