Human Doings

Posted by on August 21, 2013

A Monday Morning Memo from the Wizard of Ads

When you meet a new friend who says, “Tell me about yourself,” do you often begin by telling them where you work or what you do for a living?

Are you a human being? (Don’t be too quick to answer, because it’s entirely possible that you’ve become more of a human “doing” than a human being. But don’t panic, the condition is curable.)

I recently wrote, “Who you are is much bigger than what you do,” as a one-line paragraph in a Monday Morning Memo titled “Dreams and Contentment.” Even though that single sentence was set apart from the lines that preceded it and followed it, I fear that my statement may have gotten lost amidst the complexity of the rest of the memo, so today I’m taking it from the top:

To what degree have you allowed your work to define you? How much of your self-image is merely an extension of what you do? Aside and apart from what you are “doing” with your life, who is the person that you are “being?”

Consider the people you most enjoy spending time with. Do these people love you for what you do, or do they just love you for who you are?

Who you are is much bigger than what you do.

Look out that window in your imagination labeled “Work” and you will immediately see obligations that cannot be ignored. The mere fact that you can’t ignore them, however, doesn’t make them important. It doesn’t mean that they define you. It means only that they are “urgent.” There’s a big difference.

Now turn and peer out one of the other windows in your mind, one of the many not labeled Work or Work-Related. When you look out these windows, the ones labeled Romance, Adventure, Friendship, Fantasy and Faith, who exactly do you see out there? Who is the person that is you? (You really need to spend more time looking out these windows.)

Why not take a break from staring out the window of “Doing” and start gazing out the many windows of “Being” instead? If you will ponder “who you are being” for just ten minutes each day this week, I promise that seven days from now you will have a sharper, brighter, more vivid self- image and your confidence, courage and strength of convictions will have skyrocketed. Who are you being?

Roy H Williams

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PS Were I not to acknowledge my longtime friend, Richard Exley, for putting these ideas into my head nearly 20 years ago, it would be almost as bad as failing to acknowledge Rene Rochester, who recently spoke at Hope In the City and inspired today’s MMMemo. (Although I regularly fail in many others areas of my life, never let it be said that I was ever ungrateful.) Thank you Richard and Rene. RHW

A number of months ago I responded by email to a young woman who asked me to tell her about my personal faith in God. Rather than sending that response out as a MMMemo, I simply posted it in the archives at under the title “The Wisard Talks about God,” and then mentioned that you could click over there to read it if you had any interest. Recently, I wrote an equally surprising but very different response to another email that I received. Should you have any interest, you will find it also in the archives under the title, “The Wisard Talks about Religion.” RHW

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