Last week a client asked me my thoughts on the difference between doing and being, and which one I feel is more important.
Doing is more active. Numerically speaking, the word “do” vibrates to number 1—the path of the leader. In my experience, leaders tend to be more outward; they stir things up. It’s in the act of doing that we serve others.
“Service is the rent we pay for living.” —Shirley Chisholm
Hit the ground running by Len Buchanan
Being is more passive. Numerically speaking the word “be” vibrates to the number 7—the path of the loner. In my experience, loners tend to be more inward; they’re reflective. When we listen in the quietness of being, we learn what to do.
Being by Len Buchanan
Somewhat like Tai Chi, I believe that weaving a balanced combination of both threads—doing and being—into our life’s tapestry is ideal.
From the outside Happiness and Joy look a lot alike - but they're different
Happiness and Joy—from the outside they look a lot alike, but they’re different.
Happinessis a feeling. It goes up and down—fluctuates—based on external circumstances. It’s temporary, fleeting at best. For instance, we check the mailbox and find a notice from the IRS that states we owe a considerable sum in back taxes. For most people our happiness level would plunge. On the flip side, we check the mailbox and find an unexpected refund check from the IRS—it could be in any amount—and our happiness level soars.
Happiness can also be a result of manufactured merriment such as going to the circus, watching a funny movie, attending a birthday party.
When our perspective is governed from the inside out, the external pressures fall away and we experience joy.
Joyis a state of being. It’s inexplicable peace. Joy is internal and when nurtured and encouraged, it becomes resident—abiding—regardless of external circumstances.
Cultivating and maintaining joy eases the struggle that exists along life’s path. Joy leads to grace, the immediate presence of Divine Love.
The life of Viktor Frankl—Austrian neurologist, psychiatrist, and Holocaust survivor—is a perfect example of someone with inexplicable peace. He was a joy-filled person even though he was confined by the narrow boundaries of a concentration camp.
Another, more recent example is the many people who lost their homes in Hurricane Katrina. There were few whose happiness didn’t plummet. However, there were some who suffered tremendous personal devastation, yet still retained a state of joy—inexplicable peace that defies explanation.
Through which lens do you view life—external happiness, or internal joy?
Be a star.
Be young at heart.
Be in the moment.
Be the change.
“I am training to be a therapist at the moment. This week I had an epiphany! I can’t fix anyone; I can only help them to help themselves. I can’t DO anything for them, but there is something I can BE. A listener…
Our recent taste of tropical paradise has me pondering how we can weave “Island Time” — the slow, delicious passage of time — into life at home. Not only do I want to move at a slower, more enjoyable pace; sanity requires it. But first, I need to buy into the idea; I need to sell myselfon it. And I’m doing a good job!
During our sojourn, I gathered many beautiful shells. My favorite is a palm-sized, pure white conch shell. A beautiful reminder that it’s not about doing, it’s about being; a reminder to slow down, breathe, and savor the moment.