Gold stars. Checklists. Goal setting.
From an early age, our social system models how our value is derived from action, achievement, and accomplishment. We strive for more Facebook friends, higher GPAs, better jobs, and larger salaries, but to what end?
When did our “to do” lists take center stage over our character?
In the last year, I hit a transition point that made me reprioritize everything I thought was important in my world. It was like my life shook me awake and said:
Hey…you over there! YES, YOU! I have BIGGER plans and dreams and goals for you. But first, you must learn to be still, be well, and simply be…
Following some long-overdue downtime, I began to see how I had been allowing my “to dos” to dictate my “to be’s,” instead of the other way around. I had been swept up in the urgency of doing that I had let my circumstances control my choices. I realized that I needed to reclaim my agency through intentional choice and change my behaviors, habits, and lifestyle patterns to refocus on what is truly important – WHO I am, not WHAT I do.
As I chose to live from this place of intention, I began to see some profound shifts occurring day-by-day and something started releasing in me.
For once, it wasn’t about what was left undone on my seemingly never-ending “to do” list. Rather, I was now choosing to live my life in service to my “to be” list instead.
To create my “to be” list, started by asking myself two simple, yet profound questions:
Who do I need to be in order to do?
What do I need to do in order to be?
Then I lived each day based on what bubbled up. It was that simple. And that hard…
Through answering these questions, I watched my life unfold in front of my eyes and began changing from the inside out. My former persona of “I can do it all!” that had led me to battle unnecessary anxiety, stress, and perfectionism over the last decade transformed into one more grounded in possibility without all the pressure. It felt like I was 50 pounds lighter and my heart was finally at peace.
Now, over a year later, I’m still a work in progress, focusing on living out my “to be” list each day. I still have days that hijack my best intentions and times I over-plan to try and control my world. I’m still human. Yet, the larger focus is on me as a human being, not a human doing.
So now it’s your turn.
Take a moment and reflect on the following questions and see where they lead your life:
- Who do I need to be to live more authentically now?
- What choices and life changes do I need to make?
- What’s been holding me back?
- What is one thing I will commit to doing in the next 24-hours that will make the biggest difference in my life?