I am sure you meet numerous people while attending both professional and personal gatherings like I do. I’m not sure about you, but I always feel compelled to immediately introduce myself in order to establish my friendliness. Usually, within seconds of meeting someone for the first time, I get the automatic question, “So Charlie, what do you do?” “Are you a former basketball player?”
Here we go again.
The “What do you do?” question requires us to assign ourselves to a box and is difficult to answer. We should not be forced to label ourselves as our job, our race, our zip code, etc. We, as human beings, are not so simplistic that we can explain ourselves in a rehearsed 30-second commercial. Are people that interested in what we have done and/or what we are currently doing? NO!! The only purpose that label serves is to allow people to compare themselves to others. Did I check off more boxes than him/her? DO I make more money each year? DO I manage more people? We are constantly under the societal pressure of selling what we DO or “advising” others of what they should DO. To me, it is no different than an actor/actress that we see in similar roles from movie to movie…we are being typecast!
Let me see if you can relate to these “advisements”:
- You should have been a ______; you missed your calling.
- Someone recommends that you get a real job if you are starting your own business.
- That’s not the right path for you, stick to working at ____ job.
To this “advice,” I say, “I am more than a former athlete. I am more than a basketball player that played under Bob Knight. I am more than a basketball trainer. I am not a human DOING, I am a human BEING!”
The highest form of who you are as a person is not defined by what you DO in your endeavors, it is the ability to BE. Our potential as humans relies on simply being. This requires you to BE in the present moment as opposed to worrying about what you need to DO in the future or the consequences of what you DID in the past. Eckhart Tolle, who is touted as the most spiritually influential person in the world, once said: “Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have.” I share this message often, as appreciating and fully living in the present is how we transcend time and just BE. And isn’t that what we all want? To always BE our true selves, open the door of self-acceptance, and let our true lives BEgin.