Be, Do, Have

October 6, 2009

Just this past week, I realized I had fallen into a familiar, but unhealthy pattern for me.  Sometimes when I get stressed out or anxious I go unconscious, hunker down, and try to grind it out – assuming that if I just work harder, make things happen, and get on top of my long to-do list, everything will work out.  In addition, in the midst of my own confusion and fear, the cynic in me comes out and says, “All of this personal development, psycho babble is meaningless – it’s all about discipline, focus, and luck.”  (Maybe you can relate to this?)

However, as I’ve learned throughout my life, being cynical and resigned (two states of being I’m not a huge fan of, but seem to have quite a bit of experience with), don’t usually help me manifest my dreams or live in a state of fulfillment, gratitude, or authenticity.  How about you?

I remember learning about the concept of “Be, Do, Have” for the first time about ten years ago.  Most of us think we need to “have” a certain thing or set of things (more money, love, time, experience, etc.), so that we can finally “do” something important (pursue our passion, start a business, go on vacation, create a relationship, buy a home, etc.), which will then allow us to “be” what we truly want in life (peaceful, fulfilled, inspired, generous, in love, etc.). In actuality, it works the other way around.

First we “be” what we want (peaceful, loving, inspired, abundant, successful, or whatever), then we start “doing” things from this state of being – and soon we discover that what we’re doing winds up bringing us the things we’ve always wanted to “have.”

Whether or not this concept is new to you and even though on the surface it may seem either counter-intuitive or confusing (or both), it’s actually quite powerful and life-altering when we really get it and practice it in our lives.  I have personally experienced the profound impact of living in alignment with this “Be, Do, Have” paradigm – although more often than not, I either forget, don’t trust, or simply assume it can’t be this easy.  Making our goals and dreams happen is supposed to be hard, painful, and dramatic, right?  Well, maybe it doesn’t have to be.

What if we were able to live in alignment with this powerful principle of Be, Do, Have more of the time?  What if we remembered that we have the capacity to experience any state of being at any time – not just when things “work out” perfectly or we achieve exactly what we’re after.  There’s nothing wrong with us pursuing our goals and our dreams with passion.  However, when we erroneously think that the fulfillment of any specific goal, dream, or accomplishment will give us what we truly want to have in life, we delude ourselves and set ourselves up for failure, disappointment, and pain.

Remembering that who and how we’re “being” in life creates the context for how we think, feel, and act (some of the key raw materials for how we ultimately create our reality), gives us access to what we’re really after.  We don’t have to suffer and struggle as much as we do, we actually have the capacity to live our life with a true sense of elegance (the deeper meaning of this word is not about the appearance of something, but is about being able to put forth a small amount of focused effort, and manifest an abundant result).

Here are a few things we can do to remember and practice BEING who and how we want to in life.

– Think of one or more of the biggest goals or dreams in your life right now.  What is it that you think the accomplishment of this goal will bring you (i.e. fulfillment, joy, abundance, peace, freedom, etc.)

– Start embodying that state of being that you assume will come from the accomplishment of this goal.  For example, you may start “being” joyful (as if you already accomplished your goal).  It’s not about “faking it,” it’s about authentically embodying the desired states of being you truly want in your life.

– From this state of being, think about, talk about, and speculate the kinds of specific actions you might want to take.  Allow yourself to sit with this for a while, don’t be in too much of a hurry.  If you really allow yourself to come from this empowered state of being, the actions will start to show up with ease and your ability to both take them and allow them to work will increase exponentially.

– Have fun with this, get support from those around you, talk to people about this, and know that you will probably trip and fall many times along the way.  As we’ve all heard many times, but it is important to reiterate here, we are human beings, not human doings.  When we remember this, our life can really take off in a profound and fulfilling way.

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  1. This article immediately made me think of a memory of my children. I have two boys and when they were babies and I was nursing them, all I could focus on was all the work I needed to do after they were fed. The laundry piling up, or the dishes needing to be washed, or bills paid…instead of just enjoying watching their little faces and getting wrapped up in connnecting with them. Now, my “babies” are 10 and 7 and I feel so regretful for rushing those priceless moments by so quickly and not just enjoying BEING a mom. It’s taught me a great lesson in life on slowing down and living in the moment. Now, when I watch their football or baseball cames…regardless how much “work” is piling up at home or in the office–I’m 100% focused on them and the moment. It does take self discipline to remind myself the huge importance of it all so thanks for the reminder today!

  2. nice, authentic post. It can be very difficult to inspire others to be more “be” through the medium of writing.

    I commend your efforts to help humanity be more “human being” like.

  3. Mike, I always enjoy your perspective on meaningful topics that you cover, but I have difficulty in attracting my dream through being the person I expect to become once I realize it. I am naturally a personable individual in both my personal, social life as well as my professional one. What I want to have is a entertainment venue (Jazz and Blues club) that also
    offers great food and gracious service. I think that the mature adults who enjoy good entertainment, food,
    and the company of like-minded people deserve and would frequent such a place. But try as hard as I can over lo, these many years, and I cannot get the resources to bring this dream into a reality. I’ve prayed, shared the info with countless others, meditated on it for direction and clarity, sacrificed
    and fasted… I guess it’s just not time for it yet.
    I’m reminded of one of the sayings my Grandmother would say, “God may not come when you call Him, but
    He will be right on time.”

    Mike continue your inspiring journey…

    All the best,
    Solari Jenkins

  4. Mike-
    You spoke at my church, Unity Center Walnut Creek, about a month ago. What you said about being bold really stuck with me. I’ve been finding that the more I take action, no matter how scary it may be, the more I succeed in things I never would have seen myself doing. My life has become more dynamic, more fun, and more successful. Of course, also like you talked about, my pessimist side often seems to rear its ugly head in the most inopportune times. The fact that you admit to your negativity rather than pretending like you have a perfect life is really helpful to me because I used to feel like I was doing something “wrong” or that I was defective in some way for not feeling great 100% of the time, even though I followed the advice of the Law of Attraction, etc. I have since realized that negativity is a natural part of life that is not a “bad” thing to experience. Rather, it gives me an opportunity to appreciate the truly good times in my life.
    Thank you,
    Eric Newport

  5. Its like you read my mind! You appear to know a lot about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with some pics to drive the message home a little bit, but other than that, this is excellent blog. An excellent read. I will definitely be back.

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