We are human beings, not human doings, right?
I have always enjoyed this phrase because it has helped me focus on the present, not only the next thing on my to-do list. But there is also a negative side to this statement. It can cloud our thinking, making us believe we are somehow more than the sum of our actions or the sum of what we do—but we are not. What we do is really all that matters in life. It makes up who we are.
When we are caught up only thinking about who we want to become, our ego takes over, and we stop working. We begin to place more importance on things that do not matter—our position in life, how other people view us—rather than on what we accomplish. And that is a real shame.
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You are what you do, and when you are not doing it, you are not that thing! You do not earn a title because of what you have done in the past, and you certainly do not earn a title because it is what you and your ego want to be.
So you are a public speaker? Okay, what impactful speech are you writing or giving today?
You are an entrepreneur? Awesome! How are you actively solving a real-world problem with your business right now?
You are a leader? Interesting. Are you actively, right now in this moment, helping other people become better?
You are an author? That is pretty cool. What are you writing this afternoon?
See, titles do not matter because titles do not produce value. If anything, they prevent value from being created because they allow ego to get in the way of real accomplishment. Even if titles did mean something, you would still only deserve a title that fits what you are doing and who you are in the present moment.
Instead of worrying about your next promotion or becoming X,Y or Z, focus on the work you want to do, and do it. Stop worrying about becoming a certain title, and start doing the work that you have been waiting to do until you get that title. Boom, there you go, you found a short cut to a higher level of contribution.
Instead of being concerned about how people will evaluate you as a writer—and writing the next bestseller—just write. Stop thinking, researching, surfing the internet and staring at the computer screen. Just put one word down after another. Then you will be a writer. Then you will be a creator. Otherwise, you are only a consumer.
And instead of worrying about being successful, do successful work. Do the work you know deep down you should be doing. That is success. Success is not caring about what other people think, aligning yourself with your purpose and dedicating yourself to meaningful activity that’ll produce real fulfillment in the end.
So in summation, what is the secret to becoming exactly who you want to be? Stop focusing on becoming. It is the wrong objective. Instead, do the work you were put on this earth to do. The whole “being” thing will work itself out. And if it does not, at least you will spend your days fulfilled knowing that your time on this planet was spent accomplishing something that mattered.
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This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com. Minor edits have been done by the Entrepreneur.com.ph editors.
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