Finding the Line Between Doing & Being

Posted on by leapforward

It can be difficult to discern between doing and being, especially when it feels like you don’t even have a moment to stop, breathe, and assess your needs, resources, and actions. In fact, many times the line is fuzzy: are you going to that holiday party because you want to spend the evening with your friends … or because you feel guilty not making an appearance? Are you baking 12 dozen cookies for the neighbors because you love holiday baking … or because “you do it every year”?

Sometimes, the answer is simple: you need to take control of your life by saying no. Other times, it may be less obvious. Take a step back, and consider your state of mind (as it relates to the task at hand). Is your doing motivated by guilt, fear, frustration, or some other negative emotion? If so, you may need to eliminate it from your life, at least for the time being. (After all, saying “I’m not going to host a holiday party this year” isn’t the same as saying, “I’m never hosting a holiday party again!) Added benefit: when you clear something from your schedule that was nagging at or overwhelming you, you will experience a boost of mental clarity, as well!

The rewards – to clearing your schedule and clearing your mind – are endless. For example, it is most often when we are being – existing in a state where our minds are clear and our thought channels are open – that we have our best ideas. Countless writers extol the benefits of setting down the pen (or keyboard) and going for a walk, taking a shower, or vacuuming the rug, for just that reason. It is when we stop thinking that our unique strengths and vision have the ability to truly work in us.

We’ve been focusing a lot on the impact that less doing, more being can have during the holidays, but keep these thoughts in mind when you return to work in January and your to-do list has backed up from all that holiday time off. Instead of skipping lunch, powering through the weekend, and burning the midnight oil, try setting aside your work and taking some time just to be. Resolve to be more and do less in 2013.

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