To DO or To BE? — Now, THAT is the Question!

To DO or To BE? — Now, THAT is the Question!

We all have so many things to get done in a day. We utilize terms like “multitasking” to define the experience of just how busy we are. Running to the grocery store, returning a call, dropping a child off at a practice, and more turn into a long list of items that need to get done in order to remain efficient and to keep from forgetting something important. In schools, these lists can get very, very long. Jotting down the hundreds of conversations, and necessary follow-up steps from these conversations, calling parents, helping students, pushing out an extra copy of important assignments, and more become a series of never ending Post-it notes adhered to our desks and weekly/monthly planners. Sure, it keeps all of the balls in the air and helps us stay organized, but only until the next series of tasks emerge.

What if, rather than “To-Do” lists we created “To-Be” lists? I thought about what could be on such a list. Would there be items such as, “I would like to be…”

> more patient,
> more creative,
> kinder,
> more generous.

How might our lives and mindsets change if we kept track of our To-Be lists as carefully as we keep track of our To-Do lists. As we stretch ourselves to be better people, ever-improving, the idea that we’re trying to become something more lends itself to transformation. It pushes us to be a better version of ourselves and impacts the way we do our work, the way we interact with others, and the way we think of ourselves.

In a world that oftentimes dwells in the negative, it might be refreshing to think of all the things we are doing right. It takes a tremendous amount of energy to do the things we’re already doing well. Not to mention the tremendous amount of energy spent on organizing our busy lives. Often we overlook the fact, that to continue to do the things we’re already doing well, it takes focused commitment, energy, and thought. Perhaps, we should spend the same equivalent amount of time celebrating this work and its overall effect on our “being” in the world.  Approaching life with a “To-Be” mindset may be just what is needed to balance all the “To-Do’s” in our lives. I suggest that this would lead to increased levels of happiness and enjoyment for everyone involved.

As we continually work on both lists, the “To-Do” and “To-Be”, giving equal attention to both will help us continually evolve into happy, productive humans. For my Forest Ridge School District 142 readers, you are receiving your first glimpse of our overarching theme for the 2020-2021 school year. Ponder these thoughts and I look forward to expanding on ideas with you, related to the power of “being” in our daily lives.  

Sue Arvesen
Sue Arvesen