“We are human beings—not human doings.”
In a blog on leadership development, Colleen Sharen wrote about the 10/20/70 rule for effectiveness. Simply this means that 10% of leadership development comes from training, 20% from mentoring, and 70% from actually applying the knowledge gained. “Thus the majority of development comes from doing leadership rather than knowing leadership,” states Sharen.
I remember my wife telling me about a professor she had in college who was fond of saying, “You don’t learn math in class, you learn it at home.” In other words, you have to use the material.
At the end of all of my workshops, I give the session participants a “Call-to-Action.” The challenge is for each person to find some quiet time after the workshop, sit with their notes, synthesize the material, and apply it to a practical situation in their personal or professional lives.
We have to know the material/strategies; do something with this knowledge; and be what we want—a leader, a community activist, a coach, an author, a teacher, a friend….
Years ago an older colleague shared some wisdom about knowing—doing—being that rings a bit of a different bell. According to my friend we (roughly) spend:
- The first third of our lives knowing. This is when we gather knowledge, learn life’s lessons, and develop skill sets for the work world.
- The second third of our lives doing. During these years we are busy making a life, “becoming an adult,” and finding our place in the world. Lots of movement here, there, and beyond.
- The final third of our lives being. We finally take time to reflect on what we have done; who we have become; and where we are in life.
While this may be a forced trilogy (and I could easily argue we continue the knowing phase while we are doing if we are truly life-long learners), the words have become a reminder to me. A reminder to stop and breathe and just be. Do we really have to wait until the final part of our lives to enjoy a considered time of reflection? In this I am truly a work in progress. (OK, those who know me well will tell you I struggle with the being.) I am constantly in motion. But more and more I am finding that the constant doing ends up sabotaging what I want to accomplish.
Make no mistake, I love what I do—and I am glad to have every opportunity that comes my way. Still, my body and mind have been attempting to get my attention of late.
I believe it was Deepak Chopra I heard say, “We are human beings—not human doings.”
I certainly seem to be a human doing—as do so many around me. And while I don’t want to stop what I am doing, I (and maybe you, too) need to take more time for quiet, for reflection, for being. So, what can we do to quiet our minds, slow ourselves down, and just be—even if for a brief time? Here’s my quick top five.
- Exercise. (While I am doing something when I exercise, it does allow me to focus on my body—breath, movement. I become more aware of how I feel. And less concerned about the email inbox, the chapter that is due, or the engagement coming up.)
- Experience sunrise on the beach.
- Move away from the computer, cell phone, tablet, television, and loud people.
- Distraction-free driving—no cell phone, no radio, no CD. Just simple alone time.
Video recommendation for the week:
What do you do to just be? Or is the question better stated, what do you not do?
Choose well. Live well. Be well—and H.T.R.B. as needed!
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(c) 2013. Steve Piscitelli. All rights reserved.