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Don't Do More, Be More | Being vs Doing

  • POSTED ON MAY 08, 2024
A man sitting at the edge of a cave during sunset, embodying the essence of being more and doing less

Don’t Do More — Be More: A Transformative Approach to Life  

 Let’s pause for a moment and acknowledge a universal truth: our world glorifies productivity and action and gives very little importance to simply being. It seems like everywhere we turn, especially in social media, people praise productivity while overlooking the quiet power of presence. Yet in the middle of the noise lies the real truth: the essence of being holds the key to a life rich with joy, clarity, and authenticity.  

Being More, Doing Less  

Being more in life and doing less isn’t about neglecting responsibilities or abandoning ambition; it’s about embracing a gentler, more intentional way of living. It’s about shifting our focus from the relentless pursuit of tasks to living each precious moment. By immersing ourselves in meaningful experiences and nurturing relationships and our own personal growth, we create a path for a more soulful and fulfilling existence.  

Personal Journey  

My own journey with being and doing began amid the chaos of two decades ago. In the middle of uncertainty and adversity, I found myself clinging to the lifeline of presence and connection. What started as a survival strategy soon turned into a profound revelation, guiding me through the darkest of times and shaping the very core of my being. It was during this period that Eckhart Tolle’s timeless wisdom in his book The Power of Now illuminated my path like some sort of light in the storm.    

“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have. Make the Now the primary focus of your life.”  

—Eckhart Tolle  

Centering my existence on staying present and true to my essence became my central focus for a year, and the profound changes it brought about in my life were remarkable, propelling me into a new realm of leadership and coaching. It was from this foundation that I embarked on the next phase of my journey, determined to share the wisdom gained with the world.  

Leading and Coaching from Authenticity  

Leading and coaching from a place of raw authenticity empowers us to tap into our deepest truths and intuition. It enables us to not just hear but truly listen to the unspoken words and emotions of those we encounter. By embracing vulnerability and authenticity, we become catalysts for profound transformation.

I’ve often found myself being the first to crack open my heart in a room, sharing my vulnerabilities with my participants. Why? Because it’s in those raw, unguarded moments that true connections are created, transcending the superficial and touching the very essence of our humanity. Is it scary? Absolutely. But the rewards? They’re nothing short of soul-stirring.  

Cultivating Connection  

Learning to be more and do less has woven so much richness and depth into the fabric of my life. Through the practice of mindful presence, I’ve learned to dance in this moment and find beauty and wonder in the simplest of moments. I’ve learned how to listen deeply to myself and trust.  

Making Aligned Choices  

Throughout my journey, I’ve made countless choices that have left others scratching their heads in bewilderment. But as we often say in CTI’s coaching circlesprograms, living a life of true fulfillment is a radical act. It’s an act of self-authority and self-love. It’s about tuning into the voice of our souls and charting a course that aligns with our deepest desires and values. By honoring our truth and staying rooted in our purpose, we cultivate a life of authenticity and meaning. One of my favorite poems is Mary Oliver’s A Summer Day. It ends with the line,  

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”  

Enhancing Well-being 

Life is precious. Prioritizing being over doing nurtures the very essence of our being. By listening to our bodies and intuition, we become more attuned to the subtle rhythms of our inner world.  

Recently, I stumbled upon a jarring statistic: over 70% of employees reported feeling burned out at work. I had the privilege of interviewing individuals who shared their stories of burnout, and what resonated deeply was their shared experience of a disconnection between their minds and bodies. This disconnection, they revealed, played a significant role in their journey away from well-being. It’s a sobering reminder of the urgent need to reconnect with our essence and honor the wisdom that resides within.  

Deeper Relationships 

Perhaps the greatest gift of being more and doing less is the deepening of our connections with others. When we shed the layers of busyness and distraction, we create space for true intimacy and connection to grow. It’s in those moments of shared presence that true magic happens, where we feel the love and understanding that bind us together.  

When I reflect on some of my most treasured memories, the ones that shine most brightly are the moments spent completely present with my children. Despite the demands of work, I made a conscious effort to give each of my three children my undivided attention. In those precious times, the outside world melted away, leaving only the joy of our connection. Whether playing games, sharing stories, or simply being together, each moment was filled with love. Now, with all three of them having left home, these memories hold an even more precious place in my heart.

In essence, being more and doing less isn’t just a philosophy; it’s a way of life — a gentle invitation to savor each moment, to embrace our humanity with open arms, and to live with intention and authenticity. So, the next time life’s craziness threatens to sweep you away, take a moment to pause, breathe, and reconnect with being. For me, true success is measured not by what we accomplish but by the depth of our presence in each and every moment.  

Top Tips for Embracing Being More and Doing Less:  

  • Cultivate daily mindfulness: Carve out moments of stillness and silence to reconnect with your inner wisdom.  
  • Set boundaries: Learn to honor your needs and priorities by gracefully saying no to tasks that drain your soul. 
  • Simplify your schedule: Embrace the art of single tasking, focusing your energy on one thing at a time. 
  • Embrace the power of pause: Gift yourself regular moments of rest and rejuvenation, honoring the sacred dance of work and rest. 
  • Cultivate gratitude: Take time each day to count your blessings and savor the sweetness of life’s simple pleasures. 
  • Take a “being” audit: Check in with yourself regularly, tuning into the voices of your body, heart, and soul. 
Michelle Kempton Profile photo
Written By

Michelle Kempton

Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC), Master Certified Coach by the International Coaching Federation & founder of Kempton Coaching & Training. Michelle is passionate about leadership development and organizational change. She has a human-centric approach, guiding people and organizations through an evolutionary process to unleash their full potential.

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