Be Do Have
How many times have you told yourself that you just need a little bit more time/money/experience, and if you just had this thing, you could finally achieve something you have been yearning for? How many times have you not followed through on something waiting to get what you thought you needed?
This train of thought is called the “Have, Do, Be” paradigm. It’s also a trap that can limit your success.
By assuming that you must have something to do something, and therefore be something (or perhaps someone), you are trapping yourself in a cycle of perpetual need and struggle. A very lucky few have all the tools, resources, knowledge and/or time to achieve something. Most of the time, people need to start their journey with what they have.
Even the thought process can be tedious and discouraging. Say you’ve committed yourself to losing 15 pounds before the end of the year. Under the Have, Do, Be paradigm, this might be how you choose what to eat:
“I need to have a salad for dinner, so I can lose weight and finally be healthy.”
Here’s another example:
“I have to take time off of work so that I can be with my family, so I can be a better parent/spouse.”
With both of these, your happiness is contingent upon success. When something doesn’t pan out and/or go exactly as planned, it’s easy to feel like a failure and to lose sight of your goals. It is, in the simplest sense, a recipe for discontent.
What if we reversed the paradigm? What if, instead of assuming that you must have something to be something, you believe that you already are something?
When you approach the “Be, Do, Have” paradigm from the be position, it can reverse antiquated thinking. By believing that you are what you want to be, you do what it takes to succeed with what you already have.
So to flip the earlier examples, they would look something like this:
“I am healthy, so will have a salad for dinner and therefore lose weight.”
“I am a better parent/spouse, so I will take time off work and spend more time with my family.”
Some people interpret Be, Do, Have as “Fake it until you make it,” but there is a crucial difference. You must be sincere in your beliefs and your intentions; you can’t just go through the motions.
Spending more time with your family does not make you a better parent or spouse if you spend that time thinking about the work you left at the office. Eating a salad for dinner does not make you healthy if at lunch you devour two cheeseburgers. For that matter, being a successful entrepreneur won’t give you freedom and financial stability if you do not plan carefully and manage your business responsibly.
The main takeaway is your success and/or happiness is not necessarily contingent upon having something. Instead, by believing that you already have the potential within yourself, identifying with the goal, you become more confident in taking the steps you need to succeed, which will get you closer to what you desire. If you do not have something you need to will simply find another way.
Action: Set aside time to evaluate your thought process. Are you trapped in the Have, Do, Be way of thinking? Then, examine your priorities and motivation. What do you want to be? What traits do you need to cultivate to achieve your goals? Focus on developing a mindset where you have already reached your ideal state and let your actions follow from that place in order to make your goals a reality.