Human Being v. Human Doing


When you first meet someone at a networking event, one of the first things that you might ask is “So, what do you do?” What we do plays so much of a large part of who we are that as a society we tend to focus on what we do instead of how we are being.  We would never ask someone “How are you being?” we would however say “How are you doing?”  The concept and fact that we are human beings and not human doings is so important that I decided to focus on this topic this week.    

I remember at an event that I was hosting several years ago one of the attendees mentioned that she created a “being list” in addition to a “doing list”.  This concept always stuck out to me because I thought Wow! that’s such a good idea! We are so used to creating daily “To do” lists with all the things we need to get done, but have we stopped to create a daily “To be” list with all the ways we want to feel and show up in the world?

In this post, we will focus on human being v human doing.

Human Doing

According to, the definition of doing is action; performance; execution. Doing is focused on our activities, the things that we do can include our daily habits, our daily to-do list, our planned activities, etc. it’s all about the ACTION. 

We have been created to do! In the beginning, God gave Adam work to do in the Garden (Genesis [2:15]), and He requires us to “do” work today. So action is so necessary for us to accomplish anything so it’s definitely important that we focus on our ACTION. But sometimes that’s all we tend to focus especially in the Western culture.  We focus on what we need to do right now, what we need to do next week, next month, next year, etc. so much that we don’t focus on the person that we are being while we are trying to achieve all the things that we are doing!

Human Being

According to, the definition of being is the fact of existing; existence. Being is focused on who you are as a person and how you are showing up in the world. In the beginning, when God created Adam and gave him the breath of life he became a human being (Genesis 2:7).  Adam didn’t have to do anything he just became a being. 

Going back to the example of creating a being list it would include things like are you being supportive, attentive, kind, compassionate, caring, considerate? All the things and ways that you want to show up as an entrepreneur, business owner, wife, husband, parent, friend, daughter, etc.; being is more about your PRESENCE!

Consider writing a list of how you are currently showing up in the various areas of your life and then write a list of how you can improve in how you are being.  

How can we make a conscious effort to focus more on how we are being as opposed to what we are doing?

Share your thoughts and comments below.

Posted by Nadine Mullings  |  6 Comments  |  in Blog