Doing versus Being

Walter Bond, former NBA shooting guard, posed a question this week that took me back to my journey as a Religious Studies student and my introduction to the writings of the enigmatic monk, Thomas Merton.

Bond says that what he misses most about playing professional basketball is being a member of a team bent on believing they are “the best in the world.”

Walter Bond’s Huddle

To regain that camaraderie, he has just launched a project: The Peak Performers Huddle — and he asked me to help with the copywriting.

A job like that, of course, is right down my alley. Thinking and writing about how people make “roadturns” in their lives is the foundational topic of this blog.

Bond holds a weekly conference call with Huddle members. He goes over a section of the game plan, answers questions, and gives the team their weekly assignments. It’s a powerful time of getting together and committing to action.

Last week, the idea of “Doing” and “Being” came up. Now, you might expect an NBA shooting guard to preach the virtues of doing what it takes to win. You know, daily time in the gym and on the court … sacrificing everything for the game.

That’s not what Walter Bond said, though.

Bond says we must first “Be” before we can adequately “Do.” He says it is vital to aim for excellence in all areas of our lives — in our families, in the community, and in our spiritual lives … not only at work.

I came away from that Huddle with a renewed determination to put prayer and meditation in front of my day. By personal experience, I can tell you there are no more important actions I can take than to pray and meditate. By personal experience, I can also tell you those are actions I take least in my life.

So far, this week, I’ve kept my resolve. Walter Bond’s Huddle has a private Facebook Group where we hold one another accountable. That has helped.

And knowing that 6’5″ Walter Bond is watching my performance … that has helped.

But there’s one more thing that is keeping me on track with this roadturn — something my college professor (who knew Merton personally) told me, something Tom Merton harped on repeatedly:

Don’t just do something, stand there!

Until I have become centered, until I remember who I am and where I am headed … my frantic actions become a “beating at the air.” For real progress, my very first action is to stop.

Wishing you great joy and success.

Don

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