Do Less, Be More: 10 Principles to Live Well

Do Less, Be More: 10 Principles to Live Well

I long to DO less, and BE more. You see, through the first half of my life, I might best have been described as a human DOing. My hours, days and weeks were spent growing up, attending college, getting married, having a career, attending church, and then raising a family, which involved school activities, sports, homework, birthday parties, summer camps, and family trips. I experienced a daily mix of exhaustion, elation, and exasperation. As I pushed through each day with a long list of things to do, I left little margin to just be.

The nest is empty now. My brain is being rewired through the miracle of hormonal changes (I’m feeling a “personal energy surge” even as I write). The “wisdom” phase of life is before me. Most importantly, I feel a transformation in my spirit even more powerful than my hot flashes—a transformation from human DOing to human BEing.

Being still

Photo courtesy: Thinkstock / Michael Blann

Yes, I still have tasks to complete, responsibilities to fulfill, and commitments to keep. Yet, I’m learning to frame the investment of my time and energy through the lens of human BEing.

These 10 “BE” principles are helping me to shift my approach to day-to-day living:

  1. Be still and know He is God. Start my day with God. Solitude, reflection and prayer help me to stay balanced in my life.
  2. Be present to the people in my life. Focus my undivided attention when engaging with others.
  3. Be aware of the lessons each day brings. See God’s grace in all that the day offers, even through the trials and stresses.
  4. Be intentional. Reduce multi-tasking. Leave margin in my schedule.
  5. Be generous. With my time, my energy, my resources, and extend myself to give to others.
  6. Be forgiving. I am forgiven, so that I can be forgiving. Offer grace. Let go of bitterness.
  7. Be open to the unexpected. Interruptions can be considered intrusions or divine appointments.
  8. Be responsible. Be a good steward with my time, talent, and resources.
  9. Be honest. Live and act with integrity.
  10. Be grateful. Nothing changes my outlook more than expressing gratitude to God, to those I love, and to those who touch my life. Throughout the day, and especially at bedtime, I thank God for blessings great and small.

I am growing into my life as a human BEing. It is a daily choice. When I feel bombarded by tasks and information overload, I take a deep breath and quiet my spirit. As I’ve learned from Lysa TerKeurst of Proverbs 31 Ministries, “there’s this beautiful thing called imperfect progress.”

My blog focuses on helping people learn how to plan well, live well and finish well. Being more and doing less helps me to live well. And as I consider my own journey, I believe what I’ve done—my accomplishments and all the to-do’s I’ve completed—will quickly fade. Who I am and how I have loved and served others will be the greatest measure of my life.

Which of these principles most resonates with you?

QUESTION: Are you being or doing… please share your story and inspire others via social media? Please share this post with your comment.


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4 Comments
  1. Anne, your words were a balm to me this morning. After a very hectic week volunteering as a camp nurse, then dealing with a bout of pneumonia (that creeped up afterward), I felt spent and worthless at work. I need to just “be” in the moment right now. The exhausting week is beyond me. What is ahead in the future, is a gem just waiting to be discovered. Thank you for reminding me of God’s renewing and refreshing ways. You and your writing only gets wiser and sweeter as the years go by.

    • Thank you, Sheryl. It can be so difficult to just “be.” It’s a daily challenge to allow the time and space for our spirit to be still.

  2. The fourth one, “Be Intentional,” particularly resonates with me right now. Planning my day intentionally without completely packing it full of stressful to-dos, realizing that there are only 24 hours in the day and I need time to sleep, eat, reflect, and “just be” are things I’m trying to work on! Thank you for your inspiring words.

  3. This is a very timely piece, as I am currently dealing with the process forgiveness right now. I know that at times, forgiveness seems to be a process for me. I choose to forgive, then I start taking some of my forgiveness back, one piece at a time. I realize that forgiveness doesn’t necessarily mean that I’ve forgotten. It means that I’ve made the choice to forgive and hopefully move on. When I am stuck in the unforgiveness cycle, I tend to bring myself down to a level that I don’t want to live at. When I choose to forgive, I get to hand the situation over to the one who can best handle it…God. I then get to choose life.

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