the rhythm of good work


Human beings struggle to just be – to be present, to pause and not be filled with actions and doing. We are a society that does stuff – gets stuff done, measures and rewards our actions and doing. We are human beings indeed, not human doers – however, we are designed to contribute, to take action, to find meaning in the doing. It’s just that it has to be in the right order. 

Frank Sinatra got it wrong…it’s not “do-be-do-be do.“   Good work comes from our being…it goes be-do, be-do, be-do. It sounds and feels different. When our authentic self is the basis for doing we make real and lasting contributions in this world. When our being leads our doing we get energy – it’s a natural system that feeds us with meaning and purpose.  

But when our doing stretches beyond the capacity of our presence we start to drain our energy and diminish our contributions. Without presence, we get caught in a cycle of busyness. Tasks stream through our head like loud, jarring noise, disconnecting our natural rhythm. The discord of doing determining our being becomes engrained in our bodies and we lose our sense of purpose. Without presence of being, we inflict damage on our relationships, our workplaces, and ourselves. Without presence of being we lose the natural rhythm of Good Work.