Are You a Human Being or a Human Doing?

As business owners or high performers, it’s more often the doing that makes feel accomplished. Hitting the next goal, that milestone, another thing off the to-do list. #dopamine hit, repeat. 

When is the last time we rewarded ourselves for just being. Or is being simply the reward of doing? 

The work ethic was pretty strong in my household growing up. Dad left Afghanistan as a child on his own and forged his own path through life. I don’t think I’ll ever experience a percentile of the hardship that he’s faced, growing up without a mother and emigrating alone to a foreign land where cowboys and Indians was the #1 game in the playground. Regardless, he put himself through college, became an architect and worked his whole life to provide the best he could for his family. Mum clearly had the harder job of looking after five kids full time, four boys and a girl. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her not doing something productive with every minute she has.

It’s funny that my parents, now in their 70s haven’t stopped doing, if anything it’s increased as the ‘my days are numbered’ mindset kicked in. Doing has been such an integral part of their life that I think they’d say that doing and being are one and the same. 

Most of us appear to be ‘doing’ for most of our lives so that one day we can just ‘be’. We can stop work and retire on acres of land with a view of the water and spend the rest of our days being in the moment and appreciating the world or the people around us.

Why are we so focussed on doing when in the end what most of us want is to enjoy the being, and like in the case of my parents, many of us don’t ever end up fulfilling this promise to ourselves.

Yesterday, on Father’s Day, my challenge to myself was to simply ‘be’. To be enchanted by the small moments again that I might otherwise have missed. To pay attention to my daughter’s face when gravity pulls her on the swings, to notice the effects after extending small courtesies to strangers, to appreciate and enjoy the resistance I’d get when trying to convince my daughter she has to share the swing with the other kids in the park 🙂

It was hard to do and I needed to remind myself often, but it’s a habit I’m determined to create. Small moments of happiness are around us in such abundance that it would be a huge shame to miss out on them. 

#humanbeing #fathersday

Sammer Affridi @ Hero Shot Photography
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