One of my most favorite quotes is from Coco Chanel. “How many cares one loses when one decides not to be something, but to be someone.” The first time I read this quote it nearly jumped off the page. It screamed at me and echoed, stop trying to ‘do’ (control the plan for your life) and instead ‘be’ (allow the plan to unfold in due season). Most of us are familiar w…ith the scripture from Ecclesiastics that was made into a popular song during the 1960’s.
“There is a time and season for every purpose under heaven.”
When we get into the ‘do’ mode, it is generally for other people. We begin to compare our self to others. We start comparing our abilities and achievements with other people’s talents and accomplishments. The minute we start this process of thinking, we lose sight of our own personality and individuality. We need to recognize that our value and worth is not the by-product of achievement. Who you are is more important than what you have done.
We live in a society where worth is measured by our level of education, level of achievement and the number of trophies that attest to our accomplishments. When I first met my husband, I was intimated by his family. He comes from a large Irish-Catholic family of eight children. Of the eight children, all have college degrees.
His father is a retired civil engineer; his mother had been a nursing professor at a well-known university. His siblings include a doctor, dentist, pharmacist, aeronautical engineer, psychologist… I think you get my point. And then there was me. I had just come out of a failed marriage, hated my job and was struggling just to keep my head above water while putting my daughter through college. In my mind, everyone else had arrived while I was still in the waiting room of life.
The waiting room of life is rarely an enjoyable place to be but an absolute necessity to get to your next destination. We live in a society that demands “the now”. We want instant gratification and results and we want them in our time frame. We try to prod things along by ‘doing’ something. What we fail to realize is that we haven’t reached the destination where that part of our life’s plan unfolds. Does that stop us? Not usually.
Instead, we continue to try and “do” things in our own timing and we end up in a war zone. The end result is a joyless life because we are trying to “do” something that can’t be done. We are out of season. We have lost sight of the fact that there is a perfect timing for the evolution and phases of the plan and purpose of our life.
When I stopped trying ‘to be”, I came to realize it wasn’t my husband’s family that intimidated me; it was my inability to believe in my own self-worth. His family was the first to applaud and praise my willingness to venture out and explore new business opportunities.
Don’t allow accomplishments to the basis of your self-worth. Life with the knowledge there is a plan for your life and sometimes that plan requires that you DO, not BE.