The world is getting faster, emails fill up our inboxes daily and it is getting harder and harder to switch off.
I am a goal driven and ambitious person. I always was. I liked the feeling of achievement and easily got carried away into always thinking what’s next. As a business leader, most of my day focused on doing – meetings and more meetings, mentoring, making decisions, solving problems, responding to emails. My to-do list was getting longer and longer and I loved that feeling when I could check things off as complete. This gave me a great feeling of accomplishment and a temporary hit of satisfaction and happiness.
It was so easy for me to forget that I am a human being, not human doing. I got so focused on what I was doing, what I needed to accomplish, that I forgot to just be. I used to wear my busyness like a badge of honor. When I joined meetings, met friends or family members, I used to announce to them how busy I was, like it was something to be really proud of. But in reality, I was just showing everyone how wrong my priorities were. I didn’t have time for self-reflection, for genuine connection with people, because it was easier to stay busy with tasks at hand, firefighting, responding to emails or messages.
Human Being & Human Doing
There is a fine line between human being and human doing. We need both.
The mistake we make, lies in that we go first after the doing and pay very little to no attention to the being. I realized that I will never be fully satisfied, I will never have enough, know enough or do enough, if I just stay in this constant cycle of doing.
Our to-do lists often don’t reflect who we are. They include tasks that we have to do. These things come from a sense of responsibility or duty. And there is nothing wrong with that. But we shouldn’t neglect our personal values that are waiting to be expressed and fulfilled.
Now I am going to ask you to pause for just a second and look at your to-do list.
Ask yourself: "How do I feel when I look at it?"
Do you feel empowered, enthused? Chances are you don’t. I love my work, but when I looked at my to-do list, it didn’t fill me with joy.
To-be list allows us to tap into our life purpose. It helps us define how we want to show up that day, who do we want to be.
You can make a to-be list for the next day, week, month,or a specific event or a meeting.
I make a specific to-be list in advance of my coaching sessions and list how I want to show up for my clients. It all depends on the mindset I bring, and how I decide to be.
Fun and playful
How to create a to-be list
The following questions can help you create your to-be list.
What is my desired outcome? What results would I like to see?
What impact do I want to have? How do I want people to feel? Are you looking to inspire, motivate, empower? Do you want them to feel confident, collaborate or be creative?
What do you need to BE to achieve that? Understand yourself first, so you can show up in the best way you can. Do you need to be open-minded, non-judgmental, optimistic, direct?
"People will forget what you said, they will forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel." - Maya Angelou
To-do & To-be list
Every morning, or the night before, write a list of who you want to be that day and let your to-be list inform your to-do list. Who you want to be, can help you prioritize what you need to do. You will start your day feeling more purposeful and more centered.
Remember, the quality of your life is determined by who you are, not by what you accomplish!
Every day, I am a step closer to the person I want to be and I wish that for you too!