I am one of those “inspirational quotation” fanatics—I can’t get enough of them.
For me, the draw is in the power of a few—seemingly simple—lines to summarize a powerful concept and deliver it to us in a way we can easily carry with us through the day. So, I usually think the shorter and simpler, the better.
However, one of the most powerful quotes I’ve ever encountered isn’t at all short. It’s from Conversations with God—the Be-Do-Have paradigm:
“Most people believe if they “have” a thing (more time, money, love—whatever), then they can finally “do” a thing (write a book, take up a hobby, go on vacation, buy a home, undertake a relationship), which will allow them to “be” a thing (happy, peaceful, content, or in love). In actuality, they are reversing the Be-Do-Have paradigm. In the universe as it really is (as opposed to how you think it is), “havingness” does not produce “beingness,” but the other way around.
First you “be” the thing called “happy” (or “knowing,” or “wise,” or “compassionate,” or whatever), then you start “doing” things from this place of beingness—and soon you discover that what you are doing winds up bringing you the things you’ve always wanted to “have.”
The way to set this creative process (and that’s what this is…the process of creation) into motion is to look at what it is you want to “have,” ask yourself what you think you would “be” if you “had” that, then go right straight to being.
In this way you reverse the way you’ve been using the Be-Do-Have paradigm—in actuality, set it right—and work with, rather than against, the creative power of the universe.” ~ Neale Donald Walshe
The first time I read this, it turned my mind inside out and changed my (eternally) pessimistic and woe-is-me outlook. It struck a chord deep within me as I realized I was living according to the reverse logic. Since then, I have consciously tried to “be” what I want, first and foremost.
Sure, there are lots of things I’d love to “have” in my life that have not materialised for me. But I now get that I can still be happy, appreciate and enjoy my life anyway. I’ve shifted from needing to have certain things in place to be fully content, to seeing their potential realization as a bonus—if they ever happen.
Well, mostly anyway. I’m by no means a master, but through the one-step-forward-two-steps-back school of life, I’m getting there.
But, as already noted, the Be-Do-Have paradigm is not so short and I like to have triggers to remind me of important concepts. Because this version is shorter, I share it more frequently:
“If you want joy, give joy to others; if you want love, learn to give love; if you want attention and appreciation, learn to give attention and appreciation; if you want material affluence, help others to become materially affluent.”
~ Deepak Chopra
But the one I share the most, as it is one short simple sentence, that wraps up the whole concept, is one most people are familiar with:
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” ~ Mathama Gandhi
Short, simple and immensely powerful.
I curate quotes and publish them every Monday morning, so I have a vast archive to draw on. But these three, I come back to time and again. For me, they have been of great benefit. I hope, each time I share them, that they are of benefit to others too.
Author: Hilda Carroll
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock