TED Conversations

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 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:>)

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