Don’t Worry About What You’re Doing – Focus on Who You’re Being

who you are

One of the things we have really backward in personal development is the way in which goals, dreams, and desires are approached. As a result, people make far less progress than they are capable of and eventually get frustrated and stop trying.

Today I want to talk about a simple shift in approach that will dramatically increase the likelihood you accomplish your goals and realize your dreams.

Traditional Thinking

Do: The first thing we’re told to do is to take action. I’m all for taking action, but if you’re doing it from a very negative mindset the effectiveness of it will be subpar at best. This is the default way in which most people approach taking action in their lives and for the most part, this can turn into a personal development hamster wheel.

Have: If we do what we need to do, we tend to think that we’ll have whatever we think we’re going to get. Occasionally it does work, but it’s only if you’re in that select few who manage to make it off the hamster wheel of continuous action. By the time you actually have what you were trying to get you’re completely exhausted by the pursuit of it.

Be: We have a tendency to think that once we do what we need to do, we’ll have what we wanted and we’ll be how we wanted t to be. To clarify with an example, we save the money for a new car, we buy it and we’re now satisfied, fulfilled, or happy.

The problem with this approach to living life is that everything is dependent on the external circumstances of your life. If those circumstances don’t line up or go according to plan your way of being is negatively affected and your next actions will align accordingly.

A More Powerful Approach

Be: As I said the title of the article indicated don’t worry about what you’re doing and instead focus on who you’re being. This is something you have control over. You can choose to be happy, fulfilled, or anything else you want to be. You can choose to be the type of person you want to be.

Do: The interesting thing about starting with being the person you want to be is that your actions will align accordingly. Thus you’ll be taking all your actions from a much more empowering place. You might refer to this as what is called inspired action. I’ll give you a personal example. At the moment I’m unemployed and for the last few weeks I was being a guy who is unemployed again, living at home again, and every other lousy thing I could pile up on my mountain of self-pity. A friend called my attention to the person I was being and suddenly I asked myself “if I was being a guy who was successful already how would I see this situation?.” Instantly I started to see opportunity in my presentation situation and all of my actions since have aligned accordingly.

Have: The interesting thing is that with this approach to things we not only see the world through a much more powerful lens, we still get to have the things we want. Not only is it more effective, but it’s much more fulfilling because we’re not so tied to the external circumstances of our lives in order to be fulfilled.

Determine the person you want to be for the next 30 days and just be it. Take note of the actions that you take and the results they generate. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Photo by dollen

18 thoughts on “Don’t Worry About What You’re Doing – Focus on Who You’re Being”

    1. Justin,

      You’ve made a great point about human beings. It’s amazing how you actions align when you are being vs doing. It’s a much more powerful way to go through life.

  1. Hi Srinivas, totally agree with the Be, Do & Have approach.

    Most people focus on the need to HAVE in order to fulfill them. The real truth is that real fulfillment is gained by being. Unfortunately, we are bombarded by the belief that it takes a lot of work to be happy.

    It takes a lot of strength to step back, look at how we are being influenced by the television, media and government and look at what really makes us passionate about life and how we can find ways to contribute. Action becomes high impact when it is in line with our true purpose and being. An extremely good book on this is the Passion Test and the Power of Now. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Hey Paul,

      I know exactly what you mean because I”ve been one of those people who need external circumstance to be happy. I even slip back into it from time to time. As you said we’re being influenced by many things that try to rob us of this ability to be, do, and have. I haven’t read The Passion Test, but I’m a big fan of The Power of Now.


  3. It’s so natural for me and many people to have the approach of Do, Be, Have. I think focusing on “Who will I be today?” instead of “What will I do today?” is a radical shift in thinking, and, consequently, will produce radical results. Personally, I am going to start asking myself the “Who will I be today?” question and see what transpires. What is refreshing about this way of thinking is that you can always re-create yourself any time and no one is stuck being the way they’ve always been and then getting what they’ve always gotten. Thank you, Srinivas, for the post, and I like how you ended it with the challenge of choosing who you want to be for the next 30 days and recording the results. I am going to take you up on it!

    1. Stacey,

      I’d love for you to do a follow up post to this and share what your results have been after approaching life this way. I think that you’ll notice that you’ll take a different kind of action when you’re being a certain type of person. When you’re being a certain way it’s something that you have control of and that’s a powerful way to live your life.

  4. Hey Srivinas,

    Thank you for pointing out that taking actions from a negative mindset can lead to ineffective results and trap us in a hamster wheel. I think most of us are driven to act on desperation: when our outer world seems to be lacking in the things we want, our first instinct is to act upon it, to try to close the gap between what-is and what we want.

    Unfortunately, when we act through the energy of desperation and struggles, we’re operating in a very small place, with very little of our resources available to us. Thus we see few options, few ideas or creative solutions – which increases our desperation and entrenches us deeper in our problem.

    The best thing to do is to take a step back, a deep breath, get centered, let go of everything, and the “inspired actions” are more likely to come to us. *Now* we can be in action!

    I’m inspired to spend today reflecting on who I want to be for the next 30 days!


    1. Amyra,

      I’ll share a personal example with you. I was recently out with a friend at a party. i decided that for that evening I would just a be guy who is happy, successful and that girls like. The one girl I spent the whole night talking to and I kind of hit it off. I can’t help but think it was just being that caused that.

      1. Appreciate you sharing, Srivinas :)

        Last night, I was watching the movie ‘Limitless’ for the second time. In one of the scenes, after he had ingested the drug, he said all his social fears were gone. I went to bed imagining how I’d feel if I was completely devoid of fears – I even created an imaginary fearless pill, took it and observed what I would do if I had zero fear. A great fun and revealing game!


  5. Well, that was what I read in a book called ’52 ways to live success’ by Jaenne Sharbruno…She wrote that living success from the inside out means being..doing and then having…This was a refreshing read…

  6. I think this is extremely true. When things start becoming difficult, my thought process of who I am changes. I begin to start thinking of all of the external forces that are creating my life to be harder and more difficult. Its almost as though I have to refocus myself to concentrate on being me and who I want to be not what I am doing. At times I get frustrated because I am not where I believe I should be in life, graduated, married, career and the list goes on. When I start thinking about who I want to be as a person then my life seems far less difficult and depressing, its more uplifting and joyful.

    Thanks for sharing!

  7. Awesome insight Srinivas!

    I like the way you inverted the typical way of thinking.

    I can’t agree more that who we are sets everything else in motion. When we are courageous, loving, patient, dedicated, hard working, passionate, and otherwise BEING a person filled with those qualities that naturally leads to DOING those things in life that will fill life with those conditions that give us what we most want to HAVE.

    Thanks for the great post!

  8. Law of attraction – if you believe you will achieve it. Yes, this is true. Start acting like you are something and you will be it. If you are physically fit, you will be physically fit. If you are healthy, you will start eating healthy and living a healthy lifestyle. It really does work. It’s amazing really.

    The thing is that once you hit a negativity, you may lose your grip on it. If that happens, just go ahead and accept it. It’s okay that you are supposed to be a healthy person but you ate an entire pizza. Tomorrow, you will be back to being your healthy self. Life nor you can ever be perfect. Accept, rise above and move on…

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