kain ramsay

Life & Leadership Coach, Kain Ramsay Life Balance Coaching

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Are we Human Beings or Human Doings?

I have yet to attend a networking event or random introduction where I've encountered anyone, upon the initial exchanging of pleasantries, to share openly, about who they actually are, opposed to what it is that they do in life.

I am taking for granted here that one of our primary goals in life is to be liked and ultimately accepted by others.

I wonder what would happen if we were to exchange our cultural norm of defining ourselves to others by disclosing ‘the things that we do’, with simply defining ourselves to others by disclosing ‘who we actually are’?

If this was to become a new cultural habit, would this mean that in turn, people would become more congruent and effective in their relationships and throughout the other most important areas of our lives?

There’s 1,000,001 definitions of success available to us in offline and online, however I wonder that if we were to learn how to clearly define who it is that we are as Human Beings, opposed to building our personal standards upon the things that we do as Human Doings, would this leave people available to live more confident and stress free lives?

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    Nov 18 2013: Glad to see you put your photo back Kain....I missed your smiling face:>)
  • Nov 17 2013: But isn't what we do part of what we are? And if our actions didn't define us then what would instead?
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      Dec 13 2013: perhaps your "non-action" or what you do when no one sees you.
  • Nov 16 2013: When a person moves out to another city away from his birth place , there he comes across many people . But,these people don't know him/her as Human Being but as Human Doing,because he/she often introduces himself/herself to others what he intends to do or what he/she is doing.This way he/she never comes within the sphere of their familiarity as a human being.

    And this introduction as a human doiing to the outside world in new city makes a person to achieve what he/she wants to achieve in life.

    This is one of the reasons that most employees switch jobs from one company to other.

    So, as Human beings we are worthless and as Human Doings we are worthy.

    This way the world function irrespective of any country or society. It is universal.

    The world first discriminates people as human beings and then tries to level up that difference and bring equality through Human Doing process.
  • Nov 16 2013: Although you have asked the question within the context of networking,but I would like to put my view in a broader context.

    The world has made it own unwritten rules:

    1)Human Beings are worthless
    2)Human Doings are Worthy
    3)Human Showing are VIP

    Some eons ago I came across a story of a Farmer and his Son.

    The farmer was lying on the bed awaiting for his death, and the son was sitting near him.The son asked his dying father ,"Father after your death you will be no more with me , So, What is the valuable message for me?

    The farmer said to his son "Son , the valuable message is that a person gets success in his life in a place which is far away from his birth place.

    As soon as I had finished reading this story , Immediately it reminded of a past incident where a spiritual personality had suggested me the similar advise.

    Then my curious mind struggled to find out the psychological reason behind this advise.

    So, one day a time came when my younger brother brought this book "Practical Ways to Powerfull Personality" by George Weinburg.

    Going through this book chapter by chapter I came acrossed a chapter titled "Love without Obstacles" , Chapter 16,Page No 182.

    I don't remember any other chapter in detail as I remember this chapter in detail,thats why I have mentioned it with its

    title ,chapter no and page no.This chapter provided answer to my question which I was searching for.

    George Weinberg writes in this chapter that if you are familiar(when people know you actually who you are) to the people around you,then they perceive you as worthless.Even if you have graduated professionally through continous learning still you are worthless for them.

    We are part of sphere of familiarity , and in their thinking no one from this sphere can possibly be as worthy as people

    outside of it.

    According to him this disease may be found in parents,employers,friends and others etc.
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    Nov 15 2013: It simply depends on the culture.
    In the culture where I work, who we are is more important than what we do. So therefore, if I give a presentation, I have to open with who I am related to, who my people are, and where I come from. Only after I have established how I fit in the community will they care about what I do.

    Not all cultures are like that but it is important to figure out what is important to the culture you are in.

    In my home, NOBODY cares what I do at all :)
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      Nov 16 2013: Hi Linda,

      It's funny how we can become different people around different people isn't it?

      Now this is only my perspective but I believe the point you've made is a valid one - I guess that's it is somewhat of a 'fine art' to be able to become all things to all people without having to sacrifice our personal values or core identity ... this has taken me a very long time to be able to fully understand!

      I'd love to someday experience a culture (with similarity to the one you've mentioned), where the cultural norm is to value personal authenticity over social identity.

      Thanks so much for your input ;)
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        Nov 16 2013: Kain,
        Do we become different people around different people? Or are we expressing a different "part" of our "self"?

        I believe that as multi sensory, multi dimensional, thinking, feeling intelligent human beings, we all have different personas, archetypes, and characteristics, that we may express at different times, in different circumstances, with different people. It is ALL part of who we authentically are.

        I suggest that we may feel more or less comfortable expressing/exposing certain "parts" of our self with different people in different circumstances.
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      Nov 16 2013: This is your TED home Linda, and I care:>)

      I agree with you....it's important to understand what culture we are in at any given time:>)
  • Nov 14 2013: This question seems to ultimately boil down to the conflict between the individual and identity. You appear to be advocating for an emphasis on the individual, while minimizing the role of the individual as a piece of a greater society, or a cog in a machine so to speak. Because society can only be defined by actions, or what we do (it being totally confined to the physical world rather than an emotional one) it follows that the social identity of a person is what we emphasize in a social event. Why would you delve into the inert workings of you personality at a gala or other such formal party. Maybe that is why I dislike social events so much, because they tend to exacerbate the individuals' social identity rather than their personal identity, which I agree is infinitely more important.
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      Nov 16 2013: Hi Stephen,

      Thanks for the great input into the discussion.

      I guess that all we can really relate to is the extent of our own experience, therefore, upon being tired of superficialities and empty pleasantries in relationships (in any context), my perspective here is of one where I have grown to value personal authenticity over social identity.

      Disclosing to others who I truly am opposed to my social identity is always a risk and always has been, however, if who I am is found to socially unacceptable to others, I am able to identify the relationships worth investing into, and the ones that aren't.

      I am very fortunate in the sense that the fear of rejection by others left me a good number of years ago - I do however fully and unconditionally accept that this is not always the case for other people.

      I guess that having freedom from the concern of the opinions of others fully enhances my ability to just simply 'be'.

      Kain
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    Nov 14 2013: Hi Kain....welcome to TED conversations!

    Personally, I am a human "BEING", doing lots of things in the human life adventure. I noticed the same thing as you mention many years ago when meeting new people. Folks say something like... I am Jane Doe, a doctor, lawyer, teacher, etc....

    Sometimes, when asked what I do, I say "everything and nothing". I perceive all the adventures of the life experience as "roles" that I am in at any given time. I focused on the mom/wife role when I was younger, I focused on the competitive athlete role for a period of time, I focused on human services, planning & development, acting/singing/dancing, teaching, and through it all, I am learning, growing and evolving as an individual, while contributing to the whole.

    I believe the life adventure is about balance, and my goal is to experience everything possible while balancing the adventures:>)
  • Nov 14 2013: Hi. There was a man sitting on the edge of a stream where he saw bubbles floating on the surface of the water.
    He called out to them 'who are you?'
    Many bubbles cried out in reply, 'we are bubbles!'
    But a small few quietly drifted along...they knew.
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    Nov 14 2013: What sort of introductory exchange do you envision in this regard at a networking event? Please fill in the blank: "Hi, I am Herbert, I _________"
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      Nov 14 2013: Hi Fritzie,

      Thanks for asking this question, you really got me thinking for a minute.

      Although I'm not too sure who Herbert is, I know when Introducing myself in a networking event I simply state who I am: "Hi, I am Kain Ramsay" - before finding out as much about the other person and who they are as physically possible.

      Incase you were enquiring as to how I share the details of 'WHO I AM' with others, I'd only do this upon being asked. In which case I share what I do for a living and WHY I do what I do for a living.

      I guess that in my quest for deeper and more meaningful relationships, I am comfortable in being known for who I am opposed to being known solely for what I do.

      I hope that this semi answers your question but I will endeavour to produce a video on this for posting on YouTube as like you, I believe it's quite an important one!

      Kain
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        Nov 14 2013: I chose a random name just to make clear I wasn't asking you to share personal stuff about yourself.

        That is interesting that on first introduction you choose not to offer any information about yourself rather than putting forward a version of "who you are."
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        Nov 14 2013: Kain and Fritzie,
        I agree....I'd rather be known for who I am, rather then what I've done, and that is exactly why there is very little information in my TED profile.

        As you insightfully say in another comment Fritzie...some folks "put forward a description that does not align particularly with what they reveal through their actions. Most people...take verbal descriptions of this kind with a grain of salt, waiting to form an impression of the person through his actions".

        With my participation on TED, I have told many stories about my life adventures when those experiences seem to "fit" a certain topic, and the stories usually include what I may have learned from the experience, which all continually contributes to who I am:>)
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    Lejan .

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    Nov 14 2013: How do you separate doing from being? To me one determines the other and both are inseparable from one another as two sides of the same coin.

    Try just 'to be' without doing something and you may find this to be as impossible as I found, it is.

    Or are you running a promotion campaign for 'lip-service' here'? ;o)
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      Nov 14 2013: Lejan,
      You ask..."how do you separate doing from being?". I agree that they are inseparable....except in our perception. Everything we do is part of who we are, because in my perception, everything we do contributes to who we are.

      Two sides of the same coin as you say....which side of the coin are we looking at in any given moment? By looking at different sides, we see something different....do we not?

      We are thinking, feeling, intelligent, multi sensory, multi dimensional human beings, with many different "parts" of our "self". We can observe what we are "doing", and label ourselves based on that one facet, and/or we can observe all the different adventures as part of the whole of who we are.....make any sense?
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      Nov 14 2013: That's a great question & is one that took me a number of years to understand.

      In what may be a long winded attempt in answering this, I'd be happy to share my story.

      For over 8 years of my life I served in the British Army as a Soldier. In this time I defined myself as a Soldier.

      Upon leaving the Army I spent over 7 years in unfulfilling roles of which I tried to 'define myself' as to others, such as a financial consultant, a car salesman, a marketing consultant or even a cherry picker (and I did actually do this for a season), I felt pretty low and insignificant based upon the level of self value that I felt as a Soldier.

      The problem was that I left the army for a reason, being that I no longer wanted to be a soldier!

      As you may imagine, this left me with some serious mental and emotional problems - the things that I had done with my life until now were not congruent with who I believed myself to be (of which I'd never even actually defined).

      Upon meeting a very wise man in the midst of my worldwide travels in search for this answer, I was asked a profound and life changing question:

      "If you were to define yourself NOT by what you do in life but by WHO you actually know yourself to be, who is that person?"

      I can promise you that this answer did not come to me fast, but over the period of about two years, I grew to realise that I am loving person, an honest person, a reliable person, a creative person, a genuine person, a sincere person, a passionate person, a caring person, a pro-active person and not your average 'run of the mill' guy.

      Upon this revelation of who I was, everything about my life changed.

      Today, 'What I do' with my life stems from the core of 'Who I am',

      My name is Kain Ramsay and I am a Life Balance Coach, Passionate about helping people to discovering a true Identity and a reason for living.

      What I do with my life today, is based solely on who I know myself to be.

      I hope this answers your question,

      Kain
  • Dec 9 2013: Thanks for your comments, Kain. We are fascinatingly odd, aren't we? We are so obsessed with our social images, working so hard on how we fit in among others of our human herd. I wonder how good we can be at distinguishing our authentic selves from the personas we've created aimed at gaining social acceptance? Do we even recognize the difference? I love the idea of living an openly authentic life and imagine it is a peaceful place to be, but I wonder how powerful the social influence is, which impacts what we do? I've sometimes pondered what it would be like if I were to become the only human being on earth so that perceptions of others would no longer influence my behaviors. I'm thinking that being authentic wouldn't matter to me any more. We need others to want to be around us because without them we feel lonely. Still, I think it would be conducive to our well-being if what we do would accurately reflect our well thought out beliefs and convictions. Even so, perhaps we need new questions to ask when getting to know each other beyond "what do you do?" Any ideas anyone?
  • Nov 16 2013: I think people are scared of being hurt and opening up before you know someone make you vulnerable. I guess what you do is safe. Some do it because they think it will impress people.
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    Nov 14 2013: Yeah, I'd be more inclined to agree with you there Fritzie,

    In my experience to date, less is always most definately more!!

    Kain
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      Nov 14 2013: Kain, when you reply to someone, the best way is to click the Reply link in red to the right of their names. That way they get a message that you replied. If you reply at the top of your thread, they will not get an email alert.
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        Nov 14 2013: Ahhh ... thanks for the tip - third time lucky!!

        I was wondering why my replies were going all over the place ;)

        Kain
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    Nov 14 2013: I guess that in a bid to simply be different, and without a need to be heard by others, I'm free to let others tell me the extent of their stories and why they do the things that they do ...

    I've heard my story plenty of times anyway ;)

    Kain

    p.s. My comment about Herbert was just my very lame attempt at some facetious humour
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      Nov 14 2013: I think it is common to get information about others rather than sharing ones personal story. I only thought from the argument or question you put forward in your thread that you were advocating for being MORE, rather than less descriptive about who you are, on first encounter.

      Many of us do not jump at every opportunity to tell our stories to strangers, which is partly why you don't see people describe themselves fully in networking events or random encounters.

      Further, many people naturally prefer to "show" who they are rather than "tell" who they are. Many who tell "who they are" put forward a description that does not align particularly with what they reveal through their actions. Most people too, I think, take verbal descriptions of this kind with a grain of salt, waiting to form an impression of the person through his actions.
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    Nov 14 2013: Hey Colleen,

    You've got your finger on the pulse here - I'm in complete agreement,

    Doing anything other than simply being is purposeless, meaningless and empty.

    I love your style!!! ;-)
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      Nov 14 2013: Hey Kain,
      Based on your comments that I have seen so far, I love your style as well:>)

      When I first started commenting on TED years ago, I presented some of these ideas, and was often told by other commenters that it was too sweet and sugary, not real, impossible....bla....bla.....bla......!

      So, when someone agrees that these ideas ARE possible, REAL and very enjoyable, my heart sings with joy:>)

      There are lots of folks who go through the motions of living life (doing),and they are also seeking joy, contentment, peace, harmony, passion, etc. When we live life fully in the moment with open heart and mind....simply being all that we can "be" in the moment, it feels like the qualities/feelings mentioned above simply "flow" to and through us......well.....at least that is my experience:>)
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    Nov 14 2013: Hi Lejan,

    That's a great question & is one that took me a number of years to understand.

    In what may be a long winded attempt in answering this, I'd be happy to share my story.

    For over 8 years of my life I served in the British Army as a Soldier. In this time I defined myself as a Soldier.

    Upon leaving the Army I spent over 7 years in unfulfilling roles of which I tried to 'define myself' as to others, such as a financial consultant, a car salesman, a marketing consultant or even a cherry picker (and I did actually do this for a season), I felt pretty low and insignificant based upon the level of self value that I felt as a Soldier.

    The problem was that I left the army for a reason, being that I no longer wanted to be a soldier!

    As you may imagine, this left me with some serious mental and emotional problems - the things that I had done with my life until now were not congruent with who I believed myself to be (of which I'd never even actually defined).

    Upon meeting a very wise man in the midst of my worldwide travels in search for this answer, I was asked a profound and life changing question:

    "If you were to define yourself NOT by what you do in life but by WHO you actually know yourself to be, who is that person?"

    I can promise you that this answer did not come to me fast, but over the period of about two years, I grew to realise that I am loving person, an honest person, a reliable person, a creative person, a genuine person, a sincere person, a passionate person, a caring person, a pro-active person and not your average 'run of the mill' guy.

    Upon this revelation of who I was, everything about my life changed.

    Today, 'What I do' with my life stems from the core of 'Who I am',

    My name is Kain Ramsay and I am a Life Balance Coach, Passionate about helping people to discovering a true Identity and a reason for living.

    What I do with my life today, is based solely on who I know myself to be.

    I hope this answers your question,

    Kain