Are You a Human Being or a Human Doing?

Seek Balance and Make Personal and Practice Wellbeing a Top Priority

“Leading is about being a champion of human well-being and creating environments where people can thrive.” – Renee Moorefield

The cult of productivity has its place, but worshipping at its altar can rob us of our sense of curiosity, joy and wonder. Wholeness is the need to feel sufficient as an individual and connected to others as part of something larger. Most importantly, it’s about striking a balance between being and doing. Success in life and work depends on your ability to focus on who you are being, not just what you are doing. In reality, this is a lot more challenging then you might expect.

Our egos, our Western business culture and (for some) our puritan roots all pull us toward the siren call of doing at the expense of being. Thomas Merton, a Trappist monk and social activist, put it this way: “We are living through the greatest crisis in the history of man; and the crisis is centered in the country that has made a fetish out of action and has lost (or perhaps never had) the sense of contemplation.

Our professional ideals might pay lip service to the dignity of the person, but without a sense of being and a respect for being, there can be no real appreciation of the person. We are often so obsessed with doing that we have no time and imagination left for being.

For many of us who are products of a culture that values productivity over presence and that often measures our worth as human beings by our efficiency, speed, and correct answers, consider being an enlightened rebel.  You likely have an opportunity to shift from overemphasizing an action-oriented mindset toward more fully embracing a being orientation. 

Getting caught up in thinking about what to do differently is easy. Growth, positive change and personal transformation are all birthed from a deep exploration of our being and by connecting with our authentic selves. We must bring who we are and what we believe and value into alignment with what we do.

Session Topics
  • Honoring well-being both individually and collectively
  • Balancing “Doing” with “Being”
  • The “quality of being” characteristics of Enlightened Leadership
Related References/Resources


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