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Be-Do-Have & Upgrading Your Mindset

Blimey, where is this year going? As they say, “time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana”. Over recent weeks I have written a lot in the Eagle Training corporate training blog about the importance of your attitude and how it contributes to your success. Well, this week I am having a bit of a rant and I want to look at how the order you use three small words (be-do-have) can also be a huge factor in you having the future that you want for yourself.

Sense of Entitlement

So, let’s get the rant over with. I was listening to a young man talking this week, bemoaning his lack of good things in his life. Essentially he was saying that he was not getting what, in his opinion at least, he felt he deserved. To cut a long story short (wasn’t that Spandau ballet?) he believed that if only his manager would pay him more money he would then work harder and get the sales that he was charged to do. So much so that he was asking for a guaranteed bonus before he got out of bed! Get the idea?

You will be pleased to know that I held my tongue!!!

Be Do Have - Upgrading Your Mindset - Eagle Training

In case you are wondering, the man at the top of this piece is a guy by the name of Epictetus (50AD – 135AD). He was a Roman slave who became a philosopher and who said many wise things including:

“First say to yourself what you would be, and then do what you have to do.”


Now, I’m sure he said it in Latin, but you get the idea. Anyway, what I was going to say was that he is often credited with being an early day exponent of the BE-DO-HAVE philosophy. Just look at those words again folks.

The Reality Game

Many years after Epictetus spoke on the subject John Rowan in his book ‘The Reality Game‘ said:

“Most of us think that if we have enough worldly goods, then we can do what we want to do, and then we can be happy. Their sequence is “HAVE-DO-BE”.

Can you see how it’s a bit like a salesperson saying “Give me my bonus (have), then I will go out and sell (do) and then I will be a successful salesperson (be)”.

Actually, it’s not just the young man I mentioned above. I have met a lot of people who have this sense of entitlement. In his book, Rowan suggests it should be the other way around. If we can be who we really are we will find ourselves doing things which genuinely satisfy us and give us enjoyment, and then we shall have all we really want. Therefore, Rowan suggests that a more effective sequence might be BE-DO-HAVE.

DO-BE-HAVE perspective of life

Have you ever noticed that some other folks live with a DO-BE-HAVE perspective of life? Meaning that they believe that if they “do” the right things, they will “have” what they desire and only then will they “be” the person who deserves those things. That can be related to material achievements, but also in regard to relationships, health even emotional states that they wish to experience.

Please note that this is in no way related to Francis Albert Sinatra’s philosophy of DO-BE-DO-BE-DO!

Let me give you an example. Do you know anyone who has set a goal for themselves; maybe it is a goal like getting into a specific kind of relationship. So they set out and “do” what they believe will help them find that “perfect partner”. They do things like go on dates, sign up for internet dating sites and follow all the dating advice they can in an effort to “have” the relationship that they desire; believing that this specific relationship will allow them to “be” happy.

Many people take it beyond just being happy and attach a whole list of things that they will “be” when they finally have that perfect relationship. They will “be” successful, loving, loyal, open, compassionate, a good lover and a good partner.

I suspect that actually most people operate out of this DO-BE-HAVE paradigm. It’s like, “If I do what I need to do, I’ll get what I want to have, then I can be the person I’ve always dreamed of being” and I think it works to a degree.

Be-Do-Have Vs Do-Be-Have

But, just pause for a moment. What would happen if you shifted the paradigm to BE-DO-HAVE? By “being” happy, successful, loving, loyal, open, compassionate, a good lover and a good partner you will begin “doing” things differently which will allow you to “have” things you never would have had if you were running the process as a do-have-be paradigm.

In other words, act “as if” your goal has already been achieved! Some of you will recognise the act as if philosophy from the field of NLP. I believe that this one simple shift could have profound changes in your personal and professional life!

Changing to a Be-Do-Have Mindset

If you have been a DO-BE-HAVE or a HAVE-DO-BE person up to now, why not change the process?

Be-Do-Have Model - Eagle Training

Be the person who you would be if you already had achieved your goal, then you will do the things that a successful person would do, which will allow you to have exactly what you want.

So, begin today to act, to live, to BE the person you would be if you had already achieved your goal. How would you carry yourself? What would you focus on? How would you treat yourself? How would you treat other people? What would your relationships be like? How would you look at finances? What would you be doing to be healthy?

So, maybe give some thought to begin “being” today?

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