Life is choice – who knew?

Our Operations Lead, Peter, recently read an article that contained the line ‘Have-Do-Be’ to ‘Be-Do-Have’ mindset, which took him back to his psychotherapy training.

For the sake of context, I am in the 8th stage and as I reflect on the way I have lived my life I note that I am nothing if not a conformist, or at least I was. The questions I ponder then are: “Do we have real choice in life; when can we start choosing for ourselves and how is ‘Have-Do-Be’ to ‘Be-Do-Have’ relevant?

Erikson's 8 stages of development

I use Erikson’s 8 stages of development as a model to help us define which stage we are at, how successfully we developed through each stage and when we truly started making decisions for ourselves (for us, the person). I would argue that whilst we each have the choice to make decisions from a very early age, we really do not start making choices about how we want to live our lives until we are adolescent.

So What?

Ok, so now we are all grown up and we are set to change the world. Alas, we were never taught to look inside for answers, instead we were taught to do what society asked of us, to make our parents, teachers, and peers happy, we chose to follow the ‘Have-Do-Be’ route. This is the route for most, but is it a choice and who chooses it? Did I make this choice as a young man? No, I followed, why, because I did not know there was an alternative. For most the grass is always greener over yonder. This is classic ‘Have-Do-Be’ behaviour; better job, better money, better life and yet happiness or inner peace remains elusive.

So, when do we get wise to this?

At some stage in our lives we amass a certain amount of insight or wisdom, or our lives are altered in some way so that we get the opportunity to discover what inner peace and happiness might look and feel like. When then, can we expect to discover or adopt the ‘Be-Do-Have’ mindset? Now? Yes now, you can now make an informed choice. Nevertheless, we have complex lives to lead and I refer you back to Erikson above. Because our lives are complex, I portend that in some way it behoves us to make that choice or at least ponder the options so that we are better prepared for the day when we can. Remember life happens now not tomorrow! Life is about us (you and me) not others, so make sure you make your decision about you and for you.