How To Balance Being & Doing

There is a lot of talk about being rather than doing, but what does that really mean in our every day life and how do you balance them both?

'Doing' is favoured in today's society, for instance how do we measure our successes? The answer to this question is usually by the accomplishment of getting things done. We view our success by the completion of tasks, often written down from a very long list.

Getting things done follows a process, it’s an externally focused activity. Western culture has created a philosophy that being busy is equated with being highly valued. People like to brag about being busy and having little spare time. Life starts to become a cycle of tasks and the balance of ‘doing’ becomes heavier than ‘being’. Achievements will always gain short-term boosts of self-worth and confidence. Some people find that ‘doing’ becomes an obsession and they may become workaholics.

Entrenched in the way we think of people is all based on what that person ‘does’ rather than who that person ‘is’. The idea that you’re only valued for what you’ve achieved and not who you are. Soon your self-worth gets connected to what you do, not to who you are.

Try to remember this;

  • You’re not your job.
  • You’re not how much money you have in the bank.
  • You’re not the car you drive.
  Focusing on money and achievements too much and prioritising these before your health and relationships ultimately may lead to poor life choices and unhappiness. Greed does not equal happiness.

Doing’ will leave you feeling in control. Choosing how to organise and perform specific tasks will give you a feeling of safety.

In contrast being is to accept things as they are and to feel relaxed. Understanding that not everything needs to be achieved all at once.

To ultimately lead a happy life there is a need to find a balance of ‘doing’ and ‘being’. Here are some tips to help you regain balance:

  • Change your mindset and realise that ‘doing’ is not always about being busy and useful and likewise ‘being’ is not always about being selfish and lazy. Appreciate yourself within healthy limits, working smart and being able to relax and feel good.
  • Pay attention to your emotions. Decide whereabouts you are on a happiness chart, then regularly perform self-reflection to see how you feel after certain situations. Better understanding yourself and why you feel a certain way, means you can become more proactive and gain more control over your emotions. There’s always room for improvements no matter how successful you are.
  • Initiate an exercise plan. The body requires exercise and conditioning. Keep your body balanced and be kind to it. Practice kindness and let go of any negative thoughts. Any activity that brings about joy is the right thing to do.
  • Learn the art of saying that’s ‘good enough’. This relates to individuals that are perfectionists, those who strive for absolute perfection and cannot stop until they have achieved their ultimate goals. The lesson here is to look ahead and plan a good enough result. A good idea would be to set times and limits on certain tasks ahead. If you plan a task to take two hours if it’s good enough then leave it when you reach this time limit and move on.
  • If stressful situations are the norm. It could be that you’re addicted to the stress and drama initiated by overdoing. You may have gotten used to this as it creates adrenaline when you’re stressed. Now is the time to change your environment from a stressful one to a motivational one.
  • Build a motivational environment. Your environment can bring out the best or the worst in you. There are things in your environment that you can change, for example your friends, your workplace, your possessions, your hobbies, to be able to achieve your goals you need to align your environment to support your desired lifestyle.

Remember that you can enjoy life now, stop the negative thought patterns that prevent you from enjoying life, for example, I’ll be able to enjoy myself when I earn more money or get a better job. As you journey through life try and enjoy the moments rather than waiting, you may never get what you want and therefore never enjoy being.