Unlike Hamlet’s soul searching on whether or not to end his life, my question is quite different. I want to ask you, “What do you want to be?” Happy, prosperous, healthy, peaceful, ecstatic, safe, strong and/or full of fun? Are you choosing to be any of these things? As in making them a priority in your life? Or are you so wrapped up in things that you have to do, that these wonderful states of being are left until you have more time? Put another way, are you choosing ‘not to be‘ these things by default?
Can you choose to be happy (or anything else you want to be)? My belief is that you can and, choosing to be something doesn’t have to be a result of doing stuff, but rather it’s possible to go straight to that being place first. Let me share some of my ideas on this.
The old way…
Most people in developed countries believe that you can have the things you want; but in order to get them, you have to work hard. If you are willing to put in the time, effort and energy, then you will be rewarded with money, recognition or status. From those rewards you can have the things you want to have and then you can ‘be’ the things you want too. This is the DO, HAVE, BE idea that most people (consciously or unconsciously) base their lives on. Simply put this is:
DO – lots of hard work
HAVE – money to buy the things you want
BE – happy.
Let me ask you to do a mini visualisation with me. Imagine for a moment that from masses of hard work (and/or good fortune!) you have all the money you ever need. You have already bought everything you desired, and you have traveled to see many places you dreamed of seeing. See this in your mind’s eye. Feel it. Touch it. Now, with all of this abundance, what would you choose to do today? Would you lie in bed all day? Hopefully not, but if you do because that’s your hearts desire, great! What then of tomorrow? What would you do then? If there are no more things that you want to buy nor things that you have to do, would you at this point choose to focus on things that make you happy, joyful, peaceful or whatever is your heart’s desire? And with all of this abundance, would your choices be mostly things that cost nothing?
Do you remember Mastercard’s “Priceless” TV ads? The ones where each one begins with a list of things with a price attached to it, followed by an intangible experience that can’t be bought? Like laughing with your friends, or spending time with loved ones, enjoying the sunset, or the arrival of your first born. All of these wonderful things are priceless: you can’t buy them. But notice something else too: they don’t cost anything either!
So why is it these wonderful, priceless things that we want most in our lives, that cost nothing, don’t have a priority in our lives? It doesn’t make sense, does it! How you can bring these ‘priceless’ things into your everyday life? By focusing on the things you want ‘to be’ first.
The new way…
The old way was: DO, HAVE, BE. The new way is BE, DO, HAVE. An example of this could be:
BE – happy
DO – things that support your happiness
HAVE – things naturally attracted to you, due to your happiness.
I know for some of you reading this, this idea that can you choose ‘to be’ something, will be challenging. And believing that things can naturally be drawn to you (HAVING) by simply focusing on them, will sound wacky. But please bear with me awhile longer and hopefully, I will convince you to give it a go.
On an average day, do you start by making a To Do list (physically or mentally)? Do these things then consume most of your day? Could you switch to making a To Be list instead? And if you’re willing, how would that work?
Back in 2006, I gave the following examples of my choices:
Today I am going to be: Healthy, Happy and Loved.
What can I do to support this?
• I will arrange a massage for my back
• I will ice and stretch my back on the hour
• I will eat healthy meals
• I will call T & T (my daughters)
• I will contact 10 people I love and care – tell them how much I love having them in my life.
What will I naturally attract into my life?
• I will feel loved by my friends
• A new friend will show up in my life, or an old one will return
• Someone will tell me they love me.
What happened? Well, in the evening my back felt a bit better after all of the love and attention I had given it. At the end of the day I was contacted by a dear friend who told me he loved me. My youngest daughter emailed me and ended it with: “Love you lots”. And a friend who I had contacted earlier, emailed me back to say how special it was having me as a friend too. A magical day! And one I helped create by choosing ‘To Be‘ instead of starting with ‘To Do‘
But come on Jennie, what about in the real world I hear you ask? It’s true on that day, my workload was not high, but I still coached 4 clients (on a ‘full day’ I have 6) and I did all of the things above too. Today is a busier day so a different approach: I have 5 clients, but they are bunched up at the beginning and end of the day. On my To Be list today that I wrote I would “I am going to be efficient”. What could I do to support this? I chose “I will complete my Tips article today” (Usually writing these Tips takes me several days—on-and-off!). And what would I naturally attract from being efficient? More time so I can start my calendar design tomorrow.
I’m guessing that some of you reading this will say, “So what’s the difference between ‘write Tips today’ on your To Be list, when surely that would surely it would have been on your To Do list anyway?” A fair question. The difference is the intention. By saying that I wanted to be efficient first, I have written this article in half the time it normally takes. My focus was on being efficient so I haven’t gone through my normal agonies of ‘will people get this?’. I haven’t done anything else different, but it ‘feels’ very different: much easier. Are you up for a challenge? Starting tomorrow – or today if it’s not too late – will you create your own To Be list?
So, in 2011, does this approach still work? Yes, but almost unknowingly, I have refined it. Now, before I decide what I want To Be, I ask myself, how do I feel? Am I tired? Am I full of beans? Am I feeling happy? Or fed-up, sad or angry? When I know how I’m feeling, the alignment of what I want To Be comes from a grounded place, because trying to be creative (for example working on my websites) when I’m really tired is probably not going to work so well, but if I choose to be effective then I can deal with my admin.
I recognise that because I’m self-employed, I have more options than someone who works for a boss where deadlines are set and you have much less choice, yet even so you will have some choices available to you, and where and when you can, I encourage to give it try, even if in the beginning it’s for your weekends / days off.
Human Beings versus Human Doings
Just another thought for you. We are Human Beings. We need time to just be. Not just because it’s enjoyable to just sit, stay still, and take time out – but because by spending time ‘being’, we will be able to cope much better with all of the ‘doing’ stuff too.
Let me quickly explain. If you are so tied up everyday with ‘doing’, then more than likely you will not see all of the different angles and approaches you could take to relationships, work, health matters and so on. If you’re so busy ‘doing’, the intuitive messages that come your way, will be overlooked and opportunities will be missed. If you are so busy ‘doing’, you’ll miss the delights of the weather, the scenery, and a fleeting smile on someone’s face and so on.
Choose today to spend sometime just being! Perhaps go for a walk at lunch time, or sit with your spouse, partner or kids doing nothing at all for a while. Take 10 minutes out to just breathe or meditate. Take 5 minutes to simply notice the magic and wonders of nature – even if you’re in a city, nature can be seen all around you if you just look more closely. Then share experience of this ‘just being’ with someone else who is so busy ‘doing’.
NOTE: The BE, DO, HAVE model originally came to me via Elyse Hope Killoran’s excellent Teleclass “The Prosperity Partnership”. See www.choosingprosperity.com for more info and her great prosperity game.