What is the Difference Between Doing and Being?
Finding a balance between being present and enjoying the moment and being productive and getting things done is an important skill to master.
The activities of the mind have no limit. We are the product of the combination of our perceived experiences. Finding balance has grounding power.
Being is a space of fulfilment and connection. It’s all about being introspective, present in the moment. It’s about following your intuition and letting your ‘feelings’ guide you. It’s about forming connections with people and being in space and places simply because you get enjoyment from them. This can be going to the beach, sitting down, feeling the sand beneath your toes, and listening to the waves crashing into the shore. Being present in the moment is mindfulness. Not being distracted by other things going on in your life, and simply ‘being’. In this space, you are allowing yourself and giving yourself permission to stop ‘doing’ and to ‘be’.
Doing is typically related to tasks and activities we need to do to make sure our life runs smoothly. It’s completing your job, cleaning the house, doing the grocery shopping, making appointments and the list goes on. Life administration work can feel endless but also satisfying when boxes get ticked off. It’s important to have a healthy level of ‘doing’ in your life to make sure your day-to-day life runs more-or-less smoothly and to schedule. But constantly doing and never stopping can also be very overwhelming. It’s easy to forget that stopping is just as important and getting things done, and overworking yourself can lead to more stress, less productivity and lower quality of work.
Often people who spend more time in the ‘doing’ space than in the ‘being’ space struggle to give themselves permission to relax. And this only promotes stress and anxiety. Understand that fulfilment is just as important as achievement and allow yourself to spend the evening bingeing on a Netflix show or catch up with an old friend because you probably already spend most of the day ‘doing’ and ‘achieving’ things. When our being and doing sides are aligned then we accomplish and fulfil each task with more energy, care and awareness.
Taking time out to be present, calm, and aware is so healthy for both our mental and physical bodies. Connect with your inner self and be true to what your authentic self is telling you. Meditation is a powerful tool to put you in that space. Be guided by your intuition and not by your to-do lists. Just as your body needs time to rest, so does your mind. And that can be the hardest muscle to simultaneously relax and train. On the other hand, if you spend more time on activities and in places that bring you joy but you feel that the elements of your daily life and your work life have been neglected, it may be a good idea to create a more structure plan for yourself to incorporate more ‘doing’ time. A good way can be to time block your calendar to give specific time frames for ‘work’ time so then you can enjoy well-earned ‘play’ time.
Interestingly some activities such as cooking and sport can be placed in both categories, but what defines where it sits in your life is to do with how you perceive each activity. By changing the language from ‘I need to fit in an hour of running’ to ‘I feel strong and energised and I want to go for a run today’ turns a to-do task into a being activity and can be a good way of bringing some more balance into your life. Or what about if you spend a lot of time watching the screen? Try substituting a lighthearted comedy for a documentary or webinar what will help you develop a skill you have been putting off learning.
Finding a balance of between ‘doing’ and ‘being’ is the optimal way to live your best life. ‘Being’ gives us fulfilment and ‘doing gives us ‘achievement’. Both are just as important as each other, but when they are not balanced it can quickly make us feel like life is out of control. Find that balance and enjoy living in a place of optimal happiness.