Being v’s Doing? The choice is yours

“Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results.”Narcotics Anonymous

As human beings, we spend all of our existence doing instead of being. We should in effect be called Human Doings. From the moment we get up in the morning to the moment when we close our eyes and hopefully fall asleep, we are in “doing mode”.

We think of ourselves as creators of things, rather than just existing. We are not content just to be, we are conditioned to do something or achieve something. The egoic drive in us produces our world we craft around us, but it can also be destructive. For instance in our constant need to control everything, each other and also ourselves.

So what are some of the characteristics of this “Doing” world we have created for ourselves?

Doing Orientation – Emphasizes action and proactive behavior Values efficiency and results

  • Status is earned (e.g. the work you do in your job). It is not merely a function of who you are. This means we constantly strive to climb that greasy career ladder.
  • Further, the status that you have earned is not automatic and can be forfeited if one stops achieving it, i.e. you quit your job. I recall someone I worked with who was a senior client director, coming into work one day and saying, I am giving this up to become an acupuncturist. When I asked why, it was because he wanted to help and support people, rather that strive for “success” as he put it.
  • Great emphasis is placed on targets, deadlines, schedules, and goals. Personally, socially and in the work environment, we set ourselves up almost with the intention of failure.
  • The doing tasks take precedence over personal relationships. When was the last time you thought about not doing something and instead just being with someone.
  • ………I could go on, but I think you get the picture.

If you then think for a moment of the “Being” world that we can develop and grow, some of the characteristics could include.

Being Orientation – Emphasizes contemplation and reflection Values quality of life

  • Harmony and a feeling of acceptance of everyone as unique
  • Extended family orientation where we want to spend quality time with those around us
  • Contemplative and recognizing the wisdom and knowledge of people,
  • We accept who a person is. It’s automatic and therefore open and honest.
  • Relationships should take precedence over tasks. More time is spent on getting to know someone before agreeing to do business with them

On a personal level, we have created goals, targets and tasks for ourselves. Losing weight; giving up smoking; getting that “dream” job, etc. Even when we take a break from work and go on “holiday” we tend to fill up the time with tasks and activities, rather than enjoying the moments of contemplation and of being with friends and family. The world around us.

When was the last time you just sat and did nothing. Completely. Absolutely. Nothing. Not even letting some of those 50,000 to 70,000 thoughts that cross your mind on a daily basis, invade that being moment? Go on give it a try.

I read an article by Mary Pritchard in the Huffington Post that really struck a chord with me. Check out the section I found of interest below:

Instead of looking at your day as an endless to-do list, what if you started each day with a question: “At the end of the day, how do I want to feel?” After you ponder that one, you can ask yourself, “What will make me feel that way?”

I’m not saying that we should all give up do-ing in favor of be-ing; rather, I’m saying we should let our be-ing inform our do-ing. So if I want to feel relaxed at the end of the day, trying to cram five more things on my endless to-do list that day is probably not going to help me accomplish that goal. Neither would multitasking all day in an effort to get more done.

So I challenge you to try this: Each morning when you wake up ask yourself how you want to feel at the end of that day. Sit with it and let whatever the feeling is float up to the surface. Then ask yourself what one thing will help you feel that way. **

I leave you with the following quote:

Nowhere to go, nothing to do, nothing to attend. Already complete, whole and endowed. – Heart Sutra

Taken from the following article:

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