There are two ways to get ahead. Two distinct ways of getting things done. You can either become very good at doing the right things, or by being the right person. Of course the street of doing the right things is very crowded and you just might be standing next to Waldo, but sadly no one is ever looking for you. On the other hand you can just be yourself, and although there is probably nobody looking for you either, you have a far better chance of being remembered and making a difference in someone’s life.
Doing requires more skillfulness than being, and is far more tangible and measurable. The world loves measurability. We count our achievement based on the wealth in our bank account and our successes through our stock portfolio and land ownership. We measure our children’s future through test scores and their athletic ability. Yes, doing is more tangible and measurable but who said life was tangible and needs to be measured?
Death is a lot of things, but it is also very just. It unwinds the tangibility of living and messes with time. A moment with a close friend, your lover, or your children is not worth and cannot be measured the same way as a lifetime spent generating invite memorandums and attending countless meetings at work.
Being is the road less taken. It is what most people don’t want to do, or are afraid to do. Maybe it’s because if you get the doing wrong and get rejected, you an always dust yourself off and find something else to do, or do it for different people all together. Being on the other hand seems very final. There is not much can be done about it and the fear is that if you’re not good enough, what do you do then?
But that is the wrong way to look at yourself or the gift of life you’ve been given. Being good enough should never be in question because everyone who was ever born has always been good enough. They were given what they needed, and if they weren’t the world is far and wide, and infinitely resourceful.
There are two ways to get a ahead, but there is only really one way to get it right. There is only one way to be authentic to yourself and leave an impact wherever you go. That way is of being somebody to somebody else. And there are plenty of things to be, kind, loving, inventive, funny, polite, encouraging, motivating, and smooth.
Any day is a good day to slow down and remind ourselves that in order to get anywhere in life we have to embrace a little more being over a little more doing. Any day is a good day to become someone we know we are. Today is a good day to resume our act of being. Being someone wonderful. Being someone incredible. Being someone people will miss when they think back to who we were, when all the things we did are not hurried and gone.
Cover photo generously provided by photographer Tamara Bellis.