Author Ryan Holiday was talking with Tim Ferriss on The Tim Ferriss Show and he said, “To be or to do? This is a key question that comes to us from the great strategist John Boyd who, as he mentored young men and women in the Pentagon, would see that you kind of can go down two paths in life. There’s the person who wants to look important, that wants to achieve a high rank, that wants to be in the newspapers or on TV. Then there’s the person who wants to quietly get things done. I think it was Truman who said, ‘It’s amazing how much you can accomplish if you don’t care about who gets the credit.’
To be or to do is largely about credit. Do you care about accomplishments, or do you care about impact? Do you care about credit, or do you care about getting things done? You have to ask yourself, ‘Am I trying to be an important person? Am I trying to accomplish important things?’ And this question is critical, ‘To be or to do?’ How are you measuring your life?
Hillel said, ‘If I am not for me, who is?’ And then he said, ‘If I am only for me, who am I?’ This, I think, is related to the idea of to be or to do.” Continue reading