BE, DO, HAVE
We spend our lives living out these 3 essential verbs. The loud message that the world is providing is that if you “HAVE” all the stuff (money, houses, cars etc.) then you will be able to “DO” all the things that will make you happy (vacations, experiences, expensive dinners out, theatre etc.) The implication is then, that you will “BE” or become the person of your dreams because of what you have and what you do.
THIS IS BACKWARDS THINKING! It doesn’t take a very long look into history to see that we’re getting this very wrong. Here’s a quote from a “have, do, be” middle-aged, wealthy man: “the only thing I didn’t plan for was when everything was perfect”, or from another man who told me “the most miserable day of my life was the day I put the 50 million in the bank”.
Something is very wrong here. Grounded identity must precede activity for life to be very satisfying. This is a fundamental reality that is mostly missing in this age. What we do needs to be an authentic expression of who we are, and we are all different. Being born into a family of doctors does not mean that are well suited to be a doctor.
We must first “BE” someone. This has more to do with “who” we describe ourselves to be than what we do. I’m talking about character, which could be defined as who you are when no one is looking or frankly, the way you would want people to describe you at your funeral. This is the starting place of a life well lived. This is the substance under “knowing yourself”.
Who will you be? A good starting place is to consider about a dozen Virtues that just about everyone on the planet agrees on as a description of character.
Consider each of these and list perhaps three that mostly describe who you are or want to be.
Living in harmony with your top three list is a pretty good starting place to get the “BE” in place so that you’re your “DOING” comes from an authentic sense of who you are. From that place you will generate the resources to “HAVE” those things which are important to you.