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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 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'.


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