Be-Do-Have – the answer, or just another twist?

A lot of people will tell you that the world has it backwards, and where most people think that when you HAVE certain things (loads of clients, money, friends, etc), then you’ll be able to DO the right things (proper marketing, buy the right kit, go out socially, etc), and that will let you BE what you want to be (wealthy, stylish, popular, etc).  They’ll tell you that instead you have to BE the right kind of person in order to DO the right kind of things in order to HAVE the kind of life you desire.


This Be-Do-Have (as opposed to Have-Do-Be) approach was first popularised in the 1970s with Werner Erhard’s ‘EST’ trainings, which later morphed into the Landmark Forum series of workshops. I say “first popularised” because my personal belief is that many elements of the approach can be found in most of the ancient teachings, whether that’s the Bible, the classical Indian Vedas or the Chinese I-Ching.

It sounds all very logical, doesn’t it? When you’re being the right kind of person, that will naturally lead to you doing the right things, and you’ll end up being able to have whatever you desire.

But there’s a problem

It seems to require you to BE something different from who you naturally are.

That’s just a reversal of the order of a faulty premise – that there’s a right way to be, that will automatically make you happy. You think, if I can show up in the world as that sort of a person, then I’m going to naturally act the way successful people do, and then I’ll get the stuff a successful person has.

That’s not who you are

What if you’re just not cut out to be that kind of person?  The personal development industry can tell you that it’s just a case of consistent practice, or affirmations, or learning new techniques, or going on the same old workshops, or … whatever.  But if that’s not who you are, guess what – you’re never going to happy trying to be that person.

It’s a recipe for stress, low self-esteem and dissatisfaction.

Your genius fits YOU

What if you started from just being who you truly BE, with no ‘right’ way to be, no ‘right’ things to do, and no ‘right’ lifestyle to have?  You were gifted* your genius, your particular way of being, so that you can make your unique difference in the world. There is no ‘right’ way to be – just your way.

Your genius is elegantly crafted to work perfectly with who you Be, at your core, before you started twisting and distorting your Being to fit in with what you think the world ought to want you to shape yourself into. Sorry to tell you this, but no matter how hard you try, you are never going to be Richard Branson. Or Mother Theresa. Or the guy with the lovely sports car just over the road. Because you don’t have their genius.

You are you, not them.

Just BE

Don’t set yourself a target to be something. Because that’s really still coming from the Have end of the equation. Instead, decide to simply Be you, that unique and original You from your childhood, before the grown-ups and their confounded ‘reality’ got to you.  And decide to find and then apply the unique genius you’ve been gifted so that whatever you Do creates something magical in the world.

And be willing to be amazed at the joy you end up being able to Have.

Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

(* your genius, in the way I use the term, is gifted by God, the Universe, Spirit – whatever higher power you subscribe to)


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About The Author

Andrew Horder

Founder of Joyful Genius Coaching, Andrew has been working with business owners for many years, helping them find and maintain their unique focus - those activities and opportunities that they love, and will produce their success, what Andrew calls your Joyful Genius! Andrew's first book, The A to Z of Loving Work is available from Amazon

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