DOING VS. BEING
Articles By Bill Cottringer
In your life journey there are several crucial transitions (or passages/transformations) you will make—starting out doing things one way and then growing into the opposite way so that you can eventually migrate towards a position of in-between balance. The majority of these transitions involve the constant battle between your personality rooted in the material world and your soul of the spirit world.
One of the most powerful of these transitions you make as a part of the personality vs. soul struggle is the one from doing to being, so you can move from good success to great significance.
Oddly, these transitions seem to gradually happen all at once—like taking ten years to become an overnight success.
Doing involves carrying out seemingly productive activities that your mind thinks you want to do in order to give you what you think will bring happiness and success; unfortunately the booby prize turns out to be empty, ephemeral, synthetic happiness. Eventually this empty negative feeling leads to frustration and a very uncomfortable yearning for something more substantial, positive and real. What we don’t know at the time is that the object of this yearning is in an entirely different “world” we are about to encounter more and more of during the rest of our journeys.
When your discomfort becomes painful and annoying enough to want to do something about it, you begin to look for ways to stop doing so much and cross the bridge into being. The more aware your become in getting to this place, the more you are practicing virtuous behaviors such as love, courage, wisdom and service that lead to what Martin Seligman calls “authentic happiness” and what Aristotle much earlier termed “the good life.” (All this is what the major world religions refer to as spiritual growth and healing. They all have their own virtual prescriptions of helping the process along, and they have more significant commonalities than insignificant differences).
Then of course you have to come back to the bridge so you can share your wisdom in the real world—both being and doing. You have then become the Native American deer totem, being able to communicate from the spirit world to the material one, in becoming single-minded and understanding things better and being more effective in changing the few things that actually need a gentle push or shove now and then.
One shouldn’t get too cocky having achieved this major transformation, as it will continue to reoccur over and over again in different ways. In other words you are never finished growing, but there are resting plateaus along the way where similar voyagers need to share their secrets and suspicions for mutual validation and refreshment.
Today, time is viewed as either one of our most precious resources to manage well, or an enemy to attack, depending upon which side of the doing-being bridge you are at. Doing eats up the clock and there is never enough time to get everything done in life and work; being dissolves the clock and expands time in a truly “eternal” sense. This is because doing is future oriented—thinking about getting done what you are now doing so you can move on to doing the next thing and so on, ad nauseaum; whereas being is present oriented—allowing your self to be fully present and totally focused in the now moment.
Doing is driven by thinking and personality; being is fueled from the heart and soul. The longest journey in the universe, according to Blackhawk, is the one from your head to your soul. It also may be the most satisfying and life-changing. It is an opportunity to literally explode into your infinite potential. The more being you do, the more you realize the vast scope of this marvelous opportunity. It is a sacred gift to acknowledge and enjoy.
You have a few serious choices in life. One of them involves either going with the flow of life or resisting it. You can either let go and give into being or resist it. It is almost funny, but the undeniable reality is the rule of “change or be changed.” Either way you are going to be whether we want to or not, because the more effort you make to resist the natural flow of life in anything, the more aware you become of your discomfort and disorder from being out of sync, and then the more motivated you are to cross the bridge. In many cases, you are already headed in that direction without knowing it (if you want to know where you are, look at where your footsteps are leading and feet are pointed).
Sometimes the mind needs a little rational ammunition to talk you into going on a journey from your head to your soul, or going from doing to being. Here are a few known benefits from doing more being:
1. Being gives you more time than doing. Being totally focused and present now allows you to
see more things you can do to be more effective and successful in living and working. It also helps reduce your do-list with only real priorities rising to the top.
2. Being is easier than doing. To begin being, all you have to do is allow yourself to be that way. You don’t have to do anything, just relax and let go of something nonsensical that isn’t worth holding onto. In this sense, you are not really learning anything new, but just remembering what is old and retold (and what your already know).
3. Being makes you more likable than doing. There is wisdom in the saying that people don’t really care what you know until they know you care. Sharing secrets and suspicions from the heart builds relationships; intellectual gibberish stalls them. And, likability is a very subtle but powerful door to success.
4. Being requires less memory than doing. Half the battle of doing is remembering everything you need to do. When you are being, you are already doing everything you need to do and don’t have to remember much of anything.
5. Being is more fun. Doing is actually boring because you are missing out on the things that bring real joy and meaning to your heart. The nice surprise is that the more miserable you are from doing, the more content you can be in being.
Let go of something that really isn’t working and give into the wonderful world of being and enjoy all the benefits so you can teach others. You won’t ever get bored, because there is probably another great passage awaiting you—like seeing all this clearer, making more sense out of it and being more effective in communicating it to others. This may be the single purpose of life for us all; it may be the “what” of life that we get to put our unique signature on by deciding “how” to do it.
About the Author
William Cottringer, Ph.D. is president of Puget Sound Security in Bellevue, WA. He is author of You Can Have Your Cheese & Eat It Too, his person account of getting balanced between doing and being. He can be contacted at (425) 454-5011
Keywords: DOING VS BEING, Your life Journey, Choices, meditation, inner world, Bill Cottringer, Intuition, intuitive, Articles, UK, South Africa, Cape Town