1.2 Being vs Doing?

Posted by Mike Kaaks

09 December 2018

1.2 Being or doing

Let’s start with a practical consideration of Being vs Doing. When we recruit a new person into a business we typically use a format that is long on doing and short on being. A c.v. provides a detailed chronology of what we have done with limited reference to who we are. When it’s down to a couple of candidates we keep that balance in terms of the investment in testing of ability compared to time spent understanding the person. To be clear, I’m not advocating that we ignore an examination of capability – every candidate must be able to Do the job, but what Being brings to light is how they will go about the job. We need to understand the person who will reveal themselves through their passions and beliefs as they collaborate with their new colleagues.

What about you? Which do you feel is more important? Some of your answer is likely to be influenced by your age. Early in adult life learning is about what we can Do with it. Later in life learning is so much more about what it means for who we are.

I’ve often used the horse racing term weight for age (WFA) when reflecting on issues to do with age and where we are up to in our lives and careers. WFA is a handicap where the competing horses are assigned a weight based on their age, not based on their recent form. In our careers and our lives we can get ahead of the weight for age scale. Being ahead is a great advantage. When we “get it” about life and the way it works, possibilities and opportunities aligned to our inner-self open up. This is the world of our Being. The opportunity to secure more senior roles is impacted by where we're on the WFA scale. The key is to know enough about ourselves to identify when we are ahead so we can retain the benefit.

Emotional Intelligence and Spiritual Intelligence are central in a life of Being. When we look at myths we see Being in a broader cuktural sense. Whether its a story about Norse Gods, an Indigenous Elder telling stories of the Dreaming, or the classic story of Parsival, there are lessons about how life works. Those myths are not about how to do things. We see the same in Zen Koans those sometimes frustrating short allegorical stories designed to illustrate a truth or a moral lesson.

Every culture is rich in the ways of passing on the lessons of Being. Those lessons help us choose what to Do, and the way to go about it. Our Being underpins all and any of that Doing.



  • Beliefs
  • Purpose
  • Values
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Spiritual intelligence
  • In the zone, Flow Now



  • Experience
  • Chronology
  • Health
  • Knowledge
  • IQ
  • Then

We're Human Beings not Human Doings

Absolutely You