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Psychology

First Be, Then Do, Then Have

Doing things that don’t involve being the person you want to be is a recipe for ending up in a place you never wanted to be in.

I was pretty much shattered a month or two ago by a Reddit post that I now can’t find. It’s about how to achieve your goals and be successful.

You have goals, you have someone you want to be and things you want to do. Things you want to achieve: Financial freedom, emotional health, impact on the world. The basic gist of that post was an equation for how to actually achieve these things: First be, then do, then have.

Most folks (me included) think that it’s the opposite: That “have” comes first, then “be,” then “do.” In order to achieve whatever your goal is (enough money to be able to do what you want, etc.) you need to have a successful business. Then, when you have that, you’ll be able to do those impactful things you want to do. When you do, you’ll finally be the person you want to be: The successful entrepreneur, family member, friend, whatever.

Turns out that’s backwards. Doing things that don’t involve being the person you want to be is a recipe for ending up in a place you never wanted to be in. Instead of chasing after something you think will unlock new abilities, start with being the person you want to be. Then do the things you really want to do, right now. If you can do that, consistently over time, then you’ll have the things you wanted—freedom, impact, a business, great relationships, whatever.

Starting with being is revolutionary. It means that if you want to be a high-energy entrepreneur, you can start being that now.

If you want to be happy and fulfilled and grateful, you don’t have to wait until some future achievement. You can start being that now.

If you aren’t happy in the business you’re trying to build right now, but you’re doing it because you need to have some money that enables you to do something else, in 3 years that business is not going to suddenly transform you into someone else with a whole different set of thoughts and feelings and habits. That stuff should start now. The rest will come.

It’s not “have-do-be”; it’s “be-do-have”.

I try to think about this on those dark mornings when I don’t want to look at my computer screen, or when I find myself scrolling mindlessly. If I can choose energy, gratitude, life, power, meaning—right now—then the rest will come.

Christian Petroske

By Christian Petroske