Recently, I was listening to a radio show and the host brought up a topic that I thought was extremely important and interesting.
The host asked, "Are focused on doing well or are you focused on doing good." They went on to explain the difference they saw between the two and it got me thinking, deeply.
First, let's examine the question, "Are focused on doing well or doing good?" It is a peculiar question. Forget the grammatical difference between the two. If someone asked you either of those individually, you would think the meaning was the same. But it's not. Let me explain
What's our primary focus in our lives?
What does it mean to do well?
What does it mean to do good?
When I looked at those questions, it became clear to me. One is more selfish and the other is more giving.
I can do "good" for others and I can do "well" for myself. I can't do "well" for others.
Sadly, most people are focused on doing well for themselves and enriching their lives. The good is an afterthought. But, can we do both? Can we do well for ourselves and at the same time do good? I believe so, but we must focus on the good first and the well second.
You see, if you are focused on the wrong things, you can do well, but you may never do good or feel good.
Some of the people I have met that are doing really “well” are some of the most miserable people I have ever met, because they have essentially chained themselves to that mantra. To the big house, nice car, to the pursuit of making sure they project an aura that they are doing well.
Their life is going "well" as defined by whatever social construct they subscribe to…sure they’ve got issues, and they can take care of them on the surface with money or medication, drinking, whatever- at least for a little while. But the next day or next week or month, those problems or issues are back again, they are still there. The world is telling them that they are doing really “well.” And that enslaves them. They stay in jobs they hate. They don't have the relationships they would like. They can't be the person that they really want to be, etc.
I know this because I have been there. I have been in exactly this same trap. To break out and lead a life of doing well and good takes a lot...A LOT. The main thing it takes is serious change. Change in all areas of your life. It takes great courage to change. It takes forgiveness – most importantly of yourself, and it takes a commitment. And change is hard. But, as Les Brown said, "Change is difficult, but often essential to survival."
Tweet This: It takes great courage to change. It takes forgiveness – most importantly of yourself, and it takes a commitment.
So the question really becomes, “Can you do well and do good at the same time?" Yes, but for you, I don’t know, because it means you will have to change. You will have to reevaluate, dig out, and seek the answers. You will have to find true humility. And you have to want to do it. You will have to break habits, and will have to change in all areas of your life. Your friends will change, you may have to move to another job or business. Are you willing to do this?
In some ways, real, profound change to go to higher levels or to become the person you really want to be comes with “losing it all.” And I don’t mean this in terms of your material possessions or you money. I mean losing all of the conditioning, the habits, the ways of thinking that keep you where you are, and taking a hard look at what you truly and really believe.
Then comes the hard part. The decision and commitment to truly change. This is where 99% fail. They get it. They understand it They want to do well and good, but they simply aren't strong enough to go through the change in themselves to make it a reality. Changing their habits, their conditioning, their beliefs, etc. They try, but ultimately it doesn't last and they end up back in the trap.
But here's the thing. It can be done. It has been done many times before by people throughout time from all walks of life and all different backgrounds.
You cannot expect to achieve new goals or move beyond your present circumstances unless you change. That is the struggle. You can’t take the easy way on balancing doing well and doing good because there is no shortcut to sustaining it in your life. It is work and then more work, but it is well worth it to live life to its fullest.
I can tell you where to start in doing this, but the rest it up to you. Start will looking at your life and asking this question, "Is this truly who I am and who I want to be?" For most, if they are honest, the answer is no for some part or all of it. Then, you have to examine your life, your habits, how you think, and what you believe and decide what you are going to change, so that you can be that person. Next, the hard part. You have to work every day at it and commit to it. What this looks like is ultimately up to you, but my best advice is don't start down this path unless you will make it a commitment for the rest of your life.
If you are strong enough to see it through for some time, you will notice that the person that you want to be or become will start to manifest in your life, and at that point, it gives you the momentum and taste that you need to keep going. Don't quit before that moment.
I will finish with what the host of the show said to end his monologue because I feel the same way, "I am not the man I hope to be. I am not the man I need to be. But I am not the man I used to be."
I continue to work on balancing doing well with doing good in my life and probably will to the end, but it has been so worth it!