To-Do or To-Be; — that is the question.

The Lovely To-Do List

One of my college bound, wide eyed 18 year old daughters said she recently got some advise from a lady she really admires. The advise was to make a list of things to do in the main areas of life while in college….social, physical, emotional, financial, studies, call home on Sunday nights and something else important that I can’t think of (but you get the idea).

Lists. We all love lists, or at least some of us do. I am a formerly seriously addicted tactically-focused check-list guy. I used to live by lists. Lists and little check marks were a source of great satisfaction for me. But…when I did not complete all my to-dos I felt bad, less productive and yes, less valuable somehow; not as worthy. Maybe it’s just me, but part of my self worth and self perception was based on what I accomplished on my little “to-do” list.

So, I told my daughter that I thought lists could be good and setting goals is certainly a good idea too. However, I asked, “why don’t you just BE healthy” and live it out, rather than ‘doing healthy’…just drop the rules and “be” instead of “do”.

Just live your life every day to the best of your ability doing the things that work for that day. Live your life. Listen to your heart, to God and watch the world around you and let life flow naturally. Don’t schedule everything or segment everything onto lists. Just be yourself and things will work out.

I realize and agree that lists are important; they keep us focused to some degree and that is good. Life without ambitions and goals is likely a life lived less than it should be…so I want goals and focus….but I also want life and freedom and I want the flexibility and the joy that comes from being spontaneous and alive right now. Not rules and not the burdens of things un-done.

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