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.