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.”
What is important to us on our journey? Are we being or doing? Are we blooming into our best selves by improving the world around us? And on that journey, are we in the moment or are we constantly looking to where we think we are supposed to be?
Tim also spoke to psychologist, meditation teacher and author, Tara Brach who said, “A good number of years ago now, the Dalai Lama was interviewed by network news, and the inquiry was really about happiness, because that was the subject of his latest book. And they asked him a question, which was, ‘What was your happiest moment in memory?’ And his response, he first gave that kind of now classic mischievous look. And his response was, ‘I think now.’ I’ve always loved that story because for many listening, being present here and now is not a new idea. And yet, as we know often it’s mostly an idea. We’re usually on our way somewhere. We’re usually checking things off the list. So often we’re lost in thought and thinking that the important moment of our life is we’re on our way to it or it’s already in the past, but it’s rare that we sense, well, right now, this moment really matters.”
This moment. Can we allow it in, really savour it, and think about how this ordinary, yet perfect, moment will help us become all we were meant to be.