Are You a Human Being or a Human Doing?


“We are human beings, not human doings.” – Deepak Chopra

I recently attended a conference and one of the Keynote Speakers made a point to talk about how we, as a society, simply ‘do’ more when things don’t go well. He used our national security as an example by saying that when the current fence doesn’t keep out the ‘evil’ people, we simply build a higher one and if that doesn’t work, we make it wider or deeper or add more technology. We keep doing more.

So, I ask you, is all this doing restricting/preventing you from being?

How often have you been bogged down in the details of your daily life that you have failed to appreciate nature, to enjoy conversation with friends or family, or to simply engage in strategic or reflective thought? To simply be? And, is life passing you by because you are busy doing things that may or may not be important?

I wonder if you can clearly see a problem from all angles if you are only thinking about what to do next to fix the problem. What if you need to be in the problem for a little while to see a different perspective. What if that different perspective gives you new creative actions you can take that would better serve you (and maybe even the world)?

I noticed I was spending more and more time in the evening doing work related activities. The next morning, I would review these activities (emails, PowerPoint presentations, documents, etc.) and I began to see a pattern emerging: While I love my job, I was doing so much of it that it started to show up lacking any passion, innovation, or creativity. By taking a step back and being more present to my internal needs in the evening (being with family, time for self reflection, meditation), I was able to do the same amount of work but with the passion, innovation, and creativity that demonstrated my love for my work.

I’m not advocating that you should stop doing. I challenge you to ask yourself if there are times when your constant doing is getting in the way of your being. If so, how may it be limiting your perspective at work, home and life in general. So, any chance you could stop and just be today? Give it a shot – you may just uncover a whole new world of possibilities.